Three Things Thursday

Run with me on June 7 at the Michelob 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon!  Enter my giveaway to win a free registration!

1. I’m done with my big tests for this week! Swim Test, check. Bike test, check. Pretty big improvements on both (although I wonder if I tested poorly the first time on the swim…)
I upped my watts by 10% on the bike, and dropped my swim time by 11 seconds per hundred meters.  I thought it would be good to do a check point on my Ironman big hairy ass goals:

  • I’m 30% closer to my 30 minute swim goal at the half iron distance! The race is in two weeks though, so not sure I’ll get it for the big relay of NOLA 70.3. Perhaps for my June 70.3.
  • Bike speed goal: I am making progress. I haven’t been outside yet (on my bike, this year), and my indoor speeds vary depending on the workout. We’re not focused on speed as much as power & overall fitness. I’m improving on both of those!
  • Training Consistency:  I am making this a week-by-week goal.  This week, goal to complete all workouts unless otherwise dictated by the allowed “Shamrock Shuffle” adjustments.

2. Emma has been “generally unimpressed” lately. With food, with me coming home. Remember when she used to be a cutie and greet me at the door?! Now she hangs out upstairs and just meows when I get up there.


3. I’m so looking forward to the Shamrock Shuffle this weekend! This race has a special spot in my heart (and on my finger!). I’ve decided to race this all out and see how fast I can go right now. I hope to PR (faster than 9:03 pace), and I’d love to go close to a 43:00… Sub 8:51 pace. Eek. I haven’t done a ton of speedy running lately, so this will be an interesting day!.


Triathlon Tuesday: Swim Golf

It’s almost warm enough to golf, eh?:)

Each week I do a few swim workouts.  Two are masters swim practices, and one is a swim technique class with my Ironman training group.  Last week we worked on swim golf.

What is that? It’s a way of finding your sweet spot in terms of how many strokes you take to go the distance as quickly as possible.  Kind of like cadence on a bike or running.  But in the swim, you play the game a little differently:].

Swim golf – or SWOLF – is an interesting drill, intended to measure efficiency in swimming. It’s important to understand how to use it correctly. Here’s the drill (source):

  1. Swim one length of the pool
  2. Count the number of strokes you take
  3. Get your time (in seconds)
  4. Take the sum of (2) and (3). That is your SWOLF score.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4, trying different combinations of stroke rate, stroke length, and effort. Which combinations produce the lowest score?
Don't just power through your stroke - be efficient (source)

Don’t just power through your stroke – be efficient (source)


I found this workout to be challenging, and am still trying to figure out my numbers.

Have you ever played Swim Golf? 

BHAG (Big Hairy Ass Goals) for Ironman Training

I just finished cycling* with my IM group tonight and our coach asked us to think about and write down 3 goals we have for our training. I had the whole ride to think about what I’d put down. Blog-o-sphere, here’s my goals:

1. Train Smart.  This will mean train consistently, listen to my coach, and don’t disobey  her orders!  Training consistently will probably be the biggest challenge, but I’m feeling good that I have more support than I’ve gotten in the past.  I’m working on it, with this week being “get and stay healthy!”

2. Time goal for Ironman: 14:38  or faster.  I’m not sure if this is reasonable, nor is it really a logical time. I saw someone finish in that time whom I admire and was with me when I “registered” for IMWI, and consider us similarly abled (as much as me and a 50 year old man can compare ourselves).  He did Ironman last year, but his first 70.3 time was similar to mine, and half marathon times have been similar as well.  I guess we’ll find out!  If I can go faster, that’d be awesome too.  I’d be ecstatic finishing with a 13:xx too!

3. Bike Goal for IMLOU: 17 mph.  Because I don’t want to be on the bike more than 6 and a half hours.

4. Half Ironman Time Goal:  I would like to get to be able to do a 6:10-6:15 timeframe for a half ironman, which I will be completing in June 2014.

5. Swim BHAG:  This may be my most ambitious time goal… I would LOVE to swim under 30 minutes at the NOLA 70.3.  This would place our team in the top 3-4 for the swim rankings, based on last year’s results.  While I’m mostly doing this for fun, I am somewhat intimidated by my teammates.  Dave is a beast on the bike, and most of us can acknowledge that Mike is a speed demon on legs. I am much less competitive speed-wise than either of them, but I’d like to present them a respectable opportunity to try and win the co-ed award for the race.  This is scary for me because I’m not sure if its’ possible.  It requires me to drop 30 seconds off of my 100yd pace from last season (although that was in a full triathlon, not a swim-only event).  I’m just not sure if it’s even reasonable, and I’m also a little nervous about my shoulder I spent so much time rehabbing and lots of time now maintaining strength.

So that’s more than 3 goals, and it’s a little nerve-wracking to put these out on the internetz for public consumption & judgement, but this will be an AWESOME training and racing cycle if WHEN I accomplish all of these.

ironman inspiration motivation


*Ok well two hours ago now, between penning this, doing some quick research on past results, and eating dinner.  But who’s counting?!