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

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 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: (Bebo Norman - I Will Lift My Eyes)


No joke...tears were glowing as I watched the second clip. Love watching this 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 ( 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! 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.

...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) 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. 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 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 ( 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 (,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-241565/pgid-241567) in place of the Nike Lunar Trainer (,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 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....

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 ( 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:

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


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