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2013Q4 / 2014Q1

[2013 Q4]
Thailand was an amazing trip and both races (Laguna Phuket Triathlon and Challenge Laguna Phuket) were awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t do so well in both events. Lost my confidence after a minor downhill spill of the bike course at LPT (back wheel slipped and made a controlled fall). Later, in the days leading up to the challenge race, fell sick with some sort of stomach bug (hit a lot of athletes that did LPT. Apparently it might have been something in that horrible laguna swim). I was never fully recovered for the event and started the race feeling awful. Ended up with horrible bike splits and DNF after a lap of the run in scorching hot weather. (Thank goodness I didn’t have to experience this during the race.

[2014 Q1]
Back on track with my triathlon training. I’ve invested a lot of time at this point in the season so I’m hoping this pay great dividends later in the year. As of 4/1, I have not taken a fully rested day since 1/14 so that’s about 75 days and counting. I usually get about 2 workouts a day and over this quarter, averaged about 15 hours a week. So far, it seems to be working thanks to Bev for some good planning. I think I’m training fairly consistently with gradual gains, I recover quite quickly from my workouts and I’m back down to an acceptable weight. In short, I’m probably in the best triathlon shape of my life and with that, it’s time to get ready for Miyakojima , the first of many races this year..

[The road ahead]
4/20: Miyakojima Strongman (3km/155km/42.2km)
5/25: Nagaragawa (2km/80km/20km)
6/07: Oshima (1.5km/40km/10km)
6/29: Miyakejima (2.5km/55km/20km)
7/31: Ironman Canada (3.8km/180km/42.2km)
9/07: Sado (tentative) (2km/105km/20km)

[Training Stats]

km hrs km hrs km hrs kg kg % /100 hrs
JAN 39.3 12:51 645.1 21:46 177.5 13:59 64.9 54.0 12.2 - 6:34
FEB 48.5 16:18 843.2 27:42 286.2 22:21 62.3 55 6.4 58 6:19
MAR 61.0 19.39 1009.7 32:29 314.3 23.50 60.8 55.25 5.8 68 6:10

S: Swim
B: Bike
R: Run
BW: Body Weight
MW: Muscle Mass (estimated)
BF: Body Fat (estimated)
HRV: Heart Rate Variability (Tinke)
ST: Sleep Time (average)

Ok, I caved in… I needed a new watch anyways so got the VivoFit. Yeah, more (useless?) data to capture/analyze…

September 2013

2:14:10 at Murakami for another PB and a 3rd place in my age group. 1st in my AG was 2:02, 2nd was 2:10 so I was quite shocked to see my name up there. Turns out 4th was only 5 seconds behind me
Swim: 26:22
Bike(Without T1/T2): ~1:03:30 (Garmin time)
Run: ~38:39 (they timing mat was about 400m ahead so run splits are a bit skewed)

Conditions were even better than Aizu and so much better than last year where I DNF and almost everyone I knew were 5-10mins off their usual time.
Overall, I was quite satisified with my race effort but there are a few things I need to work on for Phukett (especially my crappy transition times)
Looking forward, I’m going to start following a proper training plan.

[Training Stats]
Swim: ~30km/13x
Bike: ~20hrs/(15x on trainer/exercise bike, 2x outdoors)
Run: ~200km/20x
(Didnt do any MAF test nor didnt keep track of my weight)

Finally a 26:xx swim! Swam on the outside and drafted off a few people along the way.
I have been knocking quite a lot of swimming sessions which has helped but need to keep up the frequency to maintain my swim fitness.

There was a bit of a tailwind going out at Murakami so I was able to hammer it in the first half of the course. I was passing quite a lot of people and by the turn-around, I was maybe 30-45seconds behind the pack. Died a bit on the way back but was happy about my bike splits.
On the training front, there was a lot of crappy weather over the weekends in September so didnt get a chance to do much outdoor cycling. I did do a LOT of sessions on the trainer though.

400m: 67sec
800m: 2:25
Despite the skewed/shortened run times, I think I still managed a sub 40 (first time in a tri?) which is what I was aiming for. Maintained a consistent pace throughout and a finishing 500m kick which got me 3rd place =)
Otherwise, my experiment with middle distance running is still continuing with some success. Was able to knock about 8 seconds off my 800m but in my mile TT, I started off way too fast (1:12) and blew up.

Gym: x4 sessions
Hiking: ~31km
Went on a 4day hiking trip to Yakushima, Kagoshima a week before Murakami. Carrying 10kg+ packs for more than 5hrs/day was more of a workout than I thought but had a great time.

August 2013

Did my first sprint triathlon (as part of a triathlon ekiden) at the beginning of the month. Trained through it so wasn’t expecting much. Had a great time with other Namban teammates. Results-wise, I ended up doing a 1:17. Ok I suppose in hot weather but my transition times were terrible.
The main highlight of the month was finally having a decent Olympic-distanced triathlon race. Conditions were great up in Aizu, Fukushima which resulted in a big PB of 2:17:29 (exactly a 12minute PB!).
For September, I have one triathlon (Murakami) at the end of the month so I’ll keep the same training structure before moving on to my main Phuket buildup in October/November.

Swim: ~31km/16x
Bike: ~19hrs/(8x on trainer/exercise bike, 6x outdoors)
Run: ~16hrs/~208km/23x
(Didnt do any MAF test nor didnt keep track of my weight)

Swam 14:18/750m in Numazu and 28:30/1500m in Aizu which was disappointing since I know I should be doing better. Suffice to say, I need to swim a lot more if I want to do well in Murakami. In the pool, I estimate I can hold 1:45 pace for at least 20mins so I think I can probably do 26:30/1500m. This would be a great goal to hit in open water.

Had a great month of biking:
1) 20km/32:07 (Numazu sprint triathlon: road bike, no aerobars, no disc)
2) 21km/30:38 (Arakawa: Huge tailwind on my TT bike!)
3) ~40km/1:02:33 (Aizu oly triathlon: quite a lot of downhill)
Feeling pretty good on the bike so hopefully I can continue to build up the miles in September with some longer rides in the mountain. Shorter intense session on the trainer has helped me out a lot so I’ll continue with these sessions on the weekdays.

200m: 30.3sec
400m: 68sec
800m: 2:33
Another crazy hot month in Japan. Still concentrating on short distance but with the heat, it’s been difficult to hold a fast pace. The 200m and 400m season bests were done in one evening speed work session (1min hard/easy x 5, 400m TT, 30sec hard/easy x5, 200m TT). This gives me hope that in cooler Autumn weather and on fresh legs, I might be able to break 28s/200m and 65s/400m. However, the focus for September will be 800m/mile which I’m still having a hard time cracking the times I want (sub2:30, sub5:20). If I hit these times and my legs are feeling alright towards the end of the month month, I might finally churn out a full 5km.

Gym: x4 sessions
I feel like I bulked up a bit. I’m hesitant to check my weight because I’m almost certain I’ve gained a kilo or two. Going into September, I’m going to go back into IF and try a different protocol: one huge meal in the evening and drinks/gels before/after workouts. Basically, this is the warriors diet. I’ll try it for 3-4 weeks before Murakami and will see how it goes.

July 2013

Hot and humid!

Current weight: ~60.5kg (-1.0kg)
MAF test (per mile): [7:48(141bpm)/7:44(151bpm)/7:29(155bpm)] (~-12s)
Swim: ~28km/13x
Bike: ~14hrs/13x on trainer/exercise bike, 1x outdoors)
Run: ~20hrs/~200km/20x

Getting better. Was able to knock out 5x100m @ 1:40 (20 seconds rest) at Sendagaya. Still suck with paddles but I can at least keep up with some swimmers in lane 2 during non-paddle swims. Also managed my first OWS of the year in Kamakura. Lots of crap in the water but swam alright. For August, need to work on speeding up the amount of time I take off a wetsuit.

Unfortunately had to work a few days on the weekends which threw off my outdoor riding plan. During the one outdoor ride I did manage to do, my rear derailleur completely snapped. It’s now fixed so hopefully I can ride a lot more in August.

400m: 1:09
800m: 2:32
Mile: 5:33 (+5s)
5km: FAIL (4km/14:40)
It sucks running in 30+ degree sauna-like conditions. My times are awful even though I’ve been doing lots of speedwork on the track. I finally found some good short ~60-80m hills around my area so for August, I’d like to incorporate all-out 10s hill sprints. Other than that, keep mileage around 50km/week and keep plugging away at speedwork without getting injured and hopefully by autumn, I can start dominating at the track.

Gym: x3 sessions
Feeling more fit this month but more tired. Had to up my caloric intake a bit more during my feeding hours (now around ~60.5). Im now at ideal weight so going into August, I’ll probably relax some of my restrictions a bit.

June 2013

Month 1!
Decent first month of training considering I was very busy this month (overtime work, move).

Current weight: ~61.5kg (-2.5kg)
MAF test (per mile): [7:38/8:01/8:03 @ ~150bpm] (using a higher bpm standard but probably about 15-20secs decrease from last month)
Swim: ~25km (10x @ Shindaita, 3x @ Sendagaya)
Bike: ~15hrs (12x on trainer/exercise bike, 3x outdoors)
Run: ~11hrs/135.41km/23runs

Started swimming at Shindaita again. My feel for the water is absolutely horrible and I feel quite sluggish. At the moment, at Sendagaya I can barely knock out 10x100m at about 1:50/100m. Im even worse than before with paddles as I barely keep up with other swimmers in lane 3. Anyways, It’ll be a while until I get used to swimming again so for now I’ll just keep swimming 3-4 times a week.

I havent taken out the TT bike out for a spin yet nor do I have any aerobars on the road bike but it doesn’t feel like my biking has regressed too much. However, any ride over a hour is considered “long” for me. Hopefully in July, I’ll have more free time on the weekends to get out to the mountains where I can work at building a strong foundation for later work to come.

5km TT: FAIL.
2 miles in 12:00 but slowed down WAY too much after that. Stopped at 15:18/~4km.
Mile TT: 5:28 (-5secs)
Ive been working on speedwork (200m-800m repeats) and neglecting endurance work. I know high volume running will get me back in running shape in no time but I’m going to try to continue with my little experiment: to run as fast as possible with the least amount of running. Also, I’m inspired inspired to focus on the mile. It would be nice to get it down to 5:09 by autumn.

Got about 4 sessions of strength training at Sendagaya. Also, from the middle of the month, I moved to Yoyogi Uehara (about 20mins from my old place). I didnt hire a mover so ended up carrying everything my hand. So, I most likely gain a bit of muscle especially in the upper arms.
On the diet front, I had about four dinners in total this month and not a single drop of alcohol entered my system. The 12-18hr of fasting every day hasn’t taken too much of a toll on my performance so I shall continue this in the summer until I hit around 59.5kg or so.

Unweave, Unwind, Unravel…

The last 1.5 months has been “fun”…

  • Eating/drinking whatever the heck I wanted
  • Staying up past 11pm and sleeping in after 6am
  • Random workouts without any purpose
Life is good but at the same time, it’s depressing looking at how horribly out of shape I am.

Latest stats…
Current weight: 64kg (+5kg!)
MAF test (per mile): [8:07/8:35/8:24 @ ~143bpm] (+60secs)
Fastest 1600m: 5:33 (+20secs?)
5km: DNF (blew up after 9mins)

I did manage to do quite a lot of short distance speed work but Ive completely lost the motivation to run for more than 12 minutes without stopping. It’s time to end this downward slide and get back into shape. It’s also time to get back into triathlons so I’ll spend the rest of the year focusing on multi-sport.

The plan….
  • Lose 4kg
  • Get back into sub 18:30/5km running shape
  • Regain swimming sense
  • Start building a huge base in cycling
Unfortunately, June is going to be a busy month with me moving to Yoyogi-Uehara, working on some weekends, etc.. but I hope to transition into this routine:

Monday (PM): 1500m @ Sendagaya
Tuesday to Friday (AM): 60min swim @ Shindaita

Monday (PM): 20-30mins ‘fitness test’ @ Sendagaya
Tuesday, Thursday (PM): 45-60mins indoor trainer/sufferfest
Saturday (AM): outdoor ride @ mountains

Tuesday to Friday (AM): 15-20mins jog to pool
Wednesday (PM): Namban workout
Friday (PM): 30-45min Tempo Run or Mile Repeats
Sunday (AM): Trail Run or 90min road running

Monday (PM): @ Sendagaya

Eating window: 7:45-15:45
Target carbs: 150g
Protocol: Perfect health diet

In any case, I’ve hopefully hit rock bottom so I can only get better than the previous day..