Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Lots of hard work was put in this week:
Monday- Was supposed to be an off day, but since the day before was Easter Sunday that ended up being my off day so I used Monday as a tempo run with hills. 7.2 miles in 47:30, or about a 6:40 pace. Legs did not feel fresh but it was still a PB for that route.
Tuesday-Swam 2,600 at lunch time. Mix of drills, some 100's on 2 min rest (coming in around 1:03-1:05) and 5x100' ind medleys.
In the evening did 1 hr hard on the trainer (Charmichael Training Race Simulation DVD). This is a 1 hr+ ride that has some sustained hard efforts, sprints, and hill climbing to simulate a 1hr race. Since I plan on doing more shorter faster stuff along with some more bike races this year I try to do this about once a week. I hate and love this DVD at the same time.
Wednesday: Swam 2,200 at lunch. Worked on pacing 100's, holding about a 1:20 for 100yd pace on my 'steady' sets.
Evening long run started out solo but immediately ran into a racing buddy out for a shorter run. We ran about 5 to 5.5 miles together in about 45 minutes. It was nice to have some company. Finished another 6.2 miles solo in the next 45 minutes for a total of 11.7 miles in 1:29 (7:36 pace). Was really happy how fresh my legs felt and easy the pace seemed.
Thursday: Swam 3,200 in 50 minutes in the pool. Pool was packed with a lot of slow 'wavemakers'. Main set was 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 hundred resting 10-50 seconds between. Even numbers were swum easy, odds were harder effort.
Evening brought another trainer ride. This time it was intervals with a short warmup followed by 2,4,6,8,6,4,2 minutes hard, resting 1/2 the time of the previous interval. This can be a kick ass hard workout, and never will 8 minutes seem so long nor will a 4 minute rest interval go by so quickly! This is my 3rd or 4th week in a row doing this workout and I am now doing it 1-2 gears heavier than the first time I did it and using 1 more level of resistance on the trainer so I know it's working.
Friday: Was told to run hills, 1hr. Went from the YMCA at lunch with a couple of guys to run Radio Tower hill. Pace was easy on the way to the hill, I pushed the hill (about 400 feet in 1 mile) and made it down the other side well before the other guys. Turned around and ran about halfway up the backside until I met up with the fellows on their way down and turned around and took it easy back home. 5.4 miles in 44 minutes, but that's with a lot of climbing! Legs were tired after this run and the week was starting to catch up. Profile of the tower hill (note, it's also a great power climb on the bike.):
Saturday: This is where things got interesting. Plan for the weekend was to mix my long ride in Saturday with the first leg of the Quad Games, the 100yd swim, then do my ride/run early Sunday. Threw my swimsuit and goggles in a small pack and headed out Saturday morning. Took it easy and did a nice 25-30 mile ride up to Edinboro University to the pool for the swim. Kept reminding myself that I had to swim yet and even though it was only 4 laps sprinting requires a lot of kick and my legs were already trashed from the week's efforts. Arrived at the pool/fieldhouse to find a huge volleyball tournament going on and no sign of anyone swimming. Double checked my registration papers to find out I was there a day early, the swim was not until Sunday! Headed home, dropped off my pack and went out to get another hour or so of riding in with some good hills. Had to be home by 1:00 so I cut my planned 4hrs short and got in 3:26 of base miles with some good climbs the last hour for almost 70 miles total.
Sunday: New plan was to drive the car up, swim, then come back and ride later in the day as I was tied up from noon until 5-6. Arrived to finally find the swim meet in progress. My session started at 10:30 and we were given a 15 minute warmup. During warmup my legs were definitely tired but I felt good otherwise. I used to be able to swim 55 or just under easily in meets. Often this was done as part of our 4x100 relay and often it was done shortly after swimming the 100 breastroke, so I was used to swimming tired. Two years ago I swam a :58 something so I was hoping for :57xx or so as I had actually worked more on sprinting in the pool the last few weeks. As soon as I hit the water for the first lap I knew I was in trouble. Had a good start but I had zero kick. I got to the first wall just behind the people in the lanes on each side of me, had a good turn but not much of a push off. 3 more laps of trying to kick with dead legs and I struggled to a 1:00.29. In the quad games format each second equals 30 seconds, so my time for leg 1 of the event should be around30 minutes, or just over. Not too worried though because I will be able to make up a lot of time on the bike and hopefully run this year. Was tired so for the rest of the day I took the kids to the park and we had a picnic and played on the swings and jungle gym and stuff for a few hours.
Now I get to enjoy a rest week before the PI Time Trials this weekend followed by a very hard training week leading up to the Jerseyman taper.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Coach John and I talked at the end of last year about doing more shorter races with more speed and power workouts thrown in. So far it's seemed to have been working like a charm and I'm looking forward to putting things to the test soon. The plan, as you can see, still has some distance workouts but when faced with time constraints I've been doing what I can but adding more intensity and not focusing so much on the long-slow-distance Ironman workouts that I've done the last two years.
During the last couple of years I've come to do some regular routes that I use as benchmarks of fitness. You know the kind where you know where you should be when you reach a particular intersection or landmark whether it be on a bike or run course. Sometimes these can be good as you can continually see improvements, other times if you are having a bad day you can be discouraged by getting to these landmarks in a time slower than you think you are capable of, or your total time for a familiar route may be off what it should be.
Lately, though, I've been busting through barriers just a few years ago I never thought possible.
On the bike, I have really noticed the hills, if you can call them that, seem much, much smaller after riding in Spain. Hills I used to climb in my largest rear cog I now regularly do with 2 or more gears left to go. One ride I used several times last year was a nice 60 mile ride with some rolling hills from my house to the Edinboro Olympic Triathlon course then back. I always rode it at a 1/2 Ironman pace or so and last year was happy to average 20mph or just under. I think in 3 rides last year I finally broke 20 the last time.
This year I went out a few weeks ago on a cool spring day and kept the effort light, probably slightly below 1/2 Ironman pace. End result was an easy 20.5 mph pace on a day I wasn't even trying to push things. The road to and from the course is fairly flat but there are a couple of good hills in the middle and of course the always present climb home:
The first test on the bike comes up in a couple of weeks with the annual Spring Time Trial at Presque Isle. A flat 12.5 mile course that I rode at 25.8 mph last year. Goal this year is to crack 26+. After that I'm thinking of racing several local races when they fit into the schedule.
I am also surprised at how much I continue to see improvements in running. I figured this would be the case while doing 40-75 miles per week over the run focus this winter, but with the added bike and swim training the mileage has dropped to about half that. Yet I continue to see marked improvements in the run. My weekly long run on a rolling course has remained in the mid 7 minute pace without feeling too hard. I also entered at the last minute a 5k two weeks ago on a cold and windy day. The course was advertised as flat but it was actually pretty rolling and from 1.5 to about 2.5 miles it was uphill into what seemed like a 20mph headwind. Last fall I ran my best 5k in 19:52 on a perfect day on a flat as pancake course. Two weeks ago I ran a 19:07 on a crappy day in crappy conditions. Like an idiot I forgot my watch so I did not know I was that close to breaking the 19 minute barrier but I'm confident had I known I was so close I could have dug a little deeper for those last 8 seconds.
I also have a training run I do every couple of weeks from the local YMCA. We call it the Monday 7 as it used to be run every Monday by the group of guys that runs regularly from the YMCA at lunch. It's uphill for 3 solid miles including some stretches of 5-6 percent that come at you pretty early. I remember running it in 2007 and breaking 1 hour for the first time and thinking it was hard. By the middle of 2008 I could run it in 52-53 minutes consistently, although it still seemed hard. In the middle of my run focus for the Disney marathon I think I was around 51 minutes and could not think of how hard it would be to break 50 minutes. However a few weeks ago I surprised myself and ran a 48:30. Today I lowered that by another minute which worked out to 7+ miles at 6:40 pace. My new goal is to run it in 45 minutes by mid summer. Here's the run profile that proves it is not fast.
Up first for the season is the JerseyMan half on May 9th. I'm headed to the Garden State for a smackdown with buddy Joe in his home state. I was not able to put together any good 70.3 races last year and that still burns me. So if things stay on track I will be racing angry at JerseyMan and finally cracking that 5hr barrier which I know I can do.
Other that it will be a slew of local races that will probably include the Highmark Quad Games, Edinboro Triathlon, Presque Isle Triathlon, maybe Cleavland Triathlon, a few local 5k's, some more bike races and then the ultimate test, the Savageman Half in September. Oh, and still in there is putting on a race, The Dam Tri, at the end of June.
Should be a fun year...