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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TriStar 111 Minnesota!

A late addition to my race schedule, after missing last weekends Pigman HIM, is the inagural TriStar 111 in Maple Grove, Minnesota this weekend. I spotted this race in the early spring and thought that I would give the unique distance a shot if the opportunity presented itself this season, and it just so happens too! Without racing in Pigman last weekend I was sent on a search for a second and final HIM to race this year. Lake Geneva became the front runner, logistically, and financially. It is also the site of my first ever triathlon, HIM as well, so why not go back to my roots? This opened the door to TriStar as a great chance to get a solid big effort day of training leading into Lake Geneva and a shot at a unique distance that fits me very well as a triathlete.

Starting with a 1k swim, cycling for 100k, and running the final 10k, this race will give me a great indication of my fitness level, and where I am heading into Lake Geneva in two weeks time. The short run will let me recover fast, and the longer bike will give me some overdistance work to see how I hold up to a race that "mimmicks" that effort level I will put out later on. More importantly it will give me a chance to pace my run well off the bike in a race, something that I have struggled mightily with at longer distance races. I have put in some solid miles in training as well since Racine. My run has progressed well and been much more consistent. Biking has been the same as I have been piling on lots of mileage and working my legs a lot harder now, then I was earlier this summer.

This is also my first chance to race outside of Wisconsin, and even though the field is very small (approx 100) it sounds like the field is very talented. Reigning world champion Chris McCormack will be racing as will Maik Twelsiak one of the front-runners for Kona this year, and the age-group field is set to be very fast! It will be fun to race, or chase after two of the world's premiere triathletes. I am very excited to challenge myself in a new way, and see what happens when my strengths as a triathlete are exploited.

See you all in Maple Grove this weekend!

Get Work Done!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Diagnosing My Run

The plan for 2011 was simple; to improve my run, build my base and set me up to have a breakthrough in 2012. I wanted to increase my volume, build some speed, and overall have a stronger and more efficient run. Through the first few months I was doing nothing special, but my volume was up and I was feeling that the foundation was being layed. In the first few races this year my potential showed as I was setting PR's and my paces were become faster and faster at certain intensities. Then all the sudden those times slowed dramatically, and through the month of July up to today I am struggling to reach those times, and sometimes struggling to finish some runs.
I posted this problem to the slowtwitch forums to get a better educated answer from some more experienced runner's with a list of reasons why my run has declined the way it has....and the response was overwhelming. The heat really is kicking everyone's ass that bad this year. This does not mean to me that I have nothing to worry about and once the temps cool off a bit my speed will come back. I am looking at this as a chance to make some major mid-season adjustments for 2011, make some changes so that I can have a very successful 2011 fall running season.

These changes coupled with the prospect of cooler weather will hopefully elevate me to the point that I hope to be at going into 2012 for my return to IMWI and a much better marathon run. These changes include:

Speedwork: I was doing this once a week mostly throughout the season last year and the results speak for themselves. I have not done too much with speedowork this year, and have completely abandon it and moved into more race-pace efforts since June. Tempos, fartleks, hills, and even track session were weekly occurances for me last year. I am looking to get these runs back into my plans

Frequencey: One of the best ways to increase volume is to run more times a week. 3x per week is not nearly enough for big gains, and 4x is better but is still giving the legs too much time off each week. Hopefully I can build into 5x maybe 6x a week when I start my HM training in September.

Form and efficiencey: Let's go back to the basics. How efficient am I and how can I improve my form below and above the waist?

As fall hits the temps cool and my run becomes the focus hopefully I can prepare nmyself a bit better for 2012 with a strong fall of running. I am at least feeling a lot better then I did 24 hours ago with some conversation about my running.

I noticed I left this blog entry still in editing and never posted which is good since I found some updates on my run this weekend. Nothing special or breakthrough but the heat finally did break and I have managed to run much better. With the lower temps I nailed a 12 mile run yesterday at a pace of about 5 seconds slower and 8 bpm slower as well. Again nothing special, but sure fire signs that the heat has really been draining my energy on my runs all summer. Time to get back to work!