SOFTWARE REVIEWS, PROGRAMMING TIPS, AND SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR ALL YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS.

Filtering by Category: Cycling

IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Exiting the water.

SWIM: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 0:45:00
Race Time: 0:42:54

I was so nerves before this swim that I tore my wetsuit twice trying to put it on.  This was going to be my first group start in a triathlon so I really had no idea what to expect.  Once the race started I started to relax and try getting into a rhythm.  Unfortunately that was not going to happen.  Instead I struggled with the swim the entire time I was in the water.  Overall I felt the swim went terrible, but when I saw my time I was pretty happy.  B+

T1: 0:04:55
Just tried to be steady.  Overall very happy with my time.

Finishing the bike

BIKE: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 3:00:00
Race Time: 2:48:13

I had pre-rode the first and last 8 miles of the course on Saturday, so I knew the first 6.5 miles were mostly uphill.  It was never a big climb, just a long rolling climb.  The plan was to just keep it nice and steady for this part and then put in a good effort until the big climb that started around mile 12.  After that climb it was 35-38 miles of just getting into a nice steady grove and try to maintain around 220 watts.  This worked out better than I could have ever hoped for.  I had great legs for the two big climbs on the way back in and just buried myself for the last 6.5 downhill miles into the finish.  A+

T2: 0:05:23
It was looking like rain before the start, so I left my T2 stuff in my transition bag to keep it dry.  This cost me a little time, but at least I didn’t have to worry about having wet stuff to start the run.

The start of the run

RUN: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 2:15:00
Race Time: 2:32:28

Before I was even out of transition I knew that I had no legs for the run.  Instead of killing myself and trying to find something that was not there, I just immediately fell into a run/walk routine that I was sure would get me to the finish.  I really liked the course and wish I could have found some way to run a little more but it was not to be.  D-

Overall: 6:13:53

Summary:
I was using a training plan to get ready for Timberman and was questioning the running volume for the last month before the race.  Unfortunately I decided to trust in the training plan instead of what my body was telling me. I just do not think that I was doing even close to enough miles, so coming off the bike and being a little tired I was doomed.  Going into the half marathon that I ran in April I was doing 25-30 miles a week, but the training plan that I was working with only had me doing 10-15 miles a week.  Oh well, live and learn.

On the bike I wanted to average 220 watts.  When I pulled my data off the Garmin, I found out that I only averaged 190 watts while going under my target time.  I’m not sure if means that I had great legs that day, or that the course really suited me.  I will say that I really liked the course.  I did have on problem on the bike.  I missed my pocked when putting my gel flask away around mile 20 and didn’t find out until the next time I went looking for it.

Based on my result and how I felt after this I have decided that I will go ahead and do a IRONMAN next year.  Not sure if it will be IRONMAN Maryland or Louisville.

Things I Like ... TrainerRoad

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

I’m not really even sure where to begin with TrainerRoad, but I can say it may have had the biggest effect on my training ever.  For a couple of years all I read about was training with power and how if you were not doing that then you were not training effectively.  I really could not justify the cost of a power meter without knowing if it really would be effective, or just generate more data to look at.  A friend at work sent me a text message about this next web site that offered virtual power based on your trainer, so I decided to take a look at it.  I took a look at their web site and found that I already had everything that was needed except the Ant Stick for my computer.  I ordered the Ant Stick and signed up that same day.

It has been really neat to see that changes that have taken place in TrainerRoad since I started using it in December of 2011.  Some of the changes have been:

  • Adding training plans into the UI
  • Adding teams
  • Adding the ability to create custom workouts
  • Adding a workout filter for finding workouts

2014 8DC Stage 8 - This hurt a lot after 7 days of racing.

When I first started using it I was mostly using it with Sufferfest videos, which changed the whole suffer factor for those workouts.  Gradually I started to try some of their workout and was really impressed with them.  This year I used their “Half-Distance Triathlon Mid Volume” plan and have seen a big improvement in my time trial performance as well as FTP.

The last couple of years TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest have worked together to put on the Tour of Sufferlandria, which is a 9 day stage race from the comfort of your trainer.  They have also done a 8 Days of California stage race that goes on during the Tour of California.  These are great events to help kick your training to the next level.

You can look at your history on their web site and see all your workouts as well as your TSS for the last 10 weeks.  If you are anything like me, by this time of year your TSS for the last 10 weeks starts looking pretty bad, because I am outside more than on the trainer.  If you are part of a team, you can see what the other member of the team are up to.  

There are two plans for TrainerRoad.  There is a $10/month plan or $99/year plan, both of which come with a 30-day refund period.  

Race of Rams Duathlon and The Battle at Burlingame MTB Race

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Somehow I let the stupid part of my brain make decisions for the rest of me the weekend before last.  I had planned on doing the Battle of Burlingame 6 Hour MTB race, but I knew I also needed to work on dealing with transitions for the upcoming Half Ironman.  It just happens that there was a duathlon just down the road from me than is known as being good for first timers.  Well the duathlon had a start time of 8:30 am, and the Battle of Burlingame XC race, not the 6 hour event, had a start time of 2:30 pm, so why not do both!

Race of Rams Duathlon (First race of the day)
The race was a 1.5 mile run, 14 mile bike and then a 2 mile.  This was the first duathlon I had ever done, so I was not really sure how to approach it.  

Entering 1st Transition

I decided to go out easy on the first running leg and was a little surprised at the end when I found out I had run a 10:46.  That was a 7:11 pace and 19th fastest run, which is not something I would have ever expected.

Looking strong coming of the bike

I felt really good on the bike right from the start. so I decided I would push a little on the first lap and see how I felt at the start of the second lap.  I was picking off other riders here and there so I was pretty sure that I had a good ride going.  At the end of the first lap I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to go all in on the second lap and just buried myself.  I was pretty sure that it had been a good ride when I hit the transition and there were only 6 bikes hanging there.  The result was a 43:46.5 bike leg that was good for the 5th fastest bike leg of the day.

Got her back at the line.

I didn't want to ruin what was turning into a good race on the last run so I went for it.  The second run was an out and back that was all uphill for the out part.  Almost immediately I had three runners go by me, and at the turn around there were two people right behind me.  I managed to sort of hold them both off to the finish.  Okay one passed me and then I managed to stay with her until the last 100 meters where I passed her back.  Net result for the second run was a 14:41.3 which worked out to a 7:21 pace.

 Race of Rams bike leg data

Race of Rams bike leg data

My overall time was a 1:11:37.5.  That was good for 11th overall and 1st in my age group.

Hopefully this was the finish, because I look awful.

The Battle of Burlingame (Second race of the day)
I went out to warm up before the race and was not real impressed with the hill at the start, until I found out that the course was pancake flat.  That pretty much told me that there was nothing left in the legs and it was going to be a real long race.  I put in a good hard effort for about the first 1/2 a lap and then decided that I needed to just back off and try to finish.  On the 3rd lap someone passed me and said he was surprised I was still even out there after racing in the morning.  My only comment to that was that I didn't really think the pace I was riding at really counted as racing.  That was maybe not the most polite thing to say being that he was just catching me at that point.  After a quick laugh he more or less paced me to the finish.  My finishing time was 1:38:53 which was good for 14th.  I was a little surprised by my lap times.  I figured they would drop off really bad after the first lap.  The second lap was only 2 minutes slower than the first, and the third lap was actually 20 seconds faster than the second lap.

 Battle of Burlingame data

Battle of Burlingame data

This may have been a really good race course and I would love to try it again without the dead legs.  Maybe next year if these two events do not fall on the same day.

Things I Like ... TrainingPeaks

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

I started using TrainingPeaks.com several years ago, but I didn't really start using it to its full potential until this year.  For the last couple of years I kind of put a training plan together from bits and pieces of things that I had read without always understanding the big picture.  It worked okay, but I never peaked properly for races.  I would frequently put in the work, not always the right kind of work, but didn't get the recover part right going into my big races.  

Two years ago I purchased a training plan for an event and then put in a lot of time and effort for the race.  I ended up having one of those dream days and started to look at my training a little different.  After that race I started to really dig into the data that the reports in TrainingPeaks was showing.  The Performance Manager became my fitness bible after I spent some time getting comfortable with what it was telling me.  The nutshell version is the blue line is your Chronic Train Load (CTL) or basically your fitness level.  The pink line is your Acute Training Load (ATL) or how much work you have been doing.  The yellow line is your Training Stress Balance (TSB) or how fatigued you are.  Basically as you train your ATL increases which increases your CTL meaning that you are getting fitter.  The side effect of this is that your TSB decreases, which means that your tank is starting to run empty.  You can only push so long before you need to take some time and recover.  What the image above is showing is the steady series of build and recover periods that I have done since I started this years training in December.

There is both a Basic Edition that is free and a Premium Edition that is paid for.  I would highly recommend taking a look at the basic edition and if you like it, then spring for the premium edition.  Both USA Cycling and USA Triathlon memberships offer discounts for TrainingPeaks.

2013 Goals and Objectives …

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Season goals:

  1. Podium in a 12 hour race.
  2. Top 10 in a 100k MTB race.
  3. Finish the Hampshire 100k in under 6 hours.  This will be kind of at the mercy of the weather.
  4. Get under 39:30 in the Scituate TT.  Current best is 40:40.
  5. Finish in the top 50% in a Cat 3 ‘cross race.

Training Objectives:

  1. Better use of time on the bike.
  2. Increase FTP/kg to 3+.  Currently 2.47.
  3. Improve bike handling for ‘cross.
  4. Get my race weight to under 185.

2012 Cycling Recap …

Added on by Ray Insalaco.
 2012 BEvaER Cross

2012 BEvaER Cross

2012 was a good year on the bike.  I hit most of my goals for the year.  The goals that I accomplished were finishing the in top 50% in the Cat 4’s, upgrading to Cat 3 in Cyclocross and finish a Cat 3 race on the lead lap.  I also wanted to do and finish a 12 hour solo MTB race.

The two big goals that I missed were picking up an upgrade point as a Cat 4 in Cyclocross and finishing the Hampshire 100 in under 6:30.  I was on pace to easily finish the Hampshire 100 in under 6 hours until I folded the front wheel.

I ended up putting just over 5100 miles on the bike for the years, and a lot of those miles were with some really good friends.  Here is looking for many more miles in the years to come.