Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Training Year in Review

It's finally over.  2014 that is.  A year that I knew I would have to train more than I ever have before.  As I've said many times before, fear is a great motivating factor.  Fear of swimming.  Fear of losing. Fear of letting people down.  Fear of the Ironman.  Fear of Failure.

So how did we do?

Yards: 391,873 (or 222.7 miles)
Time: 137:32
So this was easily my biggest year of swim yardage.  It was 15% more than each of the last two years.  I only had one big week (16K in the first week of January), and that helped me get in 64,000 yards in January.  After that, it was usually mid 30K yards a month.  I swam 110 times this past year. The biggest reason I got so many yards in was that basically every Monday and Friday I did at least 4,000 yards (42 swims over 4K yards).  I was only swimming 3 times a week, so I wanted to make sure that those sessions counted.  I also felt that since the race distance was 4,212 yards, that I better get some swims in at that distance.  My longest single swim session was 5,000 yards. I only did 1 open water swim training session.  I would like to do more in 2015.

Miles: 5,289.7
Time: 258:44
Also my biggest bike year, but not by a lot, 150 miles more than 2012.  I got in 856 miles in July and 301 miles the first week of September.  About 123 rides total.  I did get in 6 rides over 100 miles (not including IM Chatt).  Previous to this year I had only done one century ride.  My longest ride was 137 miles.  I was pretty happy with my bike shape this year.  I could race hard in my halfs when I had to.  I raced smartly in Chattanooga and had plenty left for the run.  The big thing this year was the power meter.  It made every workout more focused.  I believe I got more out of my mileage this year than in the past.  You can't beat a PM for doing intervals, tempo, or steady state rides.

Miles: 1,441.8
Time: 173:47
I ran a little less this year (70 miles less than 2013) as last year I was doing more early season miles leading up to Boston.  My biggest month was in August where I logged 192 miles.  Not surprisingly, my biggest week was in the first week of August where I ran 60 miles.  I tried to run 5 times a week and I did 5 weeks over 50 miles.  I had 4 runs over 20 miles (not including IM Chatt), which helped at the end of the Chattanooga run. My run shape really didn't come together until August, but that's better than burning out in September like I did last year.

Sessions: 62
Time: 20:30
Almost the exact same as last year
Again: Blasphemy for some, but #beachbody #abs #core #willcontinue

Miles: 6,954.1
Time: 590:34

The biggest week was at the beginning of September.  It consisted of 12,200 yards swimming, 301 miles on the bike and 53 miles running for 25 hours and 11 minutes of SBR'ing.  That's a serious week. #pro Biggest Month was July with over 77 hours.

So I reached nearly 600 hours in training this year.  Maybe that's a goal for next year.  That put me at nearly 7,000 miles for the year (another 2015 goal?). I don't really get into too much mileage training goals anymore.  I just do what needs to be done for the race.  Some weeks that means more intensity, some weeks more miles. 

Since we have another Ironman on the schedule in 2015, I would think that 2015 will be similar to this year.  I don't really plan on changing much. I will use the same training plan as last year.  I do think I will try some more intensity in some of my Bike and Run workouts, but not really more mileage.  Who has the time?  At the moment, I think I'm pretty close to maximizing my time management.  So here's to a successful 2015!  May all your pools open on time, all your tires remain inflated, and all your feet be blister free.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 Race Year in Review

Since I'm not training heavily, I have plenty of time to reflect on my year of Racing.  It felt like I really didn't race that much.  I did do nine races, and for some people that probably isn't very much.  It felt like not very much as I basically didn't race for June, July, or August, not counting the first day of June or the last day of August.

Any racing season that ends with a Kona qualifier is an amazing year, but let's see how it all played out.

01.01 Ring in the New Year 5K 24:35, 1st Overall (46 Finishers)
A fun little trail run at my "backyard" Greenway.  Ran with family and friends. Devastated and enormous field for the W.

03.01 Howl at the Sun 5K 17:51, 1st Overall (360 finishers)
Another fun little local 5K fundraiser for my son's middle school.  Again, devastated the field.

04.05 Come-See-Me Half 1:21:15, 2nd Overall (134 Finishers)
The first 'real' race of the year.  Pretty good gauge of my shape (6:04 avg thru 9 miles before the hills).

04.19 TryCharleston Half 4:12:56 (short), 1/26 Age Group, 5/144 Overall Men
The first triathlon of the year went quite well with a surprising 5th overall.  I had a good swim (for me).  I was the 2nd fastest person on the day after the swim.  I won the AG by 18 minutes.

05.17 USMS Open Water Swim 2.4M 1:15:16, 4/5 AG, 23/62 Overall Wetsuit
My first swim race ever.  It was part of the Chattanooga training weekend in which we rode and ran the course.  It was a 'face your fears' type of race, and it gave me a lot of swim confidence moving forward.

06.01 IM Raleigh 70.3  4:29:51, 2/279 AG, 13/1262 Overall Non-Pro
Some good competition up in Raleigh.  I got edged out (again) by David Hall of Greenville.  I had a real good bike, but the run legs just weren't there.  Still pleased with an Ironman 70.3 podium finish, though.

08.31 Atomic Man Half 4:26:27, 1/101 Overall, First Half Iron Overall Win
This race was a good test of fitness after the last 3 months of training.  I went as hard as I could on the bike, and still felt fine on the run.  It was fun to get the overall win.

09.28 IM Chattanooga 9:29:19, 6/402 AG, 11/1,594 Overall Non-Pro
The "A" race.  My first full Ironman. The greatest test of physical endurance the world has ever . . . well you get the idea.  But I nailed my first 140.6, and it feels amazing.  I guess I feel validated.  I wasn't crazy to race my first full as hard as I could.  I didn't take it easy to try and 'just finish'.  My goal of a KQ at my first Ironman wasn't idiotic.  It can be done without a coach.  It just takes determination, hard work, an understanding spouse and genetics.  It wasn't luck.  There was no luck involved with the number of hours of training that I put in.

Going into Chattanooga was such an unkown for me.  At least with Ironman Augusta 70.3, I had one half iron race under my belt.  With Chattanooga, I had nothing to compare it too.  I just had to be confident in my training.  I felt pretty close to being ready about 2 weeks out, from my last workout of the week.  I had done a 3 hour ride above IM pace (and averaged 21.7 mph) in the morning.  That afternoon I ran 10 miles: a 2 mile warmup and then 8 miles where I averaged 6:05 pace.  I felt good.  I felt strong.  I felt (almost) ready.  I never really felt totally ready.

That training run gave me the confidence I needed.  As I said before, at about Mile 3, I threw out the 7:45 pace goal and decided I needed to go faster.  That decision led to my "Rinny-esque" performance on the run.  8-1/2 minutes out of a Kona slot at the start of the run, I made up 9 minutes to slide into the last spot.

10.27 Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot 8K 31:51, 8/209 AG, 86/3452 Overall

Just a fun "afterthought" race with my wife and some friends.

So overall, this easily has to be my best year of triathlons yet. As of right now my USAT age group ranking is 62nd in the nation.  My 4 triathlons were all my highest USAT scoring races ever with the exception of Rev3 Florida.  That was my single highest score, but that's because the swim was cancelled and it was a bike run.  Kinda my strengths.

I'm second in the South Carolina M40-44 (third in all of the Southeast).  Someday I'll figure out how to beat David Hall of Greenville.  So I'll be USAT All-American for the 3rd straight year.  I'll also be an Ironman All World Athlete Silver based just on my points from just 2 races (Raleigh and Chattanooga).

But none of that rankings crap matters because I qualified for Kona.  I'm just gonna let that sink in a bit.  I'm going to freakin' Kona.  The Holy Grail of Triathlon.  And it's in Hawaii!  Well, time to go drink some beer before we start ramping up another Championship Year in 2015!