Tri Training Update

Second training block complete for the Marin Tri! I am at 76% of my goal for fundraising for the Sustainable Sports Foundation swim program thanks to my generous donors!

I increased my total distance quite a bit on this build, with a few more cycling and swimming miles. I do a 21 day cycle of two weeks of building with a few high-intensity sessions, then the 3rd week is the easy recovery week, but I tacked on a long bike ride at the end, even after donating plasma a few days before. This is in addition to 50 miles a week bike commute which I don't count.

Running 12.412.25.329.9
Spinning 2:00:002:00:000:35:004:35:00
Swimming 0.672.272.175.11
*TRX and Kayaking 

What last couple of weeks looks like:

I have less than 2 weeks before race day! My goal is to finish the race in under 3 hours. I will be building up again then a quick taper. Thanks to Fresh Air Bicycles for tuning up my bike! It feels brand new! I raised the seat about a half inch and is perfect for riding all day long. For the race I will downsize all the accessories. I am not going to do aero bars because I felt more comfortable last year without them. Instead, I will just use the drop bars. My bike fit is so perfect that I don't want to mess with it. I rode the Marin Tri course on Saturday on the Lucas Valley Populaire and am getting really psyched for race day.

Swimming with Water World Swim

Paradise Loop Ride

Post-workout kale protein shake
Previous training update

SFR Lucas Valley Populaire

 SFR Lucas Valley Populaire
Near the top of the climb on Lucas Valley Road
Lucas Valley Populaire

I had never done this route before and I was really looking forward to it. The weather turned out perfect and it was definitely one of the best rides ever! I haven't done a long ride since Two Rock-Valley Ford so I'm glad I did a 40 mile ride the weekend before. It was fun to see Mike complete his first metric century distance. After riding by it, now I want to check out the Big Rock Ridge Trail.

This was my favorite section through China Camp:
SFR Lucas Valley Populaire
This is also on the Marin County Tri bike course, which I'm doing in a couple weeks! Lots of fun and scenic rollers. Not a lot of traffic here. We saw some deer foraging by the roadside.

I had never done Lucas Valley Road before. It was very pleasant riding through the shade. It just takes a little nerve to ride on the narrow shoulder with traffic buzzing by you. There are a lot of pullouts though. There was an instance where a car was going around us and speeding past us in the next lane and almost hit a car head on because it was on the crest of a blind hill. Perfectly bad timing. Watch out for blind hills and blind curves.

At Rancho Nicasio we finally saw some of the other riders and got some ice cold juice. The ride back down I was pretty familiar with and we were able to make it back by 2:41pm (6hrs 41 min) before the cutoff time and enjoy a nice picnic.

Fuel-wise, I think I did good. I had two bottles of water, 2 oatcakes, and some Clif Shot Blocks to first control at China Camp (refilled H2O there). To the second control at Nicasio I had a Hammer Perpetuem bottle and an onigiri rice cake. I made it with smoked salmon instead of bacon, and wrapped in edible nori instead of parchment. I have a press that shapes the rice into triangles. On the way back I had a juice, another Perpetuem bottle and 2 more rice cakes. In Fairfax we refilled our water and made the push back to Crissy Field. I had made and brought too much food, so I dropped some with the volunteers. I wanted to give it away to other randonneurs but everyone is so prepared! I'm glad I brought the carb drink because it was hot and didn't feel like eating, but I knew if I didn't consume calories I would be in trouble. Thanks to the volunteers, the picnic spread was awesome! They had chili, cornbread, lentil salad, fruit, loads of assorted beverages and desserts (brownies!). Most of the brevets are unsupported, but the Populaire is sort of a fun introductory distance and is a bit more social. They had two different rides going on today. The other was the El Paseito Mixto.

I look forward to more fall riding. I'm busy with swim events in the spring and summer so fall and winter is my ride time.



Tri Training Update

I'm 3 weeks into tri training (7 if you count the strength month). I've been doing training blocks of 2 weeks high-intensity, with the third week scaled back. Here are my totals:

WEEK                 1              2               3             TOTAL
Running        14.3        14.35       5.25        33.9
Fitness*        2:30:00    3:30:00   1:00:00   7:00:00
Spinning       2:00:00    2:00:00   2:20:00   6:20:00
Swimming    0.75         1.74         0.75        3.24
Workouts      11            12            6             29
Distance       15.05       16.09       6             37.14
Calories        3436        3415       1515        8366
Duration       8:30:00    9:17:00   4:59:00   22:46:00

*TRX and Kayaking 

This on top of my 50 miles a week of bike commuting. I was disappointed the pool pump at my gym went out and I didn't get my pool workouts in last couple of weeks. Bad timing! I have my bike at the shop getting tuned up and my tri suit is in the bag. I just need to get some more pool time and get some endurance rides in. I have gained 3-4 lbs from strength training, even if I'm looking a little more toned up with a bit more energy. Ready to start another block.
The Transformation from Caterpillar to Tri-Butterfly!


Tri-Training Mode

After a month of doing the TRX Force Strength Training Program, It's time to start my 8 weeks of structured tri-training for Marin Tri! I am over the cookie-cutter training programs so what I do is take a little bit of everything I think I need and combine it into a custom program in my own spreadsheet, which looks like this:


These weekday sessions are 1 - 1 1/2 hrs then the weekend has an open water swim, bike and run also, little bit longer, and some RESTING. I dropped back down to 2 strength sessions and I am integrating Sara McLarty's triathlon swim workouts and Hal Higdon's 10k training into my custom program. Combining the running with strength training is a challenge, but I found that doing a short run before is easier. Running off the bike is even more of a challenge but something I have to prepare for. I got the New Balance Fresh Foam to add variety to my run:

For cycling strength I'm adding some spinning, and there are some great spin classes at my gym Fitness SF. I found a nice water bottle from Addverb that  I can write my swim workout on:

Got a dose of inspiration recently at a triathlon seminar at Sports Basement with Matt Dixon and amazing athletes. Check out the book The Well-Built Triathlete:

I have this on my bookshelf with the Time-Crunched Triathlete, both by Velo Press. I realized to do all this I need to make sure I'm at least horizontal somewhere by 9pm, and eat my broccoli!

I'm raising funds for the Sustainable Sports Foundation to help inner-city kids learn to swim!
Click  here to donate!


Half Moon Bay Bike Glamping

Took advantage of the Labor Day Weekend to go on another bike camping adventure. This time we headed south to Half Moon Bay. There is a nice hike and bike camp there on the beach for $7 per person per night with hot showers for 50 cents. The campsite has several picnic tables and one fire pit, which makes for a nice evening campfire social. The campground was riddled with gopher holes but they kept to themselves. It's just a few steps away from Francis Beach, where you can rest and regroup. Not recommended to swim here, but there is a lifeguard tower farther south.

Getting there: We pretty much took Hwy 1 and followed the Google Map bike route, but with some modifications. Rode over a huge nail after Mori Point and had to stop and do some repairs. There are some annoying areas where there is fast moving traffic and a narrow shoulder. The answer to this is to leave early! My favorite part was the new Devil's Slide dedicated pedestrian and bike path with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean!

The last 6 miles or so is mostly bike friendly. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is nice. There was a bridge out on the last bit so we had to take the detour on Pilarcitos Ave to Kehoe, then Frontage Road, Naomi Partridge Trail, then right on Kelly Ave. to the camp entrance. Total moving time was 3:18 and 34.6 miles with 1,751 ft. elevation gain. We got there in time to set up camp and see a beautiful sunset. For dinner, we headed to Tres Amigos and had delicious burritos to go and socialized with other cyclists around the fire at the camp. The next day we had coffee, homemade oatcakes and fresh fruit from Andreotti Family Farm at camp and went on a morning ride to explore the rest of the Coastal Trail. Some of it was paved but the rest of it is rough single track better suited for mountain bikes or cross bikes. I managed to do it on my road bike without falling. We took the road back into downtown for lunch. Another cyclist had recommended San Benito Deli so we enjoyed delicious sandwiches there on the outdoor patio with live music. Afterward, we lounged on the beach like beach bums all afternoon, enjoyed nice hot showers, then rolled back downtown to have Sushi. Now that's what I call Glamping!

Getting back: Feeling "lazy" and wanting to have more time to do other things on our 3-day weekend, we decided on the beeline to Belmont CalTrain via San Mateo Rd./Hwy 92. This is one long climb to upper Skyline, with some anxiety attack areas of little shoulder but mostly ample shoulder. There are a few shady pullouts to rest. This route is best done early morning, but we did it at high noon in the scorching sun and busy traffic hauling our gear and survived. You have to be comfortable at bike handling on hills, balancing your load, and moving in and out of your drops. Remain calm and cycle on! The descent down Ralston is pretty sweet with smooth pave. We made it to CalTrain in 1:20, 14.3 miles and 1,484 ft. elevation gain. There are better routes to take if you want to extend your ride and explore the hills more through the Parks and Preserves. It would be so nice to have more time to do a proper tour of the Pacific Coast by bike.