Saturday, January 11, 2014

Training and racing summary for 2013

Happy New Year 2014 !

It was another awesome year for many reasons, fitness included. Overall training and racing went well and I enjoyed most of it, except the usual 24 hours of anxiety and lack of sleep before each race - if you know a "method" please let me know :-).

In 2013 I did two Sprint triathlon races and two Half Ironman 70.3 distance races (2nd overall in Boardman Sprint, 1st in age group in YMCA North Park Sprint).  Much anticipated introduction into long distance racing of triathlon went very well with first being Eagleman 70.3 and second being Cedar Point 70.3. Both races went very well, but running half marathon after two and a half hours of hard biking turned out to be harder than I expected. The links to detailed race reports are listed on the RACING page of this blog. Here are year summary stats from

I took almost 3 weeks off at the end of the season with very little to no training at the end of November and good part of December.

From Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013 I averaged 12 hours per week training time:

Year Total swim (miles) Total bike (miles*) Total run (miles) Longest swim (yards) Longest bike (miles) Longest run (miles) 100 yard swim (sec) Half IronMan Olympic triathlonSprint Triathlon26.2 miles  run 100 mile bike
2013 130 5,937 985 3,200 65 16 1:24 5:11:04 -1:06:56- -
2012 117 6,259 822 3,100 102 13.6 1:30 - 2:22:281:04:01- 5:45
2011 72 6,800 948 1,500 102 26.2 - - -1:14:423:23 5:20
2010 15 1,000 300 600 25 8 - - --- -
2009 5 300 200 400 20 6 - - ---
* - bike miles in 2013 have been measured based on Wattage, not on the number shown by the trainer bike (to compare to previous years bike mileage needs to be multiplied by about 20%)

One thing that was very special this past year was the Savage Triathlon Camp that I attended for 3 days. That was a blast! Coaches were super knowledgeable and helpful, the athletes were friendly and fun, the program was very useful and included swim and run video analysis, bike fit, bike ride, open water swims, lectures and barbecue :-). Among other things, I really enjoyed climbing up "The Wall" during our epic bike ride almost entirely in rain. The camp was well worth the time and money and I would highly recommend it.

In  2013 I generally followed the following schedule of training and kept my log in the
  • Monday
    Crosstraining + bike + swim
  • Tuesday
    Crosstraining + bike + run (hill repeats)
  • Wednesday
    Crosstraining + bike + swim
  • Thursday
    Crosstraining + bike + run (track intervals up to 600 yards)
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
    Long run (usually on the trail in North Park)


This past year I was able to improve my swimming quite a bit. Last week in the pool I was able to swim a couple of 1m30s per 100 yards with 10 sec break and that was just steady swim - not all out effort. In 2012 I took two private swim lessons from Kim Schwabenbauer (she is coach, professional triathlete and nutritionist) and in 2013 had two private lessons from Suzanne Atkinson (she is swim coach and triathlete). These lessons helped me a lot as they set me on the right path.

In 2013 I took underwater video camera (Swann Freestyle goes for $140 on Amazon) with me to the pool every other week and set it on the side of the pool, at the end of the lane, under and over water, etc. and then watched that footage when I got back home. This was perhaps the single best thing that helped my swim. Other than that I have read few books on swimming and am subscribed to the newsletter (and bought their book). Those guys are fantastic! Their app is just pure awesomeness :-) - it is free to download and use.


This past year (same as in 2012) 95% of all of my biking I did on the indoor trainer - on my recumbent Schwinn 230i bike (purchase in 2001 on eBay for $650). I have built a computer desk over this bike and while pedaling do some email, read, write and do all kinds of stuff while biking. This is what allows me to do 4 to 5 bike workouts per week. I would never have been able to biks this much if I had to ride outside. Plus doing something on the computer removes any sense of boredom. I know people dread indoor bike workouts and would too if not for my computer setup. Since most of my cycling is done on the trainer indoors while doing something on my laptop, almost all of it is long steady ride with no intervals - after initial warmup of about 25 min, building up power to the steady level of 150 to 230 Watts and maintain it for the period of the ride (usually 1 hour to 3 hours), then cool down for 5 min at the end. I have not ridden my mountain bike in 2013 on real trail (I did ride it on pavement when riding with kids) and took my tri bike to the road for a total of about 15 times this past year, with 5 of those being races.


In 2013 I ran three times a week with a long run being on Sunday morning on the trail of North Park. Other days either on the McKnight Elementary school track or in my neighborhood. Most of my running was in heart rate zones 3 and 4. Thru the year at different times I did tempo runs, 400 and 800 repeats, hill repeats, long steady runs, etc. However I feel I have a lot of work to do to improve my running as shown by the 70.3 races this year. I ran in top

90% of my runs I do while listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Some of my favorites are listed here. Because of those books and podcasts I love running. If I had more time, I would run three times as much. There is simply unbelievable amount of solid non-fiction content available on audio these days. I load my Android phone with podcasts and books, put on headphones and never want to stop running :-), especially if it is on North Park trail. It is as good as it gets.


I usually do cross training in the morning before work and it takes ~35 min. I do about 90 reps on stability ball or on the floor for abs and 90 for the back (laying on stability ball face down), then do about 30 dynamic side planks on each side and then hold for 30 sec, do two sets of pull-ups (total of about 30), pushups with feet on stability ball and hands on floor handles (about 30 to 40 of these in one set).


My height was 172 cm (5'7'') and weight stayed between 68 to 73 kg (about 2 kg less compared to last year). I had one minor foot injury this past year after having tried running in Newton shoes. Wont be using those again... Thanks to Dr. Brad Kleuber for fixing me and for showing some preventative exercises.

Average daily sleep time was about 7 hrs 20 min. Would be nice to get it up to 8 hours per day in 2014 :-).

Nutritionally I did well and made fruit and berry smoothies on my Vitamix blender several times a week. I must admit that this Vitamix is the most important "fitness" equipment I own :-). This is really outstanding stuff. I buy frozen fruit and berries at Costco or Sams Club, add fresh carrots and bananas, some flax seed or chia seed, honey, water and those smoothies are heavenly... The only thing is that I really like chocolate and natural honey and consume more of it than I should. I also love bunch of other sweet things (not soda though) and need to reduce overall sugar intake. This is a hard one... Here is what my fruit shakes look like. I stole this picture from the internet, but you get the idea :-). If you only had $350 to spend on your triathlon gear in 2014 and you asked me where to spend it, I would say you buy yourself Vitamix blender!

Plans for 2014

In 2014 plan on doing few Sprints and Olympic distance races, will run full distance Pittsburgh Marathon and will do MS150 ride. My goal at the Pittsburgh Marathon is to qualify for Boston and run under 3h 15 min.

Have not yet decided on the Half Ironman. If I do, it will likely be Cedar Point 70.3 or perhaps Moraine Man?

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