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Running into the New Year

January 3, 2012

I am now a little over three months away from my first triathlon of 2012 (March 25 in Clermont FL).  One of my favorite venues and although it is not one where Floridians can hammer away on a flat course  it is a great change of pace for the courses that we usually experience down here.

I rode my road bike yesterday 45 miles into a swirling wind of about 15-20 mph.  There is no feeling like having your heart pumping and looking down at your cateye and notice you are only going 18-19 mph.  Oh the way home,  I decided I was going to put my bike in the hardest gear possible (simulate hills) and ride home.  Although my cadence dropped to about 70-75 I was able to maintain that the entire way home and my legs felt good.

Today, I had a longer run (well longer for the beginning of the season).  The weather was nice, but again the wind was howling and being 6’6 I am like a sail in the wind and have to work much harder when running into it.  I wanted to try and run 14 miles at a 7:30 pace or below.  Last year at this time I was running a half marathon at 1:30 at this time, but hadn’t taken time off like I had this year.  One thing I hate about where I live is there is pretty much one route to run, so every single run I go on I see the same scenery.  I actually have my own checkpoints every half mile and can gauge my time against previous runs in my head.  One thing to help me keep my mind off the mundane task of running.  I also have to precisely plan my run so I can hit my water stops (CVS, golf course water fountain, Publix).  This become harder in the summer when these stops are about 4-5 miles apart and it is very hot and humid out.

Before I headed out I had a Honey Stinger vanilla waffle and a Gatorade Prime (300 calories combined).  I brought with me two Honey Stinger gels, I have never tried these before but bought a couple at a local sports shop to try.  One was the Honey Stinger Gold and the other was the Honey Stinger Strawberry.  I took the Gold flavored one 45 minutes in and this was the best tasting gel I have ever had.  It was more liquid than what you would get with  GU gel and easily squeezed into your mouth and tasted exactly like honey.  The strawberry one was a little thicker and had a closer consistency of a “GU” gel.  The flavor was a honey/strawberry- it was enjoyable, but I would recommend the “Gold” flavor over the other.  They had 32 mg of caffeine in them and are made with organic ingredients.  If you have GI issues with some other gels I highly recommend trying these- you won’t be disappointed.

During this training run, I broke down my run into 5 miles, 5 miles, 2 miles, 2 miles for my water breaks.  Each stop, I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible but each stop lasted about 1:30-45 minutes which was plenty of time for me to recover and get my HR back down.  I had a good run although my calves started to tighten towards the end of my run.  I ended up averaging 7:25 miles and was very happy with that result.

The rest of the week will look like this:

Tuesday – swim (2000-2500 y)

Wednesday – one hour spin on the bike (30 min endurance, 30 min hills) followed by a 4 mile run

Thursday – Swim (3500 y), 30 min spin

Friday – run 6 miles with bridges

Saturday – Group Ride (45 miles)

Sunday Group Ride (60 miles), 6 mile run after


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