Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Barcelona Boiler - Testing on the Rollers

So time was up for a first test on the bike and the command was 30 minutes warm-up on the turbo trainer and then 20 minutes full throttle in what is known as the Functional Threshold Power Test (FTP). FTP is the highest mean average power or pace you can maintain for one hour. So basically this test is giving you an estimate of your maximal output during one hour at full gas, but for testing purposes you can estimate the same during 20 minutes and then subtract 5% of the power produces. Based on this test you can set your training zones and even estimate the power you optimally need to deliver for a successful Ironman Bike leg.

Have to admit I was still a bit tired after the London trip - not so much all the pints, but walking and standing up a lot made the legs feel heavy on Sunday & Monday. Further, testing with the power meter and uploading this to Trainingpeaks means full transparency on each darned little move you make on the bike. No way you can hide anything for Coach Aleks, even though he is 2000km away.This is intimidating in a nice way and works as motivation of course!  Will write a bit on (TP) one of these days.

Barcelona is still experiencing a warm Indian summer and I set the AC to blow cold wind onto the bike and my back. Off we go with some isotonic and a gel. Last time I tested around 290W on an uphill, so thought this must be around the level where I should start out. My heartrate quickly blew up to 175bpm and it was boiling hot. Kept the average around 280 for first 7-8 minutes and then ran into a crisis and had to lower expectations and power somewhat. Final averages were 254W and then 175bpm - check the graphs from TP below.

Testing on the trainer is definitely something you have to learn - managing and timing power over the test period. It is very precise and you can keep the output very stable as there are no external factors (wind, hills, etc). I need more ventilation - big blower to be purchased today. I am no big fan of indoor training, but once you actually have strong purpose, things get easier and time flies. Definitely room for improvements on the bike test here - will test again with a 2 weeks frequency and this is a great way to measure progress.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Your Sister Wants her Shorts Back!!!!

Just what a real Ironman thinks while training on Diagonal. WARP SPEED - ENGAGE !!!!

Argon 18 on Tourmalet

Argon 18 boys on 3 peaks in the Pyreness - good, sunny and tough day at the office.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happier, Healthier, Stronger... Sir, Yes Sir!

So -  promised you an update on much of the dope shit going down in Barcelona currently:

Many things are keeping me over-average happy these days. One key thing (though currently not nearly the most important) is the new collaboration signed in blood with Out Of Bubblegum and Aleksander Markovic, already a dear friend, by far the most serious & competent triathlon coach I have ever met - and who shares many of my own viewpoints in life!  This is certainly very exciting and I can´t express how much I want this thing to get going. Aleks have a quite different view on training, opposing the traditional oldskool methods (most including loooong, slooow, base, core...blablabla...) that kept me going and constantly tired for the last 36 months. Hence, after this upcoming weekend and a much-anticipated trip to London with the Alsing brother we will kick this off: 

Initial changes will include:
  • Initiating trainings towards Ironman Frankfurt already now, based on a more Kaizen (small steps) training philosophy.
  • Constantly measuring improvements - if you don´t get stronger week by week, change the way you train. On the opposite, if you DO improve - keep it up. Don´t fix it if it aint broken.
  • Power-based training and feedback - The SRM and my old HRM will come in handy here, providing truths (and lies I am sure) to each step along the way.
  • Collaboration and monitoring based on which initially make the physical 2000km between me and my coach feel much shorter - will write a post on this tool, once I have it under my skin. 
  • Learn to swimming faster and train more focused - what the fuck is a Metronome?
  • Running faster - initial goal is 10km in sub36 minutes ... that´s around 3 minutes from my PR.
  • Eating more Mayonnaise - according to Aleks this is the juice of Gods, that makes an Ironman clockwork tick!  No seriously - I have to find out, what has made 4 out of 6 Ironman races a nightmare for my stomach, before and during the races. Powerbar Gels Adios!

The photo above shows Graeme Stewart running to an 11th place (congrats again mate) in Challenge Barcelona and Aleksander running next to him while shouting splits. To me, this is truly a great image of engagement from both sides - thanks for showing me this chaps!

Quoting the motto for Aleksander´s Coaching Regime somehow sets the mood, looking at Ironman Frankfurt which is still almost 10 months away:
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Toni, Ferran and Josef in Marathon des Sables ...

Some of my best friends and training partners running this tough stage race in Sahara. Loads of respect and certainly a dream to join these boys in the desert one day! VAMOS!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Season Ending - Season Starting

Sooooo - welcome back, bit news on all fronts here. New blog and got rid of a bunch of noise - so NOT A TEA PARTY is just low-key, no bullshit stuff - same crap as always.

Initially the season ended with a blast race-wise:  2 Half Ironman and the Full Ironman Distance Challenge Barcelona. Coming of a summer full of trainings, travels, festivals and being in Copenhagen for 2 months was potentially not the best preparation, but I feel like racing and there is always something new to learn.

Long story short, ICAN Mallorca was great, but extremely hot on the run. Berga Sailfish just an awesome organization with a killer run with loads of climbing and hot again - and then good old Challenge Barcelona;  Finally got to race on real home turf and and flat course. Good swim and PR on the bike (4h55m) and then ran into some stomach troubles (again??) on the run - legs felt fantastic after pacing OK on the bike, helped by the SRM Power Meter (though it cheated me a bit), felt quite hungry on the last 25km on the bike, which is always a bad sign. Then already 5km into the run I felt a bit dizzy and walked through and aid station and almost lost my footing - poured liters of cold water over me, fueled madly on coke, gels and energy-drinks, but never really came our of the dark before the sun went down and temperatures dropped below 30. All in all a good lesson learned again and having Aleksander here the whole weekend was a huge inspiration - loads of take-aways whichs I will share here over the next couple of months as we start kicking of trainings again.

Next big one is Ironman Frankfurt in July next year. Most people would go "dude - take a few months off and focus on something else, like getting hammered, go lazy & fat, go back to climbing and skateboarding - then come back to triathlon". This year will be different however - I will keep it right up and will soon share some new plans on how I will be working towards Frankfurt.