Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Training breakthroughs

1. I finally got my TV set up in front of the trainer. Plus, I got Netflix and Hulu working! Good thing, since I've got some 4 and 5 hours rides coming up.

2. I purchased a transformer strong enough to handle my Vitamix -- to celebrate I bought a bunch of beets, apples, and spinach.

3. My training camp last week was outstanding. Not only was it in the south of France, but I got a lot of instruction from my coach about climbing on the bike, swimming, and running form. Plus, I didn't have to worry about grocery shopping and cooking. So to review: south of France + good training + awesome food that I didn't have to procure or prepare = pure heaven. Check them out at http://www.sancture-sportifs.com/

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Great trail running!

With my coach's instructions of "as hilly as you can" for my long run, I looked on the map and headed to an area that looked like it would provide that opportunity.

The town of Konigstein is adorable with two old castles and a very quaint atmosphere. But what was really awesome was the extensive trail network up into the Taunus Mountains.

I had made a strip map beforehand, and the only place I really remembered was Grosser Feldberg. So when I saw trail signs pointing out that direction, I modified my route to go there. The whole run was just incredible -- fairly well maintained and very well marked trails and all in the forest. Turns out that Grosser Feldberger is a mountaintop with an antenna. I found out later that it is the highest point in the mountain range.

Since I didn't want to get too lost, I just went over the hill, down a bit, and turned around. Climbing back up the hill from the opposite side turned out to be the most difficult part. It reminded me of running up the ski hill at West Point.

So --  17 miles with 3000 ft of climbing. Mission accomplished, I'd say.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Getting ready for my 4 hour ride (on the trainer)

I'm using this as a nutrition test as well, so I'm mixing up various concoctions to test out. With the amount of bottles I'm prepping, you would think I had a baby. :)

I did just discover that my new condenser dryer is providing some pretty hefty humidity in the basement. Good training!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Just keep swimming

When I go swimming with my tri club three times a week, I only have a loose understanding of what is actually going on. This is one of those cases where you just want to do what everyone else is doing. 

I'm reminded of a story that someone told of their experience living in Japan: This guy was really into judo (or karate, or something) and when he first got to Japan, he went to a big group session. After his collegiate training, he thought he was in pretty good shape, but this class lasted for hours. While he is barely hanging on, he was amazed how easy this was for everyone else. He kept going to class and after several months he was a lot fitter and his Japanese was much better. As he was complimenting some of the other students on their abilities, one of them said, "oh, you are very strong! You go for several hours each class and we only go for one."

I can totally empathize with that now.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

General training notes

We are finally into to our new house! The first thing that got moved over here was my bike -- that is saying something about my priorities. My basement pain cave is already taking shape and is going to be a perfect spot for some heavy duty trainer sessions.

We moved in on Saturday and I had a two hour run scheduled for Sunday. I really didn't want to drive the 30 minutes to my usual long run loop, so I decided to figure out something around here. But since I know nothing about the area, I was kind of nervous. Here are some good tips:

1. Water features usually have well marked trails/sidewalks next to them. In this case, the Main River is my new running partner. In Mainz, I spent 90% of the time running on the trail next to the Rhine.

2. Before you start out, find some tall, easily distinguishable landmarks. When I was aimlessly running through the boonies on Sunday, I almost wept when I saw the Rathaus tower. In the case of my other favorite run loop, there was a giant fiberglass peach sitting on a pedestal. (I'm just guessing it was a peach, since I don't think they grow a lot of oranges there.) Smokestacks are another good one, especially if they have fancy paint jobs.

When I am driving on the autobahn, I am very mindful of the "keep all the way right except to pass" rule. So this is kind of like the USAT drafting rules. But I also have to remember that the Polezei will probably not accept "complete the pass in 15 seconds" as an excuse for breaking the speed limit.