Sunday, May 06, 2007

Burn Baby Burn!

A summary of this week:

Apr 29 - May 6

Mon - rest day, Bike 60' (social/recovery)
Tues - Bike 60', Swim 85'
Wed - Run 75', Strength 35' (abs and quads were aching. Easy on the weight)
Thurs - Bike 0' (traffic jam and wasted 30 min looking for parking!), Swim 80'
Fri - Run 50', Swim 100' (8 X 500, first time I swim 4,000 m :) )
Sat - Loooonng Brick (330' bike + 120' run) that's a 5.5 hr bike plus a 2 hr run to wrap things up
Sun - Run 120', Bike 90' (social/recovery)

Total hours = 20 hr 15 min
Total aerobic hours = 19 hr 40 min (dang, I wanted to hit 20 hr)
Side Note: This week is the first time I swim 4,000 m in one session and swim over 10 km total. Booyah..

On Wed I said I was going to do something crazy and I did. I decided to the Ironman distance from Fri to Sun. I didn't came up with this idea. Last year, Darren did it in a weekend. I say, why not give it a shot?

Here is my volume for this weekend:

Swim - 4,000 m
Bike - 145 km
Run - 39.8 km

I miss my run by 2 km (a mile and a bit) and the bike by 35 km (21 miles). Not too shabby.

Yesterday, I woke up, bike, run, shower, eat, check email and sleep. There were only two things in my head. Get the training done and get into recovery mode. The weather was incredible. Not a cloud in sight. I also spent an enjoyable dinner with my parents (bonus).

Despite the crazy distance, I was being very conservative. When you ramp up volume like this, the chance of injury goes up.

Here are some numbers on the long ride:

Average Heart rate = 145 (mid Z2)
Max HR = 161 (just the top of Z3)
Stopped almost two times every hour.
Calories consumed = 1,450
Calories burned = 4,000
Liquid consumed = 3,750 ml

Nutrition strategy:

I rotate each hour between Infinit and PowerBar. Each Infinit bottle has 300 calories and PowerBar has 220 calories. I think I need to eat even more. During the 3rd and 4th hour, a few times I felt negative. I stop and eat and I felt much better.

I ate about 36% of what I burn. This is good.

Hydration strategy:

Rotating each hour between Infinit and water (when I eat powerbar). Each bottle has 750 ml. I know I can consume more than that in one hour. So by fourth hour, I was consuming about 850 ml an hour.

I had 6 pee breaks in total. Each urine sample was clear and lots of liquid coming out. I weight 145 lbs before the ride and 144 lbs after the training. My hydration intake is right on.

Pacing Strategy:

I watched my HR like a hawk. The first two hours were just easy riding. On the climbs, I stayed in granny gear and easy cadence. Focused on breathing and kept the HR in check.

On my bike computer, I rode 4:45. On my watch, I had 5:30. I had a lot of break time.

The run:

The run felt better than I thought. I was tired off the bike and that helped me kept my HR low on the run. Avg HR was 142 (Z1) with a peak of 152 (low end Z2). I did 10 min run, 1 min walk. With this strategy, an hour run = 8 km (5 miles).

Total calories consumed = 600
Total calories burned = 1501

I was consuming 40% of what I burn.

Is that too much? Considering most people have problem consuming on the run, I should be fine. Can I consume more? Am I not working enough? Can I replicate this in Ironman?


The 7.5 hr brick was a test of my nutrition/hydration strategy. I wanted to know could my stomach handle the distance and what did it felt to do a long run after a long bike. No guarantee if I will do this again considering that no one ever advice to do a brick this long.

It took a lot of discipline to take it easy in the first three hours on the bike. I could rip through the flats, I slowed down. Low HR and high cadence were the key. That kept my leg semi-fresh for the run.

My weekend had no plan except church on Sun and training. So I had no stress for life's obligations. I woke up late (at 10 am) b/c a friend came back late on Fri and we chatted. No biggie. My body definitely needed the rest.

Recovery was also the key. I got home after the long brick, stretch, ice bath, protien fruit shake and started eating. I slept 9 hours last night so I can get up this morning to do another 2 hour run.

There is still a lot of tweaking in my nutrition/hydration. The PowerBar (or ClifBar which I normally use) don't have enough calories. Should I increase the calories in my Infinit formula? I probably going to consume more as the heat goes up.

Are my legs toasty? You bet yall...Lo and behold, tomorrow is a rest day :)

Next week..going to break 20 hour for sure. :)


Spokane Al said...

Wow that was one impressive week. It sounds like you are getting everything nailed down by trial and error. That is how we learn to rock!

Jeremy said...

What an amazing training week! You are making me feel like a real slacker!

Brent Buckner said...

Great rehearsal!

Steven said...

Excellent effort, Cliff.

Did I read it correctly that ran back-to-back 2-hour days AND rode?

Just be careful when you start messing with THAT type of volume.

Nic said...

Wow, Cliff. That's an amazing weekend. I'm going to go take a nap now for you! Rest up!

Cliff said...


Good point. Back to back 2 hr runs is not a bright idea.

Anonymous said...

Great week of training. It sounds like you're getting a grasp on the various facets.

Mike said...

CLiff- that is a MONSTER brick!! I'd have a tough time on the bike knowing I was going to run 2hrs after. Excellent hydration / fueling there- I am working on the discipline in that area. I like the fact that you weighed yourself and were pretty close pre / post ride. You definitely got it dialed!

Thomas said...

Highly impressive, Cliff.

Legs and Wings said...

I simply want to encourage you Cliff. I check in from time to time - you are an amazing athlete. Keep focused. Phil. 1:6

Wrenched Photography said...


Robin said...


brendaj said...

Sounds like great physical and mental preparation.

ShirleyPerly said...

Way to go on your training, Cliff. I too did monster mock IM training sessions in preparation for IMFL. I don't think there's a better way to figure out what your body needs to keep going for such long periods of time. But please be careful. Don't wear yourself down too much or get injured before your big race.