Tag Archive: Training


Ironman Arizona Race Report

This was a great overall experience,  I got to train for the race with two really good fiends, we had nice weather and the IM people put on another great race!  I headed down on Friday to get checked in and hang out at my friend’s booth at the expo.  It was fun to just be down there and soak up the scene.  We cruised around Tempe Beach Park, grabbed some food and hung out, a pretty good day.  On Saturday I made it down about 10:15 to check my bike in and jump in the lake for a bit.  When I got there the bike check in line was huge, I wrestled the wetsuit on and went for a 15 minute swim, it was nice to get a feel for the water.  When I got finished swimming there was almost no line to check in the bike!  After a getting the transition bags checked in I headed for home.  Amy and I went out for a quick bite to eat and made it to bed around 9:30. I slept pretty well and woke up about 4 am, had a bagel with peanut butter, got dressed, grabbed my gear and headed out.

Found a good parking spot pretty easily, I had to put some food in my T1 bag and filled up the water bottle on the bike. After getting body marked, I met up with my friends for a bit and we all went over our plans for the race. Had a little extra time so Amy and I laid down in the grass for a bit. She brought her sleeping bag and I had my big red WKU Diving parka, made for a nice little nap!

Swim  1:15:34

The start of an IM race is always a cool experience, the helicopter flying overhead, the national anthem playing, the excitement of what’s to come! The gun went off and the day began! I settled into a pretty good rhythm and tried to keep calm. It seemed like there was a lot of contact in the water, I bumped into some girl a couple times and she must have gotten mad because she kicked me in the side pretty hard. If you get mad about people running into while swimming in the murkiness of Tempe Town Lake you’re probably going to be mad most of the swim.  I set a good pace and felt solid the whole way. Got kicked in the goggle about 200 yards from the finish, fortunately it didn’t hurt too bad or knock my goggles off! Swam to the stairs and I was out of the water!  Good IM effort swim, about 1 minute faster than my previous races.

Swim to Bike Transition 8:08

The strippers did great, got me out of my wetsuit quickly and I ran off to get my T1 bag. I usually just change in the grass outside the tent, it’s too hot and crowded in there and since I wear the same thing the whole time it’s just easier and nicer this way. Grabbed my bike and away I went!

Bike 6:02:13

Felt great leaving transition and had a solid first lap, during the second lap the wind picked up a little. I tried to keep my heart rate down and spin my way up the hill and then roll down at a good clip.  On the third lap I backed it off a little to ensure my legs were ready for the run.  I could have pushed it a little more but I feel like I rode a smart ride.  I did a good job taking in calories and ate 3 bananas from the aid stations.  It’s a great feeling to get to Shea Blvd on your 3rd lap, all you have to do is roll on back into Tempe and you’re done with the bike ride!

Bike to Run Transition 5:54

Handed off the bike to the volunteers and headed into the changing tent to get a little break from the sun.  Ate some pretzels they were handing out in the tent, got the shoes on and got slathered up with sun screen!

Run 4:36:18

Pretty happy with my run.  In the past it has been my undoing in IM Races and this year I was determined not to let that happen.  I started out a little fast, but settled into a comfortable, sustainable pace.  The first lap was probably the toughest for me, the end seems so far away and it’s been a long day already.  About 1/2 way through that 1st lap my right foot was feeling numb, this worried me because I didn’t want to have to start walking.  I sat down and took off my calf compression sleeves and this totally fixed things, from here on out I just started feeling better and better!  I walked through the aid stations and ran to the next one, these little respites from running gave me just enough rest to keep cranking out some good miles.  I wanted to finish under 12 hours and knew it would be close, I picked up the pace about 4 miles out from the finish but just couldn’t make it happen.  I was bummed I wasn’t coming in under my goal but dug deep to get as close as possible, while I was hurting pretty good those last few miles it felt great to be pushing that hard. It’s awesome to make the last turn on to the lake path and run past all the cheering people, really helps you keep going!  I made the turn towards the finish and the feeling, like usual, makes all those hours of training worthwhile!

This is my best IM run by far, and I’m pretty happy with it!

Total Time – 12:08:07

Post race

Found Amy and my parents, grabbed a few sodas and sat down…
Had some time to kill while I waited for my friends to finish, actually had a post race cocktail (something I’ve always tried and failed to do post IM), it didn’t taste that good.  Met up with our cheering section and watched my friends finish!

Could have been a little stronger on the bike.

While I didn’t come in under 12 hours it was still a 31 minute PR, I’m happy with that.

They always put on a great show and this race was no different.  I think this will be my last IM for awhile, it just takes up so much of your life, but the whole thing was a great experience.  I was lucky to have some of my best friends to train with and my wife to support me during the long summer of endless bike rides and runs.  Like usual the AZ Tri Clubs folks were great out there, they had an awesome cheering section that kept me going! The support from the volunteers and fans really pushes this race over the top, the energy out on the run course is awesome!
Most importantly the 3 other people I signed up for the race with  all finished, so it was a successful day and 2 first time ironman finishers got to hear their name called by Mike Reilly!

…and another great race in my @XtenexUSA laces!

High Altitude Training Days

While I had planned to go on RAGBRAI for vacation this year, I just couldn’t make it happen.  Since I had already scheduled my vacation time and wanted to get some good miles on the bike, my friend Len and I headed up to Flagstaff.   It’s a great place to go for some riding in nice weather and the altitude.

We headed out Wednesday morning, the drive wasn’t too bad just a little rain on the way up.  We made the turn out Lake Mary Road and settled on the Dairy Springs Campground.  It’s a few miles in on the Mormon Lake Rd.  After choosing a campsite towards the back we got the trucks unloaded and started to move in!

Here’s a pic of the campsite all set-up:

Knowing that we would get rained on during our stay, we set ourselves up pretty well.  We had a tarp over the picnic table and an easy-up to give us a dry area for the bikes.  The first few days the campground was completely empty, it was great to have the whole area!  One great bonus, as I was looking around for a suitable fire poking stick I found the Arizona Trail not but 100 ft from our campsite.  Trail  running all taken care of!

Around 2:30 we were all moved in and it was time to ride!  We just rode a quick loop around Mormon Lake and a little more, about 18 miles.  I really felt the altitude on the hills climbs, it was nice to do a short ride to help with the acclimatization.  After that we got in a nice 4 miles on the Arizona Trail, some really nice single track running.  While there were a few places that were kind of rocky, most of it was nice soft dirt in a beautiful ponderosa pine forest!

That night we built a nice fire cooked up some food and had a few beers.  When car camping I’m a fan of living well, after we entertained ourselves with the fire for a bit we busted out Len’s laptop and watched a movie.  Better Off Dead was the night’s movie, a classic with the best skiing advice ever: “Go that way really fast, if something gets in your way – TURN!”

The next morning we woke up to clear skies, but they wouldn’t last all day.  We started the day with another 4 miles on the Arizona Trail, cooked breakfast and chilled for a bit.  After some nice campsite relaxing we headed out for a ride down Lake Mary Rd.

Lake Mary Rd is a great ride rolling hills and an excellent bike lane.  Especially headed back towards camp there are some quality climbs!  That night we went to the Mormon Lake Saloon for a couple of drinks then back to the campsite.

Friday we woke up to a pretty good thunderstorm and just hunkered down in the tents until it passed.  After that is was back out on Lake Mary road for another 50 or so miles, got rained on pretty good but it didn’t bother me at all!  Later that afternoon we headed in to Flag, met up with some friends of Len’s for a drink.  It was nice to cruise around the town, I really like Flagstaff!

Saturday was our last day, after cooking some breakfast we tore down camp and loaded up the trucks.  The last ride of the trip was a fun one, the climb up to Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area!
We drove into town, parked the trucks at Len’s friends house and hopped on the bikes.  It was 5 miles of rolling hills out to the ski area road and then 7 miles and over 2400 ft of climbing to the ski area.  The road isn’t that steep, it just doesn’t let up the whole way!  I was feeling the past few days of riding and my heart rate was pretty high but I just kept on pedaling until I finally saw the Snowbowl sign.  Unfortunately, Len popped a spoke on his back wheel half way up, so he chilled by the side of the road while i finished the climb.  After I got to the top and caught my breath, it was back down the hill to the truck and back out to pick Len up.  It ended up being a great trip, I had hoped to get a few more miles in but all in all it worked out well and I had fun!

Had to take a bike pic up there:

And a nice pic of the road we got to ride:

After grabbing a bite to eat in Flag, it was back down the hill to spend my last few vacation days with Amy!

Lately in our life…

We’re getting into the heat of the summer here in Phoenix.  While we all know it’s coming, the first few weeks of it being hot all the time are hard to get used to.   Fortunately, I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the training.  The serious Ironman training is still about a month away, right now I’m concentrating on building a solid base and regaining cycling speed.  While it has been some work, lately I’ve been feeling much stronger on the bike and seen my average speeds creep back up to an acceptable level.

A few weekends ago we took an nice trip to a mineral water spa in Desert Hot Springs, Ca.  This trip also coincided nicely with Amy’s birthday! We stayed at the Aqua Soleil Spa, it was a nice, small, relaxed place!  We drove over Friday  morning and pretty much just chilled in the pool for a few days.  After almost a month of 6 days a week training the rest did me right.  Amy got  a nice, deep tissue massage and we enjoyed just being out of town together!

The part of Desert Hot Springs where we stayed seemed to be a little ghetto.  I had wanted to go out to a nice dinner, but except for Capri Italian Steakhouse everything was cheap Mexican food.  So, Capri it was.  Overall it wasn’t bad, just not what I was hoping for.  Anytime I see a $17 8 oz filet that comes with a salad and side, I’m skeptical.  As proximity was very important to us, we did eat there both nights.  My steak was correctly cooked both times, but they seem to marinate the steaks in what I’m guessing is a Worcestershire Sauce based marinate.  I’d rather just taste the beef with a dash of salt and pepper.  As is our norm, we enjoyed our dinners at the bar and the bartender took good care of us.  One downside, no Port!  I love to finish off dinner with a nice glass of tawny, but so many places we’ve been to lately don’t have one.  I don’t understand why a place will not have at least one bottle, even once opened it is good for years and I can’t be the only one asking for it!

View from our hotel balcony:

I can’t wait for July to get here, work wise it’s going to be a relatively easy month for me!  The restaurant will be closed July 1st-8th to install new booths and get a fresh coat of paint and I’m taking my vacation the 22nd-29th.  While I had hoped to go to RAGBRAI for vacation this year, it just wasn’t in the cards.  Instead, I’m going head up to Flagstaff for four days of high altitude swimming, biking, and running.  Camping out and training in the cool mountain air will be a nice change from the oppressive heat we deal with here during the summer, should be fun!

That’s what’s been going on with us, now I’m ready for another hot weekend on the bike!

Psyched on the @Strava App

Not sure how many triathlon people out there have been using the Strava App for biking and running, I love it!  It uses your phone’s GPS to track rides or runs and uploads them to their website.  The website is really cool, it shows your ride on a map and compares your time to others riding/running the same course.  It also keeps track of PR’s for numerous distances, showing your “achievements” for  different routes.  I have found it to be super motivating and that it adds interest to my standard routes.

The “Segments”  are small sections of a ride that you or any user can set-up.  After it is set-up any user that rides the segment is judged against the others, the goal being to become the “King of the Mountain”.  It keeps you cranking it out on every hill to get a PR or move up a spot in the rankings.

While sometimes I feel like I do a little too much logging of training, I enjoy seeing all the data.  It might be a little anal, but oh well.  I log stuff on the Garmin Connect website that is downloaded from my 405, the Beginner Triathlete website, and Strava!  Each one has it’s positives, it doesn’t take too long, and being able to see my time spent training reassures me that I’m getting in the time to get across the finish line respectably!

Here’s a screen shot of the segments from one of my standard rides:

If you’re on Strava feel free to follow me: Travis Moore

One Month In!

So it’s been about a month now that I’ve been back at the committed triathlon training.  So far everything has been going pretty well, there have been a few bumps in the road, but that always seems to happen!  I feel like I have made training a habit again,  missing my workouts if I don’t get them in.  I have been getting in 6 training days a week, resting on Tuesday.  My job in the restaurant industry will always make the early mornings a challenge, so far I’ve been doing pretty good, getting up and getting the runs in!  This will be more challenging the hotter it gets and the earlier I have to get up.  Beside making the training possible, it also allows me to spend a little time with Amy in the morning before she goes to work.  We usually don’t get to spend a lot of time together during the week, so anything helps!

Basically the training schedule has been:

Monday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Bike

Thursday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Friday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Saturday: Long Bike or Long Run

Sunday: Long Bike or Long Run

I thought about racing this weekend at Tempe International, but decided to just keep at the training.  Race days are really cool but I need to just concentrate on the main goal this year, IMAZ!  My biggest concern is to be fit enough to have a solid sub 6 hour bike ride and get off the bike for a no hobbling, calf cramping free marathon.  My past two IM races have been severely effected by calf cramping issues on the run. In 2008, after a wind tortured bike ride I couldn’t even point my toes to run the cramping was so bad.  In 2009 I battled slightly better cramps and was able to get rid of them after 2 laps of eating just about every banana I could find!   The third lap was just about the most enjoyable running I  have had in a triathlon.  That feeling is what I want to replicate for the entire run.  This means being in even better shape than last time, and being smart about taking in enough of the right nutrition during the race.  And running, a lot.

If I can keep this up all summer I can have a great race come November 18th!

Here’s a pic from 2009, just starting my 3rd running loop.

The goal is to feel like this the whole run!

We’re at the 6 months out mark from IMAZ so it was time to jump back into the training with both feet.  My friends, Len and Bill, and I had been getting in some good, base building rides over the past few months.  Now it is time to really start the committed training, and I feel like I’m off the a good start the past few weeks.

I use a website, BeginnerTriathlete.com, to track all my training.  It helps me see my progress and keep myself accountable for missed training days.  The calendar and total time graph give a good visual representation of your month.

This April

The pink days are tri sport training days, the yellow days are when I wrote on the training blog, and the white days are nothing. The Time Graph is in minutes.  Obviously, since the 12th I have been getting in some good days in a row.  I had been able to string a number of days together in a while, always letting life get in the way of training.  I think one of the most important things during ironman training is still living a life and being with your loved ones, but still getting in the training.  I think I’m over the hump and have made training a habit again!

Last Sunday we had an awesome ride. From McDowell Rd and the Beeline to Bush Highway to Saguaro lake Marina.  Bill’s brother picked us up in his boat, we cruised around the lake for a bit,  got to jump in a few times to cool off!

Here’s that ride:

Other than that, it has been training around the house, really makes me love where we live.  I can be running on single track in .25 miles from the house and have a great area for riding right around me!  Hopefully this keeps me motivated for another 6 months!

Getting back to the Habit

So far so good this week with the training.   Took Monday and Tuesday off as planned and got in a good ride Wednesday morning, wasn’t even that hot for the first 1/2 of the ride!  We added a second hill loop to what we’ve been riding lately. here’s the ride elevation graph:

The hills aren’t very long, but it’s a close to home ride that I like!  Thursday morning I relaxed at the house before work while watching the first High Mountain stage in the Tour de France.  It’s been an interesting tour so far with some unfortunate crashes. I can’t imagine how much it must suck to get taken out in the first week in the TdF from a huge crash that is impossible to avoid.  The guys below  had a right to be the most upset!

Thursday Run/Swim

I was able to skate out between lunch and dinner and get to the gym, this makes the long days so much better.  Got in 30 minutes on the much hated treadmill, starting to incorporate that into the regimen.  Some of the treadmills at Lifetime have a option to download your run to a flash drive, I’ll have to check this out and see if there’s any useful info I can get out of this.  I have to admit I love the amount of info that is easily accessible from a workout nowadays.  Between my Garmin and things like this it pretty cool what you get!   After the run got in a 1000 meters in the indoor pool, just too hot after running to swim outside.  My swim didn’t end up being that fast but I felt like was trying to dig in pretty good,  definitely felt the effort later at work.

Friday

Did some shoulder – leg extension – core work.  Might get in a swim later if I’m lucky! 

Final Thought:

This Ostrich freaking rips!

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