Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Training and Racing Into Fitness

The dog days of summer are here and I have no regrets.  Born and Raised in Phoenix, I have learned to appreciate and even embrace the heat.  Maybe it is just that I hate the cold that much more.  I love 5:00 a.m. workout starts without the need to load a light kit to the bike or layer clothing, gloves and a tuque (Canadian word for beanie) before heading out for a run.  I've always associated sweat with work.  Sometimes winter rides, runs and swims lack the human liquid oozing out of my pores that prove a quality workout effort has occured. One exception...I definitely run faster in colder weather.

Besides sweating through workouts early in the morning when the rest of the world is still asleep, I also take advantage to race as often as I can.  Shorter Sprint or Olympic Triathlons (My friend, Steve Rink calls them Diaper Dashs) and even a 5k or 10k run are a great way to fine tune my competitive edge, work on transitions, and just keep in touch with the endurance community.

This calendar year (or season) has no 140.6 Ironman planned so I have more flexibility to race more often.  Something that dedicated training for a full Ironman can't afford.

Working with my coach, Nick White as part of the Carmichael Training Systems Train Right Program, I have continued to train for my next A race - the Ironman 70.3 World Chamionships in Las Vegas on September 9th. The focus continues to be 2 solid weeks of 12-15 hours focused on endurance and interval training followed with a week of endurance only recovery work - still in the 12+ hour goal.  If there is a Sprint Traithlon or 5K thrown in, I have to work it into my workout plans.  For example, I competed in the TriFamily Racing JCC Firecraker Triathlon in Scottsdale on July 9th. I still had a hard bike the day before and a 40 minute run after crossing the finish line race day.  Results were still good with a 3rd overall finish but the real win is the work in tranistion, speed work and hyrdation management. This isn't for everyone but it seems to usually work for me.  The results aren't always stellar and the decision has to be made that this type of race is not the ultimate goal and racing without a normal taper (even for a short race) may be frustrating.  This was the case at the Red Rock Company Rio Salado Olympic Tri back in May.  (see previous blog posts for details)

I also really enjoy supporting smaller local races full of first timers and youth.  This is the backbone of our sport.  Without new entries into multisport, we will just be a bunch of veteran spandex wearing elites discussing power meters, drafting violations and whether pros should be competing with us as age groupers. (all conversations I have been a part of before)  Every athlete is different and has certain goals with separate training and race styles.  I just know this is one way I stay motivated and feel has been one of the main ways I have been excited to compete and train for over 25 years in the sport.

Big races and big goals is still a huge part of what keeps me going too!  After meeting with my buddy and exteremely successful local Traithlete, Bryan Dunn about the Vegas Worlds course, I have added more hill work on the bike and for selected runs.  One new addition has been the going the past couple of Fridays with my peeps at ONE Multisport for the Bartlett Lake open water swim.  Now that I have the Garmin Forerunner910XT, the accuracy and cold hard truth of open water distance, pace and stroke are now recorded. The other opportunity this gives me is a brick run out of Rattlesnake Cove just like it will be like at Lake las Vegas. I hope to do more of these early Friday bricks before September. Just another reason to love summer and the Arizona sun!  (no wetsuit needed right now!)

No issues or injuries to report (hallelujah!).  I continue to use Isagenix Nutrition for recovery meals and continue to take Extreme Endurance tabs for reducing lactic acid and speed up recovery.  I was asked recently what vitamins I take.  I take a multi tab, extra E and C, Magnesium, an Omega 3 and a Digestive Enzyme.

Next month (August) is Mountainman Half Iron Triathlon.  Then just a short 4 weeks to Vegas Baby!  I am thrilled to have fellow ONE Elite Teammates, Carlos Mendoza and Sue Meno join me at Worlds.  Their amazing qualifying performances at Vineman 70.3 this month sealed the deal!

Until next month, go out there and train and maybe throw in a race too.