Category Archives: TT Triathlon bike
Somehow… somehow I still can not stop training, it is never enough. Today I was lazy – I only offered a spinning instructor lesson of 1.5 hours. Since I am instructor I refrained from more training today for myself: I had told my people that today would be exhausting. Their comment?
“Today`s spinning unit with you (me) times four = Challenge Roth.”
I loved that statement… (Mark me that statement was by people who know exactly about Duathlon/Triathlon and Challenge Roth).
Spinning the American way
To my American readers: I “adjusted” my spinning lesson. How? You might recall the Magnet Nike add:
By now I found the complete song by Fisher:
That song has an interesting power for riding a bike and so I use it for the beginning of a spinning unit as well as for the end. My people now know when it gets serious and when to calm down. Somehow, somehow this song is a tribute to my American readers – a short moment in my spinning lesson, where I think about you reading my blog and where I smile: Beth, Shonnie, Christi, Scott, Mike and many,many more. When that song plays, you are somehow there in the spinning lesson for a brief moment.
Thank you for taking the ride with me – in times where work overload stops me from posting and in times where I can not stop posting several times daily. Posting about my addiction: Triathlon.
To those who like to know: here an idea on how spinning can be like – actually the style in the link is somehow similar to how I do it:
I am still around Roth, work does not allow me to go home right now. Still I am feeling good down here. The only thing I miss? My TT-bike I miss, so I increased the amount of spinning units drastically to stay fit on the bike (3-4 times spinning a week + Mountain bike training apart from daily running and swimming). Yes, I still enjoy my workouts. As soon as Coach Ralf is back in action I will try to turn this amount I have now into my regeneration training amount. Right now I do not try to figure out, what that might mean for next month Triathlon training…
Running is a blast – it improves daily now. Some days I am out running up to two times a day. Last run (yesterday) hit me at 6:19 min/km. So I am about 2-4 weeks away from my “long-term” goal of being below 6:00 min/km. Considering my weight-loss, I am sure to get below 5:00 min/km this year. Finally I get to interesting times – yes, I am happy about it.
I got my fight with my wager. Not with my partner I had the wager with, but with the Triathlon club responsible for races and rules. It seems there will be a funny twist to this story. I am still laughing on what is going on and will tell you all about it here once I sent my next letter.
Seems as well as if I will translate the whole correspondence and everything around so you get the drift on what is going on. A small hint: today I learned that a soft breeze of app. 3 miles/hour is actually a gruesome storm, which makes buoys drift apart in mere seconds on a secluded area of a lake covered by tress all around. This of course is the reason for the longer swim course. Yes seriously! I call it: the Frankfurt Triathlon swimming mind storm! (Really stormy that stormy storm is.)
And just because people are less… stringent on the truth on my complaint I started to verify each and every statement by officially available and confirmed data. Seriously – they try to pull my leg. This is exactly the point, where people get me started. I am all in for an honest statement: “Hey, something was wrong!”, “We work on that!”,… A statement like that and I am ok. No need to be the troublemaker for serious and honest people. But pulling my leg and trying to make me shut up by means of… “bending the truth” is plain not wise – promised!
I love this sport and will not allow anyone to spoil it for me this way.
I am ok and kicking still – more than ever. IM Frankfurt casts its shadow and I am already anticipating it, knowing it is close already – much closer than it sounds with 310 days to go…
@Michael – On a short sidenote beforehand after our talk in the lake: drop me a note if you like to since I got a suggestion for your issue.
So tapering phase is incoming for me. It is a weird feeling – the fitness of my lifetime and I am hungry for more, much much more. Yet before elaborating on my current status I received an Email… (translation below for the English only readers):
Deine Teilnahme an der Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman Championship 2012 ist hiermit bestätigt.
Veranstaltung: Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship (de) 2012
Datum: 08.07.2012 – 00:00
we herby confirm your application to Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman Championship 2012.
event: Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship (de) 2012
date: 08.07.2012 – 00:00
So it is done, no turning back. 8th of July 2012 it is. I am not sure yet if I should be happy or cry. Cry simply because I am aware of all the pain to follow in the year to come. Others train 16+ years for this and I try to do it after 2 years and still after my first year I feel like a newbie. Well actually I am a newbie still.
Anyways taper phase is incoming. I am happy for taper phase because I feel my legs need rest to regenerate. Especially the pain in my thighs on the backside faded for my left leg but increased for my right leg – ouch. Interval running training has its issues and drawbacks for sure in my weight class. While at it:
- Right now my weight drops like ice melting in the sunshine. Since I got a scale here at home now I can verify that I lose almost 1.5 kg (app 3lbs.) per day. I blame mostly my running training, which is high impact. Yes I love it.
- As mentioned above my right thigh is painful, while my left thigh now is ok – the same pain in my left thigh left me 2 days ago and now it feel just grand.
- Today I was swimming in the lake where my next competition is. I tried to swim approximately the course for race day. First turn wasn’t good I had to stop freestyle and continue breast stroke for 3-8 strokes about 5 times since I am not used yet to a race rhythm. On second turn suddenly it was ok and I could quite easily swim the whole race distance in freestyle. Also I learned that my muscles easily do the distance, taking breath is still a major issue – were it better I could swim a lot faster. Overall I blame my past as a heavy chain smoker. It becomes drastically better, almost day by day but its far away from perfect.
- Running – wow that discipline almost frightened me until a few weeks ago, then it became hard work and now… I feel like I can fly. Depending on the time of day, overall fitness etc. I can make tempo runs. I also learned to play with my tempo and my pulse and feel the power surging through my legs. It feels incredible. By now I am aware that running is my major issue on race day, but… I am much more curious on Ironman next year. If my improvements in running go on like this, it might be a blast doing the marathon next year.
- Ohh well, biking – let us be frank I am not much on my bike. In everyday life I do everything on my bike and this for sure ensures that I keep my fitness. Swimming and running are more important and that’s right now exactly the way of my training plan.
- Transition – so far I did not care much for transition, but it seems I have to. In the next few days I am training a lot, like leading my bike by saddle, jumping on bike eventually with shoes in cleats, bike to run,… Swim to bike I actually trained the swim exit part – I believe to be really good in getting my wetsuit off, keeping goggles and cap in the wetsuit. Onto bike is my issue. We will see on the rest and decide 4 days before race day what I will do: conservative or feeling comfortable with those optimizations.
- Did I tell my right thigh hurts? Right in this second while typing – grrr cant await tapering.
So Coach keeps telling me: all I want you is to finish, forget about your wager. Well I do believe I will win my wager 1st turn, but it is actually not only for that. The better I am on race day, the more I can say thank you to all involved. And maybe deep down I need the pressure to give the last quantum I need to be good for my weight class and situation. I am quite sure to finish, but I hope I can finish in a way that I feel like crawling once I pass the finish line. Not before, but directly when I pass it.
That’s what I truly hope: knowing and feeling I gave everything I could – never less.
This Saturday is my first test race. It is just a sprint distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run). Main purpose is to get a feel for a race.
The past few days were full with ups and downs considering where I am coming from. Let us start with the downs:
- Swimming: I am far behind my personal goal in swimming. Considering my start, most people say: “Shut up, you are good!”. Truth be told: I know I can be good enough to swim much faster, but I lack the time to do so today. It is impossbile to train more often than once or twice a day and basically doesn’t make sense either. So I have to accept my current swim performance.
- Swimming: My neoprene suit doesn’t fit me properly yet. I can almost put it on by now, still my lower legs are too huge still. Race day will be in a Triathlon short only.
- Bicycle: I can not put my carbon wheels on my bike. My weight still doesn’t allow me to.
- Running: My running sucks still. I am now exactly at 7 min/km – I would almost like to cry for running that slow.
- There are more severe downs, which I can’t and won’t list for now here. Simply since those are too frustrating and i didn’t get over those yet.
Now for the ups:
- Medical/doctor: More by chance this happened… I felt my spine not being 100% in order, so I went to a chiro practician. Someone a good friend recommended to me. Turned out that I know that doctor very well and that he is an expert! Expert like athlete himself (one of the best Karateka in Germany, well-trained for years), specialized in chiro practice and consultant for a lot of high-end athletes, especially Triathletes. So I met him and he gave me the super-special-treatment, when we recognized each other. Despite other patients he took the time and simply removed all my major and minor issues with muscles, movement, bones, spine, joints,… My whole movement, muscle coordination,… drastically improved since then. Incredible! Unbelievable what an expert can do. It’s too much to list – issues he completely removed.
- Swimming: I made it! Not only can I swim the distance, but I can swim even more by now. Even 2 km shouldn’t be an issue. Difficult yes, but doable.
- Swimming: Each time I swim, my PR improves a lot. Almost 10% each time. Yes that is temporary and due to daily swim training. Yet it is extremely cool!
- Swimming: I am calm in swimming and very confident in my technique. The training with Coach X pays 1,000 %. That combo of Coach Ralf and Coach X paired with my doctors is probably one of my best choices ever!
- Bicycle: Today I made a test run on the race course for Saturday. 34:40 is the best from last year winner for three times that course total. My test run – while I felt bad overall today – for one time the course finished at 12:07. That time today includes front winds, crosswinds, some pedestrians and other people stopping me from being faster. Assuming I can enter at that rhythm – then I can rock the bike part. Am content when I am in the middle of pack, but I do believe I might be able to make TOP 5 in bike time. At least I will try.
- Bicycle: I love my TT helmet 😀
- Running: Yes, my running sucks as mentioned in the downs. But I feel better and more confident than ever when running. It is now easy to run in higher pulse, while being faster. I can control it without feeling bad – feels more like a drug.
That being said: Saturday is a test. My race strategy will be:
- Swimming: Considering my improvements the past few weeks, i will start slow and increase pace starting at app. 100m. When 50% of those 750m are done, I check my remaining power. If ok, I will try to rock the swim. Am content finishing with 18 minutes (no improvement), I would love to finish slightly below 16 minutes. I think I could do that, but I will not push my luck.
- Transition: Since I am swimming in my running shorts… This will simply be a put-my shirt, helmet and glasses on and run off with my bike. Nothing fancy.
- Bicycle: Due to my training I know that I can regenerate fast – extremely fast. Also I don’t use my legs really in swimming, so I figure I start the bike part already fit and powerful. If I am right then I will explode – speedwise. If not then I will be middle of pack. We shall see. Point is: I will be racing on my bike as if it is the last discipline – every shot of power I got into the bike-part. Actually I am racing in training like that too, even if I run afterwards.
- Transition 2: I trained it a lot at home. Can put shoes off on the bike and enter finish line that way. No issue – easy-going.
- Running: Mentally I am prepared to crawl on all fours through the finish line. Practically I assume to be running in slow motion. Pointless to save power for running. I can run 7:10 min a km anytime even exhausted, but never was faster than 7:00 min/km. So it is pointless to care about it. My running plain sucks big time. Nuff said!
I am still preparing my pre-race strategy: Most points are already known and planned, but eg. I am not sure on what I eat the day before as well as on race day. Got an idea but not decided yet.
Should I finish below 1:30 hours, then you will see me surprised BIG TIME! Should I make some high-end bike time, then you won’t be able to carve the smile off my face for days or weeks even.
Yet I hope to have fun.
Right now work and training got me in their grip again. 25th this month is my first race – a test. As such I figure: no news is good news. It means that my training is running smoothly and that I am not deeply worried about something. So a simple status might be in order I figure, as well as things I learned:
- Overall – swimming: Coach X is helping me to jumpstart forward still. I am increasingly confident in swimming and by now I even compare my PRs without being too ashamed. Technique-wise I am currently on an-all-time-high, but still improving. Gliding in the water becomes much easier – day by day. Major focus for now is my shoulder and back muscles as well as insane amounts of stretching to prepare my body for performance and to set the basis for much more muscles growth in those areas of my body.
- Overall – bicycle: I truly believe that will be my favorite, but if swimming goes on as of now, it might happen in a few months time, that swimming might become my favorite discipline. I can ride my bike in high pulse of 135 – 151 bpm for literally hours (2 hours possible), while also powering in pedal speed of 80 – 100 bpm. All which stops me is uphill, when my still existing weight drags me back down. Yet my weight is still decreasing, so it becomes less daily. I believed that my speed on plain ground and downhill might decrease with my weight, still this is not the case so far. We shall see – long story short: I am extremely curious on my bike performance on that test race on 25th of June. Anything between last third to top3 feels possible. I have no clue.
- Overall – running: Running is steadily improving. Also I feel that those sprints the past week really added an edge – I feel positive effects already. Very cool. Two things keep me down in running as of now: technique and weight. On technique I feel that my taking breath is not optimal and not in synch with my arm and leg movement. There is more, yet that is most important. My issue with my weight is still obvious. Each pound I lose makes me faster. Currently my major training is running without ruining my legs and loosing weight.
- Overall – transition: I basically suck there. I know what and how to do, yet I can’t wear my neo yet (my lower legs are too massive) and I didn’t get clips for my running shoe laces yet. About time for me to get started there.
Also there are things I found out – things for me to keep in mind, which might help others too:
- swimming: The effect of proper stretching prior training is crazy. The difference in time almost insane. We are talking about 2-5 seconds on 50m. Modified for a race this can be up to half a minute in a sprint Triathlon and up to a minute on an olympic distance, when comparing completely stretched to not stretched at all.
- swimming: Concentrate on my “bad side” (the right side in freestyle stroke). When I concentrate I am even better on right than I am to left.
- swimming: Backstroke is important to improve freestyle. Wanna be a good freestyler? Then become an ace in backstroke (I hate backstroke).
- swimming: Make sure you use the pull rope correctly. Preferably train it on time, not in amount of pulls. 4 sets of 30 seconds each >> 4 times 20 pulls or so.
- swimming: The longer you can swim freestyle without taking breath, the better your freestyle technique.
- swimming: If you can dive through the pool, then you can swim through the pool in freestyle without taking breath.
- bicycle: If you have issues to reach a higher pulse in training, then you are still not fit from last training.
- bicycle: Concentrate to actively pedal all the time – use your muscles willingly. Sounds weird? I always thought I do, but it is not true. By now I am riding always under “tension” and it is cool and efficient.
- bicycle:Try to close the bicycle-shoe less tight. As long as you can pedal ok it is fine. You will love that the shoe wasn’t tight, when in transition to run. This way I can instantly go running after biking without much issues, sometimes no issues at all.
- bicycle: Glasses are not only cool to look at. Knowing for sure, that no insect hits your eye at full speed is very cool.
- bicycle: If you don’t need additional proteins, you might want to find a way to open your mouth when needed – without catching every insect on the road.
- bicycle: LOOK pedal system on TT bikes >> SPD system.
- running: Concentrate on an even and deep breath.
- running: Coordinate taking breath with your arm movement.
- running: Coordinate your arm movement with your leg movement.
- running: You can improve on taking breath by pushing your breath out in one heavy go.
- running: A lot of issues are in your mind. You can run longer and faster already by just calming yourself.
- running: Playing games by talking to yourself in your mind in running help to improve speed. Eg. I play which leg is more powerfull – the left or the right one? I test it on every set of usually 80-100 steps. I also tell myself that the other leg – which is not being tested – rests. Funnily this works for me.
- running: Running without socks offers you blisters – ouch.
- post-training: If you need junk-food, post-training like 30 minutes after training is ideal.
- post-training: Swallow electrolytes including Magnesium and vitamins as if there is no tomorrow, especially when training a lot. Take those in both forms – naturally eg. vitamins as orange juice, as well as prepared eg. magnesium tabs. You are rewarded with less to no muscle pain. If it still doesn’t help enough, then make sure to eat additional salt – I take additional salt by means of a soup and adding salt to it.
- post-training: Stretch! Then stretch some more! And then stretch much more. When you think you are done, then start stretching. Rinse repeat.
- post-training: Some sweet and coffee (preferably Espresso) help you to keep going after training – only if you had your fair share of water beforehand.
- post-training: Baby-oil is extremely cool to use on your whole skin, when you swim a lot.
- post-training: Make sure you got a reserve swim cap and swim google for next time.
- post-training: Enjoy to know, that not many people on Earth have your endurance. Enjoy to know that only very few have the will to do what you do. You live life to it’s fullest.
Have a good training.
Not with a gun, but… they shot a photo of me… on my bike… inside city limits… maybe I was too motivated… speedwise… I blame Coach Ralf…
Then again they have no chance to identify me! HA!
Ok once more from the beginning. Today in the afternoon I decided to do today’s training. First unit on plan: 2 hours on my bike. Except Coach Ralf made up a cunning plan by spicing up this base endurance unit (GA1) with… You can guess? Of course – sprints!!!! (There is definitely someone out there, who wants to break me). This time it was called: city limit sign sprints every 30 minutes. It basically means: every 30th minute when I see a city limit sign from far, I sprint as hard as I can until I reach it. I did. Maybe each 20 minutes instead of every 30th minute. Talk about motivation.
One city was slightly uphill.
I didn’t like the thought to be beaten by some uphill route.
I sprinted more.
My muscles burned.
I told them to shut up.
They didn’t shut up.
I had to punish my muscles.
So I hit the pedal harder.
Muscles wanted to complain.
I showed my muscles what “on fire” really means.
That city sign I passed at 60km/h.
City limit was 30 km/h.
Then I saw the traffic cam.
It shot a photo of me.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask for the photo to post it here. I’d like to. Yet they might have weird ideas of how to treat me and my driver’s license. Maybe I shut up. Coach Ralf is guilty. That’s a good idea. I can live with that. It was Coach Ralf – not me.
PS: I had to do a running up after the bike. Honestly it was impossible so I quit training after 100m. My muscles were simply empty from the past few days. Seems this is where my diet hit me. *grumble*
Now it seems I might achieve my goal weight-wise. Not sure, but possibly. So I prepared myself a present in case I do. Wanna see it?
Point is: I wont use it, when too chubby still – ego doesn’t allow me to. So without further ado the present I prepared for myself – there always needs to be something worth “fighting” for:
and some deep rims as well…
It’s all about speed – I am quite sure that stuff might help me, yet… no chance, since I won’t use it if I am still too chubby…
Time and time again there are things, which make me laugh and which I don’t believe. That is especially when someone exaggerates or is gloating. It becomes worse, when it is from officials…
Whenever I travel to Hilpoltstein there is a sign at the highway: Triathlon region Rothsee.
Ok they got the Roth challenge there, the former Ironman Europe, so I knew, where they are coming from. Still seeing that sign always made me grin or giggle – just because I considered it funny calling a region a Triathlon region just because of one competition. I always made my fun about the people involved.
I was dead wrong.
There is definitely a nest of Triathletes here – where they are bred and coming from. You go out running and no matter they time of day, you got 2-3 Triathletes passing you – every 5 km running. On the bike it is worse – usually they come in packs of 3-5 on time trial bikes. I mean seriously I didn’t see a normal person on a bike for 3 days down here! But loads of Triathletes on TT-bikes or several people minding some serious business uphill on some high-end Mountain bikes. Swimming is even worse. Today swimming in the open bath we had more Triathletes in neoprene suit in the pool than normal swimmers.
No kidding – you gotta see that to believe.
Now you can say: fatsmoker, it is just because you are training yourself and therefore saw them. Unfortunately the story goes on… So, I was out for dinner in some nice spanish/mexican restaurant, enjoying the food and talking about Triathlon. Actually I am not sure if I can or should start at the sprint part of the Rothsee Triathlon in 20 days, so we were arguing at our table. Suddenly a voice from the side, the innkeeper – “Which Triathlon is it you are talking about?” – “I answered: 1st day of Rothsee Triathlon, sprint distance.”. And he answered: “Now that’s cool, I do my Ironman distance each year and also some shorter ones. This year am also at the Rothsee Triathlon 2nd day on olympic distance: Speedfighters is my team name, also got my restaurant’s name on my shoulder there: Teatro.” We talked for some time…
I confess: there is sufficient reason to call this region the Triathlon region. There is a nest closeby – I gotta find it!
Stay tuned for next report.
There are times, when you know: I gotta post this. Something which happened to me. Today was such a time. But from the beginning…
Once upon a time… No, sorry! Let’s start this way:
Today I was on my “city-bike” on my way home from swimming. My city-bike is an old mountain bike, the typical cheapish, “none knows that name” and almost too rusty to ride on (not the one from my pictures – a different one). Myself – I was dressed just in some bike shorts and a muscle shirt: your average norm citizen on an old bike with a backpack from swimming and without helmet even.
So I was riding my bike on the road… until I saw something like this in front of me:
Whooopsie,… Triathletes flying low today? Anyways seems we had the same way and so I pedaled on…Oooook maybe, just maybe I hit my pedals a little bit more, while still making it look easy-going (normalo-style). That way on this Saturday afternoon I smoked that perfectly dressed wannabee-Triathlete on his Cervelo-TT-bike. I heard his heavy breath sometime afterwards still but… his attempt to pass me took his toll…
Figure he stopped in frustration.
I was tempted to tell him: don’t worry, I am in full training…
I didn’t – instead I smiled to myself, while preparing this posting in my mind.
That’s the tune, which is in my head right now. My workload the past few days (weeks) was ridiculously heavy. As a reader you will always realize this, when I post way less. So I didn’t post several days – guess you can imagine now.
When working that much, my amount of training units drop naturally, but the few moments I do… At those times I push the limit. By then training is there to clear my head and get rid of any other thought. Eg. Sunday: 1h bike and 30 minutes run, directly after each other. I had to take it slow but didn’t. Instead I made it a PR. The bike tour, which takes me normally 1:20 – 1:30 hours including traffic lights… that one took me 1:03 on Sunday including traffic – let’s say I pushed it a little bit… Within 1:40 minutes after the bike tour was done, I already was outside running (same enthusiasm, but without a stop watch).
I wanted to crawl once I returned home. I didn’t, but instead I was happy.
So after I stripped – err my ego, when posting current pictures in my last post… by then its time to go on. Most pain is gone so I feel good to push again. Running it is.
On a normal run today my times average in the high 7 minute area per km (no stop watch this time). While a bad time for most, it seems to me that high 6 minutes per km are in my grasp (finally). Once I reach 6 minutes per km am cool to run with the other Triathletes for training (can’t await that one!!). Hard to believe I struggled so long by being much slower…
Energy-wise I feel like being on drugs. Or in other words: I feel extremely fit. Only drawback: my TT bike is broken due to normal use – cabling for front deraileur ripped. Bottom line I had to train fast pedalling over Easter (Coach probably enjoys that I had to). Yet it will be fixed by tomorrow.
Back to work – trying to spend my energy 🙂