HFP Man’s MiamiMan Triathlon Build-up

(Scroll down for daily updates through November 11)
MIAMIMAN TRIATHLON HERE I COME!!!

MM-logoI’ve ended my season for the last 4-years in beautiful Miami, Florida at the MiamiMan Half Iron Triathlon.  It gives me an opportunity to actually build-up to an A race that I can accommodate with my schedule. With HFP’s race season over and my 3 to 4 day weekly travel days gone for another season I can now recapture some of the last 24 weekends I’ve missed training because of our race schedule.  During the regular HFP season my training is very limited and is strictly dedicated to racing the sprint distance triathlon. Lots of short hard sessions (and jumping in to race) mixed in between one longish Thursday ride that in August and September is nixed from my schedule too.  The main reason I blog about this build-up each year is for accountability.  All my training buddies have called it a season by now so it’s just me and my lonesome putting in the long miles on the quiet country roads of Licking County.   I’m counting on my blog readers to keep me accountable during this lonely build-up and if possible join me during some of the sessions.

I’m definitely a creature of habit and when things are working I tend to keep doing them. With that said; the only difference in my build-up over the next 5 weeks is going to be my near “OCD” attention to the stop watch.  In the past I’ve logged every workout on the clock and it’s been nice to see the workout times getting faster. However, that puts a significant amount of pressure on me during what could be a wonderful Fall build-up. It’s been a long season and I want to enjoy this build-up more. So…this season I’m going to forgo the stop watch for the first 2 weeks of LSD training and then break it out for a final 3 weeks to polish off the build-up…just to make sure the training is still on track.

My last 3 years have been a very positive progression (see results history) at the MiamiMan Triathlon BUT I’ve yet to have the race that I consider is up to my full potential. Though I’ve gotten older…I feel I’ve gotten stronger in my 40’s. 2009 was the first try at finishing the season with a longer race and I felt after that I was not prepared and my 4:53:31 (11th overall – 3rd Masters) showed the lack of training…as well as some serious time in the medical tent after the finish.  2010 was much better and my 4:26:17 got me the OA masters title and 4th overall. In 2011 I felt I had a near perfect race until the final lap of the run and though my 4:25:26 (2nd OA – 1st Master) was faster than 2010 I felt my run could of been a good 10 minutes faster.  
Podium-MMI limped into the 2012 MiamiMan build-up with a sore/tight/probably injured left hammy and packing too many kilos.  Conditions were brutal on the bike with super high winds along with the elite men being directed off course which cost me another 8 or so minutes on the bike. My 4:40:35 (2nd OA – 1st Master) was a hard fought finish and left me looking for redemption for 2013.

So here I begin…the last week of September was a slight build in my training as I got in three 40k bike/5k run sessions in a row before I left for Deer Creek State Park and started setting up for the Fall Challenge.

Sunday, September 29th 2013 –  I raced in the Olympic triathlon to force myself to get in some longer harder miles. Somehow I had some good legs on race day and was able to hang with fellow Master & über biker Dan Peyton after he caught me after lap one.  It was nice to just sit back 20-30 yards and pace off of Dan. It allowed me to relax a bit not being the pacemaker on the second lap. On to the run I expected Dan to come blowing by me as he crushed me on the bike & run at Great Buckeye. However, Dan seemed content to let me set the pace and I obliged happily.  Dan had an untimely cramp hit him right as we made the Olympic turn around and I was able to pull away slightly and take the Masters title in 2:06:50.

Monday, September 30th 2013 – Massage Monday! Much needed RnR today and my Monday massage.

Tuesday, October 1st 2013 – Attempted to ride my TT bike but I’ve been having issues with the headset and it locking up on me. Got through a frustrating hour of riding before calling it quits. I’ve had is fixed twice in the last month and it seems like it will need worked on again.  Slammed down some food and jumped on my road bike and enjoyed a solid 40k ride in the hills of Licking County.  Just an awesome day to be out riding. I finished the ride on a very high note from my earlier frustrations.

Wednesday, October 2nd 2013 – BIG RIDE WEDNESDAY – Doing the Canyon Road Finish 115k Loop today on my road bike. After the first 55k on the bike I was about done riding that bike. I just don’t spend enough time on that bike to ride too much more. I opted for the final 65k on my TT bike even though it was steering quite bad. The heat of the day was nearing 80+ which was a nice surprise but it caught up to me with just 10k left and with zero nutrition left…a major bonk ensued as I barely made it back home. Two cokes later and entire blender of smoothie and I was just fine 🙂

Thursday, October 3rd 2013 – Today was supposed to be an easier recovery day of swim & P90x but I had a morning meeting at Miami University in Oxford which allowed me to take my TT bike for a visit with Bob Duncan at Go Fast Multisport. After a quick check Bob found a pretty destroyed headset bearing which was the reason my bike was steering like a tank. After the quick fix and a test ride in the parking lot, which Bob demonstrated how balanced the steering was by riding the bike with no hands, I was off to Caesar Creek for my planned swim workout. However, I was pretty excited about having the TT bike back so I jumped on cranked out a 40k brisk ride on the old Caesar Creek Olympic bike course. With the long ride from yesterday catching up to me along with being travel weary I opted for an easy 1000 yard recovery swim in the lake following the ride.  Friday is the first BIG FRIDAY workout (2x 40k bike/10k run + another 40k bike) of the build-up and I’m a little concerned that my legs will not be quite ready for the workout.  We’ll find out soon enough!

Friday, October 4th 2013 – BIG WORKOUT FRIDAY – I knew it would be tough to get through the entire workout today with some untimely meetings scheduled for late morning and at lunch time. Of course the lunch meeting went much longer than anticipated (for good reasons) and I did not get started with my first ride until nearly 3:00pm with big rain clouds moving my direction. The workout consist of a bike ride on the Buster Douglas 40k course (the course passes by the champs Quick Jab ranch) followed by the Big Friday 10k. With the late start I decided to go with just 5k runs to try to get it all in before sunset. After the first 40k ride (1:11) I headed out for the 5k run as the rain started. I was actually quite happy with the rain as it was 83 degrees and quite humid when I started.TT-bars I’ve made some significant changes on my front end of my TT bike which has lowered me about 1 inch and brought me back another inch. The end results is relaxed hands and my butt is actually sitting on the seat instead of the nose of the seat.  This has given me more power and added comfort which will keep me in the aero position longer.  However, it is engaging some muscles that have not been used much before and on the run my legs felt pretty smoked. The second bike was a faster (1:09) which was during a driving rain which for some reason made the ride more enjoyable to me. The fastest I’ve recorded on this course is 1:08 so I was pretty stoked to have hit this mark so early in my build-up.  I know…I’m keeping track of my times something I said earlier I would not do.  I can’t help it on the bike, I really do enjoy pushing the pace for time. However, I’ll leave my watch off for the runs until I get some more fitness.  The last 5k was pretty tough as my legs were gone…pretty happy I was not doing the entire workout.  I called it quits after the final run since the sun was setting and I was pretty tired anyway.  It was a good 3+ hour effort.  Not too bad of start for my first BIG FRIDAY WORKOUT.

Saturday, October 5th 2013 – Easy 2k open water recovery swim in the morning.  I was still feeling the effort from Friday during the swim.  Later in the afternoon did a P90x Chest & Back workout.  It’s been a couple of months away from P90x and I can really tell I lost some strength. Looking forward to getting back some of this strength during the build-up.

Sunday, October 6th 2013 – LSD Run at Lobdell Reserve – Lobdell Reserve is my traditional venue for the LSD runs and with my longest run of the season being the 10k at the close of the Deer Creek Fall Challenge I was a little concerned how my body would adapt to the longer distance.Trail-photo I just love this place for a spiritual get-a-way. I generally rarely see another human being during my run and I just find a great spiritual connection to God when I’m running here. I started off listening to some Toby Mac for some early motivation and then towards the end when I started to struggle Mandisa brought me home. Right when I was really struggling “Overcomer” gave me a second wind and I was just flying at the end. Just a little over 2 hours and 30 minutes for my first LSD run of the build-up.  I was very pleased with how my body held up during the run. I only fell one time and landed in the push-up position so it was a good day.  The creek was still very warm and my normal post run soak did not have much therapeutic benefit but it was nice to just chill out and enjoy the serenity of the rippling creek.

Monday, October 7th 2013 – MASSAGE MONDAY – After a hard week of training nothing like starting the beginning of the week with a massage. This is just as important as any other key workout and key element to my build-up. Later in the afternoon enjoyed a P90X workout with my two boys.  There was lots of giggling and complaining but they both got through the entire workout.

Tuesday, October 8th 2013 – RUN TEST TUESDAY – The day started off with my first visit to my Masters 60min swim practice since last May. It may of had something to do with the 41 degree air temperature when I woke up that convinced me BUT I also was missing human interaction and this provides a great fun group to swim with. Today is also my first run test of the build-up. This is a great way to see where I’m at AND BTW I pretty much decided to throw out the whole idea about not timing myself. I’m just a data geek and want to know where I stand. So…from here on out all my bike & run times will be reported. The course is a slightly long 15k with lots of hills…perfect test course.  I warmed up 20 minutes on my CompuTrainer to get the legs good and warm and took off at what seemed like an easy pace. My breathing was not labored and I was feeling great! My legs felt zero fatigue as I passed through 5k right at 21 minutes then clipped along past 10k feeling the same and not until the final 2k when I was pushing the pace did my legs feel the effort. I finished in 1:03:40 (6:46 pace) which was my fastest first run test of my last three recorded build-ups. Ah yes another reason to collect data…this brought a nice smile to my face as I jumped back on my CompuTrainer for a 20 minute cool down.

Wednesday, October 9th 2013 – BIG RIDE WEDNESDAY – Today was my first big ride on the TT bike (the entire ride) set up with my new X-Lab Torpedo System installed and riding long in the new aero position. side-tt-bikeThe X-Lab System replaces the NeverReach System that I’ve used the last 3-years.  The X-Lab System is unbelievable and very compact.  It fit perfect the first time I installed it (in only 15 minutes) and I did not need to change anything during the ride.  Today I hammered the first 2 hours of the Canyon Road Finish 115k loop.  I felt really strong and the bike now fits me perfect. No undercarriage issues or hot spots…the bike just felt amazing the entire ride.  At 2.5 hours I ran out of fuel and had a top-tt-bikebad patch for the next 20 minutes until I found an apple tree along the road. I smashed down a couple of small apples and came back to life and finished strong.  I rode the 115k course in 3:37 and I’m looking forward to dialing in my nutrition on this course during the next front-tt-bike4 rides on this course.

Today I also got a supply of Cytomax which is the on course nutrition for MiamiMan and since the X-Lab System only holds about 1.5 bottles of fluid I will need to take on nutrition from the aid stations on the course. I’ll give it a try for the first time on my Big Friday Workout and give you a full report. I did try out the bottle refuel system on the X-Lab today with some water and it was super easy to refill on the fly.  It took about 10 seconds to dump a bottle in.

Thursday, October 10th 2013 – Today started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim workout. I’m really enjoying being back in the pool.  I’ve made a decision to go to 4 workouts a week through the rest of the build-up. This should give me some added overall fitness and make me a little sharper for the swim AND maybe I can pick up a minute or two from last year.  Later this afternoon with be a P90x Core Synergistic workout, which is my favorite of all P90x workouts (including P90x2).

TT-bike-discI also made the decision today to ride my Profile disc during the race this year. A little background on my relationship with Profile. Profile was a long-time proud sponsor of HFP Racing and myself but a sudden change in their sponsor director position at the beginning of 2013 and I was forced to go with another company this season.  Unfortunately Team HFP had already ordered our 2013 uniforms and Profile is still showing as our sponsor…but they are NOT a sponsor. 2XU signed a 3-year deal with HFP Racing in July and you’ll start seeing their brands (and special offers) on our website soon.  Additionally, Team HFP and all HFP Staff apparel will be 2XU through 2016.  I have been racing in a 2XU wetsuit for most of the season and will at the MiamiMan.  At the end of last year I received a nice surprise gift from Profile just after Christmas…a new Profile disc.  I did not even know they were making them so I was pretty excited. However, because our deal with Profile ended shortly thereafter I was not too excited to race on it, plus the wheel seemed a little heavy for most of the HFP courses. I set it aside in my workout room to collect dust.  However, during the last few weeks I’ve been doing lots of “tri-geek” type of reading online and came across a nice article on “Disc Wheel vs Deep Dish Wheel”. I read it with great interest and could not deny after reading this that on a flat course a disc wheel is going to blow away any other deep dish wheel. The longer the race the bigger the benefit. Since I’m already tweaking my bike setup to go faster, it sure makes sense to go with the disc.  I decided to give it a full test ride during my Big Friday workout so I can get used to the feel and sound of the wheel. A full update will follow.

Friday, October 11th 2013 – BIG FRIDAY WORKOUT – Today not only served as my first complete Big Friday Workout but also a test for the disc wheel discussed on Thursday.  I was super excited to try out the wheel setup and took off at race pace for the first Buster Douglas 40k bike loop. The bike felt very fast and was climbing better than my other wheel setup. That was a nice surprise. I knew I was riding at or close to a PR pace on the ride but when I looked down and saw 1:06:20 I was totally blown away.  A full two minute PR for this course and that was enough for me to know I would be riding at disc at MiamiMan. The first Big Friday 10k was a perfectly paced 42:10 (6:45 pace).  That is what I want to average on race day. The key to that happening is for the Big Friday 10k’s both to get to 6:30 pace or under.  The second Buster Douglas 40k bike was very windy and I got caught behind a huge combine for a half mile before he kindly pulled over to allow me to pace. I was pleased with 1:09:20 for the second bike as this was the fastest time last week.  The second Big Friday 10k was going pretty good to the turn around as I was less than one minute off my first 10k time. However, soon after the wheels starting to come off and my pace slowed considerably to finish in 45:26 (7:18 pace). This of course was expected and very normal for the first Big Friday Workout…I simply don’t have in the run miles yet. However, I’ll bet next Friday will show significant improvement. The final Buster Douglas 40k bike was pretty much at parade lap pace (1:13:30) but it was a huge sense of accomplishment to get through this workout. I got started at 11:20am and wrapped things up a little after 5:00pm. A very blue collar workout for sure. I also was able to test out my nutrition for the race and cranked down 7 bottles of Cytomax, 1 Coke and 1 low-carb Monster along with 2 granola bars and 1 Clif Bar. I never has any issue with energy levels or stomach issues the entire workout.  It looks like Cytomax will work just fine for me during the race.  I’m not a huge fan of the taste and much prefer the simple taste of Infinit Nutrition products but with Cytomax on the course I need to be able to digest the nutrition available on race day.

Saturday, October 12th 2013 – It was quite a challenge getting out of bed for an early morning 60min Masters swim practice but after the workout I was feeling really good.  My tired and stiff body from the hard workout on Friday was now loosened up.  After watching the first part of the Ironman World Championship Live online I was motivated to get out on the bike.  For the first 30 minutes the ride was a recovery ride as my legs were still pretty tired from Friday but soon after my legs starting feeling good and I cranked out a pretty snappy 1:40 ride to close out the day.

Sunday, October 13th 2013 – LSD Run at Lobdell Reserve – I started off the day with another early morning 60min Master swim practice before I took the family to church today. Then when I returned from church my buddies Todd Ricketts, Curt Haywood and Mark Lemmon joined me at Lobdell Reserve for a large portion of the run today.  The good conversation and laughs helped the first 1:45 go by quickly and after saying our goodbyes I headed back on the trail for another 45 minutes.  The last 20 minutes my feet were telling me “No Mas” as I was feeling the cumlitive effect of a very hard week of training.  I’m looking forward to Massage Monday 🙂
Ending Week Totals:
Swim – 12,000+ yards
Bike – 198 miles
Run – 39.8 miles

Monday, October 14th 2013 – MASSAGE MONDAY – Easy day today with a massage scheduled for later in the afternoon. My regular therapist was not available today and I had a therapist that was much stronger and used a much deeper massage technique. We’ll see how I recover from that on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 15th 2013 – RUN TEST TUESDAY – Started the day off with a early morning 60min Masters swim practice.  Later in the morning I warmed up for 30 minutes on my CompuTrainer and during the warm up I could tell my massage went too deep. The inside of my thighs felt sore and tight.  Off on to the slightly long 15k for the run test I was feeling good and passed the 5k mark in a little over 20 minutes (6:30 pace) and hit the 10k mark a little over the 40 minute mark keeping the 6:30 pace going. However, I hit a bad patch between 10k and 12.5k when my legs felt pretty beat up.  With a little less than 3k to go my legs came back around and I finished up in 1:03:10 (6:43 pace). An improvement on last Tuesday and a good sign of increased fitness. I think if my normal massage therapist would of been available on Monday this run test would of held up closer to the 6:30 pace I was holding through 10k.  No worries though…it was still good progress.

Wednesday, October 16th 2013 – BIG RIDE WEDNESDAY – I knew today was going to be a good ride based on how my legs felt on the bike during the cool down ride on Tuesday. The biking legs were feeling good then and with a good nights sleep the legs felt even stronger today.  Mild temps (66 degrees) and overcast skies with light rain greeted me at the start of the ride and favorable winds (tailwind for last 20k).  dirtylegsFor some reason I always enjoy riding in the rain (when it’s warm). I enjoy the constant cleaning of the body from sweat and road grime…it makes me feel fast.  However, around 40k into my ride I past a large farm that was hauling cow crap and along with cow crap a huge amount of mud covered the road making for a very dangerous half mile of riding. When I got past the farm I was covered from head to toe with mud/crap and my poor bike looked like I was riding on a mountain bike course. For some reason this was really bothering me…I guess if you look slow you ride slow. About 10k later I passed a small creek and jumped in the creek to clean up.  I brought down an empty water bottle and filled that up to clean off the bike.  After getting my bike back to looking fast I jumped back on and dropped the hammer.  I learned my lesson last week after have the mega bonk so I brought enough nutrition (two Cytomax bottles, 2 Cliff Block packages & 1 Energy Beans package) and felt strong throughout. Matter of fact as I got close to the end of my 115k loop I decided to ride on and took the long way home from Granville. The total ride time was 4:08 for 128k. My legs felt strong the entire ride today. The photo above shows the dirt line still evident on my legs after the ride.

Thursday, October 17th 2013 – RECOVERY THURSDAY – Today started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim practice.  I finally have adjusted to the early wake up call and was the first person in the parking lot today and the first person in the pool.  Later in the afternoon I spun my legs out on the CompuTrainer for 30 minutes then I did my extended version of P90X Chest & Back.  My version of this workout consist of 12 x 20 push ups, 12 x 15 pull ups, 12 x 15 Swimmers Press, and the 12 Ab Ripper X exercises. I do them in a circuit as quickly as I can then move right on to the next set with no rest. I did the entire routine in under 40 minutes.

Friday, October 18th 2013 – BIG FRIDAY WORKOUT – Today’s workout started early as I am speaking to the Cincinnati Christian Academy Football Team before their game today. I needed to be on the road by 1:30pm.  The problem with starting early is the air temp was just 38 degrees when I started on my first Buster Douglas 40k bike and I was bundled up to keep from freezing. Wearing all those clothes always slows the pace but it was beautiful and I finished up with a 1:11 for the first effort…not too bad.  walking-in2Out on to the Big Friday 10k my feet were solid blocks of ice until mile 3 but I kept a steady pace to the end and finished in 42:50 (6:54 pace). I knew today would be a slow day due to the weather so I was just trying to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. The second Buster Douglas 40k bike was a bit faster in 1:10 as the morning warmed up a bit. However, out on to the final Big Friday 10k I was amazed to again be dealing with frozen feet.  This time though the feet came back to life around the 2k mark but my pace was slower than I wanted as I just could not get myself going on the second run and finished in 45:04 (7:16 pace). With little time to spare I jumped on the CompuTrainer for a quick 10 miles and called it a day.  Another Big Friday Workout down and two to go 🙂

Saturday, October 19th 2013 – RECOVERY SATURDAY – Today started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim and then a pretty chill day with the family.  Later in the afternoon I jumped on the CompuTrainer for a 10 mile spin then I did the extended version of P90X Chest & Back which consists of 12 x 20 push ups, 12 x 15 pull ups, 12 x 15 Swimmers Press, and the 12 Ab Ripper X exercises.

Sunday, October 20th 2013 – LSD Run at Lobdell Reserve – Today started off with a tough early morning 60min Masters practice that featured 9 x 200 on 3:30 for the main set. I was pretty wiped when I finished and the rest of the team continued to swim another 30 minutes (and 6 more 200’s). Due to the Columbus Marathon today many of the regulars did not attend practice as they were running this morning – a perfect weather day in Columbus for a marathon today.  in-the-creekMy wife Jennifer was not feeling well so the family skipped church and I headed over the reserve a couple hours earlier than normal.  There was still a chill in the air but the sun was out with calm winds. I was super excited to have good legs for the run today. The past 3 LSD runs have been really tough on my legs during the last 60 minutes of the run. The course I run is about 55-60 minutes for one lap and I’d yet to get in more than 2.5 laps. Last week that took me 2hr-40min.  Today my leg turnover stayed strong throughout the run and I was able to complete all 3 laps in 2hr-46min.  With the exception of my feet feeling a little worn out my legs felt very good at the end.  This is a good sign of increased fitness and I’m looking forward to seeing how my run times come down next week.  After the run I jumped in the creek for a 3 minutes soak of the legs.  The water was very cold and it did not take long for my legs to go numb.  Perfect way to end the day!
Ending Week Totals:
Swim – 12,000+ yards
Bike – 182 miles
Run – 42.8 miles

Monday, October 21st 2013 – MASSAGE MONDAY – A nice easy recovery day today along with my Monday Massage.  I was able to get back with my normal therapist so that should help with my Tuesday Run Test. Legs felt great when I woke up this morning. That is a very good sign. The weather outlook for my last two weeks of the build-up looks pretty sketchy with highs only in the low 40’s.  I may have to retreat for some of my riding indoors so I can keep getting acclimated for the heat I’ll encounter in Miami.

Tuesday, October 22nd 2013 – RUN TEST TUESDAY – Today started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim practice. The best I’ve felt in the water all year today. Super good feel for the water and it just seemed easy today.  Super excited about my fitness gains in the swim.  This should set me up nicely in Miami for an even stronger bike ride.  I patiently waited for a UPS shipment until 3:00pm as I wanted to debut my next Scott running shoes that I will be racing in during the run test today. However, with no package arriving I needed to get on with my workout.  I jumped on my CompuTrainer for a nice brisk 30min warm-up then threw on the old racing flats and headed out on to the slightly long 15k for the run test.  My legs felt awesome and the pace felt easy right from the get go. I ran through 5k at 20 minutes (6:26 pace), then motored through the crazy hilly section and hit 10k just above 40 minutes (6:31) and paced up the long (and slow) half mile climb after feeling strong despite a significant drop in pace (I hate this section).  The last two miles were run in 6:23 pace for a total of 1:01:55 (6:35 pace).  I felt awesome today and being able to run the last two miles below 6:30 pace says a great deal of where my fitness level is at. scott-shoesI immediately jumped back on the trainer for another 30min spin to cool down the legs AND would you know it as soon as I got off my bike in pulls UPS with my new shoes…Oh well probably better to use them in my final run test when I want to see my fastest time anyway.  It would of been a bummer to go out today and post a time that next week I could not beat. That would mess with my head going into the taper week.

Wednesday, October 23rd 2013 – BIG RIDE WEDNESDAY – I woke up this morning to cold temps and sleet! Yikes – no way was I going to ride outside today. This was OK as the last 3 seasons during the MiamiMan build-up I’ve done at least one long ride inside. I believe these rides toughen you up and can add some quality miles to the build-up. For this ride, just as in past years, I broke up the ride into 3 x 60 minutes with each hour broke up with 40 minutes at or above race pace, then 20 minutes at a cruising/recovery pace. I set the Computrainer on a flat & fast course and planned for the first 40 minutes to be at 25mph or above, the second 40 minutes at 25.5mph or above and then a final killer 40 minutes at 26mph or above. The cruising pace was between 23-24mph.  I got a couple movies from Redbox and set up an aid station next to my trainer and off I went. The first set was hard as it was tough getting used to the constant pace indoors.  Then the second set went by quickly and the final (and fastest) set was really tough. I needed to talk myself through the last 15 minutes but cranked it out and felt pretty awesome completing such a tough workout.

Thursday, October 25th 2013 – RECOVERY THURSDAY – The day started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim practice.  I was still feeling pretty worked over from my Wednesday ride. That ride was much harder than I remember from previous build-ups.  Later in the afternoon I spun out my legs for 30 minutes on the CompuTrainer then did my extended version of P90X Chest & Back which consists of 12 x 20 push ups, 12 x 15 pull ups, 12 x 15 Swimmers Press, and the 12 Ab Ripper X exercises.

Friday, October 26th 2013 – BIG FRIDAY WORKOUT – My busy workout schedule got interrupted by work today ;). I had an untimely mid-day meeting and knew it would be impossible to get the workout in before so I did not get started until 1:30pm.  I just wrapped up the workout at 6:15pm this evening.  The weather was too cold for me to ride outside so I brought in an indoor heater and heated up my workout room to 80 degrees.  I had to cut the workout a little short today due to my meeting. CT-profileThe workout was a 30k indoor ride followed by a Big Friday 10k, then another 30k indoor ride and a final Big Friday 10k then one more 30k indoor ride.  Since it was shorter I decided to smash the 30k bike rides all at or above race pace.  Super excited about the results today.  I really had to climb deep into the pain box on the last 30k bike but ended up feeling great at the increasing the pace significantly during the last 5k of the final ride. The first 10k was 40:12 (6:28 pace) and then the final 10k was just a tad slower at 41:13 (6:37 pace).  I actually felt much better on the second 10k the the first – a good sign of increased fitness.

Saturday, October 26th 2013 – RECOVERY SATURDAY – Today started off with a early morning 60min Masters swim practice. I was still feeling Friday’s workout and came home really tired. I decided I needed to take the rest of the day off as I’m going to the watch the Buckeye play tonight.

Sunday, October 27th 2013 – LSD Run at Lobdell Reserve – Late night last night as the Buckeyes smashed Penn State 65 to 14.  It took us an hour to get out of the parking garage and I did not get to bed until almost 2am.  There was NO way I was getting up to swim today.  Trail-photo2Later in the morning I spun on the CompuTrainer for 30 minutes to warm up my legs then headed over to the reserve for my run.  My legs felt good and I completed 3 laps a couple minutes faster than last week (2:44).  The second lap I took a pretty good header when my foot caught a root and send me head over heals.  I landed good and rolled out of it pretty good.  It was a nice wake up call and got me refocused for the rest of the run. After the run I finished up with a leg soak in the creek. It took only about 2 minutes before my legs were totally numb.

Ending Week Totals:
Swim –
9,000+ yards
Bike –
171 miles
Run –
42.8 miles

Monday, October 28th – MASSAGE MONDAY – Took it real easy today and after the morning massage just got myself caught up in the office. No other workouts today.

Tuesday, October 29th – RUN TEST TUESDAY – Started the day off with an early morning 60min Masters swim practice.  It was good to have my teammate Craig Richardson back in our lane for the first time since his assault of the Ironman World Championships in Kona (sub 10:30).  Later in the morning I warmed up for 30min on the CompuTrainer to get ready for the run test. My legs were feeling very fresh and ready to go.  The goal today was to feel really comfortable the entire slightly long 15k with no bad spots – this will be a good indication that I am ready to go.  The first 5k went by very easily in 20:12 (6:30 pace) and then I was at 41:10 (6:37 pace) at the 10k mark.  From 5k to 10k is just brutally hilly and it is always tough getting though this section without slowing down.  Though I slowed down I felt strong the entire time during this section.  In my previous blog posts on Run Test Tuesdays I incorrectly was reporting 10k times at mile 6.05. With 2 miles to go I was at 39:10 and finished up at 1:01:15 (6:30 pace).  I crushed the last two miles at 6:02 pace and felt great at the end. I could of easily ran another 10k but instead headed in for a 30min cool down on the CompuTrainer.

Wednesday, October 30th 2013 – BIG RIDE WEDNESDAY – Since this is my last long ride of the build-up the plan was to ride the first 2:15 at race pace then back off and cruise on in for the rest of the Canyon Road Finish 115k loop.  Dinner-photoThis course is tough but I had good legs today.  I was smashing the bike through 2:15 and decided to keep it going and see if I could get a PR on this course (3:37). I backed off a little but keep pushing the pace strong and blew away my PR by 9 minutes. Total time of 3:28. I earned the meal pictured here.  BTW – get this served to you at Day Y Noche in downtown Granville, Ohio. It’s the Taco Bowl minus the bowl, meat and sour cream. Mmmmm….

Thursday, October 31st 2013 – RECOVERY THURSDAY – HAPPY HALLOWEEN – I started off with an early morning 60min Masters swim practice then wrapped up the day with about half of my normal P90x Chest & Back workout due to time constraints.

Friday, November 1st 2013 – BIG FRIDAY WORKOUT – Today was the last big workout of the build-up and after today I now know I’m ready to go.  I usually back off a little of the mileage for the last Big Friday Workout as part of the taper but with the amazing mid-60 degree day and lots of sunshine how could I back off much. It was just too nice out today. The workout was 40k bike/5k x 3.  The first Buster Douglas 40k bike went very well and I smashed the second best time ever of 1:07 on the course then posted a 20:03 5k (6:27 pace) on the Big Friday 5k course to finish out set #1. 5k-elevationThe Big Friday 5k is a beast…basically a gradual up hill for 1:55 miles then turn around. It’s so tough going out I can usually negative split the course by almost a minute coming back. The second Buster Douglas 40k bike felt even better than the first one and I finished just one minute slower (1:08) with strong winds now blasting out on the course. Out on to the Big Friday 5k course my legs felt much better than the first run and it showed with a strong 19:49 split (6:22 pace).  In all the years of using this bike course for the Big Friday Workout I’ve never got 3 bike splits under 1:10.  So as I headed out for the third Buster Douglas 40k bike I was going to push the pace and see if I could come in under 1:10.  The winds picked up even more and it required some serious effort to keep the pace going.  I got back to the house just a few seconds under 1:10…I was super pumped.  Now for the Trifecta…could I negative split another 5k even with 120k of hard riding and two hard 5k’s under my belt? I’ll have to tell you the last 40k had me feeling pretty smashed. I grabbed a regular coke and a few caffeinated Sport beans and headed out the door.  I got to the turn around at 10:20…this was going to be tough. I really wanted it and I just finished reading IronWar (for the 4th time) and I remembered Dave Scott’s favorite saying – “See what you can do”. I just said it out loud as I made the turn and put the hammer down. I hit the finish for 5k #3 in 19:33 (6:17 pace). I averaged 5:56 pace from the turn around to hit that time.  I was totally pumped and was fist pumping all the way down the drive way.  I knew I better cool down so I ran a few laps in the woods with my dogs before I called it a day. I AM READY! BRING ON THE TAPER.

Saturday, November 2nd 2013 – RECOVERY SATURDAY – Started off with an early morning  60min Masters swim practice today.  I cut out 10 minutes early to justify my taper 🙂 bike-boxThe rest of the day was total chill hanging with the family and packing up my bike and getting all the other final racing items packed.
Sunday, November 3rd 2013 – LSD Run at Lobdell Reserve – I started off the morning with another Masters swim practice. I stayed in the pool through the first two main sets and got out after 45 minutes.  My feel for the water is awesome right now. Buddies-after-runLater in the morning was my last LSD run of the build-up. My good buddies Mark Lemmon and Curt Haywood joined me to give me a proper send off to Miami.  We enjoyed some lively banter and conversation thoroughly enjoying this beautiful fall day. A reduced total run time of 1:50. Legs felt great!  Enjoying the taper 🙂

November 4 – November 9th – IT’S RACE WEEK – Well the work has been done and the taper has been started.  I thought I give myself some grades for how my build-up went this year and do some comparisons to past years.   THE SWIM: I’m going to give myself an A for the swim. This is the most time I’ve ever spent in the pool leading up to the MiamiMan Triathlon is all five years. Most years I’ve swam outside until it was dangerously cold and maybe did a couple weeks of Masters swimming. However, this year I decided to go with total quality + quantity and swam almost exclusively with the New Albany Ohio Masters Team lead by our coach Chris Birnbrich.  My feel for the water and swim fitness is at an all-time high. I don’t expect to necessarily have a significant PR in the swim but I do expect my swim fitness to help me with the early K’s of the bike ride – coming out of the water feeling fresh will help me put the hammer down sooner on the bike. THE BIKE: I’m going to give my self an A+ on the bike. With the new bike position I tweaked early in the build-up, which is much more aero and with bike PR’s on all of my build-up courses (even in very strong wind), I feel that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been for the bike.  If conditions are good on race day I’m hoping to break my PR of 2:16 from 2011, with the ultimate goal of being around the 2:12 mark. Wind conditions play a HUGE role in this being possible but with my recent enhancements of my aero position I’m pumped for whatever Mother Nature throws my way. THE RUN: For the run I’m going to give myself a B, maybe a B+.  It’s just so hard to get in really good run shape in under 5 weeks when during the previous 4 months my longest run was the 10k at Great Buckeye and the Deer Creek Fall Challenge.  I was able to ramp up to 40+ miles a week but unlike my cycling workouts that felt effortless when I had the hammer down, the hard run workouts…felt hard. Though my times on the test courses were all better than 2012, I just felt like the run workouts were tougher than they should of been in week 4 & 5. But the reality is, it’s just not possible to ramp up the mileage that fast and not feel beat up.  So a B is where I stand.  Regardless of that letter grade I still feel that my best run is ready to come out on Sunday, November 10th.  2012 was a total head-case race because of the course error, 2011 was a silly nutrition mistake on the bike that lead to early cramping, 2010 was blahh, blahh blahh…another lame excuse for a slow run.  SO…it’s time to kick some butt on the run. I’m lighter and leaner than I’ve been for any of these build-ups and I know it’s just a matter of keeping it all together on the second lap of the run.

I’ll be heading to Miami with the family this year…I surprised them last week with their tickets.  So the Kurek household is excited for the upcoming trip to Miami.  We’re leaving on Wednesday afternoon and staying in Miami Beach.  To keep posted on the trip and for near live race updates (via my wife Jennifer) follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shannon.kurek.

When I return from the race I’ll provide a detailed race report of how things played out.

Bring it!

Shannon Kurek
aka HFP Man

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