2015 Season Part 1

Credits to Kevin Kerr for this great picture

Inevitably, all good things must end.

I am winding down the first part of my 2015 season and starting to drift away from Triathlon and begin re-focusing on running and most likely Ultra Marathon.

2015, was my most successful yet which saw me grow considerably in all three areas of Tri.

My Total training volume also grew considerably. From February 1st to July 26th,  my total training time looks like this.

  • Running – 917KM, 73 Hours
  • Riding – 5089 KM, 173 Hours
  • Swimming – 125 KM, 49 Hours

Strategy and Plan

The strategy was simple.

Develop the bike skills by switching to a power base program, maintain the run and continue swimming  to gain any efficiency I can.  My season would see me me race three times before heading into Ironman Lake Placid, each giving us an idea on where I was from a fitness level.

The Season

Race 1)

05/11/15 – The first was “ Where’s Franktown 15K”. It’s a race I have never been able to run because of other conflicts, but one that I consider a local and was on my list. This year, it lined up perfectly and gave us the ability to see where my run was at.

I ended up running this in 01:01:56, good enough for a 6th place finish and a 2nd in my age category. A stitch in the last 2K of the race saw me give up 1 position on the overall and age group leaderboard. My previous best for this distance was around 55 mins, so I was off a little bit off, but for an early season race, it allowed us to see exactly where I was.

Take Away:

  • Running base is pretty good, but top end speed is off slightly.

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Race 2)

05/16/15 – The second was the “Early Bird Tri” in Ottawa. It was specific to test the bike fitness, and to take the rust off the edges. I had not done a Tri in almost a year and this would be a reintroduction to the sport under pressure.

  1. The 500 meter swim was a write off, having totally blown it early on. I hit the water too hard, went way too fast and it cost me. I pulled my shit together and salvaged a 10:27. There is not much I could grab from this. I know what I did and it was pretty funny.
  2. I jumped on my bike looking to start pushing forward and pull some of the leaders in. The bike was a 35.4KM ride, and I averaged a speed of 35.8km/hour. I felt great and was very much within my comfort zone.
  3. The run was next, and I jumped off the bike and pushed out. On the run, I was looking to negative split the 5K distance. I ran a steady pace to the turnaround point and picked up the intensity on the return. Good enough for  a 3:55min/KM pace.  I was comfortable and in control.

Take Away:

  • I need to calm down on the swim.
  • Transitions need some work
  • Bike is strong
  • Run feels good

I ended up 6th place overall and 1st in my age category. Pretty good considering I had such a crappy swim .

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Race 3)

06/21/15 – The next race, was an important “B” race. Mont-Tremblant 70.3. This race was our real test for Ironman Lake Placid. It would tell us if we were on track or if we needed to tweak something.

  1. The 1.9 KM swim was awesome. I had the best swim of my life, landing a 00:33:46 . This set me up nicely coming out of the water both “overall” and mentally.
  2. I jumped on my bike and focused very clearly on my goal of maintaining my wattage to those I have been working in training. Over the 90 km, I averaged a 35k/hr speed which felt very manageable even through the killer hills.
  3. I came off the bike feeling good and ready to run. Rather than go out hard and fade, I started a little slower and worked to negative split. Although you cannot see this entirely ( because of the new run course ), I did manage this. If anything,  I think I could have ran a little harder but I wanted to be cautious and run around the Ironman tempo to see how I was feeling. I finished the 21.1km run with a 01:34:57
  4. Overall, I finished with a total time of 4 hrs, 49 minutes and 6 seconds. 151 overall and 23rd in my age category.

WOW! So Happy!!

Take Aways:

  • Extra effort on swim has paid off
  • Bike is where we want it
  • Run feels very comfortable
  • We’re starting to peak at the right time

———————-

The “A” Race)

07/26/15 – Finally, the BIG one!! Ironman Lake Placid. I have never been so trained, or so strong going into a race. The plan was to chase a 10 hr 30 minute finish and I was strong enough to do it.

  1. The 3.8K swim went according to plan, coming in at 1 hr 15 minutes, I felt strong coming out of the water and ready to hit the bike.
  2. I got on the bike and went out as planned, chasing my wattage and feeling very good. Unfortunately, I also started to have trouble emptying my stomach on the first lap. By the second lap, this turned to vomiting. By the time I finished my bike, I had been throwing up for most of the second lap and had not take any nutrition in since the first lap…over 2 hours. ( By the way – I know exactly what went wrong and it was my fault )
  3. I moved to the run and felt a big relief. Running is my passion, and I was hoping for a reprieve and a means to salvage the race. Unfortunately, it was short lived. By the time I got to River Road I started vomiting again. I pushed through to 26K on the run before coming to the conclusion that I needed to seriously consider the implications of what I was doing. The last vomit had moved from simply throwing up to heaving. The temperature was rising and I had now gone over 4 hours without any really fluid of nutrition. I was starting to get dizzy and I had stopped sweating. I stopped in at the EMT tent on River road and they tried to nurse me back. By watering down some Gatorade, they hoped it would put some fluid back into my system. Sadly, my stomach was a mess and I could not get anything in. After 30 minutes, I decided enough was enough. They hooked me up to a “swell” IV line and transported me up the med tent. Not the ending I wanted, but things happen.

Take Away:

  1. Fitness and Peak performance was perfect for this race
  2. I realised I can push through a hell of a lot of discomfort before giving in
  3. Attention to perceived “little” details is critical. Not matter how experienced you are, don’t assume things will take care of themselves. You need to think it through, test it and ensure it works!
  4. Shit happens, let it go and move on. It’s not a reflection on your ability or future performance.
  5. Facebook is like the drunk call to the ex-girlfriend when you’re a kid. Stay away from it after any sort of event ( especially a rough one ) until you get your head on straight!! Smile

Conclusion

It’s important to mention a few people who really helped me through this season.

  1. The most important person, is my wife. She believes in me unconditionally, supports me unbelievably and is by the far the most important part of my team.
  2. Ray Zahab. My coach and friend who was patient and always had time to talk with me. He pushed me , listened and taught me me quite a bit in a very short period of time.
  3. Greg and Jenn at SportX . They set me up with my new Tri Bike, fitted me and kept me running smooth all season. Incredible people!
  4. Rick Hellard and the Zone3 family. Thanks for letting me do the Hammertime workouts with you. Well worth the effort to drive to Ottawa.
  5. My previous coaches Richard Cadman and Neil Rosenthal. Both helped lay the foundation we built on this year.

Looking forward, some fun and exciting things are starting to develop as I become more involved with i2P.

August will see me reduce my volume and take a bit of a break while I reestablish my trail legs. Moving into September, the plans will be firmed up for the fall and Part 2 of my season will get locked.

Cheers!

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