Monday, June 20, 2011

Sea Trials & All Hail The Spinach

Next Sunday, I'll be racing at the San Diego International Triathlon.  The race is at Spanish Landing Park, which is just south of the Airport and just north of Downtown.  I did this race last year and it was great.  It's a fairly prestigious local race, and this year will be the 28th addition.

Though tagged as an "International" distance race, it's actually not quite that long.  The swim is 500 meters short at 1000M and the bike is 10 kilometers short at 30K.  But except for the swim (which is about 200 yards longer) it is exactly double the distance of the Solana Beach Sprint Triathlon.  You may recall from a post a couple weeks ago that I'm going to try to finish Solana in under an hour next month.

So this race will be a bit of a test.  I figure if I can finish this in about 2:04 or so, I'll theoretically be in good shape for Solana.  But there is an emphasis on "theoretically" - in real terms I'm not going to assume anything.

Last year I finished in 2:13.  I had one of my better swims, but just an OK bike and run.  But that was a year and thousands of training miles ago.  Hopefully, the natural progression of improvement will be shining favorably on me next week.

The bike course is a great.  There's a little bit of a climb up a peninsula of land called Point Loma, but once you summit, there are a couple of mildly rolling laps on top before you make up any time that may have been lost on the ascent with a screaming descent.  Still, I'm going to have to nail that climb.

The run is dead flat along a seawall.  From last year, I remember that despite my so-so performance, I really enjoyed this run.  I'm looking forward to doing it again and turning on the heat a bit.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good.  I finished week 4 of my 16 week 70.3 training plan today on a high note with a decent 27 mile tempo ride this morning and a 6 mile recovery run this afternoon.  As I've mentioned before, the plan has restructured my training weeks quite a bit.  So I can feel my body responding to the changes.  I got a little bit lazy this spring in terms of workout structure, and my body got a little bit too comfortable with the monotony.  Well, I don't think it's comfortable anymore.

The only challenges I've faced are longer recovery times due to the more intense workouts, be it running speed-work or cycling intervals.  Though not wanting to cause an uproar amongst my middle aged endurance colleagues,  I'm not going to BS myself - I think some of this comes down to age.  Not that this particularly matters or can't be worked around, but making this assumption is probably the best move I can make when it comes down to trying to offset it with adjustments.

The adjustments I'm making are all dietary.  Protein intake is going up and carbohydrate intake is going down.  In practice, it's pretty simple.  Breakfast is no longer granola and fruit.  Instead it's hard boiled eggs and Greek yogurt.  Between meal snacks are no longer Clif or Odwalla Bars.  Instead it's turkey slices.  Carbohydrates still have their place obviously, but the emphasis for them will be as fuel specific to training and racing.  Finally, there will be a huge spinach salad with dinner every night.  Spinach is incredibly nutritionally dense, and I'm hoping that the flavonoids and anti-inflammatory properties kick in while I'm resting.

I'll report back about the diet changes in a week or so.   Hopefully I'll have some good news in the race report as well.


Caratunk Girl said...

I love spinach. You know - I don't know if this works into your plan or not - but even though it sounds kind of weird - I put spinach in fruit smoothies. You can't tell, it really tastes just like the fruit (you can see the spinach though). I put in like a handful to get the good stuff.

That Oly race sounds great!

KovasP said...

Welcome back, blog changes look good, and it sounds like your training is going well. All is right with the world.

PS What is this Triathlon Summer Camp, est 2009?

Jennifer said...

Great training Patrick. You are going to kill next week's race and good job with the diet changes, I think you are right about the age thing, at 46 I feel I can go longer but not necessarily faster, at least to a huge extent!

Lucas R. Tucker said...

Love the diet- It's similiar to what i shoot for.

Tri4Success said...

I thought age was just a number on our calf? Crap! It's not? And I'm right behind you in that department. Good thing "I likes me spinach".

Laura said...

I am all over the dietary changes as well...except I am aiming to become faster....I could be in for a world of hurt I think.

XLMIC said...

Look at you, posting salad pictures! Pretty soon you'll be changing the blog name to The Hungry Runnner Boy ;-) You know I'm all over the changes in the food department, and I like the little swimmers in that header photo (and anyone who can walk away from that w/o ending up in the gutter … well, I just helped them get there).

Glad the training's going well. Keep working smart and hard and you'll hit those goals.

Emz said...


I'm not a carby girl. They make me feel all wheaty & weird.


Emz said...

Still this you should kick Craig to the side on that FB page/photo though. ;)

Unknown said...

We eat spinach salads just about every night. Top it with fruit, or cottage cheese, more veggies. YUM!

Can't wait to hear how the race goes!

The Green Girl said...

Hope the adjustments make a positive difference for you, Patrick.

Good luck this weekend!

Patrick Mahoney said...

XLMIC - Noted. And if you have to ask what a "bike a run" is, then you don't know.


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