Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two Interesting Training Runs

Everyone is or should be in full training mode right now for their up and coming races. I've had many people asking me if and where I'm racing this season which I appreciate. As a coach, I'm providing my athletes a path that hopefully builds their fitness, expands their mental and physical limits, and puts them on the starting line of their goal races confident and ready. Because I've committed myself to an "every other year big goal" plan as of lately, it's easy for me to get distracted with others on my in between years and forget that I also need some carrots out there to pursue. I also feel it's important for me to practice what I preach. I want to race in a 70.3 or two, but need to find some that fit in my calendar. June looks shot as of right now between recitals, soccer tournaments, Camps, ... My main goal this season will most likely be Olympic Distance Nationals in Tuscaloosa in September. I need a qualifying race first though.

I've been running a few days a week with my wife, including a great run that we did last Saturday in Central Park. We stayed in NYC last Friday night to celebrate our 15 year anniversary. Saturday morning was beautiful weather and as we made our way warming up easily to Central Park South, we merged in with a bunch of runners that were being paced by official Nike pacers for the up and coming 1/2 marathon taking place in NY. This worked well since they new the trail system through the park. Honestly, there were maybe 10,000 runners in the park that morning! I'm used to running all alone in the trails near my home so the visual stimulation was fun. Lisa is more competitive then me - if she lived in NY and ran in the park regularly, she'd get injured or burned out quick. She hates getting passed and all her runs would end up as tempo.

Speaking of running in the trails alone and running tempo, I had a cool experience yesterday in the trails near my home that I run in all the time. I had about 90 minutes to work in a run in between soccer games and I planned to work the hills and also work in two by 20 minute tempo efforts. About one hour in, I was working a hill over on a single track trail and as I crested it, about fifteen feet in front of me, I startled a pack of young coyotes. There were maybe 10 or 12 of them scrambling everywhere and I froze in my tracks, turned off my music, and looked everywhere for A) their elders, and B) a big stick. This was the first time I've ever seen coyotes in these trails that I've been running weekly for the last ten years.

There are only four weeks left until my LP Camp! If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for???



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here's a picture of some of the group from CT Camp after climbing over Mt. Everett from MA to NY. Notice all the Cannondales!

I am finally all caught up with 24 - Holy shit! They are going out with a bang.

Stay tuned for the new website.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Last Day of CT Camp:(

I'll be brief here this evening since I'm limited on time and have a bucket load of emails in my inbox to get to.

Jeff molson and I were chatting a bit after the long run today (more on this run in a bit) and he couldn't figure out why this camp wasn't filled up and with a waiting list. I told him it was due to two things: 1) Most have no idea how great the training venue is in upper Northwest CT. I often think back to Gus E.'s first time considering coming up to this camp. He said point blank to me "why should I attend a camp in Connecticut? Convince me to go." I convinced him and he's been back many times since. 2) the camp seems a bit expensive at first, but what most don't realize is how much you get and that it's a one time fee basically, unless you are Q ordering pricey bottles of wine at dinner. Jeff's words were "this is the best camp", and this is coming from a guy who has attended all my Tucson and LP camps and also my Palm springs camp. I happen to agree. the terrain is harder than all the other camps. The roads are in the best condition compared to all other camps. The pool is incredible. The food is incredible. Listen, I love my Tucson Camp and my LP Camp. they are both amazing places and we have managed to find the best of what these places have to offer as well. However, the CT Camp is still the top of the food chain.

Back to today: Today was long run day. We began from the Interlaken Inn and ran 2 miles to a trail that parallels rt. 41. We followed this trail north for a few miles until it popped out on rt. 44. From here, we ran pavement for maybe 1/2 mile until connecting with the Appalachian Trail. We then ran the Appalachian Trail to what Jeff dubbed "Eric's Lookout" which is an amazing lookout on the Appalachian Trail in the Berkshires. There is a ton of uphill to get there and everyone was quite quiet and plugging away. The lookout is well worth the climb. It was perfect weather and a beautiful run, mostly on trails. We then went down to the lake and soaked our tired legs for a bit before heading to breakfast and calling it a camp.

Thanks to all who participated. I had a blast working and training with all of you and hopefully, you had fun as well.

Oh, Morgan set the EH CT Camp TT record for the women. My post from Friday suggested she set the overall record and I don't want the guys laying into me.



Saturday, May 15, 2010

CT Camp - Day 3

Saturday at camp is always a big day. Typically, I like to work in a long hard bike followed by a solid run/brick. Today, I added in a swim first thing to make it a full tri day.

We went over to Hotchkiss pool at 7am to get in a solid session of shorter intervals, but decent yardage. I gave Morgan and Quentin a set of 5 100's and told them I wanted them all done in 1:10. they looked at me as though I had two heads and then proceeded to bang out five all in 1:06 to 1:07.

Breakfast and then onto the bikes. It was a beautiful day in northwest CT; sunny and in the low 70's. Lot's of wind but that just adds to the fun in my book. I took the group on a killer ride in both altitude gained and scenery. For those that know the area, we rolled down 112 to the junction of rt7 where we gave Dangle the nine finger salute, then headed up over Music mountain (first solid climb), then right onto rt 63 where you climb forever, albeit gradually, up to rt 4 in Goshen, back to cornwall, south on 7, then up Carter Hill which is the hardest climb in CT. Q reached the top and declared it was the hardest climb he's ever done including the long epic Spain climbs. Descend to Warmaug then climb Anderson Acres out of warmaug, descend Geer Mtn and stop in Kent for some gelato, ride north on 7 then west on rt 4 which is a 4 mile climb and back mudge pong/indian Mtn rd.

We split basically into two groups and my group was very compatible. Morgan, Q, and Kevin. Morgan will be the top amateur female at Lp, mark my words. I hope she doesn't read this so that she doesn't feel any added pressure but she is solid across the board.

We topped off the five hour ride with a 50 minute run with again, you guessed it, more hills. Hills make you strong. Repeat. Hills make you strong.

OK, boring post but it's late and honestly, it was such perfect weather and such a great training day that I really cant do it justice anyways.



Friday, May 14, 2010

Day Two - Testing Day

I don't know what was in the dessert last night but I had some funky dreams and slept erratically. Molson, Q, and I made an early morning 6:15am coffee run to Millerton, then we met the group in front of the Interlaken to jog the 1/8th of a mile to the Hotchkiss track next door. Hotchkiss just rebuilt their track and inner field and they pulled all the stops - this facility is nicer than most university tracks. The group did a mile and a half warm-up and then we jumped right into the testing. We were establishing threshold heart rates and setting up run training zones. After the cooldown, everyone met for breakfast before suiting up to ride.

This ride is simply amazing. No, I'm not embellishing. If you ride a bike, than you can certainly appreciate the ride we did today. It rolls out for an hour before hitting a solid longer climb, then there is a beautiful rolling country road and then 1 hr 45 min in, we begin the eight mile point to point time trial on another rolling road with no cross traffic. After the TT, we spin around beautiful twin lakes then ride the rollers out to a monster 5+ mile climb from MA into NY, then switchback descents that make you feel as though you are in Europe, then a bike path and country road of rollers for an hour back. A 4.5 hr ride with some serious elevation gain, a time trial, nice rolling roads, a super descent, no traffic, great road conditions, and oh, it was in the 70's and sunny for most of the ride!

I sent out everyone on the TT in one minute intervals. I held many of the bikes while the athletes locked in and prepped for take off. Jeff Molson was up and said "Ready Eric?" Problem was I wasn't near his bike. He thought I was holding it and tried to clip in and went right down on his side. After we found out he was fine, we all had a good laugh. OK, I was actually laughing before finding out he was ok. It was like one of those trust exercises where someone falls backwards trusting someone else to catch them, only I wasn't there. Morgan C. rode further today then she has ever ridden in her life and she also set a new course record for the EH CT Camp eight mile TT - how cool is that!

We had to high tail back the last hour because I had the Hotchkiss pool booked for a late afternoon swim. We had the whole pool to ourselves - actually, both pools. I was anticipating a lot of leg cramping so I gave them a long set that included some of everything to keep it interesting and that put them all around 3000 yds give or take.

Before you know it, the day was done and we were back at the Interlaken Bar enjoying a round before dinner. The group has already bonded quite well making the dinners fun and relaxing and less about triathlon.

Time to get some rest because we have a big day planned tomorrow and I always love the Saturday CT Camp ride. We are missing Gus though - you should be here! And I miss Annmarie yelling at me.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

CT Camp - Day 1!

I'm back! Not just on my blog, but also back up in Lakeville at my CT Camp, and today was a kinda perfect training day I must say.

I don't need to reiterate how much I like it up here or how one day up here puts me in a good place. We met up here at 10am, ready to ride. It was sunny and in the high 60's and no wind. The ride was 4 hours including some controlled hill reps thrown in. Over 5000 feet of climbing on day one. We followed up the ride with a beautiful trail run that winds on single track over creeks, and up and down rolling hills, finishing along a hidden lake. OK, I got us a bit lost, but that just adds to teh adventure. We then did some running technique drills followed by assisted stretching and soaking our legs in the lake. Cap the day off with a great dinner and a few nice dark ales and all is well.

I'll talk more about the group as the camp goes on but one thing I stressed a bunch today was that we need to start training more with our race day efforts in mind. not only physically, but nutritionally. I've had the opportunity to train recently with quite a few triathletes training for ironmans and 70.3's and I'm amazed by the inconsistency in their training efforts and their ignorance towards fuel. To be more specific, a triathlon is about sustaining a steady effort. It doesn't mean that you ride easy until you get to a hill, hammer up the hill as hard as possible, then recover until you get to the next hill. It also doesn't mean riding three hours and drinking only one bottle of fluid and eating hardly anything. If you really want to screw up your race, keep doing this (if this type of training seems similar for some reason). But if you want to truly excel an tap into what you are capable of, lose the ego, and train like you plan on racing.

Big day tomorrow, so time for bed. I'll try to be a bit more animated tomorrow.