Sunday, April 27, 2008

Numbers Game

4/27/08: Pre-Comp Phase Over! Just finished up my last major 4 week block of Pre-Comp training today and things are looking good. I'm happy to report that I'm ahead of where I was at this time last year on all fronts and the numbers are right where I was hoping they'd be by this stage of the game. Although the average weekly training volume this past month was nothing out of the ordinary, the key sessions (and there were LOT'S of them) were frequent and intense. Time to give the body a one week break before ramping back up and doing what needs to be done to ensure that I'm ready to roll at Eagleman on 6/8.

In the mean time, a sample of the critical numbers from this past 4 week block that clearly indicate that it's time to race:

Average Weekly Training Volume:
  • 12,500 yards swimming
  • 9.5 hours cycling
  • 41 miles running

Key Swim Set:

  • 25 x 100 @ 1:12 - 1:13 (open turns - still can't do a flip turn!)
Key Bike Session:
  • 25 miles on the ECV TT course in 1 hour @ 70.3 goal wattage: 308 avg/311 norm (thank you PowerTap). Not bad considering high state of fatigue.

Key Run Sessions:

  • Around the Cape Course, 25k, progressive effort, executed 2 min. faster than fastest performance from 2007. You know you're getting fit when sub 6 min. mile pace for 10+ miles, over hilly terrain, doesn't seem very hard. Must have something to do with...
  • Track workouts/economy sets (started inserting into the mix this year): 16 x 1/4 mile float @ 72 on 2 min. I want to get this set down to 20 x 1/4 @ 67 on 1:45 by season's end.

And last but not least....

Fighting Weight:

  • 153 lbs. I'm skinny again.

Okay. Time for bed. Big week of business and teaching coming up. 8 weeks to go and then I'm a free man: Completely self employed, able to train like a full time Pro and living the dream!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Home Stretch

10 weeks to go.

I entered the final quarter of the school year, and my teaching career as a whole, yesterday. I won't hide the fact that it's been a very stressful Spring. My coaching operation has blossomed into a full time job; one that I desperately need to find more time for. I'm extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated, talented athletes. Slowly but surely my vision of coaching a well rounded mix of age group, elite age group and pro/elite athletes is coming to fruition. I find myself both inspired and motivated by the work and results that my crew continues to turn in and am very excited about all that the '08 season holds in store for them. It's going to be a great year!

In addition to training over 30 athletes, I'm honoring the commitment I made to the Manchester-Essex school district and am finishing out my time there as a P.E./Health teacher. The 50 - 60 hour per week combo of full time coaching and part time teaching (60%) doesn't leave me with a lot of free time, but I continue to pound out 18 - 20 hours per week of training as I prepare for the 2008 tri season and my real debut on the Pro circuit. Thankfully, I have a very supportive girlfriend and partner in Michelle, as she's taken on the brunt of the household chores (cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc.) and has never once complained about my having to work late into the night, 7 days per week, including Saturday and Sunday nights (our social life is basically non-existent these days!).

But... I'm getting it done. Life is nothing more than training and working at the moment, but I fully realize just how lucky I am to be completely immersed in work that I truly love. I'm thankful that I won't have to attempt to keep this pace up much longer, but when I feel as though I'm at wit's end trying to hold it all together, I think about the thousands of soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan; Any amount of work or training related stress that I experience is completely insignificant compared to what these men and women must face on a daily basis. Here I am, safe and sound, fretting over the fact that I have to cram 6 hours of training and another 6 hours of work into a Saturday, while our servicemen and servicewomen are worrying about IEDs, snipers and suicide bombers every second of the day. Kind of keeps things in perspective.

After completing Sunday's long ride with my brother Corey, I spent the afternoon bouncing back and forth between work and live updates from's coverage of IronMan Arizona. It was a great thrill to watch Jordan Rapp secure a 3rd place overall finish in what turned out to be the closest 4 man finish in IronMan history (top 4 men all finished within 1:20 of each other)! I'm currently planning on capping my '08 season with the Fall running of IMAZ, so watching Jordan finish so high up really motivated me to pull the trigger and do what needs to be done on the training front between the months of late September and mid November.

But until that time, I have to make sure that I stay focused upon the task at hand: Whipping myself into shape for my early season events. I figure that I'll be at about 95% of peak fitness by Eagleman come June 8th. Realistically, there's no way that I can beat the guys who are able to focus 100% of their time and energy on training and recovery. I have to accept the fact that the best that I can do is all that I can do between now and the time that school ends. From there on in however, race prep will be a cake walk! I'm already dreaming about 4 hour training days and a more relaxed work schedule. Just have to "soldier on" for 10 more weeks...