Friday, November 22, 2013

A Big Catch Up Post

Normally a lack of posts this time of year suggests the overall slowness of the off-season. However, there actually have been a few things going on over the last three weeks since my last real post. I’ll dive right in:

I have hired a coach
I spoke to three different people and all three were strong but this one seems like he’ll be a good fit. Another data geek like me, I have a feeling we’ll click. I’ll actually be meeting with him this weekend to get things started.

I’m looking forward to having someone else review and critique my various disciplines. I have no doubt he will discover several ways for me to improve and I’m actually looking forward to that. I’m sure some of it will be hard to hear, but that will be easier than another disappointing finish to a race.

In a past post I mentioned about discussing the process. At the end of the day, there was not too much to it for me. There are a number of coaches in the area in including several former pros in Boulder. However they seemed like a better fit with more elite athletes, are more expensive and they are in Boulder. My coach actually lives in my town and trains in the same places I do!

I am also familiar with the training company with which he is affiliated. I’m not going to publish that company’s name for the time being, but suffice it to say, I’ve met the owner and have been pretty impressed with the whole operation.

All that said, if you are not as fortunate as I have been to have a good option right in front of you, it pays to do some research.

Changing macro nutrients is really hard!
Having read and listened to a ton of podcasts on the subject, I’ve become particularly interested in retraining my metabolism to rely more on fat than glycogen. That began with a decision to identify what my daily average sugar intake has been this year and then target a reduction. So far, I’m barely making a dent and I’d be a liar if I said that I don’t often feel bonky and hungry. However, I’m willing to stay with it for the long haul.  I’m also trying to train in my Maffetone region. Dr. Maffetone’s own website strongly urges using the formula of 180 minus age so I’ve been doing that. I’m not 100% convinced that it should not be based more on true maximum heart rate, but since I have not done that test in over a year, I’m willing to stick with the formula for now.

Power meter training has begun!
I recently took delivery of a Wahoo KICKR trainer and at the same time began reading Joe Friel’s book on using a power meter to train. I’ll know doubt need to re-read sections to more fully understand it, but he writes in a way that is easy to follow. As for the KICKR, it’s pretty cool. While I’m still using the Garmin 910XT to record the workout, my real head unit is my iPhone. Changing the grade, simulated wind speed, etc., are all done via an app. I’ve only scratched the surface however. Wahoo has made their trainer “open source” which basically means they’re letting anyone who wants to develop an app for it. There are several out there and in time, I’ll purchase/subscribe to one to allow me to recreate courses in my basement this winter.

My 2014 Racing Calendar is starting to take shape.
Much to my frustration, finding a 70.3 distance triathlon in the west in mid-summer has proven very difficult. There are some, but often clear across the country. After doing considerable searching, I’m 80% sure I’ll be registering for Ironman 70.3 Racine in Wisconsin for my first long-course event of the year. It’s on July 20. I believe I’ll also be adding the local Harvest Moon half iron distance event in early September as well. Unlike races of similar distance run by WTC, the entry fee is about half the cost. Heat is likely to be a factor (it’s often hot in Colorado in early September) but that’s one of the conditions I’ll be working to overcome with my new coach.

Also likely to be on the schedule next year are the Summer Open Sprint (a great way to kick off the season) and the Steamboat Olympic triathlon in August. Neither of those will be “A” races but they will be fun all the same.

A couple of weeks ago, my brother suggested that he and I compete in the Mountain Top Experience Ride which is a Century Ride in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. That’s right mountains as in lots of climbing. In fact, the event’s website says that there is over 10,000 feet of climbing. Yikes! However, I think it will be a good way to get used to spending more time in the saddle and getting stronger for what’s yet to come. I’ve also wanted to do a century ride for a long time so why procrastinate. It’s also only around $30 to enter which is a bargain for any race! Hmm, does this mean I can start looking at new road bikes? N+1?

I may look at doing one of the swim races I’m expecting to be scheduled out at Grant Ranch this summer. I was not able to race last year do to personal conflicts, but this year is still wide open.

Of course I’m still planning on being in Boulder on Memorial Day morning. That’s a tradition I hope never changes.

I have, so far, registered for exactly zero of these events. I’ll meet with my coach first and then start forking over the dough for various registrations.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Since folks like me are hanging up the wetsuit for the winter, I thought a link to this post from a couple of years ago would be helpful:

PS: I'm still using mine