Tag Archives: recovery

Prep for Steelman 2015 Olympic

Well I kind of fell off the blogging wagon a bit here lately(again). In my defense, IMLP vs IMCdA post took a bit of time to put together and I also needed to put together my next monthly post  for the iThlete HRV blog too. I have been training fairly steadily the past 3-4 weeks for Steelman Olympic which despite being a shorter distance event still takes up some time.

Ironman Recovery

I gave myself about a week and half of full recovery before starting back into training for Steelman. I was feeling pretty good after the week of vacation we had after the race in Coeur d’Alene, ID. I really took it easy that week and with the ongoing high temperatures out there it was fairly easy to do so. We took a ride over to Glacier National Park for a couple days, which was a bit cooler, and took in the beautiful views of the park.

Once we were back home, I used the first half of the next week to catch up on some home chores like cutting the grass. This provided a bit more active recovery too. By midway through the week I was eager to get back to it again. My bike arrived back to Keswick Cycle from TriBike Transport by the weekend, so I ran down there to pick that up on a Friday morning.


One personal item that has been a bit of a stressor was the recent decline in health of my dog, Yuki. Yuki has been battling Lymphoma for the past 5-6 months. He had been doing quite well up until about two weeks ago. When we returned from our Idaho trip we noticed that his Lymph nodes had gotten larger again. He was still in good spirits for a few weeks after but then we started to notice him get a bit more lethargic. He would pep up though when we went for walks or when his nemisis, “Black Kitty” would stroll leisurely by the front of the house. Actually just saying the words “Black Kitty” would send him into a rage of barking.

Yuki with Tails a waggin'
Yuki with Tails a waggin’

A couple weeks ago Yuki started to turn his nose up at his food. We were cooking him organic, grass fed ground beef or turkey, with some rice and vegetables and he was scarfing it up every meal until the other week. Now he didn’t want anything to do with it. He would take a treat here and there, but that was about it. We talked to the vet they recommended some smelly fish, or canned dog or cat food. We got some of that Little Cesar stuff and the first one he gobbled down and my wife and I were high-fiving each other. That was short-lived because he just barfed it up about 15 minutes later. Ugh!

It wound up being almost a week of him not eating. He was still drinking water though and still walking. Last weekend he really started getting slow and was throwing up foamy stuff a lot. Then he was barely drinking any water. Last Sunday we took him for a walk but he kept slowing down. You could tell he was stuggling to keep up. Monday morning was not good. He had puked a couple more times and was just laying around in strange places. I had to carry him outside to pee. My wife ended up coming home early and we made the dreaded decision that I had not been looking forward too.

Yuki went peacefully in our arms on Monday morning(August 3rd, 2915) at around 11AM. Although it was a very well done process by our vet and as comforting as something like that can be. It still hit me & my wife pretty hard. Yuki was my best buddy and I will miss him. He made me laugh everyday with his antics. He was a very independent dog and his personality was surely unique, but despite that he was still my sidekick in his own way. The house is so quiet now and coming home is so anti-climactic without him around. It will surely take me some time to get over the loss of him.


Despite the issues with Yuki, I still managed to continue training. I did miss a few workouts due to dealing with those issues or just not feeling up to it, but I still maintained some training consistency. The main theme though in the training for Steelman was Intensity! The workouts were much shorter than my typical Ironman routines, but I spent a lot more time with Mr. Zone 3 and Mr. Zone 4. Even had a few wranglins with Mr. Zone 5 too. What a jerk!

Training Peaks PMC Chart for Steelman 2015 Olympic
Training Peaks PMC Chart for Steelman 2015 Olympic

It was probably a good thing though to spend some time in these zones for me to get my speeds up a bit. My biggest weakness these days are my run speed off the bike. I need to work on this more this coming off-season as well. I think this time preparing for Steelman will be a big help here too.

Track Time! Workout speed
Track Time!

Surprisingly though, the increased intensity had a very positive effect on my Heart Rate Variablility(HRV) which I had not expected. Morning HRV readings went up into the high 80’s and 90’s and stayed up there for most of the time during my training.

HRV vs <a href=
TSS-June 29 to July 30 2015(QV)” width=”625″ height=”249″ /> HRV vs TSS-June 29 to July 30 2015(QV)
Lots of Green Dots in the Sweet spot - iThlete Training Guide-2015 Jul 30
Lots of Green Dots in the Sweet spot – iThlete Training Guide-2015 Jul 30

Pre-Race Speculation

My goal for the Steelman Olympic race is to get a top-10 in my age group. Looking at the past couple years results I think I should be able to do that. I would also would like to improve upon my last result there back in 2012. Despite being 3 years older, I think I have gotten a bit faster since then. I would love to get a podium, but there are a few really fast guys in my age group that seem to show up for that race year-after-year. I am not going to get my hopes up for that.

Other Stuff

My wife and I also ordered a couple inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards a couple weeks ago. I thought this would be a good cross training activity and something we both could enjoy together. Xterra was offering a buy one get one free offer(Use Code: BOGO10) so I decided to give it a try. I have used their wetsuits for years now and they are great and well priced too. Reviews on the SUP’s were mixed, mainly due to a lack of customer service issues, but we gave it a try anyway. So far they have been great! I love the portability of the inflatables and they work just us well as the regular ones. That is according to my wife since I have never been on one until now. We took them out for their virgin tour at Smithfield beach on the Delaware River. It was pretty fun.

SUP on the Delaware
SUP on the Delaware

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for how Steelman goes. Can’t be worse than Ironman Coeur d’Alene right?


IMCdA 2015 Training Log-Week#24(June 8-14)-Taper Week 1

Ahhh the old love-hate relationship with tapering continues. While greatly anticipated, this break in training and the general feeling of malaise that comes along with it I did not. I guess you can’t have everything.

The Ironman Lawn…

I was finally able to get my lawn looking somewhat manicured with some extra time on my hands now. I had been cutting the front mostly so that it at least looked well kept from the street. The back was another story. I had cut a few sections so the dog could go do his thing, but most of it had grown so high it was going to seed. When my dog ventured into that territory I would see him occasionally jump high into the air as of the long strands brush up against his belly. Kind of entertaining.

Training-wise things were actually going pretty well. The somewhat shortened workouts had high intensity and I felt good while I was doing them. I had one of my best tempo run workouts of the season on Wednesday with a solid 7:50 pace in Zone 3.

FTP Test Gone Bad…

I had a 3 hour bike planned for Saturday, but I decided to break it up into a 1 hour FTP test on the trainer followed by a two hour easy ride on the road.  I wanted to get an accurate assessment of FTP before my race. I felt it was also a good time between resting a bit and race to do it. I was hoping for a little improvement over last year(253 watts), but what I got at the end was nothing like I could have expected.

TrainerRoad 20 minute FTP Test Result
TrainerRoad 20 minute FTP Test Result

Obviously a bug in the TrainerRoad iPad app. Despite this issue I was able to calculate my FTP to be around 248 watts based on this test. A little depressing that I lost 5 watts, but really 5 watts isn’t that big a deal really. Perhaps it will help me to chill a bit on the bike. The main reason I wanted to do the FTP test was so I could plug in accurate number on Best Bike Split and get an idea of my race plan for the bike leg. It looks like it will be just a smidge slower than my bike leg last year at Lake Placid. You can check it out here if you are interested…

Bon Voyagey Bike…

On Sunday I had to take my bike down to Keswick Cycle in Glenside to drop it off for the TriBike Transport pickup on Tuesday. I finished up some last minute maintenance, did a final cleaning and removed the pedals. I also ordered the additional gear bag option too, so I loaded a duffle bag with my wetsuit, aero helmet, spare tubs and some tools. The TBT website said only pack aero helmet if in a hard case, so I put it in a cardboard box with some extra packaging materials too. Hopefull that should be ok. I filled out a couple forms at the shop and handed my bike over to the guy at the shop. Bon Voyagey! See you in Coeur d’Alene!

Endurance Sports, Race, Sports, Triathlon, bag, duffel, gear, multisport, tri
Gear bag packed up for TriBikeTransport. Aero helmet in box, wetsuit, tools, bike bag & tools, tubes

I stopped at a nearby Chipotle for lunch before heading to Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting for our monthly stock-up on organic, frozen fruit. WF was rather crowded, so I was happy to get out of there.

I still needed to do a 1-2 hour run when I got home. It was brutally hot & humid and I was really not into it, so I decided to just run on the treadmill. I tried to load up this FitTrip app on my iPad which shows point-of-view(POV) trail running videos coordinated to your heart rate. Well it didn’t work so well. Downloading the videos took forever and then when they finished it would pop up a message saying it failed! WTF! I eventually got one to download successfully and then it would not connect to my HRM using the ANT+ dongle. Ugh!

I finally gave up and just watched some similar videos on YouTube which worked fine. I had unfortunately wasted a bunch of time trying to get that working. I ended with only about a 7 mile easy run, but I figured that was good enough.

Geekin’ Out on Training

Training volume this week was basically chopped in half. Still managed to miss one of my 3 strength training workouts though. No sense is cramming now right?!

Training Peaks Training Calendar IMCDA Week 24
Training Peaks Training Calendar IMCDA Week 24
Training Peaks TSS-Volume IMCDA Week 24
Training Peaks TSS-Volume IMCDA Week 24

A few red marks on the old HRV training guide this week. Body is recovering a bit so this is expected. Hopefully next week things will pick up a bit.

iThlete HRV Training Guide IMCDA Week 24
iThlete HRV Training Guide IMCDA Week 24

The PMC chart shows the plan for the taper. The pink line dropping is the fatigue withering away with the form(yellow) increasing. Fitness(CTL in blue) declines a little bit, but it will be worth it.

Training Peaks PMC Chart IMCDA Week 24
Training Peaks PMC Chart IMCDA Week 24

The HRV timeline took a bit of a nose dive during this first week of taper. It make sense since I felt a little crappy. Things ended on a high note on Monday AM so it looks like recovery/taper is working. Hope that continues until race day.

iThlete HRV Timeline IMCDA Week 24
iThlete HRV Timeline IMCDA Week 24

That’s all for this week. Next week things should get easier and hopefull start feeling great again.

IMCdA 2015 Training Log-Week#22&23(May 26-June 7)-The Last Push

I am going to double up here on the last two weeks of build before my 3 week taper into Ironman Coeur d’Alene. It has been a pretty brutal 2 weeks since I really never had a full recovery week since about 5 weeks ago. I did a couple little 3 day recovery before and after the Todd Wiley Lake Placid camp, but still managed a decent training load for the weekend in between. Despite all this I have been feeling pretty good. A few of my longer workouts were in some pretty hot and humid temperatures and were obviously affected. My performances during the workouts when the weather was cooler surely made up for it.

Training Peaks Workout Calendar IMCdA Week 22-23
Training Peaks Workout Calendar IMCdA Week 22-23

Swims…I am still using the Finis Tempo Trainer and feeling pretty settled at around 68-70 spm. This is up from around 58-60 when I started using this tool early on in the season. My paces have picked up along with it and I am hoping this carries over to a few minutes gained in my 2.4 mile swim.  I did both of my LSD swims at around 1:13 for just under 4000 yards. Given that this is without a wetsuit and no flip turns I think I could manage this time in Ironman which would be a 4 minute improvement over the last two years.

Biking…I have been averaging around 145 miles/9 hours a week on the bike for both weeks.  My long rides on the weekends were just over 90 miles long running about 5:30-5:50 depending on the terrain. Most of my weeknight rides were steady state rides in zone 2-3, but I did manage to get one good hill repeat ride in on some of my favorites hills: Dogwood & Centennial!

My long ride on May 20th started out a little rough when a large flying insect fly directly into my mouth while cruising along at around 20mph. Ouch! It partially lodged itself into my mouth since it was partially open. I had to actually spit the thing out and it tasted like crap too! My lip

Fat Lip after colliding with a large flying insect
Fat Lip after colliding with a large flying insect

immediately swelled up to what felt like having a gumball in my lip. Judging for the picture I guess it didn’t look quite as bad as it felt though. I didn’t know what kind of bug it was and wasn’t sure if it stung me or that was just the impact of it on my lip that hurt. Eventually, the swelling subsided and my lip resumed to its normal size again. Why do I always get pelted with creatures when I am riding?

I followed the Dream Come True(DCT) route for the start of my long bike ride June 6. This is a nice somewhat challenging route with a little over 4000′ of climbing over 64 miles. This ride was also not without some wildlife incident as well. While cruising a downhill section of backroad that contained some overgrown shoulder a large doe popped out immediately in front of me broadside. I made some kind of grunt or yell as I came within about 10 feet of the animal and it quickly dashed out of my way. Another close call. Not too long after that I came across a lone fawn standing in the road. He scampered in down the road, heading in the same direction, for a bit before he darted up the steep bank. He was pretty young and no mother to be seen.

Fawn on the Run
Fawn on the Run

Runs…My Sunday long runs consisted of a 21 and 20 miler respectively. The 21 miler was a hot & humid one that I did 4 loops of the Ironton Rail Trail(IRT). The IRT is pretty shaded which helped defer some of the defer some of the sunlight but it was still a hot one. I ended up averaging around a 10:00/mi for the run. The next week I ran at the Lehigh Parkway and it was about 10 degrees(F) cooler and much less humidity. The Parkway is also pretty shaded but has about twice the elevation gain as the IRT. Due to the more temperate climate I was able to average a 9:30 pace over the 20 miles while maintaining a Zone 2 heart rate. More on track with what I would like to do at Ironman this year and a good note to finish on before my taper.


Training Peaks PMC Chart-IMCdA Week 23
Training Peaks PMC Chart-IMCdA Week 23
Training Peaks <a href=
TSS and Volume-IMCdA Week 23″ width=”625″ height=”311″ /> Training Peaks TSS and Volume-IMCdA Week 23

Heart Rate Variability(HRV)

My HRV has remained fairly steadily in the 70’s during this last two weeks. I have been flirting with the low recovery and low activation ranges most of the time, but still in the “ok to keep going area”. This is pretty much expected from where I am at this point. I should be overreaching a bit at this point, with a good 3 week taper coming up.

<a href=
iThlete HRV Timeline-IMCdA 2015 Week 23″ width=”625″ height=”292″ /> iThlete HRV Timeline-IMCdA 2015 Week 23
iThlete HRV Training Guide-IMCdA 2015 Week 23
iThlete HRV Training Guide-IMCdA 2015 Week 23

Compared to Last Year…

Comparing this years training on the Training Peaks Performance Management Chart to last year looks fairly similar. You can see that the last month or so of this year(top chart) I have incurred a bit more fatigue(pink link) with consecutive build weeks and no full recovery week in between. My Fitness(CTL in Blue) has steadily risen to a value of around 112 during my last build week, whereas last year I was up to 120 or so.

Training Peaks PMC Chart 2015 vs 2014  IMCdA Week 23
Training Peaks PMC Chart 2015 vs 2014 IMCdA Week 23

IMCDA 2015 Training Update Week #2(of 26)

This past week was a recovery week, so training wise things were a bit lighter than normal. Not too light, though as I still racked in about 7 hours of training. But, just because it was a lighter week, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a productive one.

Watts - More trainer time with the cold temps
Watts – More trainer time with the cold temps


If you didn’t see my previous post I was brought on-board as an Amrita Ambassador, which I am pretty stoked about. If you have read anything on this blog, you know I am a loyal Amrita user and it is the cornerstone of my race nutrition. Being part of that product I think is a win-win for both of us and I am pretty proud to be able represent them. Don’t forget you can use coupon code “britri15” and get 15% off at www.amritahealthfoods.com

I also attended the Offseason Strength Training workshop put on by Fernando Paredes and Tood WIley this past Saturday. I am looking forward implementing these strength routines into my training this season and will hopefully see some improvements from it. I am also excited to get away from the old classic weight-lifting exercises and start doing something different that works the whole body as a complete system, You can read more about the workshop here.

IMCDA Week#2 Summary
IMCDA Week#2 Summary

As for training, I ended up getting 2 workouts in for each discipline and also still having off Monday and Saturday. Saturday was the strength training workshop, so it wasn’t totally off. I feel pretty refreshed and ready to hit it hard for a couple weeks. As you can see from the Performance Management Chart below, the pink(fatigue) and yellow(form) lines in Training Peaks is showing I should recovered well too. The weather here in the Northeast has been unbelievably cold, so most of my workouts have been indoors. It works out well since I can catch up on podcasts and audiobooks. I am planning to do a TrainerRoad FTP test on Monday next week to see where I am falling with regard to my bike power. I am curious if I dropped off from my personal best 253 watt FTP last year.

PMC Chart-IMCDA 2015 Week #2
PMC Chart-IMCDA 2015 Week #2

The race weight and nutrition side of things are also going pretty well. I have been staying away from the processed foods, breads and the beer. I have been cooking a lot, which really nips things in the bud. I have also been tracking my food intake on MyFitnessPal, which really helps me. You can even follow my progress on MyFItnessPal too if interested. I am down 8 lbs already in about a week and a half, which is pretty crazy. Especially considering this was an easy training week.

I am also working on a post comparing a few of the iOS Heart Rate Variability(HRV) Apps that I have been testing out. I have been a bit disappointed with my current application, Sweetbeat, and found that there are a bunch of new ones out there now. I am still accumulating some comparison test data now, but will be posting that soon.

That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading!



IMLP 2014-Week 19 Training Update-Recovery Week Blues

My love-hate relationship with recovery weeks continues. I always look so forward to them, but then feel like crap most of the week. It is nice to have some extra time to do things I have been putting off though. I finished the week with almost 12 hours of training. While that probably still seems like a lot to most people, it is 5-6 hours less than my prior weeks. Most of the rest time occurred during the beginning of the week and I kept the long workouts long on the weekend. I did cut my long bike on Saturday back to 4:30hrs, but still got in a decent 72 miles.



My bike ride on Tuesday was a bit adventurous as I had to get creative to avoid the disastrous oil & chip jobs that has covered most of Longswamp Township. What a mess! It probably would not be too bad if they would sweep up the extra stones, but no. I was able to limit it to just crossing the plagued roads. It was nice to see some different territory for a change too.

The dreaded "chips" of Longswamp Township
The dreaded “chips” of Longswamp Township
Oil & Chip-Longswamp Township
Oil & Chip-Longswamp Township

The only really bad workout was my run on Thursday. It was just a standard 40 minute steady state run, but I felt like I was dying. I could not wait until the Garmin hit that 40min mark.

I extended my long swim on Friday to 1:10 covering 3500+ yds. I just never seem to get faster with this long swim. I think it is the drudgery of just back-and-forth in the pool for that long. I lose my enthusiasm quickly. Open water swims are so much nicer.

My Saturday ride route was a bit of just winging it. I started to map out a route Friday, but lost interest after Garmin Connect timed out after I hit the save button on creating a new course. It does this a lot and it really sucks. You spend all this time mapping out a course and then the site session times out. Note to self, do NOT use Garmin Connect to map out your routes!

Kiegels Church
Kiegels Church
Berks County Pasture
Berks County Pasture
Sacony Creek
Sacony Creek


I ventured out Saturday with the only real intention  of circling around Lake Ontelaunee near Reading, PA. It was a really nice ride, although it was kind of slow from checking Google Maps on my phone all the time. The best parts were Sittler Valley Road and Sacony Road. Sacony Rd was very flat, shaded and wound along a nice stream. The road is actually marked as closed since they are putting in a new bridge, but the section that is closed is only about 50 yards of dirt that you can walk across. There was no traffic at all due to the Road Closed signs too.

Wedding Carriage
Wedding Carriage
Wedding Carriage
Wedding Carriage

One other highlight was when I passed a couple elegantly decorated horse and carriages carrying a wedding party in between Topton and Kutztown. I had to act very quickly to get my iPhone out and snag a couple pictures of it .

Lehigh Parkway Run-Little Lehigh Creek
Lehigh Parkway Run-Little Lehigh Creek

Last Sunday I kind of screwed up with my nutrition and hydration on my long run. I expected to circle back home partially to refuel, but instead went out to long on the initial loop with only two FuelBelt bottles of Skratch Labs. I never made the second loop and crashed around 15 miles. So, this week I loaded up with 6 FB bottles of Skratch Labs, two large bottles for before and after, and 4 Amrita Bars and headed to the Lehigh Parkway. The result was much better. I got in just a hair shy of 18 miles in 2:54. Not super fast, but a consistent pace that I would be happy with at Ironman. I also felt like I could probably do the remaining miles without too much issue. That hip issue that occurred a couple weeks ago has not surfaced again which I am very happy about.  I also ran during the hottest part of the day to simulate when I will be running in Lake Placid.

The recovery week actually ended much better than it started, so I guess that is par for the course. I only now have two more hard weeks of training before taper time(ugh more recovery!). That went fast! Next week I head up to Lake Placid for my annual mini-training camp to kick the tires a bit. Rumor has it they are doing some stand-up paving from the ski jumps down to Cascade which was the WORST part of the bike course. This should help increase the bike times a bit. Stay tuned to my twitter feed for updates on that.

IMLP 2014-Week 18 Training Update-Ready to Recover


Week 18 concludes as the second build week before heading into a recovery week. I decided to change from 3 week builds to 2 weeks for a couple reasons: One, it fit my schedule and two, I was planning to up the intensity a bit and being able to recover more often would allow me to sustain this better. Being able to head into my Lake Placid mini-camp in a fresh state will allow me to maximize my training time up there.


If you read last weeks training update post, you may remember I had some IT band/hip issues during my long run last Sunday. Well I was pretty stoked to find that it was not really a problem for me this week. I had a little bit of a niggle at the end of my hill repeat run on Thursday, but nothing major. I stopped running immediately too. Today(Sunday) I ran locally just in case it flared up again, but it really wasn’t a problem at all. I did ice it well when I got home just as a preventative measure.

2014-06-15 14.49.18

Although I didn’t have hip issues on todays run, I did fall a little short of my planned 3 hours. It was a gorgeous day and a little hot. I had planned on circling back home halfway through to refuel a bit, but ended up going out longer than I planned and ran out of hydration and food. I basically ran out of gas around 15 miles and walked the last half mile home. I did intentionally run slower today just so I didn’t aggravate anything, so I ended up with around 2:30 hours. TrainingPeaks marked the workout in green on the calendar so it must be ok right? I also figured with the 6:25 century ride the day before I am ok with volume all together. I finished the week with a solid 16:30 hours of training.


Next week is an easy week. Well, relatively speaking. It is pretty crazy that a 10 hour training week is considered an easy one. But it is.

One other item is that I signed up to do the MS City-to-Shore ride in late September. There is a bunch of people from work doing it, so I thought it would be a fun post-season event. I am planning to do the Century ride down and the 75 miler back.

Ok time to go relax…thanks for reading!


2014-06-06 20.29.04

Ironman Lake Placid Training Week 25 Update-Still Tapering

I feel like I was going 100 MPH and we just slammed on the brakes! I thought only training 8-9 hours last week was light, but we cut that in half again this week with only ~4 hours total training. It feels like nothing. Crazy to think that some people may think that is a lot, but after 17-18 hour weeks it is peanuts. It has actually worked out quite well though. The heat and humidity have peaked this past week with temps in the mid to high 90’s and humidity you can cut with a knife. There were also a few other things that lined up well and allowed me to make optimal use of the time.

It’s “Tour” time! Yes, the Tour de France is just finishing up today and has consumed the airwaves on the NBC Sports Network Channel. The Tour is around 3 weeks long and this past week was the most exciting part where they head into the Alps for some battles in the mountains. The scenery is beautiful and with our upcoming trip to the Alps, I started to get pretty psyched up for that. This year Chris Froome from the Sky team has been dominating much of it. There is also a little 23 year old guy from Columbia, named Nairo Quintana, that has been really taking the tour by storm. I can see him being a possible tour winner in the future. It has been a pretty interesting 100th running of the tour this year. The best stage was the 2 climbs up Alpe d’Huez one after the other. Simply brutal!

The other thing that worked out was that my wife had gotten a bike fitting early in the week, so we were able to ride together on Saturday for one of my shorter rides. It was a nice morning for a ride too. Not too hot and pretty cloudy which kept the heat down. Actually, we did a brick workout that day with a short 10 minute run off the bike. We even drug our dog, Yuki, along for the run. We rewarded him with a little wallow in the stream afterwards for a cool down. Then he got a bath too.

My Sunday long run was only 45 minutes, so I just headed over to Rodale Fitness Park where I usually do my shorter weekday runs. The heat and humidity finally subsided here a bit, so it was much more tolerable morning. The park was busy with folks walking, running, rollerblading and biking. As I ran around I tried to grasp the fact that Ironman Lake Placid was only a week away and that this time next week I would be out on the bike cruising through the Adirondacks. What seemed like so far away for so long was finally here.

The upcoming week is going to be a really easy one. As my coach says “just chillax” these week. Love that one. I can chillax like the best of them. Short week of work and then on route to the Adirondacks to settle in for the race. I spent some of today finalizing my checklists and getting some last minute bike gear(cheap H2O bottles are hard to find). Time dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

Geekin’ Out…The Techy Stuff

The Training Totals(since January 1 2013)..

Activity Distance Duration
Swimming 169,586 yds(96.4 mi) 66:37 hrs
Cycling 2,274.4 miles 140:59 hrs
Running 561.1 miles 88:39 hrs

Heart Rate Variability

My Heart Rate Variability (HRV)rebounded back into the high 60’s and 70’s this week with the reduction in training. I can’s say I really felt that spectacular yet, so hopefully that will come up even more this upcoming week.


Looking at HRV for the entire training season, you can see the up-and-downs that go with the changes in volume and intensity of training. Overall, it appears to trend upward as the 2nd half of the season progresses. The very high value during the first week or two was from an old algorithm that was used in the Sweetbeat iOS app.


Training Load Analysis(TRIMP/CTL/ATL)

The graph below shows that my fatigue(ATL) has dropped significantly below my fitness level(CTL) giving me a positive Training Stress Balance(TSB) of 24(132 CTL-108 ATL = 24 TSB).

Training Load 2013-07-21


Finally the breakdown of weekly training volumes broken up by activity…

Weekly Training Volume 2013

Well, that is all for now. Stay tuned for some more frequent updates once we arrive in Lake Placid later in the week. I am sure the town will be a-buzz with activity. The weather up there has dropped significantly this week and I am hoping the lake water temperature drops too. The reading this morning was 77 deg F at 2 feet down. Need that to be under 76 degrees for wetsuit legal race. The call for Sunday is about 40% change of rain and in the mid-70’s. Rain can be a bit uncomfortable, but I do run well in the rain. It keeps me cool and provides me more oxygen in the air. I don’t like it on the bike though, since it can be slippery , more prone to flats, and makes it too cold. We’ll see how that pans out sine we still have 7 days for that to change.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in Lake Placid!!

Ironman Lake Placid Training Week 21 Update

YTD Training Stats:

Activity Distance Duration
Swimming 147,607 yards(84 miles)   58:17 hours
Cycling     1,858 miles 115:41 hours
Running         476 miles   74:23 hours

My 21st week of Lake Placid training was a recovery week. This was much-needed after a pretty intense weekend of training in Lake Placid and the end of a 3-week build phase that started with the Rev3 Quassy Half. One thing I noticed different about this recovery week was that I didn’t feel as crappy as I usually do during a recovery week. Not sure if that is good or bad. One thing that points towards the good is that my Heart Rate Variability has been steadily trending upwards(see bottom of post). I would expect that that would go down as the training volume goes up, but apparently this old body likes it. Despite that, this was a recovery week, I still have the long swim, bike and run on the weekend. With all that time training there are always some little funny things that happen along the way. This week was no different.

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Ironman Lake Placid Week 20 Mini Camp-Day 3

Sunday morning I woke up a bit groggy. I reached over to my nightstand, fumbling around until I felt the elastic band of my heart rate monitor strap. I squirmed around wrapping the HRM around me without  actually sitting up in bed, a task I have become quite proficient at over the last several months. I check my Heart Rate Variability(HRV) every morning. I was curious what HRV reading would be this morning after the 100+ mile bike ride and brick run yesterday. I hit the start button on the Sweetbeat HRV iPhone app and tried to relax as best I could for the next 3 minutes. After the buzzer went off, indicating the test had completed, I was more than shocked to see a reading of 36. Half of the previous days’ reading of 69. Obviously Saturday’s training had taken its toll on me and my body was a bit of stressed. Despite the app telling me to take it easy today, I had a 2:45 long run to do today, so the easy day will have to wait until tomorrow.

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IMLP Training Update-Weeks 15, 16, & 17-Buildup to Rev3 Quassy

I haven’t posted any training updates in a few weeks, so as I finish off this last of 3 build weeks and head into my “B” race of the season I thought I should catch up a bit. I have been steadily building the past three weeks since the NJ Devilman race without any let up. My coach was going to give me a rest week but I was feeling very good coming off Devilman and was ready to stick to the buildup. The last three weeks consisted of 13, 14, and just short of 16 hours respectively. I feel a bit of fatigue, but nothing that is debilitating. I am still able to come home and head out to cut grass after 4 hr bike ride or a 2.5 hour run.

2013 Training Volume-2013-05-27

Training volume as steadily increased(above) from around 8 to16 hours. Note the 3 week builds and then recovery week every fourth. Only difference deviation was the race week for Devilman. Below you can see how my fatigue(red) increases and then recovers during the recovery weeks while my fitness(blue) very gradually increases. My current fitness(CTL) level is at around 127 which was the peak level for my entire season last year. So everything from here on out will be adding to that level.


My daily HRV has actually been making a bit of a increase lately. I suspect a downturn this week with my pre-race recovery taking place. Hopefully that will rebound again by Race day.


I have found myself many times during the long hours of training reflecting in amazement at the amount of training I can do and still feel good afterwards. It is amazing when I look back at 4-5 years ago when a 5k run would wipe me out for the day. The change has been so gradual that you really don’t see it until you get into the really long training sessions. I am pretty stoked that at 44 years of age that I can accomplish things that I never dreamed possible while even in my twenties.

This past week(week 17) has been a bit of a challenge in many ways. The early part of the week consisted of very hot and humid temperatures, which were rather tough. I don’t do well in heat and humidity, and doing run pickups in it just about wiped me out on Thursday. Before I could even start acclimating to the heat, the weather did a total 180 and turned rainy and cold on Friday. The plan on Friday was to head up to Dutch Springs quarry to do some open water swimming.

Dutch Springs Swim May 25th, 2013-1.7mi in 1:08

Despite the cooler temps, I headed up to Dutch Springs and met up with my coach and some of his other clients. Turns out one of them was a guy I chat with at the gym all the time. Fortunately the water was a bit warmer than the outside air temperatures. We did a lap around the springs and then the other folks had enough. I hadn’t gotten an hour in yet so I headed off on my own for another lap and ended up with 1.7 miles in about 1:08. Not earth shattering, but we were lollygagging a bit so I probably could have gone faster. It was a pretty good confidence builder for LP. During my final approach to the landing were I exit the springs, I took a bunch of water in the mouth which got me choking a bit. It was a good exercise in dealing with that while in open water. I just rolled onto my back and floated and coughed until it subsided a bit. After the swim I realized how cold my arms were when I got into the shower. I wear a “john” style wetsuit which has no arms because I like the freedom of movement. When I got into the shower the water seemed about 20 degrees hotter on my arms than the rest of me. It took a while until they eventually came back to equilibrium again.

Farmer with Respirator prepares the toxic chemicals that he will be spraying on the vegetables.

Why does the farmer need to wear a respirator??? Oh, cause he is mixing up toxic chemicals to spray on our the crops that feed the animals we eat. And we wonder why cancer is so rampant these days?

Ok, now some more happy images from my long rides…

iPhone201305-22iPhone201305-41Lunch Companions-Bike Lunch Stop near Kutztown, PA

On Saturday, I had a 4 hour bike ride to do followed by a 30 minute brick run. It would not have been a huge deal, but on this day we had 20-25 mph winds that were at times practically blowing me off the road. I kept having thoughts of turning back and riding on the trainer, but I also thought “what if it was like this for Lake Placid?” I could not go home and ride that on the trainer, so I better suck it up now and push on. I accepted the fact that my speed was going to be much slower and rode on. It was actually a really beautiful day despite the wind. I also took a less traveled route up north of me which gave me some new scenery to take in. The ride was slow, basically around 14.7MPH which ended up to be around 60 miles. I had done the same distance the week before in 3:30 and that included hills. The nice thing about having power though was that my Average power was a bit higher than last week too, which is taking the wind into consideration.

Maintenance Building-Lock Ridge Park, Alburtis, PA

The brick run afterwards was a bit of a relief since the wind was not as bad during the run. These brick runs are feeling amazingly good. Sometimes my legs feel very stiff by the end of the bike and I think “Oh this run is going to suck!” But once I get going they loosen up pretty quickly and I get into a good cruise mode pretty quickly.

iPhone-51-5Today I headed back to the Ironton Rail Trail(IRT) again for my long run. I was supposed to do a 2:20 run today. I had run the IRT the previous Sunday in a rainy misty day, so to mix things up a bit I decided to veer off to the D&L Rail Trail for a bit of a offshoot. The connecting trail to the D&L was very rocky and I was feeling the rocks in my minimal New Balance running shoes. It was still pretty windy, but a bit warmer and just as beautiful as the day before. It was a very nice run and I ended up doing 15.5 miles in around 2:30.  This capped off the week at almost 16 hours of training which is an hour short of my biggest training week ever.




Tomorrow is the Memorial Day holiday which gives me a nice day to relax a bit more and catch up on some gardening around the house. I have a short bike ride to do, but other than that it is recovery time. This weekend will be the Rev3 Quassy Half (70.3) on Sunday in Connecticut, which will be my final race prep test for Ironman Lake Placid. Hard to believe Lake Placid is only 2 months away!!

Very Windy Day in Cape May