Sunday, May 31, 2009

First up, here is the data from Saturday's run test. CV, let me know if it's not legible when enlarged - when I look at the size of the image prior to publishing this post the data is really small, but I expect the chart becomes enlarged when clicked.

Miles 1-10 are labeled laps 2-11 (my warmup was lap 1), and the far right columns are average HR and max HR.

Anyhow, the conditions were good - 65 with a bit of sun and increasing but never substantial winds. Despite having a sore throat on Thursday and Friday, I was feeling good Saturday. I felt good during the warm-up and the first mile of the test. Actually, I felt good until probably the fifth mile of the test, but I had to slow after the first mile to maintain the target HR. My PE for the first five miles was very low - maybe 5 out of 10. I had to consciously hold myself back to keep my HR down. Indeed, I had to slow so much that my stride didn't feel natural. Maybe my slight sickness elevated my HR? I believe I can normally run much faster than 7:4X at 145 bpm.

At mile 5, I suddenly felt pretty crappy. I briefly thought maybe I'd be better off scrapping the test in case my body was trying to tell me that it was too stressed, but I felt better a few minutes later. My aerobic PE continued to stay really low (still at a 5), but muscularly my PE went up to maybe 7 around miles 6-7 and 8 after that.

I cut the three hour ride (after setting up my trainer and mounting my bike, including changing to the yellow trainer tire) due to time constraints. I didn't worry too much about it since the schedule said to lose some fitness and I was worried about the sickness.

Today's ride was four hours easy followed by 15 minutes of running. I took it easy, not paying much attention to HR or power. My power didn't get too high - only 10 minutes over 270 W and 16 minutes between 240 and 270 W. 174 W average at about 125 bpm (I say about because that was the average for the first half and my CPU didn't automatically re-find my HR strap after a nature break...I had cadence displaced so I didn't notice that HR wasn't being recorded). I felt absolutely great for the first two hours, and my legs were getting a bit tired by four.

Here is some HR data I recorded from the first loop of the half marathon at the end of the Triple-T last weekend. After a challenging but well paced bike ride, I started the run really easy. My HR was pretty low up to the turnaround, but raised during the climp following the turnaround. Even though the race is predominately downhill once the post-turnaround climb is summited, my HR didn't drop much. Since I inadvertently stopped recording instead of pressing "lap" at the halfway point, I don't know my data for the second half. If I had to guess, I'd say my HR was to the high 160's for the next half lap and low 170's for the final half lap. Finally, Stacey and I are improving the quality of our diet. I finished the last of my homemade granola today, and do not plan on making any more (okay, I don't plan on begging Stacey to make me more). Not that our diet was too bad, but we'll do our best to keep it perfect for the next seven weeks.

The plan is to totally cut grains, legumes, and dairy, leaving fruits, veggies, lean meat, and certain nuts. We'll have sports "nutrition" during workouts over a certain duration (perhaps an hour and 15 minutes), and we'll follow up workouts with some high GI carbs, with long workouts (~ 2 hours or more) followed immediately by recovery smoothies including dextrose and protein. We'll also include starchy veggies (most frequently a sweet potato or two, or a sweet potatoe or two if you're Dan Quayle). I'm also gonna do my best to cut my coffee intake to one cup from two or three.

We had relied on a lot of cereal for calories, so hopefully the change isn't too drastic, especially this close to our "A" race.

Tramp-stamp Barbie

Totally unrelated to the normal theme of the blog - training - but I could not let this go without comment. Mattel is now producing what they refer to as Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie , which includes a sheet of tattoos that one can selectively apply to the doll. Personally, I'm holding out for Embarressed by Age 30 Tongue Pieced Barbie.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Easy couple of days...

After a 30 minute swim today and a total of 1:30 combined riding and running yesterday (plus a massage!), I'm feeling pretty good. I've had a slight sore throat for the past two days, so hopefully that's gone tomorrow. My diet has been good, but the end of the month is always stressful work-wise. I am getting a good night's sleep tonight and the next few days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Triple-T report

Warning: This could turn out to be a long post.

The week leading up to the race was busy, both with work and trying to get organized for the weekend. Packing all our gear, figuring out a nutrition strategy (both for during the races and between the races), getting our bikes in order, and all the other stuff that came along with doing multiple races in a remote location took a lot of time. I missed one hour of riding during the week leading up to the race in the frenzy of preparing for the trip.

I also discovered that I cannot do Tabatha sprints while riding outside here - there is not a single road within a 20 minute ride of the suburban hellhole in which I reside where one can ride uninterrupted for four straight minutes (just four minutes!). In the future, I'll do all such rides on the trainer.

The plan for the trip was to leave on Thursday evening after I got out of work to drive to Sidney, Ohio, halfway to Portsmouth, then drive the remaining three hours on Friday morning. Stacey was scheduled to work a 12 hour shift at U of M hospital on Thursday, but she had been called off every prior shift in May due to a low census at the hospital so I didn't hesitate to book a (non-refundable) hotel for that night. Of course, Murphy's Law prevailed once again, and Stacey was not called off. She didn't end up getting home until 9 PM, so we got on the road around 9:30.

The trip got worse as we were re-routed due to construction, and then took another bad turn when I drove into a wheel that was lying in the middle of a ramp between highways while traveling at 65 mph. Because it was dark outside and I was going around a turn, I couldn't see the wheel until the last minute. The wheel looked small, like one of those diminutive spares. Given my limited time to react I guessed the best course of action was to steer the car to go directly over the wheel thinking that that was the better alternative to trying to steer around it and potentially running off the road or hitting the wheel with a tire of Stacey's Pontiac. Well, it turns out that Vibes do not have a lot of ground clearance, and I plowed into the tire and dragged it about 100 feet before I was able to recognize that I had not cleared the tire and was able to come to a complete stop, right in the middle of the ramp of course. I reversed the car a few feet to dislodge the wheel from under Stacey's car, and drove around the wheel while trying to figure out if the car was damaged. Apparently, no harm was done, though the check engine light came on a few hours later. Fortunately, we arrived safely in Sidney around 1 AM.

Sidney, despite being only three hours away, is distinctly different from Michigan. People speak with slight southern accents, and they have a Waffle House. Feeling adventurous (as well as dissapointed by the continental breakfast offered by the Days Inn we stayed at), Stacey and I went over to the Waffle House for b-fast. I informed the pregnant 19 year old waitress that it was our first visit to a Waffle House, and asked for a recommendation. Not surprisingly, but with a slight and ominous hesitation, she suggested waffles. While I accepted her recommendation (which one is pretty much obligated to do after asking for a recommendation), Stacey ordered what was supposed to be a egg and sausage sandwich, but which turned out to be a grease sandwich. In summary, I hope that turns out to be my last visit to a Waffle House.

After departing Sidney and driving two and a half hours across the flattest landscape one can image, we very suddenly entered hilly terrain. A half hour later, and we arrived at Super 8, Portsmouth's finest hotel (for under $70/night, anyhow), where we were informed we could not check in until later in the afternoon. Oh well, we thought, we'll just head over to the race venue.

On the road:
Starting to get hilly, though the picture probably doesn't do it justice:


Kentucky just over the cool bridge:

Shawnee State Forest, the site of the Triple-T, is a fantastic state park and near perfect venue for a race of this type. If we were wealthier, staying at the park's lodge would be the way to go. We went for a quick 1000m or so swim to try out our wetsuits for the first time this year, then got our bikes assembled and tested before racking them.

Here I am trying out the patriotic jersey that every competitor must wear. Gotta keep it tight to avoid flapping on the bike...though maybe a medium would have been in order since I needed help to get it on.

Stacey trying out the aero helmet for the first time:
In front of the lodge on a ride while testing my gear:

In transition before race 1:

The first race is a short prologue consisting of a 250m swim, 5 mile bike and 1 mile, with racers going off in pairs every 3 seconds. Without many USAT races to our credit, Stacey and I were given low seeds (313 and 360, respectively). That meant all weekend we started about 20 minutes after the highest seed. I was a bit nervous about the prologue, as it's not a format that fits my strengths. Mainly, I don't have that high of top-end speed or power. Plus, the swim was likely a bit long based on the results.

The bike course included two short out-and-back sections in opposite directions. The first section was nearly totally flat, and the second section was up a steep hill, a few hundred feet to a turnaround, and then back down the hill. I was held up a few times trying to pass people (mostly at around the turnarounds and down the hill), so my low seeding cost me a bit of time. No problem, I figured, plenty of time in the coming days to make that up. My average power, misleading as it is, was 228 W at an average of 162 bpm, while my highest power in any five minute segment was 338 W with a peak HR of 184 bpm. The results are available here, and I ended Friday in 29th place.

Saturday's first Olympic distance race also began in time trial fashion, with two racers leaving each few seconds. I had a record swim time, shaving about 3 minutes off my feeble previous best time. I also felt better than ever getting out of the water. In the past, I've felt high-effort Olympic race swims were draining.

The bike was, in a word, tough. Lots of hills made it a good course for me. Olympic distance races have a high % of swim time, so the tougher the bike and run are the better as far as I'm concerned. Average power 248 W at an average HR of 162 bpm, just like the prologue. When given the opportunity (e.g., when the road was flat or uphill), I pedalled around 165-170 bpm and 260-275 W. A hard effort, but no need to dig deep yet.

I started the run and strapped on my Garmin to get some HR data, but in the midst of racing I only turned the thing on and never actually pressed the "start" button, so I didn't collect any data. I did notice my HR was 174 when I glanced at my watch toward the end of the run, if that's of any value. The run course is essentially 2.25 miles gradually uphill with a few steep but short ascents and descents thrown in, then 1.25 miles a bit more steep downhill, followed by a turnaround repeating the course in reverse fashion. Oh, and just for good measure, most of the course is on dirt and loose rocks. I held back just a bit (maybe 5 bpm or so) on the run to save something for the evening's race. Still, a fast run relative to the field boosted gave me a 12th place finish in 2:17.

Results are available here. Not a bad time, considering both the bike course and run course are tough and longer than standard (my CPU had the bike at 25.55, and the run is advertised as 6.55 miles).

Stacey and I headed up to the lodge in the park to get out of the oppressing 85-90 degree heat, where we relaxed in the lobby and watched some tragic movie with Jack Nicolson and Diane Keaton, in which Nicholson gets dumped by Amada Peet only to end up with the aging Keaton. Poor guy.

View from the lodge:

I drank massive amounts of water during the movie after having some some salty processed meat sandwiches shortly after the morning's race. Normally I'm pretty beat after racing an Olympic but I think knowing that I had another race coming allowed me to ignore any fatigue I was feeling.

The second Olympic race had an odd format: bike -- swim -- run. The bike was tough again. That's the theme of the Triple-T, I suppose. Still, I had the 8th best bike split, but I think most of the riders above me were doing the team format that allowed for drafting. 247 average watts at 156 bpm, with a five minute best of 333 W. Very close to my first ride in terms of power.

The swim posed a dilemma, to wear a wetsuit, or not to wear a wetsuit? On the one hand, wearing a wetsuit would save time during the swim and act as a safety device in the event of severe cramps that may result from swimming immediately after a hard ride. On the other hand, wearing the suit costs time putting it on and taking it off. Plus, the heat was nearing 90, while the water was a comfortable 67 degrees or so. I figured to err on the side of staying cool by not wearing the suit. Stupidly, I did the swim with my jersey on, providing a slight parachute effect. Over 28 minutes, or 4 minutes slower than my morning swim. Ouch.

I got out of the water and had some slight cramping in the quads. I cramped again bending my legs to put my running shoes on. This could be a tough run, I though. I started slow to try to ease into it, and once I got going all was well. I ended up with the fastest run split for the race, more than 20 sec/mile faster than the second fastest guy and less than a minute slower than my morning run. Once again, I screwed up getting HR data. This time, I turned the watch on and pressed "start" while the loading screen was still up. Apparently, the thing doesn't actually start recording when "start" is pressed that early. 0/2 on getting good HR data.

5th place for this race. Results available here.

Afterwards, it was time to eat. I ate and ate and ate. I went to bed stuffed. After more than four hours of racing and another long day coming, I needed all the calories I could stomach. Knowing that my strengths lie in longer events with shorter relative swims, the half was my opportunity to move up in the standings. I was nervous, as a half IM is no piece of cake even when fresh.

After the standard pre-race breakfast of Captain Crunch, OJ and coffee, it was off to the race. Again I started at the back of the pack due to my low pre-race seeding, and I waited 20 minutes while the higher-seeded folks went.

The swim was actually 2000m, we were told, instead of the standard 1900m. Oh well, I though, just a few more seconds I'm going to give up. The swim went well, and I set a new record for the distance (even if it had been only 1900m) of 32 minutes and change. Just about on pace for an hour IM swim.

I took the first loop of the bike really easy. Well, at least that was my plan. I set a power cap of 300 W and tried to avoid going over it while climbing. Basically, I used the power meter as an "idiot meter" to prevent riding too hard. I also noticed that my HR didn't want to go up. Sometimes I was surprised to look down and see the 130s. By the end of the first loop, I was feeling a bit fatigued, and the second loop was not nearly as easy. Looking at my power file, it looks like I split the two loops almost perfectly evenly. I also dropped my chain four times during the ride. I haven't dropped my chain an aggregate of four times in the past two years. I have no idea how I did it four times in one race, unless maybe my front derailleur somehow became maladjusted over the weekend. Fortunately, I was able to shift to the big chainring each time to get the chain back on the crank without stopping. All four bad shifts were early in the ride, and I finally made myself be a bit more attentive to the zealousness with which I shifted. Once I did that, I stopped dropping the chain.

I was nervous about how my legs would feel on the run given that I was getting tired on the ride. I decided to take loop 1 easy and pick up the effort on loop two. Knowing that the temperature was high again (mid 80s or higher and sunny for most of the race, it seemed), I had a water bottle and gel flask to carry on the run. I quickly realized I had made another mistake in forgetting to remove the plastic wrapper from the gel flask. I tried to bit it off and ended up pulling the entire stopper thingy off the flask, allowing the gel to leak out. I ate a bunch of gel in the first mile of the race (maybe 250 calories - way more than I'd normally consume in a few minutes), but felt good. The water bottle proved invaluable, as I filled it with ice and water while running through the aid stations and was able to drink at my own leisure while spraying myself off when I got hot.

Watching the top seeds coming on the back half of the first loop of the two loop run while I was on the front half of the first loop, I knew I'd make up some time. I felt great the whole first loop and checked my first loop time - 45 minutes, or right around 7 minutes per mile. I thought I could negative split by a minute or two. I actually captured HR data for the first loop, then intended to press "lap" to separate the first loop from the second. However, operating in mind-numb race mode, I pressed "stop" instead. Oops. 0.5 for 3 on the HR data.

I started the second loops and slowed ramped up the effort level. Despite all the racing I had done, I still felt really, really good. I worked my way up through the field and got a few comments from people I ran by. My favorite was, "Is this really your fourth race this weekend?" I think it was the easiest feeling run I've ever done in a half-IM, despite the heat, the terrain, and the fatigue in my legs. I only negative split by a few seconds though, not the few minutes I was expected.

I was 5th overall, but the four guys above me include two guys that were on a team and thus were able to draft on the bike. Results here.

I ended up fourth overall in the non-team division and sixth overall including teams. Results here. The guys above me beat me by a fair amount of time, so I've got to continue making progress on the swim. My run and bike are pretty good relative to the field (though that's not to say there isn't plenty of room to improve). I'm very happy with the weekend and especially happy with how great I felt at the end. That's gotta be a good sign of Ironman fitness. I would really like to do the race again next year, and would especially enjoy starting with a high seed. All weekend I was not passed on the bike or run. I was never to find someone to draft off on the swim (though that's partially my fault as I was passed by a few swimmers that were going too quick for me to hang with). I never had anyone to pace off or get a legal draft effect from on the bike. I had a hard time telling how far behind I was on the run because I started a long and uncertain time after the leaders. Still, all that would not likely have changed my placing.

Stacey, the champion that she is, finished the race cursing every hill she climbed (and me, for signing her up for the thing). Her assessment is that it's harder than an IM. After each race, I'd get something to eat then go out and get in a good position to watch her finish. My favorite moment was watching her finish the last race. I was about 200 feet from the finish line as she approached. "Go Stacey", I yelled. Her response can best be approximated by "mmfhmmmfhmm". No words, no smile, just "mmfhmmmfhmm". That about sums it up.

Overall, an awesome race, and a great value at that. The organization was top notch, there was lots of free food after every race, and the courses and format make for a race that every triathlete should try.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


First up, a funny article on from Slate about whether obesity existed prior to our modern lifestyle. The answer, of course, is NO! Why? Because people used to eat fruits, vegetables, and small amount of meat while leading active lifestyles. The logical conclusion is that those who claim that their genetics, and not their sedentary and cheese-puff munching ways, are responsible for their weight are also claiming by implication that they have significantly evolved (or devolved, as the case may be) from their pre-historic brethren.

Moving on, on Thursday, I did a two hour ride with 40 minutes of lactate threshold-type work, broken up as 8 x 5 minutes at 165 bpm with 3 minutes between sets. Not easy. I would greatly prefer to do this ride outside, but because I simply cannot do a ride like this near my apartment, it's either riding on the trainer or adding an hour and a half of driving (roundtrip) to get to and from Stoney Creek. At least the trainer should build some mental toughness.

Here's a graph of the relavent part of the ride:Goal: by next year, be pushing 350 W for intervals like these.

The power meter is awesome for doing these sorts of efforts. Once I figured out the wattage required to get to 165 bpm, I can try to sit on that as my HR builds instead of killing it for the first minute of the effort to raise the HR then dialing it back a notch to sustain that HR, which is how I used to ride.

Oh, I should also mention I came up with a solution for the inadequacy of average power. (Okay, saying I came up with the solution is giving myself too much credit.) I set my power zones so that I can just look at time spent in each one. This should provide much more meaningful data that average power, which is only relative for steady state rides on the trainer or a nearly flat road.For example, looking at the above bar graph, I can see that I spent over 35 minutes in the "supra max zone". The titles of each zones are set by Saris, and are not accurate for the way I've set up my zones. Instead, all time spent above 270 W goes into "supra max", time between 240 W and 270 W goes into "max", etc. A hard two hour ride would thus have a lot of time in max, and a hard 5 hour ride would probably be split between threshold, race pace, and max. An easier 5 hour ride would be split between endurance, threshold, and race pace, and a recovery ride would be recovery and maybe some endurance.

Yesterday I did 3100 swim. First, I set a new PR for a 50m - 37 seconds. I was still tired from a swim workout earlier this week, and I think I can beat that by a second, maybe two, next time out. The main set of the workout was 2000m straight with splits every 500m. My total time was 33:58, broken down as 8:14, 8:33, 8:38, 8:32. That comes out to 1:41/100m, I think. I was hoping for closer to 1:35. As I went to do the next set, 5 x 100m all out, my calf cramped up after the first 25. I stopped and went back to the wall to start over. As I pushed off, my foot cramped. I could feel that other muscles in my legs were close to cramping too, so I bagged the swim.

I added almost 10 minutes onto my super easy run to make up for (to the extent that that is possible) my lost swim time. And, I biked to work for the first time on National Bike to Work Day. Including coming home for lunch, that's a free 30 minutes of training...if you can call riding a cruiser bike at 12 mph training.

Anyhow, now it's off to do a mega secret training session.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Swim + Ride

Tonight's swim was solid. There were high school aged girl swimmers in the lane next to Stacey and I that were swimming long sets at 1:30/100m pace. It was nice to try to pace off them depending on the length of my set. It's amazing how two people so small can go fast (by my standards) with what appeared to be little effort. Anyhow, my times continue to show improvement. My T400 time was 6:18, my T200 time was 3:03, and my T100 time was 1:28 (though I did a 100m in 1:23 for a new PR earlier in the set). It was not an easy swim.

I cut the ride short to 1 hour due to a time constraint, but still got in the Tabata sprints. For my faithful readers that are unfamiliar with Tabata sprints, Mark's Daily Apple has a write up here. Actually, there' so easy I can explain them in one sentence: Do eight reps of twentey seconds all out followed by ten seconds rest. The video on that link is pretty funny - it's amazing to see how exhausting eight 20 second efforts can be. I can relate, as the set of sprints I just did make my legs feel like I did a moderately hard two hour workout, when I really just did an easy 1 hour ride including the sprints. Here's the portion of my Powertap file showing the sprints:

Mark Cavendish, I aint.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A long overdue update

Training has been going well. I got in a good swim late last week including 10 x 100m on 1:45, 10 x 75 on 1:20, 10 x 50 on 1:00, and 10 x 25 on 40. The times were about just right - I had to push it, but had 5-10 seconds to recover between every rep, occasionally longer (like on the 25s and the first few 100s).

I got in a pair of good rides over the weekend. One of the most scenic rides I've ever done. 25 miles or so up and down the coast. Many of those miles are above a 100 foot tall bluff or so just off the lake. The road is too narrow for a center line, and only a few cars pass by per hour. The only downside is that it was chilly and the road ain't the smoothest surface. Still, that's just nit-picking, as the ride is so much better than anything available within an hour drive of the mess of sprawl that infects SE Michigan.

Yesterday included another good swim. After a total of forty 25m's, 16 of which were all out, the set included 2100m straight. I accidentally screwed up writing down the workout, and then thought perhaps Chuckie had made an arithmetic error. I wrote down 25m hard, 25m easy, 50m hard, 50m easy, 75m hard, 75m easy, 100m hard, 100m easy, all six times through. However, I recognized that such a set would be far more than 2100m, so I just chopped off the 100m portions. Still, I was pretty beat by the end, and the cutting the easy portions to 25m each might have been too much. Stacey and I jogged around the mansions near Cranbrook post swim.

Today was a gorgeous day weather wise, not so much because the temperature was all that great, but because the sun was out, the sky was cloudless, and the environment is green and flowering. I felt good for both the 30 minute morning run and 2 hour evening run. I got in about 20 miles for the day, with the evening run stats being 135 bpm average at a pace of 7:54/mile.

Now, it's time for a giant salad and some sausage with peppers and onions, courtesy of Stacey (as are about 90% of my meals).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First, I'm typing this up as I eat some granola with homemade yogurt that I cooked up last evening. Hopefully I didn't screw up the process and my stomach doesn't explode in a few hours. Anyhow, here's the latest update:

(Scene: Stacey and I are packing up our swim backs to head to Lifetime for a swim. Stacey asks what the workout is. I inform her that its a 5800m swim, followed by some weights and an easy run.)

Stacey: "You can tell Chuckie that I said he can bite it."

Me: "Okay, I'm not sure what exactly the 'it' is that you are referring to, but I will."

Stacey: "Really? No, you can't do that. You can't write that I said 'bite it.'"

Me: "Too bad."

I think yesterday's swim workout alone added an inch to my shoulder width. The workout called for 5800m of swimming with a whole lotta pulling: 200m w/u, 10 x 50m hard, 10 x 300 pulling, 10 x 150 with pull buoy but without paddles, 10 x 50 hard again, and a cool down. I did the first 10 x 50m in 42 seconds initially and dropped off to 44 sec by the end. Near the end of the 10 x 300m pullng, I was a bit worried about how my shoulders were doing, and I dropped the last 300m of pulling to be on the safe side. The 10 x 150 went fine, no shoulder issues. Though I felt like I was pulling myself through wet concrete during the last 10 x 50m, my times were initially good - 42 and 43 seconds for the first and second reps. But, my times dropped to 45 seconds near the 5th rep and 48 seconds near the 8th rep. I feel some soreness today, but only in a good way. Stacey, by the way, bailed after about 4000m to hang out in the hot tub with the making-out high school kids.

I followed the swim up with some leg-press. I did 3 x 15 of each leg individually at 75 pounds, 70 pounds and 65 pounds. Interestingly, my left leg is stronger than my right, whereas I'd have expected the opposite. Walking down the stairs from the weight room in my gym, I could feel some definite burning in the quads.

Finally, I did an easy 20 minute run to finish off the day.


Monday only called for an easy 30 minute flop. Nothing much to report about that.


Sunday included a 5 hour ride and 1 hour run. I did the first four hours of the ride at 131 bpm, then lowered the effort for the last hour resulting in an average HR of 129 for the entire effort. Despite my low effort and the steady wind, I covered 103 miles. My AVG power was 182 W, but when riding (as opposed to coasting or going downhill where my output is limited) at around 130 bpm I was putting out about 200 W. I'm thinking 200 W on flat terrain with no wind will get my 22-23 mph, which seems very good.

I did the ride by doing loops of the 11 mile Stoney Creek circuit, which I am thinking will be where I do race-practice rides in the future. I almost never have to stop in the park, even on a 100 mile ride, and it is about as hilly a route as can be found around here. The biggest draw back is that the pavement is really rough for one half-mile stretch.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Busy day

Stacey had her grad school graduation today, despite the fact that she still has 3 months of school and clinic remaining. Knowing this, we got up early and headed to the pool for a long swim. I had to cut it 800m short in order to make it to graduation on time (I should have driven to the gym separately, because it takes me literally 10 minutes to get ready). Too bad, cause the swim was going well and I was looking forward to setting a new distance record.

By the time we got home from the graduation and dinner with Stacey's family, it was pretty late. Still, we managed to get in the 3.5 hour ride on the trainer. Though I made sure not to totally stuff myself at the post graduation meeting, I was still feeling full during the ride. For the entire 3.5 hours, I managed about 600 calories (while burning 2600).

Here's the stats:
(1) 1/2 hour easy warm up
(2) 1 hour at 140 bpm - 233 W, 81 rpm (excluding standing every 5-10 minutes for 15 or 20 seconds)
(3a) 15 minutes at 148 bpm - 256 W, 83 rpm
(3b) 15 minutes at 148 bpm - 246 W, 73 rpm
(3c) 15 minutes at 149 bpm - 237 W, 79 rpm
(3d) 15 minutes at 150 bpm - 239 W, 79 rpm
(3e) 15 minutes at 149 bpm - 234 W, 74 rpm
(3f) 15 minutes at 148 bpm - 224 W, 76 rpm (tried to keep it high, but when tired a lower cadence is easier for me)

I have trouble maintaining a high cadence while on the trainer. Outdoors, my cadence is naturally high than on the trainer, though 80-85 rpm still feels good outdoors. Also, I'm surprised about the power drop off (10%). If I had to guess a HR for a HIM distance, I'd think 150-155 bpm, but a large power drop at that effort can't be good.

Now time for some eggs and sausage, then a goods night's sleep to prepare for tomorrow's brick. Time should also allow me to make up the flop that I missed today.

Still alive...

I made it through a busy week work-wise. I was fatigued at the start of the week, as evidenced by my slow half-marathon race and by the two bike tests I did last week (bailed out on an unsuccessful test, did a second test with 230 W at 145 bpm for 90 minutes). The beginning of this week wasn't too tough on the legs, and come Wednesday I was feeling really good. For Wednesday's ride, I ended up cruising along with a local roadie, but the pace was a bit easy. I only averaged 101 bpm instead of 130 bpm. Still, that gave me some extra recovery, and I felt great for Thursday's run.

For Thursday's run, I had the option of exceeding 150 bpm if I felt good. I ended up around 160 bpm for 1:10.

Friday was another ride at 130 bpm with a short run afterwards. I started the ride off with Chuckie's readiness test.

First 3 min. effort: 136 bpm, 217 W, 86 rpm
Second 3 min. effort: 151 bpm, 255 W, 84 rpm