Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Penguins and Hiking


One of the benefits of living in St. Louis is living near the second best zoo in the country. The greatest thing about the zoo is Penguins! In the winter…Penguin Parades!






That was Sunday, yesterday the g/f and I went hiking at Castlewood State Park along the Meremac River right outside of St. Louis. It’s similar to Great Falls St. Park outside of D.C. It was an oddly warm day for January.

Looking down…



Here I am…


And looking back up…



Today I did a little brick workout and rode the TT bike outside for the first time ever. I would guess that riding on the trainer helped get used to the position as it wasn’t very difficult and only took around a mile to feel comfortable keep a straight line.

I like this warm weather, hopefully it sticks around. I can’t imagine spending more than 2 hours on the trainer like I did Sunday morning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Indoor Training with Turbo Trainer

Everyone knows how boring riding indoors on a trainer can get, especially during the winter when the weather makes it difficult to ride outside. I've discovered two ways to make training indoors more bearable. The first is Computrainer classes...at $20 a pop or free if I joined the store's Tri Club, I decided to add a 3rd Tri Club membership. Now I just need to decide which uniform I like best and weigh that with which club I'll have more friends in. I'd really love to buy my own Computrainer but at $1500, I can't justify the purchase (especially after having just bought a new bike) since it would definitely lead to more electronics so I can wirelessly display my computer on my flat screen. Not to mention all the course videos available. I don't really trust buying one on Ebay.

The second way, I discovered last week, is Turbo Training. It's a UK based website that allows you to create interval sessions for riding on your trainer. It also lets you use workouts created by other users. The only downside is that you need to be able to see your computer screen from your trainer. I just set my laptop on a hightop chair right in front of my bike. Another thing you may want to watch out for is the screen saver. I forgot to turn my off and it popped up every 5 minutes so I had to reach over and hit the touchpad.

There are a lot of workouts on there and I think the max time is 60 minutes. Some of them are more detailed than others and you can rate the workout after you do it. The better workouts have a suggested cadence, heart rate, gear and/or power (if you have a power meter). To use the sessions you have to create a profile and you can enter a resting heart rate and max heart rate. The website then determines you BPM for each interval of the workout. It works sort of like a Tabata timer as you can see in the picture below. When you click "start" it gives you about 5 seconds to get on the bike and then starts. The big blue timer is the overall time completed. A small green timer will countdown the seconds left in each interval right above the blue timer. The interval you're in will enlarge and you'll hear a beeping sound a few seconds before the next interval is starting. I did the Pyramid workout below.

When you're done, it gives you the option to enter all the workout info from your bike computer and creates an activity record.

I'm not quite sure about all the details but, it seems as though you're only allowed to use 3 different workouts a month (as many times as you'd like) and create 1 workout a month. The Premium version is £12 a year.

It worked great for my first time using it and the hour went by fairly quickly vs. just pedaling for an hour.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Core Work


Now that I have a TT bike I decided it would be a good time to start core work again. I started last season and went twice a week but it only lasted a few months. I started core work yesterday and can plank for a little over a minute…This guy must have started a long time ago.

Monday, January 16, 2012

De Slice is Nice!


I've had it for about almost a week but I didn't get around to taking pictures until last night. After a trip to Big Shark to get things fitted...which took 2 hours...and then a trip the next day to pick it up, the Slice is finally mine. Sadly it's been snowing here so I haven't been outside yet.


Aero bars

I decided to change things up a bit and see how things go with Look Keo Max pedals rather than Speedplay. For some reason I've always been concerned with the Speedplay cleats. They 3 or 4 pieces and I lost 2two screws from the same cleats one ride. I can feel the difference even on the trainer. The force is divided over more of my foot than the Speedplay pedals and my foot definitely feels more secure during the pull part of the stroke. The only downside is the Looks are a little tougher to clip into. Oh well, I should only be clipping in once during a race.


Today officially starts the first day of half-iron training and I started it off with 2000 meters in the pool. I ended up doing 3x500 as sort of a TT and then 500 of bilateral and right or left breathing. I still can't breathe correctly on my right side but, I'm getting better. It's always interesting who you'll find at the pool. Today there was a good mix...I jumped in a lane with a guy using swim paddles and flippers, I've read that using both is counterproductive. Then he left and another guy hopped in and we split the lane for a bit. After 10 minutes or so another guy wanted in so we swam circles. I'm not fast but I was lapped for the first time since starting at the Y. I think the other guy already in the lane was intimidated since he left after 100 meters. There was also a breaststroking middle age man and a woman who appeared to just be switching between vertical swimming and floating on her back and splashing a lot. Glad I wasn't in that lane. The YMCA seems to be dominated by aqua aerobics classes...at least there is a water slide on the weekends!

Monday, January 9, 2012

1st Indoor Triathlon

Alternate Title: First Age Group Win!
Last week I was looking for 50 meter pools in the St. Louis area on Swim Radar.
Swim Radar
I came across the St. Peter’s Rec Plex and saw they had indoor triathlons every week…It’ll be a few months before the next triathlon so, why not? I asked the g/f what she thought about it and a little while later she said she would do it too! I was pretty excited but she was nervous about it.

The downside is this place is about 45 minutes from my house but it was worth the drive.
The pool is immaculate and even has an adjustable depth hydraulic floor…who even know those existed?

We (first time I get to say we Smile) got to this spinning room and set up our bikes and  figured out where we needed to go. It was an interesting set up, swim, run halfway across the building, bike, then run the rest of the way across the building to the treadmills. So, we headed down to the pool to warm up a bit. It’s a short race, 300 yd swim, 10 mile bike, 3 mile run.

We were swimming in the same lane so it was pretty simple since we do it all the time. The swim went great for both of us, I was out in 5:14 and she was about a minute behind me. The run in sandals to the bike room sucked since I have no tread left on my shoes. The bike was BS since it was all a matter of who can spin their legs faster. My legs are huge so 110-115 rpms was all I could manage for 10 miles. Other people must have been going nuts since some of the times were under 20 minutes. Then it was on to the run…I hate running on treadmills. I wanted to do the long course but I’d rather repeatedly run into a wall than run 5 miles on a treadmill. I can barely handle 3 miles. Run time: 27:59

I ended up finishing in 59:45, 4th overall including women and 1st in my age group! There were only 4 people in the group but it still counts in my book. Surprisingly all 4 times were within 1 minute and 9 seconds of each other. The g/f finished second in her age group out of three and she had a lot of fun. I was very happy she had fun instead of dropping dead like she thought she would. She finished in 1:09 and wanted to know when the next one is.

Still waiting for my Cannondale…

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year of Training and Races!

I can’t wait to start working out in the new year…
and the crowded gyms with all the resolutioners. Hopefully they stick with it.

I’m pretty excited that I’m not planning on doing any running specific races. I would have loved to try a half-iron last year but I wanted to focus on the MCM since I didn’t know triathlons were going to be that exciting. I haven’t set a race schedule yet other than Rev 3 Knoxville but here is the projected plan for this year.
Tri-Poison: 5k run, 20k bike, 1k swim, then a Sprint Tri
Rumpass in Bumpass – Oly (April)
Rev 3 Knoxville – Half (May)
DC Tri – Sprint (June)
New Town Triathlon - Almost an Oly (July)
Maybe another Half iron in the fall depending on how Knoxville goes.
As many weekly cycling races as I can enter…there are a ton in St. Louis. I’m excited to do a TT on a TT bike.
If things go well maybe I’ll be allowed to buy a cyclocross bike and hit up those races in the fall…we’ll see.
Even though I’m not married I think the following formulas still apply.
x = (n+1)
n = number of bikes currently owned, x = ideal number of bikes owned

y = (n+1)
n = number of bikes currently owned, y= number of bikes that will result in a divorce