Training Log: June 2nd 2016

So I felt awesome all day yesterday, after cranking out a long, tough workout in the morning.  Then I doubled up with an evening run…and I felt sluggish.  I had no energy.  I should have cranked out two loops of the reservoir – but I only got one in.  Why?  Because I simply bonked.

Let’s define that term…..

Bonk (pronounced bongk) – Verb, slang: to hit, strike, collide, etc.;  to get bonked on the head; cars bonking into each other

Bonking in the sport of triathlon is basically the same thing as “hitting The Wall” in a marathon.  It’s the point at which the body has run out of efficient-burning fuels (carbohydrates), and resorts to burning other stuff – like pure fat for energy demands.  The result is a drop-off in performance quality, difficulty in focusing on your target, and other stuff like lite-headedness, etc.  I think it’s pretty clear why this term illustrates the experience so colorfully, as this depletion of fuel provides the athlete with a feeling that resembles being bonked on the head.  The Wall is what makes the marathon such a special race: the human body is set up to carry enough fuel to get you to about 20 miles – and then the last 10 kilometers you need to summon up the mental toughness to push on and finish.  An Ironman carries the same concept: fuel wisely, or suffer total bonkatude.

If Yoda were a triathlete, he’d probably say: “fuel you must, or bonk you will.”

If Jeff Spicolli was my training partner, he would have seen my performance yesterday evening and said (and try to read this with a surfer accent) “duuuuude….it was like you fought Bonkzilla, and totally lost, bro…” (yes, that was a Fast Times At Ridgemont High reference…and if you never heard of that movie, Google is your friend)

Well today I learned several new math concepts:

4am training  –  adequate sleep  =  a lousy morning run performance

Two-a-day training  –  adequate calories  =  crappy evening workouts

I need to work on my nutrition.  I worked hard yesterday, but because I did not eat well AND I did not sleep nearly enough last night, today was a complete mess.  I got a short morning run in – but the rest of the day I felt like I was running on fumes.

Lesson learned.




Training Log: June 1st 2016

I’ve been a mess over the pat few weeks.  I won’t waste your time with the details – but my training had lost its focus during the last few weeks of May.  However, it is times like this that I think of a funny story that my mother loves to share, about two young boys and Christmas.  It goes like this:

There are two young brothers – one is six, and the other is five years of age.  The five year old is a pure optimist.  This kid simply sees the positive in anything, regardless of its appearance.  The Six year old is a pure pessimist.  This six year old only sees the negative in anything, regardless of how awesome something may be.  On Christmas morning, their parents lead the two young boys down the hallway of their home, telling them that Santa left their presents in their rooms.  When they open the door to the six year old’s room, they find it loaded up with wonderfully-wrapped presents of all sizes.  The parents let the six year old into the room, and close the door behind him.  Then they led the five year old to his room…and they open the door to find a huge pile of horse crap right smack in the middle of the bedroom floor.  They let the five year old into the room and close the door behind him.  The parents come back 15 minutes later and check on the six year old, only to find all of the presents unwrapped and the kid complaining that he didn’t get everything he wanted.  The X Box wasn’t the right color.  Neither was the bike.  The parents shook their heads and walked to the five year old’s room.  When they opened the door, there’s the kid digging in the horse crap, with a huge smile on his face.  “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, JOHNNY????  THAT’S HORSE CRAP!!!!” the parents exclaimed.  The kid’s response was perfect: “…well mom & dad – with all this horse shit in here, there’s gotta be a pony…..”

I need to be like the optimist in the story.  No – I don’t wish for horse crap in my living room – but I need to find the positive in my recent doldrums.   And…I have.  I’ve learned two things from my recent weak performance and focus:

  • By focusing on several goals at he same time, I’ve not come any closer to achieving ANY of them – so I need to pick one to focus on and then shape my training around it; and
  • I lose my mojo after prolong periods of time working as a solo act during training.

So now I all I needed to do was to begin focusing on addressing these weak points.  My goals are fairly lofty this year: several marathons, a 60k ultra marathon – the only race I have DNF’d (twice), and an Ironman.  So I made the decision to focus on training for the Ironman, as it is the event that requires the most amount of weekly work in order to be ready for the event.  By doing this I should be, by default, improving my level of fitness to the extent that my performance in my other races.

The second weakness – training solo – is easily addressed in several ways:

  • Staying more in touch with my friends on several virtual training groups…I need to join the conversations more often,
  • making sure that I attend every training session provided by the New York Road Runners Team for Kids, and
  • Getting involved with the triathlon team I just joined – The Terriers.

The first step in fixing a weakness is admitting that I have one.

This morning’s training began early, with a 4am run through midtown Manhattan.  By a little after 5am, I was in the pool, logging a 1000 yard swim.  I finished up my morning with a 65 minute bike ride where I crushed 25 miles.  I left the gym a sweaty and happy mess – my version of the optimist playing in horse crap.

Then, in the evening, I logged my first workout of the year with Team for Kids.  And easy 2 miler on the bridal path of Central Park.  I am rolling into June 2nd with some serious momentum….