Friday, August 31, 2007

IMMoo 2007 Event Plan

The plan is the basis for change - it is unlikely that all will proceed according to plan.

I liked Sweet Baboo's IMKY 2007 plan post; this is mine for IMMoo 2007. Kitting out is highly weather-dependent, so that's not in this post.

This is mostly the same broad outline as I had for the Canadian Iron 2005 (old report here). I've added a smidgen to the swim thoughts, since a 2400 person start is so different from a 70 person start, and since I so disliked my IMAZ 2007 swim. With my One Thing I'm also asking more from myself on the run than to just keep running. The only substantive nutrition change is gels instead of bars on the bike. Yes, I can take in gels with sports drink.

Biggest sources for the pacing:
- Strauss article (Strauss uses primary material from Going Long)
- Recap of Laursen et al. journal article

For anyone looking for a full event day guide:
- Strauss Ironman How-To (much overlap with Strauss article above)

- seed for being about 33rd percentile
- accept a sprint at start then look for feet
- estimate HR upper zone 2 effort; double or bilateral breathing and hold form
- increase kick for about the last 3 minutes

- slow and deliberate
- take the time to drink water - rehydrate and fill the gut to increase rate of gastric emptying

- first bottle: water
- take a gel and a succeed tab at 20 minutes
- use last of water to take another gel and succeed tab
- look to take in 400 calories per 20 miles after first aid station
- probably won't be able to drink as much as during training; expect more calories from gels and fewer from gatorade endurance
- take 1 succeed tab for every bottle of gatorade endurance (from aid stations)
- pacing per Strauss but be happy with mid-zone 2 versus upper, and keep in check on climbs
- gradually spin out the legs over the last five miles

- slow and deliberate but keep moving - do not stop to rest

- first two miles are to stretch out legs and back (back muscles will hurt on shift to vertical)
- after that, zone 2 effort - pay attention to cadence and tall posture - just keep running
- walk the aid stations, strive to take in 300 calories per hour, expect 2 succeed tabs per hour
- after mile 20 can let heartrate/perceived exertion go

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Comments and Elaboration

About yesterday's post on the Canadian Iron Distance Triathlon 2005, I have two comments and then some elaboration (joining together, that's colaboration [sic]).


First, I'll never again have those conditions for an iron-distance tri. Dead flat, little wind, and not too hot or cold. That's one reason that I do assign some value to the Mdot distinction - we know something about those courses and those days.

Second, the swim was parallel to the shore, out-and-back - no advantage from a current. Two years ago in an uncrowded swim with little drafting I posted a 1:14:52 swim time without coming anywhere near blowing up. That's some context for just how unhappy I was during, and afterward about, my IMAZ swim.


I only committed to doing the iron-distance four weeks before the event - they ran a half-iron there that day too. After Florida HalfIronman 2005 in late May (old report here) I trained for iron-distance but gave myself room to back off - and as I told a friend, I wasn't sure I needed a day like that. I delayed choosing the distance until I'd done a six-hour ride, and then I pulled the registration trigger.

One nice little aspect of the event was that a couple of Toronto tri peeps were there. Seanna had earned her Kona slot at Florida HalfIronman 2005, and was doing the half-iron as part of her training. Her husband Rob (dubbed "Cap'n" of that Toronto tri gang) was along in support (he'd done IMUSA 2005 in 10:45). Seanna said hi as she passed me on the bike course and Rob cheered for me at the end of bike loops. After her race they wished me well as I was in T2; they went to their car, I went to grind out a marathon.

I used the event as the anchor of a trip to Ottawa. I stayed with my parents, got to see my sister, and the day after the event was able to meet up with a good number of friends (with logistical support from my sister). A week later I had my work permit approval for Cayman, and logistics for moving suddenly spun-up. As we'd expected, it had been a farewell trip.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From the E-mail Archives: Personal Race Report Canadian Iron Distance Triathlon 2005

Okay folks, again I'm digging back in my e-mail archives, this time for my report from my second triathlon, the Canadian Iron Distance Triathlon held in Ottawa on September 3, 2005 (not to be confused with the Mdot race Ironman Canada). Today, it's just the report - a bit more another day, probably tomorrow.

The primary goal of completing without permanent injury was achieved. For those who want more detail, read on; for the rest, just skip it!

My results (from ):
Bib Number: 280
Overall Place: 44 (70 starters, 68 finishers)
Overall Time: 12:45:25
Division: M40-44
Division Place: 11/14 (14 starters, 14 finishers)

Swim Time: 1:14:52
Bike Time, plus transitions time: 6:42:31
Run Time: 4:48:03

I found the overall experience quite worthwhile and interesting, and even fun at times. The event was well run. The course was very flat and some find it dull (12 out-and-back loops on the bike, and 4 out-and-back loops on the run). The loops don't matter much to me -> I don't pay much attention to my surroundings.

Wetsuits were used. My pace was about right, but I could only intermittently draft. I need more practice swimming in the wetsuit - my stroke fell apart with the change in stresses on the shoulders. The buoyancy made for so much less effort that I was happy with the trade-off.

Again, I took the transitions extremely slowly and deliberately (my personal timekeeping indicates that I spent 24 minutes in transitions).

I was happy with the bike segment, and laps 9 through 11 felt great. For those who pay attention to such things, I kept my heartrate in mid-zone 2. I didn't kit out the bike with the front aero water bottle - I decided that the thing is too much bother when I'm just grabbing Gatorade.

I considered the clock after the bike, and decided not to press on the run. I didn't walk, but I stopped at aid stations. It rained some during the run, which was welcome; it helped keep me from overheating. I really dogged the run around kilometres 20 through 35, and then finished reasonably strongly.

The aftermath on the legs was noticable, but I'm still going down stairs forward, so it wasn't extreme.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Week That Was

Wednesday: 1 hour trainer intervals session
Thursday: evening Masters swim session
Saturday: 1 hour recovery trainer ride

I thought it would be a taper week - turns out it was a recovery week. Wednesday I had to fight to get into heartrate zone 4 for any time at all. Saturday night I slept 12 hours - decided that was a sign to not do one last long brick.

Sunday I followed various peeps at IMKY and IMC. For once, was generally cooperative.

Congratulations to IMKY bloggy peeps:
Sweet Baboo
Dying Water Buffalo
Iron Pol

and to IMC Toronto peeps: Cara, Jason, Andrea, and Judit.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Auto-Hornblowing Zone

...because I deduce that a blog named Eminently Blogical is an appropriate place for horatiocination.

I'm still swimming lead in lane 3 (the slower of the two intermediate lanes) at Masters. Last night the fellow who has been leading lane 4 (the faster of the two) when he attends moved up to lane 5. This helped highlight a couple of things.

First, ensuring that my right arm is deeper before commencing to pull, especially on a breathing cycle, is at the least a good short-term adaptation. Doing this on catch-up drills I now lose no time relative to lane 4. Also, my view is changed when I breathe to the right; left eye is not clearing the water so much. Confirmation that (in the context of the rest of my stroke) I was starting my right-arm pull too shallow; the arm pull went down; that forced my head up; that forced my hips down; so I slowed.

Second, I would do really well to find feet to draft at IMMoo. We had four swimmers in lane 3. Two of those stayed on the train. Drafting me, those two were doing faster reps than the lane 4 leader. I know these swimmers a bit. Side-by-side they wouldn't be doing that; being able to draft gave them a big advantage over the lane 4 leader.

While I'm intellectually aware of the impact of drafting, the on-going demonstrations, rep after rep, I found very striking.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stroke and Stride Postponed

With heavy waves and the potential for thimble jellyfish larvae (aka sea itch), the Stroke and Stride event originally scheduled for August 22 has been postponed to August 29 and the August 29 event is scheduled for September 5th (all weather permitting).

I suppose I'll do some stationary trainer threshold intervals this evening - my first proper workout since Saturday (toting boxes does not count).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Curfew Lifted

Hurricane Dean stayed over 100 miles away from Grand Cayman. Curfew lifted at 14:00EST. I came through entirely unscathed.

There have been some power and water outages on the island, but crews are at work; there has been some flooding in the low Savannah area.

Best wishes to all here and away who did not or may not fare so well.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Secured (Updated 06:50EST approx.)

I'm now ensconced in the aforementioned secure location (which I very much appreciate being made available to me).

Update (06:50EST approx.)
CAT's current forecast is for nearest approach of 101.2 miles at 07:48am EST.

Update (17:05EST approx.)
Closest approach tool (CAT) and US National Hurrican Center (NHC) now easy to reconcile. CAT's current forecast is for nearest approach of 78.3 miles at 11:18am EST.

Original Material (14:11EST approx.)
The closest approach tool's current forecast is for Hurricane Dean to be about 63.7 miles from Grand Cayman at 12:18pm EDT on Monday (so 11:18am local time - EST).

One way or another I'll get a post up after the storm passes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Week That Was

Early post, but today has no workouts due to hurricane-related activities. *Not* due to my laziness and lack of dedication - that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Monday: evening Masters swim session
Tuesday: evening lactate threshold run
Wednesday: off (volunteered at local Stroke & Stride)
Thursday: morning 1hr. run (zone 2); evening 2hr. run (zone 2)
Saturday: 6hr. stationary trainer (zone 2)

Storm track is now relatively good for Grand Cayman. Nonetheless, I will go ahead and shift to secure location this afternoon - it's built to Category 5 standards. Looking at the food that's going with me, I'm seeing a certain triathlon influence in the energy bars, drink mixes, Boost, chocolate milk, vitamin supplements....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hatch Battening

Current forecast is that Hurricane Dean will hit Grand Cayman at Category 4 strength around 3am on Sunday night/early Monday morning. My best wishes to all who will be riding this out on-island.

You can follow along at the US National Hurricane Center

To allay any concerns about my physical safety, please be aware that I will be waiting out the storm in an extremely secure location.

On the plus side, I should have enough time before then to complete another long ride and perhaps do something of a brick.

Even with satellite connections, blogging may not resume until we're no longer under the weather.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heavy Sweater? Pullover!

That's pretty much my philosophy for endurance training 'round here in summer.

This morning I did a one hour zone 2 run starting at 4:50am. I weighed myself before the start. During the run I drank 1.4litres of water. When finished my digital scale informed me that I weighed 1 pound less than I did when I started. My gastric emptying simply can't keep up with my sweat rate even at the coolest time of the day in summer. A five hour-plus ride in the increasing heat just begs for dehydration and consequent increased recovery needs.

The local environment really does encourage my use of the split run day (or treadmill) and stationary trainer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Here's an article on the local Masters swim club, Hammerheads.

Tonight is the first in our local series of short Stroke and Stride events. I'm volunteering instead of participating, so I won't be included in any of the coverage.

So there. Apparently, it's not all about me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Week That Was

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my report on the previous week.

Here's this past week's story.

Wednesday: evening run (2.0 hrs. zone 2)
Thursday: evening Masters swim
Saturday: stationary trainer (5.5 hrs. zone 2)
Sunday: stationary trainer (4.0 hrs. zone 2)

Sunday ought to have been a brick, but I didn't feel like heading out into the rain-with-occasional-downpours nor dragging off to the treadmill at the gym. I'll pay a price. Ah well, cycling is my weakest of the three disciplines, and at least I did that.

For the first time in what seems like forever I went into the weekend pretty much fully recovered, legs and all. It felt better than I would have guessed. It's tempting to arrange future training cycles with recovery weeks to begin on Saturdays, so that heading into the next weekends I would be that much more fresh.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Desensitization and Temporal Juxtaposition

Temporal juxtaposition... it's just one thing after another!


Long trainer session today (5.5hrs. zone 2). Throughout the session I was watching Deadwood (Season 3) on DVD. When finished, I flipped over to the PGA Championship.

Suddenly, everything seemed so clean - especially the language!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Week That Was

Things went fine until Saturday, and then the wheels fell off; the weekend looked more like recovery than training.

Monday: evening Masters swim
Tuesday: evening stationary trainer intervals (zone 4) + some drills
Wednesday: morning run (1 hr. zone 2); evening run (2 hrs. zone 2)
Thursday: evening Masters swim
Friday: off
Saturday: late morning stationary trainer (2.5 hrs. zone 2); evening run (1.0 hrs. zone 2)
Sunday: late morning stationary trainer (2.0 hrs, plummeting back into zone 1)

Swollen lymph nodes this weekend and minor throat irritation - Saturday evening I restarted OTC allergy meds. Calorie intake had been on the low side. I'll go for a lighter load through the week and try to hit the bike early come Saturday.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Minor Swim Notes

I last posted a few minor swim notes at the end of June

Within two-plus weeks of that post my increased body rotation was settled into something workable (should still be better!)

Over the past three weeks I've paid more attention to the catch phase of my stroke. Rich Strauss has some worthwhile notes on this. [While I'm at this I may as well plug the whole Crucible Fitness training articles collection]

No, I haven't done a 1000m timetrial. No, I didn't switch to emphasizing the catch upon hitting a magic swim golf number. Yeah, I'm a rebel. Actually, Strauss' magic swim golf numbers look funny to me - sub-85 in a 50m pool strikes me as significantly better than sub-80 in a 25yd. pool.

Last night I took the opportunity to do a little swim golf (N.B. 25m pool).
Average time per 50m: 40 seconds
Average stroke count per 50m: 38
Hence an average score of 78.

So the trajectory of my swim golf scores looks good... FWIW, I have that going for me!

I've stayed leading the slower of the two intermediate lanes. Just now there's only one swimmer in the intermediate lanes who's faster overall than me, and he hasn't been attending all workouts. On the nights he's absent, it may look a little questionable for me to be finishing reps ahead of the faster lane, but whuddayagonnado? For one thing, my drill speeds are inconsistent (e.g. tough to slot for a mixed set in a tight lane when my kick drills are relatively slow and my pull drills are relatively fast). For another, the faster lane is more crowded, and if I moved myself up I doubt that anyone would move back.

On-going issues:
o in early days of emphasis on catch - coordination and muscles still developing;
o body rotation may still be less than optimal;
o when sprinting or stressed timing of right arm action may slip;
o seem to raise head when breathing to right - toying with thought that right arm may tend to be too shallow at start of pull.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Status Report

I received a nudge via e-mail indicating that for a triathlon-focused blog there hadn't been much here about my recent training.

The tyranny of choice: through choices we reveal our values to others (and ourselves).

The choice: I hit every Masters swim workout in July.
The implication: I cared more about enjoying my workouts and avoiding a repeat at IMMoo of the general suckiness of my IMAZ swim than shaving total time at IMMoo.

The implication may seem overly strong, but it isn't. Previously I'd been doing Masters sessions once a week; I've now stepped up to two a week. Masters sessions are in the evening; doing swim intervals in the evening means that my sleep is delayed and/or shallow that night. Hence, a Masters session generally means I won't workout the next morning and even so I'll still have some sleep deficit. Once a week for that is OK - twice a week means I'm dropping things. Two Masters sessions pretty much guarantees that I won't do a long sea swim. Also, a couple of times I've dropped a running interval session; other times I've dropped a (combined bike/run) drill session. I'm setting myself up for a relatively good swim, fatigue/pain on the late bike hills, and running on empty.

While my One Thing isn't dominating my training, I maintain that it will drive me on the day. Just have to be ready to run on empty - it is what it is.

Ideally I have three quality weeks left (including this one), one recovery week, and two taper weeks. I'll be tempted to drop that last quality week in favour of an additional taper week - I'll see how I feel.

I'll report on Monday how this week went.


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