Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beginnertriathlete.com Training Log Graph

I have had a good amount of people ask about the training log graph I have on my side bar that shows my weekly workout summary.  This is linked to http://www.beginnertriathlete.com and the workouts I upload there.  It is a pretty simple process if you are already uploading your workouts to the webpage training log, and if not that is also quite easy.

- Open the following link:

Login Screen- Under Your Training Volume, click Add to your Webpage
- This directs you to customize settings, enter your BT account name so it knows what data to use, also enter your title
Customize - You can preview your settings
- Click Get Your Code

- Click in the area with the code that begins with <script

- Hit Ctrl + A to Select all
- Hit Ctrl + C to Copy the code
- Log into your blog and click on customize

- Click on Layout then Page Elements

- Click Add Gadget where you would like to place the Training Log
Add Gadget
- Select HTML/Javascript
- Give your Gadget a name (Training Log Graph)

- Paste the code into the Content window and Click Save
- You can either preview the entire blog to rearrange where the Graph is located or Save to save the changes

- The Result:
Final Product

Monday, October 26, 2009

Recovery, Offseason, and Training













So what have I been up to the past few weeks?  By looking at my blog some would think not much at all, which may be partially true, others may think I have been extremely busy.  If you are in that group, you would be correct.  Work has been absolutely insane the past few weeks which came at a good time in the training road, right after the Twin Cities Marathon, and before I ramp up my off season training. 


I will not go into details about how busy work has been, except that thank goodness for my workouts to keep me sane!  I did not take a ton of time off after the marathon, but gave myself some time to relax and get ready for the winter.  I have been riding the bike inside on the trainer and having some issues with numbness of the goods.  I have adjusted seat angles like crazy with the Fizik Arione seat only to result in varying degrees of bad.  I snagged an Arione Tri2 seat hearing that this helped many people out with the additional padding in the nose.  Well… it arrived and after some adjusting, still about the same results.  My thoughts are the next step is changing to the ISM Adamo seat.  (Skipping ahead in time to when I am writing the post, it causes no issues on the road… no idea what to think)

I started my offseason 26 week plan this past week.  Although it appears to be tailored for race season with some A, B, and C grade races, it is a good start until I am comfortable from reading the Triathlete’s Training Bible and making my own plan.  Here is what my workouts looked like this week:

- Monday: 2475 yd Swim, long set (Missed the bike ride due to some scheduling conflicts

- Tuesday: 45 Min Bike RPE 4, 30 Min Run RPE 2-3

- Wednesday: Rest Day (But I did Monday’s bike workout) 45 mins RPE 3 with 6x20 second top cadence spin ups

- Thursday: 30 Min Swim 3x400 RPE 3, even pace; 1 hr Run (45 RPE 2-3, 15 RPE 5)
- Friday: 2300 Yd 45 Min Swim

- Saturday: OFF!!!

- Sunday: 15 Min Swim (400 yds RPE 7, remainder RPE 3); 1.5 hour Bike RPE 3

This was the first week of the plan and it pushed me outside my comfort level, which was a good thing.  The swims are longer than I have been in the pool before, but it sounds like good way to get better at swimming.  The bikes have been painful with the annoying seat issue, and the run on Thursday was a challenge on the treadmill.  Luckily the bike on Sunday was nice enough that I could be outside.  Nice is a subjective term, nice to me meant mild winds 5 MPH or so and 49 degrees.  I put on some warm clothes and socks this time since the last time I rode outside my toes about froze. 

Lets continue to talk about the bike.  1.5 hours the longest I have biked before for a workout.  I decided to do a route I normally do 20 miles in about an hour give or take, a simple out and back.  Another 15 minutes on to the end of this would get me my workout.  I somehow forgot about wind, and the fact this would be my longest bike.  What did it result in.  45 minutes out got me 16.1 miles.  The way home did not go as quickly, winds picked up above 10 MPH and were conveniently in my face, so much for feeling strong.  The good news, no numbness, at least from the seat.  The toes started to go numb about 40 minutes into the ride making for a long ride back.  I made it back home in 1:42, not too shabby, not my 20 MPH average I was hoping for, but then again it was nearly 10 miles longer than any other ride I have done before.


I spent the majority of the day Saturday installing a new laminate wood floor after tearing out the carpet in our living room.  Not too bad for a days work.



Spent the night watching the amazing Iowa Hawkeyes win on the last play of the game to move on to 8-0.  I got a bit nervous, but they seem to pull out all the stops and do what it takes to win.

Back to work and workouts this coming week with a few more posts to be completed this week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Good to Great…

Since my last post, there is a lot of very good news which makes this posting very easy to write.  Each of them is something special to talk about and I would be hard pressed to say which is the best news so I will address them in chronological order.  As my previous post indicated, my bike was to be delivered on Wednesday, I was not around so the delivery failed and I had to wait another day.  Luckily I was working from home Thursday and would be able to sign for it when it arrived.  Despite a very crazy week at work, I was free when the delivery man came with the large box!  I finished up work for that day although putting in more hours that day than a typical day.  My first free moment went to unpacking the box.

Packed upAfter a little handy work, the final product looked like the following setup on the trainer with the Fi’zi:k

Arione seat I decided to start off with on this bike. 
SetupCan you imagine when you were a kid, opening a present at Christmas and then being told you could not play with it until the next week when you go back to school? This is exactly the pain I felt.  With the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday I wanted to make sure I was rested and recovered and ready to race.  Outside of a few minutes just spinning to test seat height, I let it rest after installing the Garmin cadence kit.  A few more pictures that combine my photography interest with my triathlon interest! The first is not that great of a photo by any means.



The second on the other hand, turned out pretty well.

Third not too bad, but cut off a bit of the seat and I think there is a small hair on the bike!DSC02017
Finally the last photo which made its way to the banner was just an interesting perspective on things.DSC02022
As I said, there are multiple good things that have happened.  The next thing to report.  Since my heaviest stage late last winter or early spring where I weighed myself at one point at 184.5, although I would not doubt I was higher than that, this is the highest measured weight I have had since my ‘fat stage’ in college that consisted of pizza dipped in ranch, fries dipped in ranch, and lots of sugary drinks and beers.  The good news? I have been keeping track of my weight daily (or pretty close) with SportTracks.  Saturday morning, I hit the lowest weight I have been in many years, 169.5, marking a point where I have lost 15 pounds.  Although I have only been recording in SportTracks since the end of June where I was around 183, the graph below shows my progress although not the full 15 pound loss.
Jeff Vanis - Weight

One side note, not directly related to the events in this post, but as we went to pick up our packets for the marathon and 10-mile, we came across this at the expo.  I had to geek it up and stop for a photo. The lady in the booth couldn’t believe that it was me and said that had never happened before.
As excited as I was about the bike, I cannot say this did not also give me a great thrill.  I have been being very careful about what I eat and working to watch how much junk intake I have.  I even started to feel much better about my body composition before noticing some numerical results which is almost just as good for me as a number.  If you would have asked me 9 months ago what I thought my ideal body weight was, I would have told you around 180, as I struggled to lose or gain much around that weight even with regular running and exercise.  I am looking forward to what my body has in store for this winter where the treats get more and more tempting since I figured out a few great recipes for fudge last year!

Finally, I follow up with Sunday activities, a nice 26.2 mile run through the Twin Cities (official race report to follow) I am going to save most of the details of the race for the race report that I will finish up tomorrow.  My long run for training was 16 miles, due to some knee issues. This left a lot of doubt in my mind and come to find out Heather had similar feelings about my expectations. 

My first marathon was the Twin Cities 2008, finished with a 4:48:28 chip time which averaged out to 11:03/mile.  I said any improvement will be welcome, and I really hope to not be slower than the previous year since my training had lacked.  The next tier, sub-4:30, a good improvement on last year especially considering my focus towards short distance triathlons this year and skimping on the longer runs for marathon training.  Finally was the 4:15 goal, aka the ‘I don’t know what I did to make this happen, or how I even deserve this, but I may just crap myself if I could by some miracle run this time.’  The data behind my workouts explains the name:

9/27 – 9.08 miles @ 11:07 pace (with Heather)
9/20 – 8.08 miles @ 11:07 pace (with Heather)
9/13 – 16.39 miles @ 10:03 pace (by myself)
8/28 – 14:29 miles @ 10:37 pace (by myself)

For those who are not driven by numbers, obviously the 4:48 translates to 11:03, about the same pace as the runs I did with Heather for her 10 mile training.  Take my 16 mile run for example.  That would equate to roughly 4:23, smack dab between the other two goal times I had.  Since I said I was going to save the details for the race report, I will cut to the chase.  My finishing time:

09 marathon 4:12:38 chip time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Exceeded my top of the line tier.  More to come in another post.  Thank you to Andy and Brandis for your encouragement and through the race! You guys helped me hang on at the end when my body was ready to shut down.

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