Can you complete/compete at the 140.6 distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Praising God!

Giving God Praise this morning for several reasons.

Two key points to make here:

First, I am happy to report my peeps succesfully battled it out at Beach 2 Battleship and Ironman Florida this weekend. So very proud of each of them. Job well done my friends...job well done!

The lessons one learns while pushing their bodies through this distance is simply outstanding. I personally love how you eventually reach a level of brokeness that is hard to experience in other distances. The Great Sustainer (Christ Jesus) can truly lift you up when all you want to do is call it quits.

Second, my beautiful wife is pregant! Anne is 6 weeks pregnant and I am overjoyed. I was ready to tell the whole world this news, but refrained for about a week. The little one should arrive (Lord willing) on ~July 16, 2010. Looking FWD to seeing how IMF prep will go. This will make the 'IM in 10' approach truly intersting and very much necessary ;)

I hope you are all well and enjoying the closing weeks to the 2009 tri season!




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

LL is still alive

Well....the plan was to hit IMF in 2009, but I have since decided it does not fit for this year.

I simply have not been able to put the kind of training in that is required to battle it out against the those seeking Kona slots. So, I am opting to hit IMF in 2010 as they deferred my entry. That is one bonus w/ buying a Community Slot.

I look FWD to some down time, but not much. I plan on utilizing the "IM in 10" approach again for IMF. I will personally use this approach to training for IM until I am old and gray. I found it to work exceptionally well for this family guy.

I hope you are all well,
Coach L

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good 'check up'

Trying to buy and sell a house is draining. Never thought it would take so much out of Anne and I. It has. Throw a good old cold and you have a non-optimal window of time per IMF prep.

With that being said, I threw down a Critical Power (CP20) test this AM to see where my legs were w/ weeks to go before IMF. The legs certainly were not happy/potent/steady...but I got the kind of data I was looking for. Below is a snapshot:


From this test I am looking to dial in on power range for IMF that will range from 200 to 240. Average power for this test was 340 at an average HR of 154. This was on tired legs so I am looking FWD to a 'rested legs' scenario at Panama City. It will be fun to see where this range will equate to speed on the bike.

For the past 4 to 6 weeks I have been putting much less time into training per this 'current season of life'. When it is all said and done I will have an average of about 5 hrs per week. I am not concerned about the low volume at all. The time I am devoting to training is very high quality and very intensive in nature.

Being transparent here...I want to see how the intensive training done for IML will set me up for IMF.

Looking FWD to toeing the line in November and and seeing what happens to the body with this minimalist approach. I have taken it to the extreme here, but feel more then ready for race day.

Other points:
Swim - doing no more then 10 to 15 min in the water at a time (2x/wk). Focusing specifically on back, fly, and breast. It is hard to beat the stress these strokes put on the kinetic chain.

Run, etc - doing a long run per week of 13 to 15 miles at faster then IM goal pace. Also utilizing 800s coupled with intensive 5 to 10 min sessions on the Tacx (280 to 300+ watts)

Cross Training - thatching and aerating the lawn. I only wish this could be done 8 to 15 times in a year. Was sore for 8 days post thatching my front lawn at 4 AM. It was awesome. The moon was full, the stars were glistening, and it was quite as quite could get. I laid into that lawn of mine. Icing on the cake was renting that aerator and mutilating the lawn. Seeing those plugs of sod/grass being discharged fueled my fire. Did my neighboors lawn to up the 'training load'. If you ever want your lawn thached and aerated let Coach L know in advance. I am all over it.

Have a great week folks and enjoy the rain. My lawn certainly is ;)
LL out

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Take Flight and Garrett's Wings 2009

What an incredible cause and outstanding event. So very grateful that this event has grown to over 700 people (my guess) in just 2 years! Can't wait to see the total number for 2009.

I love you guys and consider it a privilege/honor to race in the 'colors' of Team G today!

May the Lord richly bless Garrett's Wings and may lives be changed eternally as a result.

Coach L

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Less is more

The "10 Hr Project" is certainly being lived out in this season of life.

After IML I took about a week off from training and then worked back into a rhythm. Training for IMF officially commenced on September 14th. Since then I have averaged 6 hrs and 40 min of training per week.

I have been dialing in on more higher threshold efforts w/ an emphasis on strength/power. The frequency has been 2 to 3 sessions a week regarding organized strength sessions.

Today reflected the 'less is more' methodology for sure. Below is a quick breakdown of how this day broke down:

  • 3 x 10 min efforts at a norm power of 310 watts and an ave HR of 140
  • Between each 10 min block the following strength regimen was employed:
Slide Board...60 reps
Walking Lunges w/ 20 to 30 lbs...32 reps
Push ups w/ 10 to 15 lbs row...12 reps
Deep Squats w/ 20 to 30 lbs...15 to 20 reps
Dynamic Forearm plank...1 to 2 min
  • 3.50 miles at tempo/threshold pace; 6:37 ave pace...146 ave HR...
What I love about this approach to training is that it leaves you wanting MUCH more when it is all said and done.

Sensing momentum building. Will be dialing in on a 15-17 miler at 7 to 6:50 pace and a 2 HR IMF race simulation ride before Take Flight this weekend w/ another strength session similar to the session noted above.

My only concern at this point is fine tuning my 'shark fighting' skills per my encounter in 2007 w/ SonniD at my side... ;)

Stay strong and stay focused...Coach L

Friday, September 25, 2009

Progress

Funny how life can come at you from so many angles at one time. I did not envision selling our house and moving to another house on the radar screen (within a 2-3 week window). Throw trying to add another 'little one' to the Leo Team and you have some interesting weeks/months leading into IMF prep.

The "10 HR Project" fits well here and I am elated to report that progress is being made towards IMF. Today the goal was to hit 13 miles on a rolling course (1.35 mile loop and finishing the last 4 on a more rolling loop) in Highland Creek and fine tune my approach to the aid stations; run hard and fast through em'. This kid is going to IMF with one thing in mind; go as fast as possible.

Here is the hard data:

6:57 (mile split) / 135 (average HR)
6:46 / 144
6:52 / 151
6:58 / 154
7:03 / 154
6:57 / 156
7:01 / 158
6:58 / 160
7:13 / 159
6:58 / 163
6:50 / 160
7:10 / 168
6:59 / 172
4:35 / 175 (.66 m)...13.69 miles

Glad I bailed out last week per the ITB 'sensations' I was feeling. Love how the body adapts and grows stronger when you give it time to do so.

So...all is good in the hood. Hoping to hit 2 hrs on the Tacx Flow (my CT is still broken and I have not had time to return it) at 230 to 250 watts. The goal here is to see how the legs and HR hold up to race simulation power output.

Have a great weekend all! Coach L


Several months ago I made it very clear what my goals were for IML. I will do the same here for IMF:

Swim - 50 to 55
Bike - 4:50 to 4:55
Run - 3:10 to 3:30

I love goals and see them as essential. So...the plan is to earn a spot for Kona in 2010 via the "Ironman in 10" training methods.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Game On!"

It is official...I have registered for IMF 2009!

Opted to pull out of the 13 miler I had planned for this weekend and hit 8 instead. The body began to throw signals that made me re-evaluate the original plan. The new biomechanics I have adopted will force the quads, glutes, and other stabilizers to work more synergistically.

Feeling confident that another 3 or so weeks of consistent and progressive loading will set things up well for IMF.

Excited about the opportunity come November and looking FWD to seeing how things will unfold.

Stay tuned friends....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Decision Time nearing; IMF 2009

It appears that the "IM in 10" Project will continue into November of this year w/ IMF.

Everything is pointing in that direction, which is exciting indeed.

Tomorrow I plan on exposing the legs/calves to a 13 miler at an intensity that will be higher then IML training. The goal is to work in the 6:30 to 7:00/mile range for this run. Two things have allowed this faster pacing; cooler temps and the 'booster shot' I received from IML. I will also be working on a far more aggressive aid station approach. I look FWD to seeing how my gut will respond to running at IMF goal race pace through my 'aid stations loop'; 1 to 2 mile loop w/ a mock aid station stocked w/ Gatorade Endurance.

What I love about this 10 Hr Project is how it can really be modified to add 'icing to the cake' post an Ironman. In other words, post hitting IML I have been able to evaluate the weak links that were present and address them appropriately as November draws closer.

Case in point: I need to have greater sustainable power in the legs. My default is a high cadence of 95 to 100 in training/racing. In the weeks ahead I will be exposing the legs and systems to low cadence work to prep them for the course specificity seen at IMF; FLAT.

Below is how I will be building sustainable power at varying RPM and wattage ranges:

This workout wears on ya from a muscular endurance stand point and not from a central perspective (in my case). I love how the quads begin to ache and the fatigue increases through each 5 min progression. I also like dialing in on controlling HR response despite high wattage numbers. Much can be taken from this workout.

Oh, and then post this Tacx Flow ergo load I ran a 2 miler on the treadmill. Easy 7:30 pace was held w/ my Lunar Trainers, which I absolutely love!

Looking FWD to seeing what the Lord has in store for me tomorrow.

Power on friends and have a stellar weekend!
Coach L

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ironman Florida 2009?

Today proved to be the kind of day that left me thinking that IMF is doable for 2009.

At this stage of the game the goals are:
(1) Determine if the calf can take the loading that I intend to put on it at IMF
(2) To create the next progression toward sharpening the blade for IMF

There are 8 weeks before IMF and I am planning on upping the ante on the intensity aspect of things. Below is a summation of how this AM looked per the "IM in 10 Project" mindset/methodology.

This morning I prepped the legs w/ a a high intensity effort on the Tacx Flow that progressively built to 400 watts in the last 5 min segment. The game plan will be to widen these to up to 20 min at Functional Threshold Power (FTP). To further strengthen and stress the legs I jumped off the bike and hit 5 specific strength exercises w/ no rest:

2 sets
(1) Slider board x 40 reps
(2) Deep Squats w/ shoulder press; 20 lbs x 12-15
(3) Dumbbell row push ups; 10 lbs x 10
(4) Alternating leg lunges on instability pad; 20 lbs x 20
(5) Stability ball back extension w/ "T"s; 3 lbs x 12-15


The fun really began later this afternoon w/ the 10 miler. Very happy to report that the calf held up very well to a 6:36 average pace for this run. The game plan is to run long tempo efforts for IMF. I ran this run at tempo pace and hope to work up to 15-17 miles at this pace. For IML I was not holding close to this pace so I am seeing the positive adaptations from Aug 30, 2009.

Hoping to hit another longer run effort off an IMF race simulation (1:00 to 1:30 at 220-250 watts) in the next 4 to 5 days to further determine if IMF will be a go or not. $1,800 is not pocket change and I do not want to drag my beautiful wife and mini-L to FL for a calf induced walk fest.

Have an outstanding day folks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Is the "10 Hr Project" for me?"

Since IML I have been asked by several athletes if this approach to training would work for them.

Without going into great detail here I will use my dear wife as an example. I think after reading this post you will have a better feel for how this training method/approach could fit many athletes.

Okay...as Luke would say, "...lets do this/it...!"

Anne posted an outstanding time for her first go at the Ironman distance. I could not be any prouder of her effort/showing! Below is a quick overview worth posting. I hope this encourages those who are new to this blog and to the veterans:
  • Ran marathons prior to marrying me...
  • Had major knee surgery in 2003-2004; micro-fracture surgery (told she would never run more then a 5K)...God is good...all the time...
  • Training commences for her first super sprint (UNC Wellness - 2008)
  • Takes down White Lake 1/2, Duke 1/2 (2008), and Florida 70.3 (2009)
  • Signed up for IML in 2008 and began training in November
  • Trained for IML following my "10 Hr Project" mindset/methods
I will provide more detail as requested. I firmly believe that this approach will serve the first time IM athlete w/ limited time and for the athlete seeking Kona qualification.

In upcoming posts I will go into more detail on what you will need to have to take this method on. I firmly believe the key to succeeding via the "10 Hr Project" is developing/training your mental capacities. It takes great fortitude to ride hard and strong in one place for 2 to 4 hrs.

Stay tuned friends...and feel free to ask/post questions...

(Side Note: I will be inserting emails I am receiving from athletes in future posts that may help answer Qs that are most common)

Friday, September 4, 2009

IML 2009 - Race Report

Well, I am elated to report that I was able to answer the question posed from the creation of this blog. Is it possible to complete/compete at the IM distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

The training period for IML was 12 weeks. The focus was 10 hrs of training per week. Those who have followed this blog from its creation know the following, but here is a quick summary:

(1) All bike training done on the CompuTrainer Interactive Real Course videos; IML.
- the only outdoor riding I did was to warm the legs for my two long runs; 7 miles each.

(2) Run training was threshold specific and done outdoors on the Highland Creek Parkway solely. I utilized a 1 to 1.35 mile loop to mimic/serve as aid stations.

(3) A heavy percentage of the swimming was done via a tether system.

Per the breakdown of Hrs:Min and distances covered within this 12 week block:

It came down to being 8 hrs and 39 min of training per week on average.

The objective data above leaves me very encouraged and I certainly hope others will see the potential in such an approach.

Below is a graphical summation of the bike leg from IML:

The goal on race day was to ride well below my Lactate Balance Point (LBP) per the test I conducted on myself on the Day 50 posting (Sunday, July 12). Moreover, the goal was to target a wattage range of 200 to 230 watts (per the trends I saw in training - see below).


Average watts ended up being 223 at an HR average of 150 bpm on race day.

Okay...that covers the objective side of things. The hard facts, the nitty gritty.

IML RACE REPORT

Swim
The goal was to hold a steady and controlled pace throughout. No surging, no aggressive segments, just steady. To make sure I was not digging into the reserves that would be needed later on I employed bi-lateral and breathing every 5 strokes sporadically throughout. Felt good in the mighty Ohio and swam it conservatively. Totally stoked w/ a sub hr swim having spent most of my time using the tether system and per the laid back approach to this first leg.

The Rocket Science Sports skin suit was awesome. Highly recommend this product and thank Cody (www.trysports.com) again for helping me land this suit! Thanks bro.

Bike
Mad props to CompuTrainer (CT) and the Interactive Real Course (IRC) videos that they have put together. As you all know by now my bike training was done solely in my garage and on the CT. I used the IRC for all of this training. The longest ride for IML was 4 hrs and 12 min (82.16 miles). I took the first loop conservatively and then began to work it in the last 30 to 40 miles. The ultra cool thing I need to report here folks is that my legs never felt fatigued. I firmly believe that the harder then normal efforts on the CT conditioned the legs well. Riding harder (per watts and HR) then I would at the IM distance made the difference here. In past IM events I would want to get off the bike at the 75-95 mile range. At IML that never showed up on the radar screen.

Got wrongly pegged for 'crossing the double yellow' by the refree. Not cool. Did my time in the penalty tent at around the 85 mile mark. Amazing how cool God was in this non-optimal moment. The Lord led me to shine instead of pout like a baby w/ wet pants and the folks at the tent appreciated that. In no time I was off and making up for lost time. Thank you Jesus!

Was hoping to hit closer to 5 hrs, but the first 60 miles were taken too conservatively to hit that for this 112. Came off ready to run hard and fast. Seriously felt like I had rode 50 miles. Buy a CT, buy the IRV relevant to your next IM (make sure they have released it), and train hard and smart w/ it!

Run
This is where the day came to a quick end from the standpoint of earning the Kona spot. Came off the old Trek feeling like a 16 yr old. Shooting straight here...it felt easy to hold 7 to 7:30s. No heavy/labored breathing. Felt bouncy and light on the feet. Then wammo....the R calf decided to show up. My good friend Mike Danenberg (http://www.performance-therapy.com/) worked hard to eliminate this issue in the 2 weeks leading into IML, but the adhesions were not fully eliminated and the biomechanical adjustments were not 'burned into' the noggan. So, post 3 miles I was forced to stretch the calve. Every mile the calf would tighten up to a point that made running difficult/very challenging. It was very frustrating to see the Garmin go from low 7s to high 8s through this segment of the day.

What I found amazing about this 'negative' turn of events was how the Lord stepped in. I clearly remember praying at mile 3..."....Lord Jesus, I turn this day over to you and may your will for this day prevail...". Not sure of the exact words, but it went something like that. Bottom line, from that very moment I had absolute peace about the outcome. I wasn't happy w/ His will for the day (just being honest), but I had a sense of peace/joy/thankfullness that is hard to put words to.

So, the 3:15 goal quickly faded to..."...just keep moving...". I am so stinking hungry to hit another IM I could spit. I felt more then prepared for this IM and I am left w/ the intense desire to get back into the game...soon. It is hard to beat the challenge that an IM presents.

Overall, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to move for 10 hours. What an awesome gift it is to hurt, to work a hill, and to stress the heart and lungs. Thank you Jesus for all your blessings.

Hey,....did anyone notice how cool God is? All of the stops to stretch, pee on myself (bike and run), and every aspect of the day was orchestrated perfectly for me to break tape in 10 hrs and 10 min. He is too much and certainly has a sense of humor. The "10 Hr Project" produced a 10:10 day. Not a coincidence, not luck, but His will for the day.

So...what is next?

Well, honestly, I am praying about it. I'd love to do IMF via a Charity/Community Slot, but not sure if that fits for this season/chapter of life. A part of me is getting pulled to the beaches of Panama City in a big way...despite my 'shark scare' w/ my good man SonniD in 2008. I see this as a great place to truly test the "10 Hr Project". If the Lord permits I would like to shoot for a 9 hr finish at IMF.

In the meantime, I am focusing on absorbing IML and eliminating this calf issue.

Many thanks to all of you who have followed this project for the last 12 weeks. I plan to keep this blog thing alive and well. Stay tuned. Special thanks to my dear wife for the support along the way. Still can't get over how awesome her day went. SO grateful it went so well. You go Annie! Way to rock it out in your first IM showing; 12:08!

Props also to Meredith D, Bruce R, Julia B, Jim R, Crystal R, John B, Brad W, Ken B, Owen C, etc. Sorry if I forgot a name...

Train smart and consider all the options...Coach L


Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Iron Babe

Annie is the first to take on the "IM in 10" project. Couldn't be more proud of her. She did only one 1oo mile ride (outdoors at Duke 1/2 course) and the rest was indoors. I designed her plan around balancing life w/ training. She did not want to make IM training all consuming; no life but training. She also wanted to be Mommy to Luke and a rockstar wife to me. She excelled at both.

Despite swallowing a solid percentage of the crystal clean Ohio River she was still able to work through the bike. Six hours of intense stomach cramps took her a bit off her game.

Still in awe of how she was told that running was no longer going to be a part of her life and then she breaks tape last Sunday. "Go God!"

Below is her finish. Not NBC Sports quality...but the Flip Video worked. Priceless footage. Oh, the 'screamers' are my dear Aunt Ellen, Uncle Bill, and me. Dang was that music loud ;). Had to throw a Studio7 water bottle at her to get her attention...



Fun clip of the best place to eat in Louisville (for breakfast):




Race report to follow...Coach L

Monday, August 31, 2009

Good day

Sort of busy here in Louisville, but thought I'd post a very short summary before I give a more detailed report.

Anne rocked it. Couldn't be more proud of how the day went for her. Strong and steady sums up her day. A 12:08 for her first IM was outstanding. Great work honey. We are so excited to touch base w/ her surgeon who did her knee surgery and inform him of her accomplishment. I think he will poop his pants. Praise God that He is control, He knows our every desire, and that He saw it fit to bring her back to running again! Thank you Jesus!

Felt good for me. Certainly felt the "10 Hr Project" worked well. I will have an exact average weekly training time in the next few days...think it will be about 8 hrs of training per week (minus the 4 week taper). R calf took me out of the mix today...post 3 miles I had to stretch every mile. Was on pace for a 3:15 (felt so good at the 7:15 to 7:30 pace), which would have earned a Kona slot...but God had other plans. If the calf held up I would have likely been close to 9:45 finish time. Lord willing there will be another day where I can do the "10 Hr Project" and bring some hurt at the 140.6 distance.

To the more important details. I was in awe of how God worked through me on Sunday. I prayed while on the bike and prior to that He would work through me on this day. Specifically, that I would glorify Him and serve Him. One of the most enjoyable parts of my day was cheering/encouraging others on the bike leg as I saw their bib numbers (which include their names). I felt the Holy Spirit welling up inside me every time I spook words that lifted the broken hearted.

I also shared with you all that I was really hoping to have a 'crying moment' at IML. Well, get this. Out of no where I rolling through La Grange and my dear Aunt and Uncle are yelling my name. I was not expecting them to be there...and for some reason that 'pushed the buttons' for me. To me that was awesome expression of love. Wammmo....tears started a rolling and I experienced what I was hoping for on race day...tears of joy. Praise God.

I know this sounds cliche, but I seriously felt the power of prayer out there and that means more to me then anything else. Thank you for lifting Anne and I up.

More to come when I get back to NC...

I love you all....God Bless...Coach L

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Game Time

Day 97 - August 29, 2009 - Week 12
Lounging w/ the feet up completing my last post prior to testing out this "10 Hr Project" here at Ironman Louisville (minus the 3 week taper it will likely break down to an 8 hr average per week). Feeling good and praising God that this R calf thing has not gotten worse and feels ready for a "26 mile test run". I am not joking. New biomechanics will be employed that have helped bring this calf to 'normal'. The emphasis will be to minimize the toe off and focus on a mid-foot strike.

In awe of how these 12 weeks evaporated. In awe of how these last days have vanished before my eyes. Love knowing that Anne and I will be taking this race on together.

This morning I spent some time w/ the Lord and got all fired up with this combo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtAjrNqEsoM (Bebo Norman - I Will Lift My Eyes)

...then...


No joke...tears were glowing as I watched the second clip. Love watching this one...it always hits me dead center in the chest.

Not afraid of crying. I hope tomorrow is a 'spiritual experience' where I focus on the important things of taking on such an event. I have never broken down and become a mess at an IM event like you often see on NBC per the Kona coverage. I hope I become a mess and sense the Holy Spirit at work within.

So as a recap on my hopes for IML 2009...

(1) That I would honor Him (Christ) in all that takes place; a sub 1o hr performance (Kona slot) to a '16 hr walk fest' (to finish).

(2) That I would remember Bill Adair who has ALS and who would love to stand, feed himself, and breath on his own again. He can't. I can. And I will remember that when it is hard to lift my feet.

(3) Test this "10 Hr Project" in hopes of shedding light on a completely different mindset of IM training. I am willing to test this out again if for some reason the Lord has other plans set for me tomorrow. Stay tuned on this.

(4) See my beautiful wife 'break tape' with a smile on her face. She has done an exceptional job at being Mama and a wife through this training.

(5) See my athletes (past and present) take on the challenge and exceed their expectations; Bruce R, Jim R, Julia B, and Meredith D. You all rock!

Thank you for praying for Anne and I tomorrow. I will be thinking of you all!

Acts 16:9...








Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lets do this!

Day 94 - August 26, 2009 - Week 12
Just a quick note here. Very grateful for how things rolled this AM. Cool to see some familiar faces out there on the HCP (Highland Creek Pky); James, Scott x 2, Roger, etc.

Happy to report that post a 20 min spin on the HCP the calve cooperated. Still amazed how hard it is to pull back w/ this new approach to running; more of mid-foot emphasis w/ less emphasis on the 'toe off'. Not trying to set PRs here w/ days leading into IML, but it is difficult to go slower then sub 7 pace. My good friend Mike Danenberg ( http://www.performance-therapy.com/) has been a HUGE part of this 'rehab' process and thank him deeply. Crazy how the speed comes w/ very little effort. 2.5 miles covered...w/ virtually no pain. You all rock who are praying specifically about this...Thank you for the intercessory prayer.

Can't wait to see how the legs feel post 112 at L-ville/L-Vegas. The hope/plan/vision is to hold 8s for the 26. Would do the moonwalk and pull the 'water sprinkler' if the calve is a non-issue and sub 8s became a reality (those who know me...know I would do that)....

As Luke would say (per my prompting), "...lets do this!...win the race...go Dada..." (w/ a developing 'air fist' to boot). Son, not only will 'Dada' and 'Mama' do this, but we will be seeking to reflect Christ through it all...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

...Thank you!...

Day 93 - August 25, 2009 - Week 12
Before I know it I will be jumping into the mighty Ohio w/ 3000 other like minded folk. I did not want the opportunity to give thanks to pass me by.

I am thankful for...
(1) ...those who have followed this "10 Hr Project" and who have encouraged me along the way. Yep, knowing that others were actually 'tracking' me along the way raised the bar a bit. I appreciate each one of you.

(2)
...those who have touched based via email in the last few days/weeks and stated that they would be praying for me. That rocks and totally gets me fired up to know that others will be throwing 'air mail' for me. If I could give you the 'air fist', 'baked potato', etc. to you I would.

(3) ...my dear wife who juggled everything to make this happen. Not only did she have to train for IML, but she more often then not put Luke and I first. She is in the business of hitting homers each day. Clear over the center field fence I say. Getting her tail up at 4 AM so as to keep the Lukinator (aka, Luke Leo) at the Leo casa vs. 'kid care places' always impressed me. Not sure if I am married to Martha Stewart or to Anne Leo sometimes; she kills it in the kitchen. Thanks babe for being 'my coach' at some of the most crucial times.

(4) ...being able to live out my dreams. In fact, I am very grateful that Anne AND I have been given the chance to toe the line. She was told she would never be able to run again and here she is primed and ready to do battle. No joke, I can still remember the MD telling her, "...maybe 5Ks, but I would not consider marathons...". Having micro fracture surgery (promoting the growth of cartilage) to the tibia and femur heads is a HEAVY surgery. This is another blog entry in and of itself. Once again, His mercy, compassion, and will reigned in this situation.

Along the same lines, I am so grateful that I can walk let alone run. It simply amazes me how gracious and powerful our Lord was, is, and continues to be for me. Being knocked clear into the woods at 40 to 50 MPH by a motorcycle was the best thing that ever happened to me (Oct 2000 - 1 week prior to IMF - last training run). Brain trauma, pelvic/coccyx bone fractures,
hip permanently scarred w/ the headlight of the bike, and learning to walk again wakes you up to eternity and grace quickly. I thank Christ for sparing me that day, allowing me to recover as I did, and then attempt IM racing. He is too cool, too strong, and too big for me to wrap my peanut sized brain around.

You all are awesome....and I look forward to working it at IML w/ you all in mind.

Not so sure what I will do w/ this blog post IML, but I certainly want to keep things fresh and interesting.

FYI: If IML does not pan out...I will be very eager to do some serious damage at one in the near future. Anne and I will be focusing in on another Leo post IML. So...if we are blessed w/ another mini-L this will keep the IM focus off radar for sometime. Short course will be the focus. Hummmmm....how about 70.3 in 6 hrs a week? Thoughts? NCTS title in 6-8 hrs a week?

Stay tuned...Coach L is getting fired up....

Monday, August 24, 2009

...2 steps FWD and 1 step back...

Day 92 - August 24, 2009 - Week 12
So glad to report that I am able to run.

Seeing the gentleman at LKN this weekend in the wheelchair almost took my breath away. ALS is such a horrible disease. Didn't know what to say to him or what to write on his shirt. I needed to see that gentleman and be reminded how quickly life can change course on you. I know he would do ANYTHING to walk again...let alone run.

I will think of you my friend on game day.

On less important matters God has blessed me with the ability to run again. This calf ordeal has been part of His plan and I am eager to see how this will all play out. Thanks to Mike Danenberg my eyes have been opened to my over emphasized 'toe off'. This has really tweaked my R medial gastroc, but the new mechanics have allowed me to run 'pain free'...for periods of time.

This morning I propped up the CompuTrainer stand on the HC Parkway and rolled for 30 min in my 'race day threads' (Under Armour Heat Gear and 2XU race shorts - final decision folks). Held a steady 200 watts and enjoyed the scenery and entertained many passing motorists. Off the bike I felt like a stinking rockstar for 24 min and then wammooo the calf began to 'lock up'...again.

I hope that I am blessed w/ the ability to run this race because I feel outstanding when this calf behaves. For example, holding a 6:48 pace feels 'easy' w/ a mid-foot emphasis. So that gets me all gitty. I thought my watch was not working when I saw sub 6 pacing today. Lets do this!

Training and racing is a process. One must be able to deal w/ the good days/races and one must be able to deal w/ the dismal ones too. If IML does not pan out I will see it as a motivator...a kick in the pants. Sure, I will be pissed and ready to punch the closest Oak tree, but I will need to put my big boy pants on.

After all, I need to represent w/ the "10 Hr Project" and provide an alternate route to IM training. More importantly, I want to shine for Christ who allows me to stand, breathe, and move.

Rock on folks and enjoy the ability to move...today. It is a precious gift.

Coach Double L out...




Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who is in control?

Day 88 - August 20, 2009 - Week 11
Well folks, I am officially in crunch time. It is hard to believe that IML is days away. Before I know it Annie and I will be driving to Louisville for a 'catered workout'. This R calf issue is what it is and I am not so happy about it. Just being honest here folks.

Its amazing how one can train their tail off and have goals/plans/expectations and then the rug is pulled out from underneath your Nikes. So...what is one to do when it all seems a bit bleak? When the future appears uncertain?

Those who have been following this blog know that I had my sights on Kona for 2009. The intention was to leave a mark at this bad boy, but I have been forced to re-evaluate things big time.

I am at a place where I will be totally stoked to make it through IML....let alone throw down a qualifying time.

From the onset I wanted to honor God and glorify Him through this event and the "10 Hr Project". The catch here is that His plan my not line up with what I desired from the onset. That is hard for me to swallow, but I must remember I am not in this for the medals, the pictures, the podium, the finisher certificate, or to play in Kona w/ the fish. I am in this to give God the glory and to experience Him through the good and bad circumstances. I must be prepared to break tape in 9 hrs or to DNF on game day. Two extremes indeed. The ultra cool catch here is that I know on Aug 30 I will be relying fully on His strength and be fulfilling His will for this day.

So, I state officially today, "...bring it on Lord..., may I serve and reflect you well!..."

I want to thank my good man and friend Mike Danenberg for his help on this calf. It is relevant to note that he picked out a biomechanical issue that predisposed me to this 'injury'. Too much POSE running (I seriously did not know I was emphasizing the 'toe off' so dramatically) tendencies overloaded the R calf and it had nothing to do w/ the shoes. Thanks so much Mike for your time and expertise.

I'd like to also thank my good friend Gary M for sending me a piece of scripture I so desperately needed to see today:

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I certainly hope you are all having an outstanding day. I will be posting some relevant data points in the coming days regarding the weekly hour average, etc.

Power on...Coach L

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not the ideal taper...or is it?

Day 84 - August 16, 2009 - Week 11
Back in May of this year when I started planning out this "10 Hr Project" I would have never constructed the taper I have been forced to follow. The mysterious R calf mishap that showed up out of no where two weeks ago has taken me down a much different path.

As I look back at my Kona prep of 2007 I find that I have done more training and feel much stronger/prepared. So, I am certainly at peace w/ not getting in that 20 miler that I had intended to hit last Saturday. Those who know me and who have been following this blog from the beginning also know that I trust fully in the Lord and His plans for this race.

This past Saturday I meet up w/ my good friend Mike Danenberg (http://performance-therapy.com/) to see what he could do with this. We covered much during this time together. I am not a big fan of changing shoes at this late stage of race prep, but per Mike's analysis he believes I need a bit more medial posting in my shoe. Therefore, I will move to using the Nike Glide (http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?sitesrc=uslp&country=US&lang_locale=en_US#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-241565/pgid-241567) in place of the Nike Lunar Trainer (http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?sitesrc=uslp&country=US&lang_locale=en_US#l=shop,pdp,cid-1/pid-246039/pgid-177955 ). The lack of medial support (in the Glide) may be promoting the medial belly of the gastroc to be over worked, which is promoting dysfunction in the calf.

Interestingly enough, this may also be the reason for the mysterious knee pain I had experienced on the medial side of my knee too several weeks/months ago. I praise God that this did not develop into a case of ITB per the notes above.

So, here we are left w/ less then 2 weeks before IML. The game plan at this time is to eliminate this dysfunction in my R calf and stay sharp.

I will try to get in a 'pain free' run tomorrow (Aug 17) after a 30 min warm up on the CT on the HCP 1 mile loop. Post this run I will then have a good feel for LKN and if this race will fit for the 2009 season. I don't want to dull my edge for IML per my efforts at LKN.

Have a great week! Coach Lance


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Playing it smart....trying that is

Day 81 - August 13, 2009 - Week 11
Given how close 'game day' is I have opted to play it smart and avoid the common pitfall of squeezing in 'just one more long workout'. Crazy how tempting it is to fall for that. Being weeks from IML and having this calf issue has forced me to evaluate the options and be at peace with what has been done. I wanted that 20 miler, but will save the energy I would have devoted to that for the energy required to push in the last 13 of the 26.

The hope is to pull together a sharp 10-13 miler this Saturday on the old HCP (Highland Creek Pkwy) on the 'flat' 1 mile loop. I am so hungry for this run I can hardly stand it. Will likely wear my new Nike Lunar Trainers in this run to break em' in. There is simply not enough time for me to weigh out the Lunar Glide that I have waiting in my closet. If Kona happens I will likely test these dogs out. I feel like I have a "Foot Locker" in my closet per the number of new 'kicks' there.

Fun note
: Luke really likes the Lunar Trainer and told me today that these are the shoes...'...Dada wear at Ironman...'. You stand correct son...you stand correct. He loves to scream/say...'Ironman'!


I hope you are all training smart and enjoying this beautiful day...

For those who like data and graphs (like I) you will see my workout from Wednesday below...


My man Mark O sent this YouTube clip to me that made me laugh so hard I cried...LOVED it! I hope you get a kick out of it like I did....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMITu4


Monday, August 10, 2009

Good news...

Day 79 - August 11, 2009 - Week 11
It has been a while since I touched base. So lets do some catching up...

This Saturday I spent time in Raleigh w/ my family as my dear wife took on the Duke Half bike course two times. I must give mad props to my man Jon Armstrong for hanging w/ Annie for this ride and for being there for her. I am very grateful for your sacrificial heart Jon!

Proud to say that she excelled and held a pace that reflects the effectiveness of the CompuTrainer training she has done for the last 8 plus months. I am a data geek so here are some numbers that reflect her current fitness level on this given day:
- HR average of 120 (I'd love to see the size of her left ventricle)
- MPH average of 18
- 101 miles total

Off the bike she ingested 7 miles at an average pace of 8:23/mile including walking breaks at aid stations and plenty of climbing out of the New Hope Overlook Park.

Upon her return to the Leo homestead in Holly Springs, NC she looked like she had just biked 10 miles and run a mile. You go Annie! You go! Bring on Loui'...

Switching gears, it is tough when you are mentally poised to take on a workout, but a small piece of you does not permit completion.

I neglected to mention (I believe) that last week was my last go on the CompuTrainer (CT) per the use of the Interactive Real Course video. The last ride on the CT was a great one, but what happened post this 2:20 effort is what has slowed momentum a bit. At mile 3 (of 4.5) my R calf begin to cramp up a bit and throw abnormal pain signals. The kind that force you to take notice. Well, this threw a wrench in things for the 20 miler I had planned for the weekend. I only got about 1.7 miles into the 20 miler and had to pull the plug. Being so close to 'game day' I knew I had to call it a day, which did not settle well for me.

The 'good news' that I so desperately had to hear and see though was presented to me at Harvest Community Church (http://harvestcharlotte.com/) earlier that morning. For whatever reason I was simply not desiring church that AM, but I am so glad I went. During this service one of our missionaries in Nigeria (Peter Fretheim) presented a video clip that was a 'direct hit' to my heart. Tears rolling down the face and all. To see a man who had no arms and no legs have more joy then 10 of me was what I needed that morning. I hope to share this video when it becomes available.

Seeing and hearing Joshua speak of the joy he had in Christ helped me put everything in perspective despite 'this disappointing day'. I almost felt ashamed that I could be so caught up in me to not see how good I have it.

When my legs are screaming and I simply have nothing left in the tank at IML I certainly hope that Joshua will come to mind. I also hope tears will roll down my face as I think and ponder on the source of his joy!

The 1.7 mile run that was supposed to be 20 brought me back to...

Proverbs 16:9 (New International Version)

9 In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Taper in sight

Day 75 - August 7, 2009 - Week 10
Today marked the last day of riding the Interactive Real Course videos in there entirety. I began to crack today w/ about 15 miles to go and wanted to call it a day, but finished er' off.

From a numbers perspective this ride marked the eleventh time on the CT (CompuTrainer) where I went for longer then 2 hrs. The average time spent on the CT broke down to 2 hours and 48 minutes.
I find myself part nervous and excited given how this can appear to be very little volume for an Ironman.

As I process this reality I stand on the premise that CT training is simply high quality; no rest/coasting for 2-3 hrs.
For those who have never used a CT it is important to emphasize that on the 'downhills' you can't stop pedaling. One must continue to engage the pedals if you desire a 'forward progression'. You will literally come to a stop in seconds if you do not keep working those cranks. This is just one aspect of CT training that makes 1 hr feel like much more.

Thought I would share what the mindset was for this last week leading into IML. For the two rides on the CT my goal was to execute a wattage output that was at least 40 to 80 watts higher then my goal output on race day. The premise here was to do "2 to 3 hrs of dynamic/bike specific strength training". Case in point, I would not for a minute consider averaging 258 watts at IML (ave watts for 51 miles today). This week really stressed the legs well and I believe will set me up for an outstanding taper/sharpening for Aug 30.

In the weeks to come I plan to really stress high quality efforts on the CT via Functional Threshold work coupled w/ threshold speed on the run. The sessions will be no longer then 1 to 2 hrs (initially) and drop to about 45 min max.

I will also be shifting slightly to more water time to bring the 'feel' of the water to an appropriate level. Hitting the water two times and pushing out 1000 to 2000 yds max. Short and sweet.

Strength training will deviate from the intensity seen in the Metabolic Effect (ME) for sure. I intend to keep 'one legged strength' the focus w/ minimal loading. Oh, if you want to see Sonni and I representing on YouTube....check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z047sdofTQg&feature=channel_page

Have an outstanding day troops! Coach L

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Encouraging progress...

Day 74 - August 6, 2009 - Week 10
As you all have come to know I like to see progress. Yesterday was one of those days where I saw that on the bike. Below is a snapshot of how it went down on the IML course (Disc 1) via the Interactive Real Course video:


June 29, 2009
Ave Watts - 222
Norm Watts - 233
Ave MPH - 20.5
Ave HR - 144 bpm
Ave RPM - 96

July 18, 2009
Ave Watts - 233
Norm Watts - 238
Ave MPH - 19.3
Ave HR - 138 bpm
Ave RPM - 94

August 5, 2009
Ave Watts - 260
Norm Watts - 270
Ave MPH - 20.9
Ave HR - 145 bpm
Ave RPM - 92

Finding the legs to be really taking well to the CT emphasis. I certainly confess it is not easy mentally or physically to execute 95% of your bike training on the CT, but the pros far outweigh the cons HEAVILY (in my opinion). For example, I love it that I do not have to throw rocks at salivating dogs at mile 65 into a ride - huge pro!

Post this sub 3 hr ride the goal was to come off running at a pace faster then IM pace. 4.44 miles were covered on the HCP (Highland Creek Pkwy) at a 7:04 pace. Interesting side note regarding the value of compression clothing/gear/accessories. I have not experienced any calve issues for the last 3 months. Yesterday at mile 2 my R calve began to 'cramp' up. The only difference between this run off the CT and those prior was the lack of compression sleeves. So...I look FWD to seeing what happens Friday when I hit the IML Disc 2 as I have in the past w/ a run post. Hoping for a solid run w/ no calf issues.

I have to make another confession. I did the unthinkable the other day and took scissors to my Zoot compression socks. After trying out 2XU calve compression sleeves I saw no other choice. I did this for three reasons:

(1) It can take up to 5 min to work these suckers on (as a full sock)
(2) I found 2XU to be an inferior product to Zoot
(3) I want to have these suckers on under my Rocket Science speed suit and having the full version on would not flow

Last note for the day. Bought the Nike Lunar Glide to see how it matches up to the Nike Lunar Trainer. On the fence if this shoe can compare to the 'slipper' that I have come to absolutely love. Was hoping it would provide just a hair more stability and feel just like the Lunar Trainer, but not sure how it will pan out. Will keep you all posted...

Listen to your body....Coach L





Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Numbers

Day 71 - August 4, 2009 - Week 10
It is hard to believe that I am nearing the final building stages for IML 2009. From a periodization stand point I am eying my last final go at tackling the Interactive Real Course videos of IML. I hope to engage Disc 1 (miles 0-61) tomorrow and then Disc 2 (miles 61-112) on Thursday. As I analyze the data and think of Aug 30 I can't wait to see how things pan out. Here is a quick break down on the numbers per the "10 Hr Project" on the CompuTrainer (CT):

- June 1st to the present -
  • average 'long ride' is 2 hrs and 50 min
  • average power output for rides lasting over 2 hrs on the CT; 228.4 watts
  • average power output for rides lasting less then 2 hrs on the CT; 253.1 watts
  • total number of rides exceeding 2 hrs on the CT; 9
  • total number of rides below 2 hrs on the CT; 8
Feeling very fresh and hungry for more training, which is not typical of Ironman triathletes. The "10 Hr Project" certainly promotes high quality training and leaves quantity for quantity sake at the door. My hope is that this will work in my favor come race day.

Eager to re-test on the bike from a Lactate Balance Point (LBP) and Critical Power (CP20) perspective post this week to further narrow the focus for the bike leg.

I am happy to report that my dear wife took on a 20 miler today and had a strong run. Held an 8:30 pace including 'aid station' walking (closer to an 8 min mile average). She is in good form and has utilized a similar training approach as I. The greatest deviation has been her time in the saddle outdoors post her CT rides.

Not much to report or to elaborate on. Hoping you are all enjoying the day.

Train smart....Coach L

Friday, July 31, 2009

Anne vs. Whole Foods

Day 69 - July 31, 2009 - Week 9
Friends, Coach L here to report that Whole Foods can't come close to my wife's cooking. Yep, the cake I had driven over an hour for was terrible. I almost feed it to the birds. Could not believe it. Maybe my standards are too high, but Annie's cakes (cooking) is seriously outstanding. I wish I could share it with you all. No joke, she makes the MOST INSANE sticky buns. She makes the stuff Cinnabon pumps out look like dog chow. Oh well, lesson learned. I just couldn't have her cook her own B-Day cake and there was a story behind this that extends beyond the immediate scope of this blog.

The fun posi that came from this journey that I did not share previously was that I drove the first hour (to Winston) w/ windows closed and with the heat on low. I did this just to make a comfortable setting uncomfortable. If you all could have seen the faces of those at Whole Foods as I worked through the aisles. My stinking Birkenstocks were squeaking w/ each step :) Thought for sure that someone was going to offer me a towel to dry off. Shout out to my man Chrome Dome and Mark O for being in on this insanity.

From a training perspective this AM was a good one. Opted to switch gears slightly and push out a 10K on the treadmill instead of the 10 miles. Wanted to save a bit for the key workout on Saturday. It is amazing how 78 degrees can feel like 95 when the garage door is shut and when there is no fan. I have also found that at about 40 min the treadmill (the actual belt) becomes like ice per the heavy volume of sweat that falls on it. Quality run was had w/ some foam rolling post.

I hope you all have a great day and enjoy some GOOD cake along the way...Coach L out

Thursday, July 30, 2009

1 hr of Quality

Day 67 - July 29, 2009 - Week 9
Happy Birthday Annie!
Can't stop thinking about that Whole Foods chocolate cake. Will make sure to report in on this tomorrow.


This is a rest week, which I hope to end w/ a 3-4 hr session on Saturday. The plan is to execute Disc 2 (62-112 miles) of the IML course and then run strong for 1 hr post.

Prior to Saturday I hope to hit a 10 miler at a pace faster then IM pace (on Friday). Closer to 70.3 pacing.

For today I opted to squeeze strength, tethered swimming, and tempo running all into 1 hour. I love these workouts for there is no fluff involved or lolly gagging (sp).

Flow sheet:
(1) 5 x 100 stroke count tether swims w/ finis freestyle snorkel and 30 sec recovery
(for kicks I had G.T. [Lifeguard at Nomad] film me this AM so I could asses my stroke...thanks G.T. for your time!)




(2) 7 min of strength; 10 lb db deep squat w/ shoulder press, push up w/ db row, knee to elbow crossovers, db walking lunges w/ elbow to knee, crunch chest press, 3 foot step up w/ shoulder press, db sky jumps (all done on the awesome spongy pool deck at Nomad w/ bare feet) - no rest between exercises

(3) 1 x 100; as above

(4) 7 min of strength; as above

(5) 4.27 m run at tempo pace through Skybrook

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

R/B Intensive #2

Day 66 - July 29, 2009 - Week 9
In the closing weeks leading up to IML I will be incorporating some lower RPM work to further strengthen the legs. My tendencies are to hoover around 100 RPM at all stages of a race/event. To promote a better balance I incorporated another Hill Intensive session coupled w/ 400 m efforts at a sub 6 min pace. The AM training on the bike is summarized below:


The reasoning behind the 4 min climbs (for those new to this blog) is per the fact that the longest hill at IML is ~1 mile in length and has taken me about 4 min to ascend. This is the section from 17 to 25 miles on the course. I am a data guy and the table below is the kind of stuff that gets me fired up. Progress is good and I am glad to see the positive trends in this 2 week period:



Post this session it was off to the road w/ the Nike Lunar kicks. Was hoping to hit the brand new track in Highland Creek, but opted for a 400 m 'track' from home. Per the image below you can see that this was not the flattest section of road, but it worked:



400 - 1:27 (5:47 ave pace)
400 - 1:24 (5:35)
400 - 1:24 (5:31)
400 - 1:23 (5:29)
400 - 1:22 (5:31)
400 - 1:22 (5:26)
400 - 1:18 (5:14)




A great morning was had from the 'Performance Center', 'Dungeon', 'Furnace' (aka garage).

My dear wife busted it out as well in the garage for 1 hr on the Tacx w/ 15 min on the PowerCranks this AM. She continues to show great progress. A very solid 17 miler was had by Anne on Tuesday per the 1.35 mile loop approach (rolling loop). You go babe...I am ultra proud of you. Excited to celebrate her birthday this Thursday w/ a 'made to order' Whole Foods cake (vegan dark chocolate cake). This thing weighs about 15 lbs and screams dense/quality. I went to Winston-Salem to pick up this baby and wait w/ great anticipation/expectation to dig into this thing.

Side Note: Sad to report that the CRAFT Kona Kit (worn by Sinballe at Kona) was a complete disappointment to this cat. Per putting it on in front of Anne her chin almost hit the floor. Not much needs to be said here other then the material is white and is compression based. She said, "....and Lance...it is not even wet...". That being said, its going back to the sender.

Off to plan B I go...

Have an incredible day everyone and embrace the heat...Coach L (where is the heat by the way?)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Proof in the numbers

Day 63 - July 25, 2009 - Week 8 (PART 2)
Friends, I am sold. 100% sold on my Rocket Science Sports Rocket Skin. Just got out of the pool w/ hot data to share.

10 x 100 w/ 30 seconds recovery per
100 warm up
1-5 w/ 2XU Elite Suit
100 - 1:06.1
100 - 1:06.8
100 - 1:07.9
100 - 1:09.4
100 - 1:10.0 (1:07.6 ave)
...1st 25 stroke count ~13 to last 25 stroke count ~17...

5:00 min to get into the Rocket Skin (over top the 2XU Elite Suit)

6-10 w/ Rocket Skin
100 - 1:05.1
100 - 1:04.3
100 - 1:04.0
100 - 1:04.3
100 - 1:04.0 (1:04.2 ave)
...1st 25 stroke count ~11 to last 25 stroke count ~16...

Not sure how many other swims I will be doing w/ this suit, but I am certainly convinced that these things give a SIGNIFICANT edge to those who use them.

If anyone has questions about this suit feel free to throw em' my way...lance@studio7multisport.com



"EPIC" Bike continued

Day 65 - July 27, 2009 - Week 9
Per my most recent post you can see that my little guy wanted to become part of the action. He was quick to opt for breakfast in the garage w/ "Dada" as I worked through Disc 1 of IML (miles 0-61) and then part of Disc 2 (miles 61-112). Not sure what he thought of the whole scenario as I spit at the base of his highchair and grimaced unnecessarily (more on that later).

This particular training session brought several things to light for me. Below is a summation of these points:

(1) Anne and I love desert. We do desert and love every bite of it.
The night before I made the error, however, of taking on too many empty calories (should have known better); ice cream and cookies. I normally take on more nutrient dense calories, but this night I did not. So, I think this came back to bite me in the tail post coming of the 4 hr bike in the garage (despite my intake of Infinit (280 cal/hr), Anti-Fatigue Caps (1 per/30 min), Endurolytes (1 per/30 min), and 1/2 a Kids Clif Bar).

(2) I became obsessed w/ numbers. In the past (and in this case) I have allowed NUMBERS to dictate pacing and intensity in such a way that performance suffers. This was the case in the closing miles of Disc 1 of the IML ride. For some reason I got bent on going sub 3 hrs for this section and did would not let go of this goal. As a result of this effort I completely blew my legs for the rest of the day (miles 59.06 to 61.07 w/ a watt range of 286-361). Luke sat there in his highchair and witnessed this absurd behavior and was left speechless. His face said..."...what gives Dada?...".


The combo of these two points completely left me in a deficit for the the planned 1 hour run post the bike. 3 miles into this run I could not run and opted to pull the trigger on it w/ hopes of another day. This was a major disappointment, but I learned from the experience.

I plan on giving it one more go in two weeks where I intend do the same ride, but stick the 1 hour run. This will be the last build phase before the IML taper.

Fun tid bits to share:

(1) Thanks to my man Cody Angell w/ Try Sports (http://www.trysports.com/) he helped me land a Rocket Science Sports Rocket Skin (http://www.rocketsciencesports.com/SwimSkin_Page.php
For kicks I took it to NOMAD Sunday to give it a go and here are my very initial results:
100 yd warm up w/ Rocket Skin
THEN
100 yd race pace w/ Rocket Skin = 1:02:5 w/ average stroke count of ~16 (11 low and 17 high)
THEN
(2 min to get it off)
100 yd race pace in 2XU Elite Suit = 1:04.9 w/ average stroke count of ~17 (15 low and 18 high)
...plan on testing this further, but for 300 yds of swimming I was very happy w/ how it felt...
...very, very happy to see how swimming w/ a tether ONLY for the last 2+ months has resulted in the times noted above...very encouraging!

(2) Including gum chewing into my regimen. I have found this to be a great way to refocus the mind a bit by working something in your mouth. The side benefit is that you can clean your mouth of the taste of the energy drink you have been using for the last 3 to 6 hrs.

(3) Ordered the CRAFT Kona Kit ( http://trisports.com/craft-konakit.html ). Have yet to receive it in the mail, but intend to use it in the closing weeks before IML.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

EPIC Bike

Day 63 - July 25, 2009 - Week 8
For now...this pic summarizes things well. More detail to follow on the day, what I learned, and new 'additions' to the "10 Hr Project". Please take note of Luke's face to the right.


Friday, July 24, 2009

1 mile x 17

Day 62 - July 24, 2009 - Week 8
This week has progressed well. On Thursday (July 23) I created a scenario as race specific as I could. Per the image below you'll see that I executed 17 laps of a 1 mile course.


This can be very mentally taxing per the repetitive nature of this approach. I have found this to work well for me for several reasons:

(1) Allows me to carry nothing on me while running, but my Saltstick w/ Anti-Fatigue Caps.
(2) Allows me to train as I will race on game day; hit each Aid Station at each mile to refuel/cool off/refocus.
(3) Allows me a faster overall pace (case in point: July 23 ave pace of 7:24 including the 20-40+ sec walk breaks) for the run.
(4) Allows you train on a course that is very similar to the course you will be racing on (case in point: the course above is very consistent to the elevation gains seen at IML).


Within this run I had to make the tough decision to pull out early. The downpour that hit at 12 miles was outstanding; felt like a kid playing in the rain. Some of the fastest miles were had there. At miles 16-17 the legs did not seem to be as responsive so I opted to pull the trigger on this planned 20 miler. The mindset was 'quality over quantity'. In the back of my mind I also knew I had a 4 hr CompuTrainer (CT) and 1+ hr run to digest on Saturday. This workout has to be one my best.

Speaking of incredible workouts. I am elated to report that my dear wife threw down 3 hrs on the CT (disc 2) and then 1 hr on the HCP. She then posted a super fast 5 mile run on a rolling course; 7:20-7:30 ave pace (including walking through aid stations). Anne is in very good form for IML and I am super proud of her drive; being on the trainer at pre-4 AM is incredible! Go Annie!

Looking FWD to reporting in post Saturdays planned workout noted above. Hoping to have a break through effort.

Have an outstanding day everyone! Coach L







Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hills and IML

Day 60 - July 22, 2009 - Week 8
I would estimate that I have ridden the IML course four times at this point per the Interactive Real Course video route. In this time I have paid close attention to the time it takes me to ascend the longest hills on the course. I believe the longest climb for me is within the 17 to 25 mile segment of the course (the out and back section). Most recently (last week) I approached these hills as I plan to approach them on race day = conservatively. It took me approximately 4 min to ascend these 3.5 to 10% incline hills.

So...today I exposed my legs to low RPM / high wattage hills (opposite of game day tactics) and enjoyed them immensely. This was a very high quality effort much like Tuesday (FTP 20 min efforts) and took just under 1 hr to complete (57:36). No run post...had to get the day started. Below is a summation of this workout graphically:


From a training theory/methodology perspective I am pre-fatiguing the legs slightly leading into the long run for this week of 20 miles.

Tomorrow will likely be spent in the water w/ the tether. It is relevant to note that I am doing 95% of my IML swim training via a tether set up. Not sure how many have noticed that my WEEKLY totals for swimming have been 100 to 300 yds. These few yards reflect my cool down post. Very few go this route, but I am willing to be the 'test rat' to see its effectiveness in regard to long course racing. I will also be spicing up this workout by jumping out of the pool and executing ME like strength work (at a much lower intensity) as 'active recovery'.

Have an outstanding day folks and embrace it! Coach L

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

B/R Intensive

Day 58 - July 20, 2009 - Week 8
The goal of today was to hit the Functional Threshold Power (FTP) on the CT and then run strong with fatigued/tired legs on the Tmill. Anne executed her 16 miler on the 1.35 mile loop w/ the 'Aid Station' set up at the end of our driveway. She had an outstanding run...averaging sub 8 pace on a rolling course. She is looking outstanding for IML.

From a graphical perspective this is how the bike went down:

After two bouts of 20 min at FTP the legs began to fade, thus the 2 min attempts at 90-110% FTP w/ 1 min recovery. The mindset here was to bite of some high intensity work, which would then build the legs for a future third, fourth, etc 20 min block.

The initial plan was to tackle 3-4 20 min FTP efforts pre-IML, but I am not so sure the legs will have time to adapt to this load/intensity.

Will make due w/ 2 x 20 min efforts if that is all I can put together pre-Aug 30.

Off the the above effort I hit the TMill for 6 x 400 m w/ 1 min recovery. The goal was to hold 6 to sub 6 min pace. With the Nike Lunar Trainers I felt like I was running on marshmallows; felt outstanding!

Can't wait to use a similar workout in the last Load Weeks ahead; 1 or 2 left before the taper.

Post this workout I focused on 1 leg and glute strength via mini-bands and an instability pad.

Feeling great today and excited about the 4 hr CT ride and 1:30 run that is on the docket for this Saturday! Giddy am I....

Train smart and w/ purpose today folks! Coach L

Monday, July 20, 2009

Too much of a good thing...

Day 57 - July 20, 2009 - Week 8
As most of you know I am a huge fan of the Metabolic Effect (ME) strength regimen/approach. Huge fan. Last week (July 13) Sonni and I took on a very sound lower body focused sequence that was outstanding. I wanted more in fact. I have a tendency to really push myself so hard that it can take days for me to recover. Well...that is what I did last week. Post this session it took me about 5 days to find my legs again.

Moral of the story; acute training sessions can make future training unproductive.

The plans I had laid out for last week had to be modified quite a bit. Below is a very quick summary of some of the key workouts executed:

July 15 (tethered swimming)
- the goal is to work towards a continuous 500 stroke count; ~10 min continuous w/ Finis Freestyle Snorkel
- on this day I did 4 x 200 stroke count w/ 1 min recovery per

July 17 (Interactive Real Course Video - Disc 2)
- as you can see below this was not a good day
- the HR trend was slowly increasing w/ DECREASING watts
- opted to pull out and get mind focused on a solid session for Saturday

July 18 (Interactive Real Course Video - Disc 1)
- rocked the boat a bit and opened the garage door, had NO heaters on, and had the floor fan on (I needed a good workout per the sub par week)
- hit the 61 miles on Disc 1 (3 hrs and 12 min) and took a much more conservative approach; 200-230 watts
- averaged 233 watts and had an average HR of 138 bpm
- finished w/ a 1 hr run at my IM goal pace of 7:30/mile (average 7:28 pace and 154 HR)

All in all a good week. Just realizing that I can't lay it down like I have in the ME world. There will be plenty of time to do that from Nov to Feb.

Week 7 Totals:


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saturation #2 and plans

Day 52 - July 15, 2009 - Week 7
I am still absorbing the solid work done w/ Jade, Gary, and SonniD from Monday (if you haven't checked out the videos take a look at the last posting). I love the 'shock' factor that comes with the ME workouts. No muscle can hide and the mind is forced to 'tap out' or stay in the game.

With that being said I am 'adjusting my sights' on the second saturation phase of training.
The plan is to execute 112 miles in 48 hrs all on the CT (CompuTrainer) and the Interactive Real Course Videos of IML. This will be the second time I have attempted this. Being armed w/ my most recent LBP data I will venture out onto Disc 1 Thursday (July 16) AM (miles 0-61) and see how the HR and wattage numbers mesh. In other words, w/ an LBP of 230 watts and 165 bpm where can I hang and still have legs to run with? I am planning on sticking to a 220 watts and a 145 to 155 bpm intensity, but I am wide open to modify this per my findings.

For Friday (July 17) I intend to hit Disc 2 (miles 61-112) and see how the legs respond per the effort on Thursday. On this day I hope to hit the run for approximately 20 min.

For Saturday (July 18) I am considering doing another Functional Threshold Power (July 12 posting) workout (1 x 20 min) before embarking on an 18 miler. The purpose here is to further test/fatigue the legs and then see what my legs can do for 2 hrs on the road. I am strongly considering making the 1.5 mile loop a true 1 mile loop to make the training more race specific and mentally challenging.

This is a quick preview of my plans, but trust and lean on...
Proverbs 16:9
...In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Have an outstanding day everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Metabolic Effect and Studio7 #2 (Lower Body Focus)

As noted yesterday, this is simply the best strength training an endurance athlete can do. I encourage you to watch the three clips below for a taste of it.

This video is 3:30 min long so I had to cut it into 3 separate videos.

Our next shooting will likely take place at a track where we will employ stadium stairs, weighted vest, and the '400 m oval'. We hope to hit this in about 4 weeks. Stay tuned.

We will be eventually be making these available for MP3/4 players and have them on DVD as well. Please take a look at www.studio7multisport.com and www.metaboliceffect.com for updates.

Enjoy, Coach L

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

Sunday, July 12, 2009

LBP Progress and ME #2

Day 50 - July 13, 2009 - Week 7
I could not be any happier w/ how things developed Saturday morning. I opted to re-test my Lactate Balance Point (LBP) on the bike as my wife gutted it out on the CT for 3:30 hrs and then crushed a one hour run. She is in good form for IML.

This approach (LBP) to testing is relatively new, but I believe it trumps the older methods; 2 and 4 mmols of lactate as bio markers. This method tests your bodies ability to process/assimilate lactate post a progressive build to near maximum. As you can see below I have seen a dramatic shift in my LBP on the bike from January to July:

What I love about this new data is that I can now test my legs at these intensities and see how the legs respond off the bike. At this point I plan to zero in on 220 watts for the first 30 miles and a high end limit of 150 bpm. Post this block of time I will asses the legs and make the next logical move on Aug 30th.

It is important to note that I took this testing to the next level by validating these findings within 5 min of seeing the upward trend of lactate accumulation (talking testing protocol here). For 16 min I held 230 watts and 165 bpm and found the following from a lactate response perspective:

0-4 min: 1.8 mmol, 4-8 min: 2.0 mmol, 8-12 min: 1.8 mmol, and from 12-16 min:1.9 mmol

As you can see the body was very capable of processing the lactate that was being produced. There was no major spiking seen in this 16 min window. With this trend I was left to believe that this new LBP was validated.

I will execute this test again and do further analysis to fine tune these findings in about 4 weeks. At this time I will execute a 15 min window at a set wattage and HR below the tested LBP (collecting blood 3 times at 5 min intervals), 15 min at the LBP (collecting blood 3 times at 5 min intervals) , and then 15 min above the LBP(collecting blood 3 times at 5 min intervals) to validate the numbers. Probably way too much info, but I thought some would want to know.

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Lots to share since the last post. So, I will summarize below of some relevant workouts and the lessons learned (we all must learn after all or this is all a waste of time):

10 miler on HCP 1.5 mile loop (July 11)
- 2 PM at the 'hottest' time of the day
- averaged 7:03 miles
- went out way too fast; 6:30s for miles 1 and 2
- Lesson Learned: please slow down in the opening miles at IML (I/we will likely have no other choice)

2 x 20 min at FTP (316 watts) w/ 5 min recovery per (July 13)
- one of my favorite workouts for it hurts the most and promotes race specific adaptations
- graph summarizes the workout
- Lesson Learned: still need to expose legs to low RPM efforts (80-90) to be more well rounded


Metabolic Effect #2 - Lower Body Focus
- absolutely insane workout
- the video clip below sums things up well (taking forever to upload...will try later)
- Lesson Learned: to improve your game you must be able to deal w/ pain


Week 6 Totals, etc (drop in volume per medial plica syndrome flare up mid-week)