Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Riding the Range

Saturday morning I got up and headed out for a training ride. I haven't hit nearly the hills that I need to, so I pedaled over to Percy Warner Park, an interesting patch of urban wilderness on the southwest side of Nashville. There are all kinds of activites there for riders and runners and even the general outdoor enthusiast. I saw tons of deer, wild turkeys, foxes, and other wildlife, so there's plenty there to entertain. More importantly though, it has some pretty steep hills which make for a decent workout.

Five years ago, when I first arrived in Nashville, a couple of friends of mine and I decided to ride the 11.2 mile loop through the park. At the time, I was thirty pounds heavier than I am now, I hadn't done any aerobic exercise in years, and my bicycle was a $200 Diamondback Sorrento purchased five years earlier that had been ridden a total of 500 miles over the course of its life and had never been serviced. To me, a bike ride was something one did for leisure. Distances NEVER exceeded 15 miles at a time. My friends both had other ideas. For the next two hours, they rode up the hill ahead of me, stopping every 500 meters or so to wait for me to catch up, huffing and puffing, red in the face and feeling burning sensations in the back of my legs and lower back that I did not know whether to pass off as just "good old fashioned muscle burn" or something much more serious. I was WAY out of my league with these guys. I felt horrible for holding them up and making them drag me along. They were upbeat and very positive towards me and my level of fitness. I kept trying to say that I was extremely out of shape, but they blamed the 35 lb bike with 2" wide knobby tires. That day, I developed a strange fear of Percy Warner Park. The hills were too steep and the ride too difficult for me to want to go back there. They never invited me back, either.

My first long ride forced me to return to the roads that I still felt were capable of killing me. Only this time I was better equipped. I was thirty pounds lighter, an experienced marathoner, and in posession of a brand-new 18 lb. road bike. I surprised even myself, finishing the loop in a surprisingly short time and with a lot of energy.

Cut to Saturday, June 17. It was time to make Percy Warner work for me. I had a training ride to fulfill and something to prove to myself. I figured that two laps through the park would be sufficient. Combine those two laps in the park with my ride there and home, and I had a nice 37 mile ride (which I finished in 2:04.) I rode the first lap in 41 minutes, stopping once to put my chain back on the big crank (next post, Bike Maintenance 101.) After the first lap, I stopped at my starting point, sucked down a HammerGel and some water, and set out for lap 2. I rode hard, but felt a little fatigue set in about 7 miles into it. I toughed it out, though, and finished the second lap in just over 39 minutes. It was a great ride and I was very pleased with myself for finishing the second lap faster than the first. I am glad I didn't try for a third lap because by the time I was about 3 miles from home, the HammerGel energy was used up and it got hard to hold a pace above 16 mph. I really need to increase my mileage in the saddle, getting out on 50 mile rides or longer every week.

Training Alone.

I don't expect anyone to ride with me at 3 in the morning. I can't talk to anyone while I am swimming. There's little to talk about when I am on the track for intervals (and little air in my lungs to talk with.) I suppose that triathlon is a solitary sport, especially when you are a competitor in your age group or division. I have friends with whom I can ride, run and swim, but our levels of training are so different, I either end up cheating myself out of a solid workout, or they cheat themselves. So I train alone.

So how do you do it? What motivates, what distracts, what encourages during the more difficult parts of a workout?

I have an MP3 player with a pretty fun playlist, but I don't feel safe riding with the MP3 player, so I use it for runs only. While on the bike, I am obsessed with my cyclocomputer. When I need extra encouragement, I look at that little face staring up at me and see if I can't make it give me some numbers that I can be proud of: Average pace: 25 mph, Cadence: 99 rpm, Maximum pace: 40 mph.

Some of these numbers I see more often than others, but when I hit a new high, I am glad I have my own little "witness" to keep urging me on.

What works for you? I'm interested in knowing.

The Need for Speed


Crank, crank, harder, harder...HARDER!


Since I got my cyclocomputer, I have been obsessed with going faster on my bike. My daily commute to work is only 14 miles round trip, with slight a negative elevation change on the way out, which naturally leaves me with a slight positive elevation change on the return trip. As I cannot change clothes at work, I ride in my work clothes, which consist of jeans and a t-shirt. I do wear my cycling shoes and carry my work boots and other necessary accoutrements in a backpack on my back.

(I'm setting the scene here, okay? Be patient and I'll get to the meat of this thing in a minute.)

My shift begins at 4 am and lasts around 5 hours. Average ride time for trip to work: 22 minutes. Average ride speed: 19 mph. Average ride time for trip home: 28 minutes. Average ride speed: 15 mph. Average speed for round trip: +/- 17 mph.

This reflects a minor improvement over the past two weeks since I have been keeping track of my speed (with the aid of my Vetta V100.)

What I really care the most about is my maximum speed on these morning rides. Two weeks ago, I maxed out on the longest downhill stretch at 37.7 mph. Yesterday morning, I finally broke 40. 40.2 mph to be exact. Now remember, I am in jeans and a t-shirt with a 15 lb. backpack on my back. I'm not the most aerodynamic of riders in the morning.

The feel of the wind in my face and the absolute rush of riding at such speeds is tremendous! I'm sure there's a lot of speed that I can gain once I get into my cycling kit and can ride in the crouch position. I'm going to keep working on increasing my speed. I have to find some nice hills on some quiet roads, but I think I can actually break 45 mph or better with the right conditions.

Faster. Faster. Faster.

It really makes the pedaling uphill seem worth it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again

My recovery weekend is past, I still feel pretty cruddy, but that's because of allergies rather than illness. It's time to get moving again. I'm going to take it slowly getting back into the training this week, but after last week's garbage food binge, I have been able to police my diet a little better. I've cut back on the junk food and that's probably one of the more significant factors in my recovery.

I have been without a bike for a few days and I can't believe how much I have missed it! The other morning I got up to ride to work and my rear tire was flat. Now, a flat tire shouldn't be a serious obstacle, but it has been for me this week. I am still quite new with my bike and although I am a fairly efficient and skilled do-it-yourselfer, I haven't had the time to fix the blasted flat. I was also a little reticent to get into the mess of it partly because of laziness, partly because of an irrational fear of damaging my bike. (I don't know what kind of phobia that translates into...)

Anyway, I got past that feeling and on Sunday night I sat down and fixed the flat...without checking the tube for the offending item. I replaced the tube and promptly found the repaired tire going flat once again. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!!! I kicked myself many times for that little error. So I now had two tubes to patch instead of one. On the bright side, I got some much-needed practice in repairing a flat tire. I have a century ride coming up in a couple of weeks and it would be pretty miserable if I were to flat and not know how to fix it myself. I have another fear, that of being identified as a novice, which I am, but I try and fake it as much as possible. I hope to ride the Harpeth River Century with some experienced riders and get used to riding in a group, but if they see me as a novice, they may be less willing to let me ride with them. As a cyclist friend of mine puts it, "If you don't look the part, people might be nervous to ride with you because they'll think you're squirrely." So, I figure it's a lot about the image, including shaved legs, cycling jersey, cyclocomputer, and all that jazz.

Speaking of cyclocomputers, I just got one, a Vetta V100 wireless with cadence. That little machine is amazing! I only got a 15 mile ride in today, but the information I gleaned from the computer made me understand a lot about my current ability and potential on the bike. I'm excited to get out there and really work this weekend.

I'll finish with one last anecdote. As I was leaving work this morning, the security guard laughed and said, "Amazing." I asked what he meant and he said, "I think it's amazing that you ride in here on your bike almost every day because you like to and there's another guy who is doing the same thing, but he constantly complains about having to ride. I don't get it." We chatted a little more and I rode home proud of the fact that people notice my riding and are actually impressed by it.

I'm probably reading more into it than there is, but it's definitely worth some points for incentive.

In the words of the legendary Eddy Merckx, "Ride lots."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Garbage In...Garbage Out

I've been run down and miserable all week. I couldn't finish my interval run on Tuesday and haven't felt well enough to run or work out at all since. I hope it's not psychosomatic, but I know that a great deal of my suffering I owe to my own foolish decisions.

It's time to take my diet seriously.

On Tuesday morning I stopped in at the grocery store for a loaf of bread and got a great deal more than I needed. I walked out with a bunch of junk food and over the next two days devoured it all. My gluttony has been my undoing this week. I have not had energy to run, I haven't slept well at night, my stomach has been upset all week, and all I can think about is when and where can I get my next Snickers Bar. (Okay, that's a little dramatic.) I haven't eaten well by my standards and I have noticed a tremendous change in my mood and energy level. I feel like Morgan Spurlock of "Super-Size Me." (At least I can say I haven't eaten any fast food this week.)

The first step is to recognize the problem, the second step is to remedy it...

I consider myself quite fortunate to be able to know what causes my low energy and fatigue. (9 of 10 times it is diet related.) I'm pretty sure most any person with a moderate level of fitness can do this, but I still have to work on having the strength and will-power to avoid the many pitfalls that come my way in the assorted shapes of junk food. Years ago, I remember my grandmother refusing a piece of pie at a party because she knew that if she ate even the smallest piece of pie that night, she'd "pay dearly for it" the next day. This was long before I began running, but now that I am a runner, I know EXACTLY what she meant.

So now I have to detoxify. I have a long day of work today and also tomorrow, so there's little chance I will be able to get in a lengthy workout on either day, but if I can use this weekend to cleanse my system of the toxins and get away from my dependency on sugar, I will be quite able to train effectively come Monday.

Remember: Garbage In...Garbage Out

Monday, June 05, 2006

Finishing out the old week before starting a new one.

Here I am at work, trying to get geared up to actually do something productive and I figure that since I have to write more on my dissertation, I might as well "prime the pump" and write a weekend workout report on my blog. (That still seems funny to me, that I am actually "blogging.")
I don't feel like being overly creative today, so I'll just lay it out without any drama.

Friday afternoon I had to go get my car from the shop before they closed at 6pm, but I wanted to get in a swim after work at 4. I got hung up at work, but did manage to get myself into the pool for a short workout. It was only about 750 yards total, but it felt good to get into the water nonetheless. Fortunately for me, I had ridden my bike to work in the morning and had already put in about 15 miles on the bike. The next big advantage was that I only had my bike to get me to the shop to pick up my car, so I got another 5 miles in there. It was certainly a light day as workouts are concerned, but I needed to rest a little after the tempo run on Thursday. I was almost dreading Saturday's run because my legs were so sore and tired...

I ended up staying up way too late Friday night. I think Cynthia needed me to go to the grocery store for a few things and I didn't get out of the house until 9:30 or so. Mind you, I am long asleep most days by 8:30, so I was up pretty late. I guess I finally fell asleep around 11:00 or 11:30 Friday night and slept right through my 5:05 alarm Saturday morning. I slept in until 7:30, which by my calculations means I actually got eight hours of sleep that night. First time in over a month! I got up and the kids were kind enough to stay asleep until 8, so I go in a half hour of yoga and then went for my 10-mile run. The temperature was almost perfect and the humidity was so low, it felt like I wasn't in Tennessee at all. I ran the 10 miles in 1:20, so it was a bit slower than I had originally intended, but I didn't struggle with the gremlin inside. It was a good, solid workout, and although I hate to admit it, the first time I had run 10 miles since the Country Music Marathon in late April.

The rest of the day was family day. I wanted to steal some time away for a bike ride, but when you get up three hours late, you are going to have to sacrifice something. I suppose I needed the sleep more than the ride... Unfortunately, I didn't get to bed before 10:30 Saturday night and was up at 6:30 for early Sunday meetings. I spent most of Sunday quite tired (and grumpy, Cynthia tells me.) I was really afraid I wouldn't have the energy to get back into my regular work routine this morning. I didn't ride my bike to work, which bothers me a little, but I am feeling quite energized, so I can probably get in a good workout this afternoon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Triathlon training plans

I just found this website with a 36-week triathlon training plan for the Ironman distance. I have yet to look it over entirely, but what I have seen looks to be solid.

Check it out here.

Forget the pace, just run the distance.

Tempo runs are always fun. Yesterday I had an 8-mile tempo run @ 7:20 planned. I am (perhaps not very wisely) training in warmer weather these days, trying to acclimate myself to the warmer summer runs and rides that I will be participating in. Yesterday I ran at 5pm. It was still quite warm out. I got moving and realized one mile into my workout that I was about 50 seconds faster than the projected pace. Not surprisingly, 6:30 was the pace I ran the triathlon in on Monday, so for me to get off to such a quick pace is understandable, but I should know better. I tried to correct my error and ran mile 2 in 7:13, still faster than pace; mile 3 in 7:16, getting closer, and mile 4 in 7:24. Now begins the breakdown...

I had drunk a lot of water before my run and expected to be able to run the full hour without stopping for a drink. Fortunately for me, at the 4-mile mark, the running store had Gatorade and water out for the runners. I stopped and drank about 8 ounces of Gatorade and a couple more of water, but then found myself unable (or unwilling) to resume running. The gremlin came back, trying to convince me that I could head straight home from there, having only run four miles. I toyed with the idea as I walked along the course. After about three minutes of walking I found my energy again. I started running, slower than pace, but it was running. I kept thinking about the gremlin in my head and a post that I read in Lana's blog, "Lana wins!" As I moved up the road, I controlled the gremlin and decided at that point to forget the pace and just run the distance. I ran the last four miles in increasingly faster times, finishing the last one in 8:00. It may have been a far cry from the 7:20 I had scheduled, but I won another battle against myself and my gremlin.
My total run workout yesterday--8.5 miles, total time (including walking) 1:09. Not quite pace, but not too far off either. Tomorrow I want to ride some hills on the bike and then put in 10 miles on foot.

Good luck to you racers this weekend!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I hate missing workouts

Missing a workout can lead to a tailspin-type slump. It's best to avoid that at all costs.

Yesterday was a cross-training day and I had everything set up to go swimming right after work...

Then Cynthia called. The car had broken down and left her and the kids stranded at Kroger. I spent the rest of the afternoon taking care of that mess and before I knew it, the pool was closed and I had to get to bed so I could get up and ride to work at 3:30 this morning. The car is in the shop and my only other transportation is my bike, so the "forced" workout created by not having a car to drive to work will have to suffice for now.

I really was looking forward to getting in a good swim yesterday. Oh well.

Today I am going to run 8 miles @ 7:20 pace. It may be pretty tough, especially since my quads are still sore from the intervals on Tuesday and I am utterly exhausted from a week of pretty hard work. But I am going to do it.

Cynthia has her book club tonight and if I can get the kids in bed early enough, I may be able to get in a good yoga workout before going to bed. That may help me regain some of my energy.

Today's advice to myself: Revel in the recent victory and focus on the next goal. Set your sights on the challenge at hand. Don't let yourself lag behind.

I'm sure the mental aspect of training is just as difficult (if not moreso) than the physical training at times.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Back into training

My training program dictates that this is the week I begin my official running training once again. As it is a three key run per week training program, I had to begin yesterday (Tuesday) with my workouts because Monday was dedicated to the GJCC triathlon. I am already finding it difficult to squeeze a minimum amount of training into my already full days. (I work two jobs from 4:00am to 4:00pm and absolutely can't function on less than 7 hours of sleep, leaving me with five hours a day to divide between home and family, church and community, and training.) Sundays are dedicated entirely to family and church, so there's no training on those days, which leaves Saturdays to fill with the rest. So, my long runs and rides fall on Saturdays. Of course, that only takes care of 1/3 of my workouts each week, so I have to steal time on Tuesdays and Thursdays for running workouts and MWF for swim/bike workouts. I do try and knock out a bike workout each morning and ride to work (14 miles round trip,) but even that's sporadic right now. I'm not complaining, just trying to figure out where to find the "extra" time.

But perhaps it's better to look at what I have been able to accomplish.

Yesterday marked the first interval training workout I have done since early December. I distinctly remember freezing my backside off at the track on December 6 and rejoicing that I was completing the last of my interval workouts for the Kiawah Island Marathon. I swore to myself that I would not go back out on that track until spring, when I could run and actually feel my extremities. Here I am now, more than six months later, finally getting back to the track. I left work yesterday at 4pm and headed over to the track. Mercifully, the clouds had moved into the area and the 89 degree temperature from 3pm had given way to a much nicer 80-82 degrees, with a mild breeze. The rain even remained at bay until I was running the last repeat. All the same, I wasn't looking forward to running 10 X 400m intervals @ 1:27, with a 400m rest in between. When I wrote up my plan, I scaled back my time requirements thinking that after six months, I would have a tough time getting back into running for VO2max. I was half right. I fought the gremlin in my head from about the second interval to the sixth. He was trying to get me to cheat out of the last few intervals. I ignored him and his complaints and got down to running. I averaged a 1:21 pace for all ten of the repeats, so for as much psychological complaining I experienced during the workout, my body still responds well to the high intensity runs. (When I finished my Kiawah plan, I was running the 400m repeats in about 1:14.) I have plenty of room to improve, but the road back may not be as difficult as I originally thought. I actually experienced a few minutes yesterday (after the sixth repeat or so) when I remembered that I once ENJOYED running repeats.

All in all, yesterday's workout was challenging both physically and mentally, but rewarding through and through. Fortunately for me, there are at least two people who have read my blog and thanks to you guys, I feel accountable enough to actually get out there and run. That's what the blog is for, so thanks for being here.

Monday, May 29, 2006

I am now a triathlete

Today was my first triathlon. There wasn't much to the race as a whole, but after a 200+ meter swim, 8.5 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run, I can officially call myself a triathlete. I spent most of the weekend psychologically preparing for the race, because there was little physical preparation that I could do so close to a race. Saturday morning I practiced the swim to bike transition a few times and got to where I felt comfortable racing through the whole ordeal. Sunday afternoon was the pre-race meeting and I tried to size up the competition, but that only made me nervous. I learned that you can never tell who your main competition is, and body type means little in this sport. I had to remind myself over and over again that I was only out there to compete against myself. I decided an acceptable goal time to finish in would be under 45:00. If I could do that, I would be pleased with my performance.

I crossed the finish mat in 44:53.
Update: Split times Swim 0:03:44.02 T1 0:01:54.91 Bike 0:25:32.00 T2 0:00:40.99 Run 0:13:01.75 Total 0:44:53.66

That finish was good enough to secure me thirteenth place overall and first place in the overall male beginner category. I guess that's not bad as a debut into the sport of competitive triathlon.

With all that over with, now I have to work on my distances. I can compete well in a sprint triathlon, but what happens when you double, triple, or even 10X the distance? I know where I have strengths and I know I have a lot of weaknesses. Now all I have to do is buckle down and really get after this training program. Any goal worth pursuing is going to require sacrifice. What matters most is that I now know that I can do it. Today's victory just gives me a little incentive to stay focused on the big goal while working toward the next little goal.

Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend, whether at the GJCC or anywhere else in the world. You've spent your holiday weekend well.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tapering and Fine Tuning

I focused my workout yesterday on the swim portion of the triathlon. Rather than just get in and swim the usual laps and intervals, I thought it would make sense to practice entering the pool, swimming the distance, and exiting the pool. I like to think I am a fairly decent swimmer and expect to do well on the swim portion of Monday's triathlon, but I also know that there is far more to be lost than gained in the swim portion of a triathlon. 200 meters can burn you out fast if you don't control yourself. Like any race, I suppose the same theory applies: go out slowly and then increase speed as you approach the end. A few weeks ago I tried sprinting for the full 200 meters and couldn't swim 150 without a break. A day later, I got in the pool and swam a very relaxed 200 meters in 3:30. It's certainly not record pace, but it's fast enough to let me get onto the bike without exerting too much energy or leaving me with too much time to make up. Yesterday I practiced swimming with my cap and goggles on, entering the pool, swimming the distance and exiting the pool. I don't know exactly how the triathlon will be done, but I want to get a feel for hoisting myself out of the pool and getting into the transition area quickly and into the more lengthy parts of the race. Tomorrow I will practice the swim to bike transition a few times. If anything, my transitions will be the places where I lose the most time. I'd hate to lose a race there, so I will practice...
My physical condition is not going to improve any between now and Monday, so I am carefully working out the race particulars in my mind. I have grown quite fond of visualization and meditation over the past year, and it is helping me gear up for Monday.
Beyond that, there's no additional training that I am going to try at this point.
My 27-week training plan begins next week and the triathlon will be a nice way to "kick off" my summer season.
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend, no matter what the sport, and STAY SAFE!!!!!
Hopefully I can post a few race pictures on Monday or Tuesday...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Of Bricks and things

I thought yesterday would be a good day to get out to the GJCC and practice the course (at least the bike and the run) and try and get a feel for what Monday's race is going to be like. It was beautiful weather yesterday, perhaps even hot. (I hope there's a string of these kind of days between now and Monday so the pool will be a little warmer...)
Well, the JCC was closed, but I parked outside and jumped on my bike and rode the bike course. At 5pm, there was plenty of traffic to have to worry about and I lost a few seconds waiting at a few of the intersections, but overall I had a great ride and feel comfortable with the course and my abilities to get through it quickly. When I got back to the JCC, I left my bike with my family, threw on my running shoes, and 13 seconds later was running (if you can call it that) down the road on the quick, two-mile run course. I realized 50 meters into the run that I hadn't drunk any water during my transition and rather than turn back, steeled myself for a miserable two miles.
The nice thing about this brick was that it only took about 4 minutes of running before my legs found their stride again and I was able to run comfortably. I fought the gremlin in my head over and over as he kept whispering "You can slow down... You're not competing today... You're only out here to see the course... Don't push yourself too hard..." I HATE THAT GREMLIN!!! He almost talked me out of pushing myself to the end of the Kiawah Island Marathon where I BARELY qualified for Boston (with 7 seconds to spare.) So, needless to say, I have demon troubles when I run, competitively or not. Fortunately I was able to convince myself that I could tolerate running "hard" for two miles and then I could stop and recover if I wanted. I finished the run well within a competitive time range based on last year's results. If all goes as well on Monday as it has this week in training, I may be very competitive. Of course, there are a lot of unknowns in a race like this and it's possible that there's a sleeper out there who woke up a week ago and decided to run his first triathlon on Memorial Day. The good thing about running, biking and swimming is that you are only really competing against yourself and the clock. If you happen to finish first in a couple of races, that's nice, but the greatest thing is that you actually got out there and did it.
Anyone who finishes any race regardless of the time it took him or her to do it is far more accomplished than the person who never tried.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2006 training schedule

This is my anticipated training schedule for my running races through December 2, 2006. I have several race goals I would like to meet along the way, each of them in bold. This training plan follows the "FIRST to the Finish" plan organized by the excellent team at Furman University. I have extended the workout calendar significantly and made some personal adjustments to distances and times based on my level of fitness and goals. This is NOT a generic training plan that anyone can use. It may give you some ideas, but if you would like a similar plan, please visit the FIRST website.

You can see my training plan HERE

(Links open in a new window)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tour de Nash

On Saturday, May 20, I competed my first metric century ride (62 miles.) I have only had my bike for three weeks and the Tour de Nash seemed like a nice event to try out and get a feel for how my body holds up for several hours on the bike. Aside from a rider who kept getting right in front of me and spitting (she only hit me twice,) the ride was pleasant and I had a lot of fun. I met a few people and got to experience riding in a group for the first time in my life. Group riding may seem counterproductive to training for an Ironman triathlon because out there you are on your own, no drafting, no companionship, but it was the distance I was shooting for and I am trying to get involved with the cycling community anyway. Solo rides will come later.
I completed the ride in 4:05, not subtracting about 12-15 minutes for rest stops and missed turns. Unfortunately, I don't yet have a cyclocomputer to keep track of my own speed and distance, but some of the riders in the group said we averaged 17mph for the first 34 miles. That's pretty good, considering we were riding in downtown Nashville traffic the entire time. I still have a lot of work to do to get to an average 20mph or better for the Ironman, but I'm pleased with my performance on Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised at my performance on the hills. That seems to be a fairly strong point for me.
This week I am going to taper a little for the GJCC tri on Monday. (Although it is hard to taper from a training routine that hasn't really existed.) All the same, I want to be well-rested for the tri on Memorial Day.
I'm working on my training plan. I should have a tentative schedule up on my personal site in the next day or so. I'll link my blog to it once I have reached that point.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Training plans and goals

Following are some of the events I intend to compete in along my path to Kona. Hopefully each of them will have a certain amount of merit as training runs even if they are on the list for obscure reasons (which I will try to make clear as I list them.)

May 20, 2006: Tour de Nash. A 62-mile "fun ride" to support Music City Moves and Walk/Bike Nashville. No competition, but a 62-mile training ride may be good, if only for getting me used to the bike.

May 29, 2006: Sprint Triathlon in Nashville. GJCC tri. Good for beginners, hopefully I can do well and place top three.

June 24, 2006: Harpeth Century Ride. Another non-competitive ride, but again, with a 100-mile century, I can actually get a feel for what type of strain that kind of distance puts on my body.

July 22 or 29, 2006: Sprint Triathlon in either Pulaski or Lebanon, TN.

Sept 24, 2006: Six GAP ride- Georgia. A difficult ride with HUGE elevation changes. This is only a maybe at this point, but it would certainly be nice to be capable of riding it by then.

Oct 8, 2006: San Jose 1/2 Marathon. I don't usually run a lot of half marathons, but my brother is willing to run this one, so I am going to run it with him. I'm not sure if I am looking to be competitive in this race or if I will pace him.

Nov 4, 2006: Midsouth Championship Marathon, Wynne, AR. I'd like to use this one as a training run for St. Jude Memphis in December. This race is too much fun not to run.

Dec 2, 2006: St. Jude Memphis Marathon. This is supposed to be a flat and fast race, so I am shooting for a sub-three hour marathon here. This is my number one running goal in preparing for the Ironman.

April 16, 2007: Boston Marathon. I have already qualified and owe myself this race. What marathoner doesn't dream of running Boston? This is my chance.

April or May 2007: Half Ironman distance in Florida, Arizona, or California. Still undecided on what and when.

November 2007: Ironman Florida. This should be my qualifying race for Kona 2008. According to current results and age group information, I will need to finish the distance in around 9:30:00 or faster to earn a slot at Kona.

October 11, 2008: Ironman World Championship, Kona, HI.

There will be other 5 and 10k races, as well as century rides that I will add into the mix, but these are the major ones thus far.
I'll be posting a link to my running training program in the next day or two, with a basic triathlon training program to follow in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

First things FIRST

This is the best training program I have ever seen. It's designed for runners, but the way it is structured allows for easy adaptation to triathlon training.


A new blog and a serious goal.

I am new to the blog scene, but I think this may turn out to be a pretty nice tool to have along the way. The blog title is Scott's Road to Kona, and I am writing this blog as an additional tool in my personal training for the Ironman World Championships held on October 11, 2008 in Kona, Hawaii.
For several years now, I have thought it would be cool to compete in the Ironman World Championships. For most of my life, I was too lazy to even look into what it may require for me to get there. Now I know.
Three years ago I began running and have since competed in seven marathons with a personal best time of 3:10:52. I have qualified for, but not yet run the Boston Marathon, so that is another goal I have. This year on Memorial Day (May 29) I will be competing in my first triathlon ever. This will mark my entry into the sport of triathlon, and although I hope I can continue running and competing in triathlons for many years to come, my main goal is to qualify for and compete in the Ironman World Championships.
I originally thought that I could set a 10-year time limit on this goal and be there before I am 40, but upon researching the race, I found that the 2008 competition will be held on my birthday, October 11. Therefore, I adjusted the goal and here I am.
As this blog develops, I will include a list of races I intend to run, my training plans and logs, and any other pertinent information that will get me (and anyone else interested) to Kona in 2008.