Saturday, April 11, 2009


For those of you with families and a few years of triathlon under your belt, you'll understand. We get so friggin' wrapped up in ourselves that we cheat the really important things and people in our lives. Every year or two I need to "get my suspenders snapped" to get back to the way things should be. That happened about 10 days ago, and it was very appropriate. Sure, I've learned and improved over the years, but it's still an issue. I spend so much time and mental energy doing and planning for workouts and races that even when I'm home, I'm on the road.

So something(s) had to change. For training, I'm cutting back to a maximum of 10 hours per week. [Keep in mind my target race is USAT Nationals, an Olympic distance, not an IM.] Think about that. 10 hours. How can you pack in three sports, varying distances and intensities, plus lifting, and do it all in 10 hours? It's actually a facinating exercise. It forces you to focus on making every workout have a specific purpose. It gets rid of the empty miles and yards. It gives you more rest during the week, allowing for a higher intensity. The big risk with this is the possibility of injury due to fewer recovery miles. I'll just have to be careful with that. My default schedule is to have Wednesday mornings and all day Sunday off. Tuesdays and Thursdays only have one workout. I'm sure that my best coach ever, Tufts Swimming Coach Don Megerle, would approve. He believes in quality, not quantity.

This was my second week of track intervals. Last week was 6 x 1/2 mile, then this week was 10 x 1/4 mile. If you have a chance, read Running With the Legends: Training and Racing Insights from 21 Great Runners by Michael Sandrock. The two big takeaways are track intervals and trail running.

Today I had a great brick, and I could feel the benefit of the track intervals, even if it's mental at this point and not physiological. I started with a 1:45 bike on the trainer (I'm getting tired of this.........). The last hour was supposed to be race pace-ish. I averaged 246 watts, a hair better than Mooseman last year, and a whole lot better than any workouts before mid June. Cool. After a long transition, about 8 minutes, I hit the road. I have a 6.2 mile loop from the house, and know right where 3 miles is. To be fair, it's an overall decline of about 150 feet. I pegged it from the start, and hit 3 miles at 19:09. Double cool.

While I still occasionally feel my rib injury, I can swim hard without a problem. This week went much better, so there's hope. On Wednesday we head to Orlando to visit Mickey and then we go on the cruise ship. No biking or swimming for nine days. Just a few laps around Seven Seas Lagoon- in 70 degrees! I'm not too concerned about the missed time, as long as I don't eat and drink twelve times the calories I burn.

For those of you in the Portland area, we discovered a great restaurant in Freeport- Buck's Naked BBQ in Freeport. Great food, quantities, beer and prices. It's also very friendly for kids. Maybe we should have lunch there after Polarbear.


  1. Those are some very very nice splits - especially that 19:00 run. Sweet!

  2. 10 hours a week, huh? Steve--the guilt meter just shot up like 10 fold for me.... :) I did 18 last week! (does it count, though, if many of those hours are BEFORE the fam. even wakes up????)

    I think Ange had it right in a blog post a few weeks back when she talked about making every moment with them count--since she had fewer moments to give, given training.

    Running hard and fast (track/tempo/fartlek--whatever) definitely helps with speed and strength. no doubt. I also believe it helps us adjust to accepting that really pinched pain that comes during racing. I think you need to train your brain to not freak out about pain--to embrace it. The only way to do that is to experience it relatively frequently--and 400s on the track definitely do that!
    Have fun in Orlando! yeah!
    I'm so sad to miss Polar Bear. I'll be tracking you... will you beat Ange???? :) That's what I'll be watching! haha!

  3. That is a great attitude. I'm all for quality over quantity. Good for you! Have a great vacation with the family.

  4. Nice job on the 3 miles! I'm definitely noticing the benefits of quality over quantity in my running these days. I had a hard time letting go of my easy long runs but realize they weren't really doing me much good. Now I have more time for cycling, which means more time with my husband, doubly good.

    Enjoy Orlando and the cruise. Funny, I live in Orlando but have never been on a cruise. Better do so before I move to HI!

  5. Sounds like a great plan Steve. It sounds to me like you definately have your priorities straight. Your training sounds perfect. Enjoyable. You can still train your heart out but never feel overcomew with the hours. I am focused on 7/26, but admit that I will enjoy the shorter trainign regimen!
    And Mary, YES STeve will beat me!!!! ;)