Tag Archives: performance

IMLP 2014-Training Update Week 15

2014-05-24 14.09.15

Week 15 wrapped up with the end of 3 weeks of building volume. This last week topped out at around 16 hours, with a 4:20 bike ride on Saturday and a 2:40 run on Sunday. Due to my late start on Saturday and dinner plans that evening I wasn’t able to get a brick workout in time. Despite the expected fatigue with that volume I have feeling pretty well. I have resolved the issue of not eating enough on the long bike which has made the Sunday runs much more pleasurable.Loch Valley Farmlands

My long bike on Saturday covered the 65 miles Dream Come True ride route which is easily followed with the white DCT marks on the roads. One note is that if you don’t see any marks, continue straight since they only seem to mark turns. It is a beautiful ride through the hills and valleys just west of Allentown. I lengthened it up a bit with some extra riding around the area totally about 72 miles total in 4:25 mins. Not too bad for a leisurely ride.


I also transitioned my bike over to my “race” setup for the upcoming Black Bear Half Iron triathlon on June 1st. I washed and lubed up the bike, changed my brake pads over to the SwissStops and put on my carbon race wheels. I also finally got around to putting on my XLab Torpedo Water Bottle Mount between my aerobars. I have had this mount for awhile now sitting in the bag, but was hesitant on putting it on since it didn’t fit real well between my bars. I did have to move my aerobars apart a bit because the length of my bars don’t give a whole lot of room for the bottle. I also could not find anywhere to mount the computer since there was no room on the Torpedo Mount plate and the headbolt they provided was not long enough to mount on my headset cap. I ended up putting the Barfly mount sticking to the outside on my right aerobar. I actually had to angle it down a bit so my arm didn’t keep hitting the lap button. Not an optimal setup, but it does keep me from staring at the Garmin all the time. Smile

I also got a new XLab Mezzo bag to hold all my spare tires and tools underneath my XLab Turbo Wing Mount system. It is pretty nice size to hold stuff and fits nicely out of the way. A much cleaner setup that what I had before. Now with the 3 bottle holders neatly tucked in a more aero position, I am going to take off the frame-mounted cages for races to give a more cleaner profile on the bike.

I realize most of this will do nothing for me on the super-hilly Black Bear bike course, but it is just a prep for Lake Placid which is what is really important.


Looking back at last year, I am a couple hours ahead in volume and TSS this year. That is kind of the plan. I am hoping to top out around 17-18 hours here and then start increasing the intensity a little bit. I am also planning on moving to 2 week builds and 1 week recovery from here on out. This tends to benefit me more with the added intensity and it also works into my schedule better too.





Heart Rate Variability (HRV) has been on a bit of decline, but nothing unexpected from the increase in volume. I have been keeping an eye on it and adjusting workouts accordingly.

hrv heart rate variability trend
hrv trend


Next week will be a pretty easy week while I rest up for the Black Bear Half on Sunday. This is going to be a pretty demanding race and I will need all the recovery I can get. After that I will be back at it for two weeks starting at about 16+ hours, then a rest week before my training camp weekend in Lake Placid. Things are gonna start to hurt now!

Doping With Beets: Fruity Beet Smoothie

Good article on Iroman.com on the bene’s of Beets and a smoothie recipe to do with it.

Recipe: Fruity Beet Smoothie via Triathletes Kitchen Beets.

Fruity Beet Smoothie
Recipe Type: Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Author: Marni Sumbal (MS, RD, LD/N) – Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Serves two (serving size: 16 ounces) Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon-news/articles/2013/02/triathletes-kitchen-beets.aspx#ixzz2KErogENo
  • 1 cup chopped cooked beet (see cooking steps above), peeled (~200grams)
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup mango (cubed, fresh or frozen)
  • ½ large orange, peeled (no seeds)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 8 ounces milk (in recipe, organic non-fat milk)
  • 2 tsp flax seeds (ground)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  1. Prep
  2. -Don’t toss your greens attached to the beet root. Prepare like any other green (wash before using).
  3. -For easy prep, slice a medium beet into quarters (skin not removed) and steam, covered, above two inches of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove when soft, let cool, and peel (using gloves) to remove skin.
  4. -Add raw or cooked beets to a salad, soup or smoothie. Do not expect this beautifully colored veggie to be sweet. You may need to train your taste buds to appreciate the nutritional value found in beets.
  5. Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
  6. For more flavor or to be used as a recovery drink, add your choice protein powder and add additional water to help with mixing.
Serving size: 1 Calories: 154 Fat: 1.5 Carbohydrates: 31 Sugar: 25 Fiber: 6 Protein: 7



Recovery…What’s Up With That?

When my coach notified me that this week was a recovery week, I was a little disappointed at first. But after thinking back over the hard work I had done during those high intensity workouts of this last training block and that this was a race week, I accepted the hard truth. Why is it so hard for triathletes to deal with periods of low or no intensity like recovery weeks and pre-race tapers?

Triathletes, in general, tend to be of “type-A” personality or over-achievers. My wife tends to disagree that I am this type, but I think when I set my mind to achieving a particular goal I become this type. My college experience is proof of this. On my first attempt at college, I had no goals and an undeclared major which resulted in a failure. After later finding an area of study that was of great interest to me, I was able to successfully achieve my educational goals. So given this eagerness to achieve, we as triathletes want to continue push harder in order to improve our athletic abilities. Usually during a two or three week training block, we are pushing the limits of our performance in small burst and seeing progress. Most of which is most-likely due to a prior recovery period.  When that easy week pops up it kind of poo-poo’s on our parade a bit and we have to suck it up and take it easy. Seems contrary how many people in our society would feel, but we are a different breed. One of the things I try to do on easy weeks is not think about heart zones and race pace and instead enjoy being outside. Go to a trail or park that you don’t normally get to and take in the scenery. This is one of the main reasons I love this sport is the diversity of it and the excuse to be outdoors.

Weekly Training Volume 08-10-2012

As you can from my weekly training volume graph above, each 2-3 week block of increasing volume is followed by a relatively decreased week. The only exception to this was the week of the IMLP Troy Jacobson Training Camp where I was up over 17 hours. This is also highlighted in the TRIMP(Training Impulse) graph below where the red ATL(fatigue measure) line spiked very high. Along with that spike also came a substantial increase in fitness or CTL which is indicated by the blue area. Through the prescribed periodization by my coach, the recovery weeks brought down that fatigue level while simultaneously continuing to build my fitness levels. The graph clearly demonstrates how those recovery provide more benefits than we realize.

Training Load 2012-08-10

During training blocks of high intensity, we experience instances of increasing performance. This provides us with a “buzz” that pushes us to continue,  with the thought of getting faster or enduring a longer distance. The thing we need to be cognizant of is that if we continue to push like this we are it will not continue and may even decrease. The real growth comes from those downtimes when our bodies have the chance to grow and recuperate from that hard training. Once we we realize this those down weeks we take on a different perspective. I think once we realize this those weeks become easier.

August2012-1147As I started into this recovery week, I could feel a strange feeling in my legs. Not sure if this was psychological or not, but it reminded me of those early teen years when you experience those “growing pains.” That feeling eventually transitioned into a fresh feeling as the week progressed, where I started to feel like every became easier. Tonight I felt like I could really fly on my bike ride, but I restrained myself due to my upcoming race. With time comes some experience and I know that pushing those limits too much, has consequences.

Next time you are heading into a recovery week or a taper, think about the hard work you had done the weeks leading up that week. Reward your body some time to catch up and grow into that new level you have just taken it to. Think about those performance increases that will come in the next training block or upcoming race. Also take advantage of the extra time to catch up with your family, friends and household chores you’ve let go for all those times you were out working so hard. Or sit back and watch some of the Olympics and get inspired!