Archive for the ‘Training log’ Category



June 24, 2009

Now that Rev3 is far back in the rear view mirror and the only thing in my sights for the rest of the season is Timberman, officially 58 days away. With some time on my hands before the next time I enter race mode, I’m taking a look back at everything, reexamining my training and changing things around a lot. The one major change that I’m making is MORE BRicks!

And in the spirit of making changes real fast, I’m heading back to Connecticut for my little sister’s college graduation party and decided to take advantage of the time back at home base to redo the Rev3 bike/run course. I feel like I still have something to prove out there. Not to anyone else. Just myself.

I know that I can push through the bike and still have enough juice left in the tank for a solid 13.1 mile run. I’m dubbing this weekend my “Rev 4 BRick Workout.” I don’t know if I’ll be able to sneak my way into Quassy for an early swim, but if not, it will be a nice hard 69.1 miles of LOVE this weekend.

Hopefully this time I won’t bonk like last time and have to drag myself across the finish line. Wish me luck!


Final Tune Up

May 25, 2009

This weekend was my last minute tuneup before starting to taper for Rev3. I found out that some of my friends were planning on doing a road race down on Cape Cod, and since I was already planning on getting a long run in, I figured I might as well join and have some company while I run.

There was a 5k,  7.2 miler and a half marathon all on the same morning. One college buddy was doing the 5k, and two others were doing the 7.2 miler. I was left doing the half all by myself, but at least I had some familiar faces to run through the pre-race routine with and I had a guaranteed cheering section once I came through the finish line, so I was happy.


Since it was a last minute addition to the training plan, I got some advice from coach to help with my race day game plan. Much to my dismay, he nixed the idea of tapering, but I at least had a few mental touch points to run through in my head while racing.

Don’t taper for it.  Just treat it like a regular run.  Definitely enjoy yourself, pay attention to nutrition, and especially pay attention to the ups and downs you feel as the race goes on.  Notice how after a down, there’s an up.  You must train yourself to not give in to the downs and to not go too hard during the ups.  Don’t get caught up in the moment and pay attention to yourself.  Do this and you’ll have an amazing run “experience” no matter how it goes and you’ll learn a lot about how you run.

It was pretty cloudy and cool, but was perfect weather for a run. The wind kicked up and almost blew me backwards as we ran along the beach during 4 or 5 times along the course, but otherwise it was a perfect day to race. I stuck almost exactly to an 8:50 pace all the way through mile 5 and gently cranked up the pace all the way to the finish.

Minus some cramping around mile 10 (which was helped out after I gumped down some water at the next aid station), everything went amazingly smooth. My favorite part about taking the first part of the race a little easy is all the people that you get to pass during the second half of the race! I made a point of cheering on anyone who looked like they were bonking and were walking, but every other person was my rabbit. I picked out anyone with a bright colored shirt (or crazy purple/animal print skirt in once case) off in the distance and slowly tried to reel them in.


And once again, the race plan worked like a charm! I crossed the finish line in 1:48:43 (unofficial). That averages to a 8:17 pace. That is almost two minutes faster than pretty much the same course in February, and without a taper. Sa-WEEEEEEEEEET!

And the best thing about this race? I topped it off with a nice dip in the ocean to cool off the legs and some cold beers.


And with one more hard workout/race in the books, I enter Taper Land. Population: ME!



Training Weekend 2009

May 19, 2009

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Training weekend totally beat me up this weekend.

After making the road trip up to Franconia, NH on Friday, I woke up bright and early and headed out with the team for a hard 90 mile ride with a belly full of fruit and pancakes.

Last year I stuck to the 60 mile route, but decided to step it up this year and go for the long route. It was definitely a good decision. There were 4 or 5 different groups that started along the same route. I was able to keep up pace with the “A” group for a while, which was a nice fitness test.

Up through the first climb, descending down the other side at around 49 mph (which was pretty slow because of all the wind) and half way through the climb up the Kangamangus, I was able to hang on to the caboose of the”A Train” led by speed freak Toby Wells. I even felt pretty good hanging on the back as we climbed, but once the climb started to get really steep, my HR got dangerously close to my lactate threshold and I had to drop off. Mile 30 is way too early to blow up on a 90 mile ride.

While I love the company of my teammates for the whole weekend, one of my favorite things about training weekend is the views from the road. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, waterfalls an moose crossing signs every few miles, I couldn’t be happier.

While the route was already hard enough, the wind made it pretty brutal. It was gusting around 30 or 40 mph at some points. And when you are heading up the side of a mountain at 12 mph, and a head wind gusting down your throat drops you down to 7 or 8, you just have to do anything you can to stay upright and keep the rubber side down.

Eventually we did get a few headwinds to take us home. We closed it off with just shy of 6 hours in the saddle. I averaged around 15.5 mph, which seems slow, but it sounded like the A group averaged only around 17 mph, so I didn’t feel so bad.

Views from my 90 mile ride:

The next morning me and hardcore climbing machine Andrea headed out to test the waters for a “swim.” Ther wasn’t much actual swimming involved. It was more of just splashing around until the nerve endings in my face died and stopped screaming in pain. Yeah, the water was somewhere between 50 and 52 degrees. And yes, that is snow on the top of the mountain behind us.

Eventually once my face went numb, I was able to keep pretty normal form. It was less for building my swim fitness and more of just getting used to racing in cold water, but it was definitely a success. This was my first time ever breaking out the booties for a swim. They made a HUGE difference. I love ’em, but I can’t wait for the water to warm up and I can leave them in the car.


The obligatory super hero flexing pose.


Andrea and I discovered this megaphone on the side of Echo Lake.The sign below it says:

“This megaphone was originally used by guests of the profile house around the turn of the century. Removed after the 1938 hurricane, the only one ever to come inland in N.H., it was discovered and reestablished in 1981. Listen and you shoudl be able to hear two distinct echos.”

Funny how people entertained themselves back in the day, eh? I could actually hear three distinct echos bouncing back from the mountain across from the pond. Fun times.


And remember that brutal head wind that I mentioned? Unfortunately not all of my Wheelworks team mates weren’t so lucky to keep the rubber side down. On the 60 mile ride, a big gust nocked down Natalie, and Sara went right into, and over, her. She ended up taking most of the impact to her face, but thankfully she ended up a lot better than the damage looked.

She had the best attitude throughout the whole thing. All smiles (or as much as she could muster up through the swelling) and jokes. And the whole team rallied around to help her out like a huge family. I love my team. 🙂

For the whole story, check out Sara’s blog post here. She is Bad Ass! She even had Natalie shoot some video of her on the backboard ad the hospital.

Crash Damage


Climbing and Descending

May 14, 2009

This weekend is the Wheelworks team training weekend. One of my favorite times of the triathlon season.

This year, I will be trying my luck with hardest bike workout I’ve ever attempted. Ninety miles along the Kancamangus Highway and over 5,000 feet of climbing.

kancamagus highway

I did a section of this course last year, but topped out at 60 miles, but the most fun part was the descents. I maxed out at 57 mph and can’t wait to fly down those hills again.

I even just outfitted my bike with new shifter cables and brake pads, just to be safe. So if you don’t hear from my by Monday night, come find me. I might be hanging off the edge of some cliff somewhere.


First Lactate Threshold Test of ’09

April 26, 2009

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With a last week as a rest week, I took it nice and easy, focused on settling into the new job and got ready for a FITNESS TEST! Woot Woot! After a few much needed days off to let the legs freshen up, I headed out for a nice hard 30 minute ride.

Coach Brett has me doing this lactate threshold test every three weeks or so as a benchmark of my fitness. To get some more info on the science behind it, super coach Joel Friel blogged about it here. The plan was that I warm up nice and easy then go all out TT style for 30 minutes, but reset my HRM and bike computer after 10 minutes, so I only collect data for the last 20 minutes. The average heart rate for that last 20 minutes is my lactate threshold heart rate, the point where my body produces more lactic acid than it can break down and it starts accumulating in my blood. The plan is to repeat this test every three weeks or so so that I have a pretty standardized way to track my progress.

I headed out to Concord to find some nice quiet roads and not worry about traffic, and hit it hard. I felt pretty quick, and even buzzed past my old pal Chris, who I hadn’t seen since the Rhode Island 70.3 last year. Unfortunately, there was no time to stop and chat. This guy was on a mission!

The last five minutes definitely hurt. It was a good sign that I was putting in a hard effort, but I may have dropped the pace a little. Maybe next time I’ll start a little easier to keep the pace a little more even. In the end here are the stats for my last 20 minutes.

Avg HR (Lactate Threshold): 173

Max HR: 181

Distance covered: 6.75 miles

Avg Speed: 20.3 mph

Max Speed: 31.2 mph

I’m no exercise physiologist, but my avg HR seems pretty high, in a good way. If the point where my body starts to accumulate lactic acid (173) is only 16 beats away from my max HR (around 189) that has to be pretty good, right? I’m a little disappointed that I only barely broke the 20mph barrier, but I guess it is still only April. I have plenty of time to build up some more speed.

Given that the 220 minus your age rule is crap (and there is no way that I can get my HR up to 195) I redid my HR zones based on these percentages that I got from my coach’s coach at Mike Ricci at D3 Multisport. Here is where I land now.

Zone 1: Recovery – 112-145 bpm
Also known as: Overdistance
Intensity: Very Low
% Lactate Threshold: 65%-84%
Zone 2: Endurance – 146 – 157 bpm
Also known as: Extensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate
% Lactate Threshold: 85%-91%
Zone 3: Lactate Threshold – 158 – 164 bpm
Also known as: Intensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate Plus
% Lactate Threshold: 92%-95%
Zone 4: VO2 Max Intervals – 165 – 173 bpm
Also known as: Anaerobic Threshold, Race/Pace
Intensity: Race/Pace
% Lactate Threshold: 96%-100%
Zone 5a: Threshold Endurance – 174 – 176 bpm
Also known as: Superthreshold
% Lactate Threshold: 100%-102%
Zone 5b: Anaerobic Endurance – 177 – 182 bpm
Also known as: Speed Endurance
% Lactate Threshold: 103%-105%
Zone 5c: Anaerobic Capacity – +183 bpm
Also known as: Power
% Lactate Threshold: 106%+

Stay tuned. I’ll be back on the same route three weeks from now to see how I’ve come along. Apparently the LTHR is completely different for running too, so I’ll have to test that seperately too.

And in case you want some more info on lactate threshold. This article was pretty good too.


Ice Bath Recovery Party

April 19, 2009

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I started off the day hanging out with @mangorunner @Runnermaniac and @CraigMacfarlane at the Boston marathon expo talking about using ice baths for recovery. After wandering around a bit and talking about race plans for the year I headed back home home for some lunch and a quick tempo run. Once I made it back home, I could officially call another hard two week training block done and in the books.

While I was filling up my tub with cold water and dumping in a few buckets of ice, I saw that Mandy and Miss Allycat have the same mindset and are jumping into a nice frozen bath of their own as well. I guess racing season is starting to warm up and everyone is getting into the same mindset! Eventhough we are all in different parts of the country, it was like I was having a little ice bath party knowing that my blogger buddies were taking the plunge too.

Last season I was a really big fan of hot epsom salt baths, but have officially converted to the dark (er… cold) side. Ice baths are WAY better. They are going to be a regular staple in my training now.

Icey Proof.


Want to see my “O” face?


The first minute are two is pretty rough, but once you suck it up and keep your body under water, it isn’t too bad and it actually starts to feel good. You know I’m a big geek, so I had to look up the science behind it. Apparently your muscles and blood vessels tighten and help get rid of lactic acid and other junk built up built up from workouts. I’ve been doing two 5-6 minute soaks with a few minutes to warm back up inbetween, then a nice warm shower after to avoid anything from getting too tight.

Here is a good article on ice baths that I found the other day.

I think I may need to start using more ice though, because after my second soak I got a little too comfortable and was just hanging out and sucking down my favorite recovery drink, chocolate soy milk.

MMMmmmm. Soy milk. Cheers!



Build Phase = Twinkie Nutrition

March 29, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at:


The snow has melted (almost), it actually rained this week instead of snowed and I heard thunder for the first time this year. Not only does that mean that winter is gone and spring is starting to bloom, but it is time to move from my base training phase to the build phase! More volume. More intensity. More hurtin’!

I am moving past that 5-10 hours per week to that 10-15 zone and it hurts. These past two weeks have slowly and systematically been tearing my legs off from my body. I’ve gotten two 50 mile rides in and it isn’t even April yet. I normally don’t get in this much riding this early in the season, but then again I don’t normally plan on doing a half ironman in the beginning of June. I guess it is at least good to know that my training is matching my race schedule. Makes sence, right? Haha.

During my long ride this weekend I cruised through one of my favorite routes from Concord, MA. Nice quiet farm land and cool little stuff like this old mill.

Besides wearing my calf compression sleeves almost constantly, and refilling the ice bucket repeatedly for another round of ice baths I’ve found that the build phase makes Jamie HUNGRY! My mid-workout nutrition is usually pretty good, but it seems like I just can’t take in enough calories during the rest of the day. I’ve cut back on a lot of things since losing my job, but food has not been one of them. I just couldn’t justify trying to get fitter and training for triathlons, but downgrading the fuel that I feed my body to keep it performing. It is almost like buying a new sports car and refusing to put anything but 87 grade gas in it, right?

But after multiple trips to the local butcher and Whole Foods in one week, I still am struggling to get in enough food. A whole box of chocolate chip cookies, a ton of fruit and enough PBnJ sandwiches to choke a donkey just aren’t cutting it. It even got to the point on Saturday that after a 55 mile tempo ride, I had to skip my swim workout because I was busy stuffing my face for so long that by the time I was done, the pool was closed. What gives?!

The good thing is that I’m at least not gaining any weight. I got a little worried once I ran out of fruit and veggies and started hitting the cookies, Ben & Jerry’s and danishes as if my body ran on fat and sugar alone. I guess that means I’m at least burning all those junk calories that I’m taking in, right? I also made the mistake of walking by the wall of snack cake deliciousness while at Target today. Twinkie the kid was calling my name and I couldn’t resist.

I inhaled three before I even left the parking lot, and another one on my way out the door for a 6 mile run. I was really expecting a stomach ache by mile 2, but it surprisingly worked out pretty well. I think they may be new replacement for GUs and Clif bars, I’m just saying….

Thankfully this next week is a rest week. Hopefully my eating habits don’t continue or else I’m going to blow up like a baloon and they’ll have to roll me across the finish line.