Ironman Training

Nailed it!

No, this is not a list of Pintrest fails. I had a pretty successful swim in the pool this morning. Since this is my third swim in as many days (a factor of Tower 26 open water swims starting and a shuffle of my schedule to accommodate it) I was surprised I held it together!

The main set was 12 X 100 descending 1-4. To make it a little bit more difficult it was long course. I am getting pretty used to swimming long course since I do about 2 times per week. That being said, it still feels really long and hard (TWSS, I couldn’t resist).

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.27.48 AMAbove are my splits for the set. I am really pleased with my consistency and the fact that my fastest 100s got faster!

Week 7 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Just keep training!

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.46.53 AMWeek 7 passed with out much incident. I am still managing to do all my workouts to plan, EXCEPT my strength/TRX. I have a feeling that the race is going to creep up on me and be here before I know it! I think that is a good thing. Ironman Arizona was so late in the year that it felt like it to forever to get there. With Boulder happening in early August I think that will work in my favor. As far as training things went well. I had a REALLY good run off the bike on Sunday for my 4 hour brick. The great part was it felt so good to be running after 3:30 hours of riding. Of course my brick had to start late in the day because Stuart and I went to the Amgen Tour of California final stage in Pasadena to help out at the Skratch Labs booth (Stuart is a Taste Agent).IMG_5770_thumb[1]

Only You!

Only You!

The next day I did my long run; 2 hours this week. I  thought I would make it easy on myself and run near  work along the beach in Santa Monica. My goal pace for Boulder is 9 minute miles for the marathon. I managed the 2 hour run at that pace and my HR was only a little bit higher than I would have liked. But WOW did the flat running make my body hurt! I have become accustomed to constant changes in elevation since it is quite hilly where I lived. I don’t think I will be long running at the beach again!IMG_6413.JPGMost fun of the week has had when Stuart and I did out Born NOT  to Run 0.0 km race on Saturday. It involved drinking a PBR and taking a picture. I can do that!IMG_6402.JPGYou can see Stuart’s o.o km run below

Speed versus strokes

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I am finally back in the pool after a 3 month break after Ironman Arizona. The break was nice because making time for the pool is always a bit tricky. The problem with taking a break is I knew I would have lost a fair amount of swim fitness.

I swam 8 X 100 at threshold pace the last week.  After my 1000 yard time trial, my threshold pace came back as 1:40 per 100 yards. I know I can swim faster than that, but it will take some time to get faster over 1000 yards. After the 8 X 100 set, there is at least one aspect of my swimming that I am happy to see I have not lost. As a set goes on I tend to get faster. What I also liked to see was that as I got faster, I took less strokes! I would really like to swim 1:05 at Ironman Boulder this summer. This is promising!

Week 9 &10 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – 26.2 miles!!!

10436679_10152705751593550_752906305840640837_nSorry I missed my training update last week. The week got away from me so by the time I thought about it it was kind of late. I broke my Hulk Mode streak and actually missed my open water swim all together during week 9 (ocean conditions and the desire to sleep in won). I also rode over on my long run (I really want to get some bike miles in to boost my confidence). That mistake made itself be know by a crummy swim at the beginning of the week. Then for the rest of week 10 things went pretty well.  Had to switch my Wednesday open water swim to Friday  because there was too much fog to swim. That means I ended up not taking a full rest day at all last week. I did my long ride on Saturday for a change due to children commitments and had to long run on Sunday. The ride went great (41 achievements in Strava)! 5 hours on my new normal ride. I felt really good until mile 75 which was when I was heading home (all uphill…).

 

Week 9

Week 9

 

Week 10

Week 10

My biggest concern right now is the run… I realized that I haven’t run a marathon since Ironman St. George in 2012 (and I wouldn’t call that running)! I am very happy with the volume of running I am doing in my training. I am just nervous because it has been so long since I have run the distance. Below are my last 5 moths worth of running.

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Run Time and Distance by Month

I am not running as fast as I would like but I am handling the time/distance. I just ordered two new pairs of shoes to get me through to Arizona (I kill shoes very quickly). I just need to trust my training (which I do).

Ticking Off the Boxes

Hard to believe I have less than 9 weeks until my second Ironman Triathlon. It seems like forever ago that I decided to do it and now the date is quickly approaching. At this point I am training as best I can (which is actually going really well) and starting to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

Last couple things I need are:

  • Water bottle mounted to back of bike (in progress)
  • Replacement helmet since I crashed in my virtually new one 7 weeks ago (ordered)
  • Bike tune up
  • One more new kit (I have my eye on a new one from Coeur Sports, #noangrykitty)
  • Fresh pair of running shoes (mine won’t make it 9 more weeks, not the way I run)

This sport is crazy expensive and I am glad that I have no major triathlon plans after this race. I am sure I will do them again, but I am looking forward to drastically reducing my “kit budget” in the very near future.

Week 7 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – Hulk Mode!

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If you  use Training Peaks to manage your training plan with the help of a coach you may know what I mean by ‘Hulk Mode” (although I totally made it up). When you get your schedule from your coach and you upload your workouts into the system they turn green if you did the right time/distance per the workout. Every week I try to make my schedule as green as possible. This wee… I NAILED IT!!!!

IMG_3555To top it off, I finished the week with a 5 hour brick and felt great! Things are really falling into place an I couldn’t be happier about it.

Most notable workout of the week was my brick on Sunday. It was 4:30 on the bike followed by :30 run. I have been very uncomfortable on the bike every since I crashed in week one. I am literally counting down the number of times I have to ride my bike outside before the race. I set out for a different route by myself but with the goal of meeting up with Stuart at the beach where I would do my run.

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Stuart and I drinking a well deserved Coke!

My new route took me out to Camarillo/Oxnard area where I had some pretty quiet flat roads to just go back and forth on to fill up the time. The best part of this ride is there is an awesome fruit stand at the far end that sells coke, water, and fruit! It is the perfect rest stop during the ride! (and makes for some silly Instagram videos)

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Old school fruit ninja! #triathlontraining #cycling

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I also picked up a new bento box for my bike that is super big (see picture on the bottom) I was able to easily carry plenty of nutrition.

 

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My biggest bummer at the moment is I feel like I am running really slowly. I didn’t make it to 12 miles during my two hour run on Saturday which was kind of disappointing. I am hoping that, like my swimming, my speed will be back soon…

Otherwise I am getting the last minute items I need for the big day. I got the new bento box like I mentioned before, I ordered a bracket that will fit into my seat post so I can attach one more water bottle to my bike, and I want to replace my helmet that was broken when I crashed. I can’t say enough good things about my Coeur Kit as well. I have been wearing it for every long ride and to put it bluntly, my lady bits and tush are very happy! I can’t wait to get another kit!

It is crazy to believe that we have less than 10 weeks to go!

Coeur Sports Triathlon Kit Review

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I wrote a couple of weeks ago about looking for the perfect kit for triathlon. I had some requirements of what I thought would make the perfect kit. You can read what they were here. Several people suggested I look at the Coeur Sports line of clothing. I got a one of their outfits and I am SUPER happy!

Here is why this kit is so great:

  • The material is amazing. The pictures on the website don’t do it justice. It is perfect material because it is heavy enough that it doesn’t’ feel too thin but not so tight that it doesn’t breathe. It is the perfect mix of soft and shiny (if that makes sense). Some lycra feels like swim suit material; really shiny, smooth, and slippery. The fabric Coeur uses for the their kit is perfect. It is so thick that even though my top is white you can’t tell the built in shelf bra is black. It feels like very high quality fabric. It is such good fabric that even when I crashed my bike this weekend there isn’t a snag in my shorts. As you can see from the photos I went down on my hip pretty hard.

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  • The length of the top is perfect. It is long enough to cover the waistband of the short and it doesn’t ride up when you are on the bike. Once I heal from this bike crash I will run in it and let you know how it does there. My brick was cut short on Sunday.
  • Pockets in the top are well sized. I can fit my iPhone (even in its big giant case) into the pockets. They are easy to get in and out of when you are on the bike.
  • Built in shelf bra is great. I am not well endowed on top so this bra is all I need. If you had more up there you may need extra support but not much. This is a one of the best built in bras out there (and I have worn a few!).
  • Length of shorts is perfect. Not too long or too short…just right!
  • Leg grippers are good. They are the silicone ones (not my favorite) but they aren’t too tight so you don’t get sausage legs. They do the job perfectly!
  • Waistband is excellent. It is wide and not too tight. I have named these the “Anti-Muffin-Top” shorts! I am not super toned around my middle and many shorts give me a muffin-top. These shorts stay up and in place but with NO muffin-top!
  • Seamless chamois is incredible. They did it! They figured out how to provide the appropriate amount of padding for you while not having any seams!!! I have a problem with the seams rubbing on the saddle and my body. This chamois design is amazing! I only got to ride for less than an hour on Sunday before I decided to get acquainted with the pavement. As soon as I can I will take these out for a much longer ride. The goal is that this will be my kit for all day in Arizona; I have a feeling it will be!

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The cost of the kit is $79.99 for each piece ($160 all in). Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either.  Even though I only got to wear it for an hour I can attest to it’s durability first hand! This kit will last a long time!

*I am wearing a size medium on top and bottom (I am 132 lbs, 5’5″).

17 Weeks and Counting

IMG_3925It starts tomorrow.  17 weeks of Ironman specific training. I am pretty sure (notice I am leaving the door open) that this will be my last 140.6 distance race for a long time (door still open). The volume of training required does not equal the amount of time I have to devote to training so this is not something I can’t keep up much longer.  It is a funny situation; I don’t want to keep doing these races because I don’t have the time to commit to the training to get better. I know many people are happy just to train an complete but I would really like to get better. Maybe once my kids are older and I get more flexibility in my work situation I can sustain this level of training; but for my situation it just isn’t feasible to do this every year.  I have all the support in the world from my husband for which I am super grateful.  But it is just too much to do this year after year.

My plan is to do a weekly re-cap of my training including video like I did when I trained for Ironman St. George in 2012. I am so happy with my decision to have a coach for this race.  We have been working together since February and we have built things up nicely.  I am going into this confident that she will get me to the start line healthy and ready to give it all I can. My biggest enemy in this is myself and mornings.  I used to love to get up early and train but that has become more and more difficult.  I can’t afford to sleep in because there is no way I will be able to sustain the training volume if I don’t get some stuff done before work.

So here we go!  I hope you follow along for the ride and see what I can make of Ironman Arizona 2014!

Confessions of a Coached Athlete – No Track Required

Coaching is still going well.  I keep telling people how happy I am with my coach.  It has me very excited my races this year!  Right now we are starting to work on building up speed which often involves track workouts for running.  I don’t have access to a track and now that I have a new job I am super tight on time.  Enter in Garmin Connect.  I am sure many of you have an account there because you own some type of Garmin Device.  Did you know that you can make custom workouts that will allow you to do track style workouts anywhere?  This is a great FREE tool that I don’t use nearly enough!

Under the Plan menu in Garmin Connect you will find an option for Workouts.  From there you will get a screen that will allow you to build a custom workout.  It is very easy to use.  Below is a picture of the workout I created for last week.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.25.46 AMThis was for 5 X 600 with 3:00 min rest between.  The watch will beep at you when you start a new interval.  You can also set a target pace, HR or HR zone for each interval if you want.  Then the watch will beep at you if you are not hitting the target.  The best part of this is you can do track distance intervals anywhere!  I went down to the flattest part of my neighborhood and just ran back and forth to do my intervals.  The watch will automatically get your splits for each interval so you can go back later and see your results.  Here are mine from this workout.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.25.12 AMAs you can see I didn’t do the best job pacing myself (plus one direction was into the wind).  But you get the picture.  If you have a Garmin device you use for training I suggest you check out this function if you haven’t already.  After you have saved your workout out you send it to your device where you can find it in the workout menu (varies from device to device).  It is that simple!

Confessions of a Coached Athelte – Bricks Are Hard