Monday, February 27, 2017

The Start

Each February, for the last four years, I have done the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. This year, our team raised about $1800. Than's not a huge number, but it's also nothing to sneeze at.  Anyhoo, the end of Polar Plunge fund raising also signals the start of my training season.

I feel that I do my best work when I obsess about something. For the last decade, that obsession has largely been directed towards union work, and before that it was college studies. It's been gradual over the last few years, but now my obsession is now completely focused on triathlon. In particular, I want to be an Ironman.

I want to be an Ironman; I dream about Ironman; I train for Ironman; I'm not sure my body will allow me to do Ironman.

Each of the last three years, I've put a longer race on the schedule in the spring (I've only been running since August 2013). And, each of the last few years, I've ended up injuring myself and missing that spring race (10k in 2014 and marathons in 2015/2016). This year, the spring schedule is empty and I'm hoping I can increase distances without my annual injury (2014 hip/knee, 2015 broken foot, 2016 foot).

To this point, I've been doing about 3 hours a week. I've been trying to tick up the time on everything a bit each week so that my joints don't exploded, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Yellow = Swim
Dark Blue = Bike
Blue = Run
Black = Strength Training
At the start of the year I bought new shoes (Mizuno Wave 12, $80) that murdered my feet. It felt like my little toes were being rolled under on each step. I suppose the pain could also be due to treadmill running, but I blame the shoes. So, I bought another pair (Brooks Adrenaline 16, $80) and we'll see if that helps the foot pain. 

I did a four mile run on the treadmill a couple weeks back and my knees have hurt ever since. I took most of a week off from running to see if that would help, but not so much. At this point, I'm just gunna run through it, and hope it improves.

I hurt my right shoulder and elbow a couple weeks back. I'm not sure if that came from swimming, throwing with my boys or sleeping wrong. Whatever it was, my arm pain has cut out strength training for a bit. 

My hips are giving me trouble on the bike. I use the stationary bike at the Y and my trainer at home, and both are giving me troubles. 

So yeah, I'm lighting it up. All of this isn't helped by being 15 pounds over race weight. Everything you read says that you can't out train your diet. That's certainly true, but when I'm training seven or nine hours a week I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. Right now I'm eating like a nine hour week and training three. I guess it's time to lock it up. I'm gunna go for losing five pounds in each of the next three months.  That seems like a modest and reasonable goal. 

Ironman is 28 weeks away, so there is plenty of time to get in shape. Right now it just seems a long ways off.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Yearly Totals

Here are my yearly training totals. 

This first graph shows the hour comparisons for the past three years.  Swimming and strength training went up a bit, while running, biking increased a lot.  Most of my biking is done inside on the trainer, and most of my running is done outside.

This second graph is similar to the first, but it shows mile comparisons.  I don't care about my trainer miles, because the numbers are silly business. Garmin has me at about 1200 miles for trainer and bike miles combined last year.

The next graph shows how my time was split for 2016. This is skewed a little towards running do to the October marathon, but I probably do need to spend more time on the bike this year.

My average swim times went up in the pool this year and down in the open water.  Last year my pool average was 2:08 per 100 yards and my open water average was 1:43 per 100 yards.  I'm sure some of the pool improvement is due to swimming in jammers as opposed to swim trunks, but a little bit of that is probably genuine improvement. The slower open water times are due to the slow swims at the 70.3 races.

Liberty:  1:55 per 100 yards
Toughman:  2:03 per 100 yards (no wetsuit)

Both swims were disappointing, but near the field average.

The biking breakdown is only for hours as stated previously. Most of the YMCA stationary bike hours took place after triathlon season when I was marathon training.  My road average went up to 17.7 mph. In 2014 it was 16.3 mph, and in 2015 it was 17.2 mph.

This graph is kinda fun.  It turns out (completely unplanned) that my long run mileage is nearly identical to my sort run mileage for outside runs.  My overall average pace took a big hit.  The previous two years I averaged around 9:40 per mile, but the overall this year was about 10:20 per mile.  I trained a lot for long, slow runs runs this year, so the drop makes sense. Still a downer.