Tag Archives: offseason

A Really Off, Off-Season 2014

Well, I am back. This off-season has been pretty uneventful ever since I completed Timberman 70.3 back in August. We did take a trip to Italy back in September which I just finished posting yesterday. I have continued to train and I did complete the 180 mile City-to-Shore ride, but I have had more achievments on Untappd than on Strava this fall. With those acheivments comes a snug waistline and around 15 lbs extra weight above my racing weight I need to shed. The lowest point was the week of Thanksgiving where I literally did absolutely no training that week. Unheard of! Apparently I needed this little break and I am trying to listen to my body a bit. Keeping up that motivation for Ironman training after 3 years is not always an easy task. 2013-07-27-16.31.42.jpg

But, I am back in the swing again and I am getting geared up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June and the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in May. Other than that I have nothing else planned but hoping to do so late season local races. I was tossing around Ironman Maryland as well as Steelman. Still thinking that over.

PMC Chart 2014-12-22_16-16-10
Training Peaks PMC Chart 2014-12-22_16-16-10

The last couple weeks I have been back at it pretty steady and I am feeling pretty well. I seem to have carried over my endurance because I am go out run a half-marathon, swim an easy 3000 meters, or ride my bike for 3 hours  without issue. Given that I trying to focus more on developing some speed and power for this season. I still have a goal completing an Ironman in under 12 hours which I carried over from last season.

In the pool, I have started using a Finis Tempo Trainer.  I have a very low stroke rate and am pretty much a glider. With that my lack of ability to do flip turns my typical stroke rate shows up at around 56-58 spm(both arms) on my Garmin 910xt. That translates to around 2:00/100m which is not great. I typically swim around 1:46-7/100y in open water which basically washes out the need to turn. So my plan is to try to gradually increase my turnover rate in the pool to increase my pace. I know that when I get my strokes/min into the high 60’s or low 70’s I can get down to about 1:50/100m which equates to about a 1:40/100y. If I can work on maintaing that pace for IM swim it would be cut down to about 1:11 or so. Actually I would be happy to get to a 1:15, which is 2 min improvement over the last 2 years.

TrainerRoad Pain Cave Amrita
TrainerRoad Pain Cave

On the bike, I am back using TrainerRoad again through the Winter months. This software helped me make huge gains in the bike last year. I went from a 223 FTP to a 253 which is 13% increase. It really showed on the bike too, I cut about 15 minutes off my Lake Placid bike leg and I had a great ride at Timberman finishing well under 3 hours. I am doing the same training plan I used last off-season and am looking for 10% gain edging to maybe 275-280 FTP.

I need to generate some more speed on the run for sure, especially after a long bike. My goal would be to finish the IM Marathon portion in around 4:10, which equates to a 9:30/mi pace. So, this is my floor pace for all my longer(LSD) runs this season. Other than warm-ups, I am going to make this the slowest I can go or I will have to cut distance in order to maintain it. I know I can run the distances at 10+ pace, so now it is time to step back and take it up a notch. I also want to incorporate some longer brick runs off the bike. I seemed to suffer more after the first 6 miles during IM and I need to work that out. During the week I will continue the tempo and interval runs as I did before.

Getting back to racing weight will also be critical for all this to happen. I feel I have my race nutrition plan pretty solidified, which is anchored by my good old Amrita Bars, but my off-season nutrition needs some work. A few too many pizzas and IPA’s this year, so I will be cutting that all out come January 1st.

Here are a couple good articles that I recently read on off or base season training that provide a little different twist on the traditional approaches…

Reverse Periodisation by Coach Brett Sutton

How to Maximize Your Winter Base Training | TrainingPeaks.

20 Winter Triathlon Do’s and Don’ts by Endurance Nation

If any of you are on the Zwift beta program and you are looking to ride with someone let me know too.

So I hope to get some more posts going here very soon. I have a couple training excursions and some product comparisons and reviews coming up too which should be interesting. So if you have stuck around, I hope you will continue to read on. Thanks for reading.


A Chirunning Tune-up

The off-season tune-ups seem to be the order of the day lately.  Last week was my  bike fitting and this week is a running tune-up. One of the Chirunning instructors from our workshop at Kripalu in 2009, Ann Margaret McKillop, had read my previous post about analyzing my form.  She emailed me and said that she would be in the area the day after Thanksgiving if we were interested in a private lesson. The timing was perfect.  My wife has been ramping up her running lately and it was a great opportunity for me to get a check up on my Chirunning form.

When Ann Margaret arrived, we debriefed her on our current issues as we made our way down to the local park. We found a nice flat stretch of path that we could demonstrate everything we had forgotten from 3 years ago. The wife and I each took turns running up and down the path as Ann Margaret videotaped us with her iPad(Smile). She instantly identified and pointed out the cause of my IT Band issues via the Coach’s Eye iOS application. The amazing thing was that it was all rooted in my upper body. She then gave me a couple items to focus on as we made our way up and down the path. The changes I needed to make were ever so slight, but holding them required extreme focus. As soon as took my attention away from those forms I was right back to my old ways again.

Ann Margaret instructs Denise on Chirunning Technique

I then went off on my own for a bit while Ann Margaret worked with my wife on her issues. We eventually converged after a few minutes and worked on some basic form exercises. I kind of remember doing these at the workshop back at Kripalu. We then wrapped up our session demonstrating our new forms while Ann Margaret videotaped us again. She then analyzed us and did a little “chalk talk” action on the iPad. This time we could really see the changes and much more efficient it looked as well as we felt it. The hard part will be maintaining these improvements as time goes on. Denise and Ann Margaret Chirunning

It is a great time of year to identify these types of issues so you can gradually work into them and build as the season training volumes increase. Ann Margaret is an excellent teacher breaks things so well, which really helps you understand what you doing wrong, how it affects your running and how to correct it. She also makes a point of bringing out the things that you are doing well too, which really helps balance the session and build your confidence in correcting the things that need correcting. Can’t wait to get out there and starting making improvements!