Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday: 56 mile bike; 3 mile run

I had planned on riding 112 and doing some swimming, but decided to sleep in instead as I didn't sleep much this past week. I then had to work so my workout was definitely not what I was hoping for.

Given that, I decided to ride at Ironman race effort for a good portion of the ride after a quick warmup. I felt great right off the bat.

I did a 20 minute warmup and then gradually lifted the effort. For the first 28 miles, I averaged 256 watts (262 normalized watts). For the second 28 miles I averaged 290 watts (292 normalized watts). If I take out the first 20 minutes, I averaged 283w for the remainder of the ride. Total ride: FL: 2:21:40; 273w; 154bpm; 83rpm; 23.7mph.

I followed up the ride with a 3.15 mile brick run. 7:40 min/mi; 162bpm. My shins still hurt a little but not as bad as last week.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday: 26 mile bike; 1.5 mile swim

Recovery day. 80 minute bike. 184w. Went swimming for the first time in ages. I didn't have a watch which was probably a good thing. Managed 1.5 miles and felt like I could've gone much further. I'll try to do just that tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday: 56 mile bike; abs

56 mile ride. Rode the first 28 miles at 222 watts with a normalized power of 230 watts. Rode the second 28 miles at 260 watts with a normalized power of 263 watts. My heart rate was high (10 beats higher than it was 2 weeks ago at similar power), but I was expecting that given the lack of sleep. Total ride: FL: 2:29:37; 241w; 148bpm; 82rpm; 22.5mph

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday: 56 mile bike; abs

Work has been crazy. But I think the end of the storm is near. Got home. Ate a quick dinner and then took an hour nap. I couldn't afford to go another day without training so woke up and got on the bike.

After having sat at a desk for most of the last 60+ hours, my legs were screaming with pain for the first 20 minutes of the ride, "wtf are you doing?" -- at 160w! Once I warmed up though, I felt ok and gradually lifted the effort so that by the time I was at the 2 hour mark, I was pushing between 230-250w. Total ride: FL: 2:40:32; 211w; ###bpm; 84rpm; 20.9mph.

The next couple of days are still going to be busy, but I don't think as busy. I need to concentrate on eating healthy, which I have been doing, and getting up every now and then to get the blood flowing to the legs, which I haven't been doing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday: Day Off

In the last 40 hours, I have slept 2, and have billed 37. Needless to say, that hasn't given me any time to do any endurance training, though this certainly has been an endurance test. The good news is that I can't wait to get back to training. I expect the rest of the week to be pretty hectic. But I should be able to squeeze in some decent training.

I am going to take this week off from running. My shins were hurting all last week and 2 weeks before that. So I think I need some time off to heal. I'm also going to push back my tempo riding again as the last couple of weeks of training have been awful. I am going for volume--with 5 days left in the week, I would like to hit 350 miles biking And I would like to get some swims in on the weekend.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday: Day Off

Unfortunately I have been at the office since 8 this morning and am still here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday: 88 mile bike; 2 mile run

Today, I was supposed to do a Tempo ride, but just haven't been feel right. Power and heart rate have both been low. So I tried to switch things up a little bit and biked outside for the first time since November. I biked close to 90 miles with a couple of other people, though one person dropped off after 20 miles. One of the people I biked with won her age group at Ironman Cda and came in 10th in her age group at Kona.

Biking outside is completely different than biking inside. I firmly believe that riding inside is the better workout, harder mentally, and simulates racing more closely. You sweat much more from an indoor ride and you don't have the wind to cool you off. Furthermore, riding inside is much more time efficient: there is no stopping at lights, stop signs, or to fill up with drinks;

The were several benefits from the ride though. First, it was nice to get outside and the weather was perfect. Second,I was able to get my heart rate and power up quite a bit when going uphill. Third, I was able to verify that my power/heart rate indoors is the similar as outdoors; it is actually slightly better outdoors. So I know my improvements are real and not a result of miscalibration, etc.

However, because I was biking with other people and didn't know the route or where I was going, I just rode their pace, which turned out to be a low zone 1 ride for me. My heart rate was very low throughout, and I coasted and stopped quite a bit so as not to get too far ahead. This is exactly what I needed though to get me going again as I was tired and struggling motivation-wise this past week. When the ride was over I felt like I hadn't even ridden, which suggests my fitness is improving.

I averaged 197 watts for the ride, but my normalized power was 269w. The difference can be attributed to the coasting.

I followed the ride with a 2 mile brick run. Effort-wise, I felt like I was running 10 minute miles, but when I looked at the data, I ran the first mile in 7:48 and the second mile in 7:47. Though I felt great, my shins still hurt so cut the run there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday + Friday: 40 mile bike; 1 mile run

What was supposed to be the start of my training in earnest has turned out to be a terrible week. I have been crazy busy at work and my shin has been hurting, preventing me from running. 20 miles and 20 miles at around 200 watts for both rides. Run 1 mile at 9:01 min/mi.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday: 1 mile run

Had to work late. Am definitely feeling tired so decided to take today off.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday: 40 mile bike; 3 mile run

50 minute warmup. 60 minutes of Tempo at 272w.

Run 3.5 miles: 8:45 min/mi.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday: 40 mile bike

Today was the first day of tempo riding. I warmed up for 60 minutes and then did 50 minutes of tempo. I was hoping to do 90minutes but ran out of time. For the tempo part of the ride, I averaged 270 watts. I struggled to get my heart rate up, averaging only 147bpm for the tempo portion. As I progress over the next few weeks, I think (and hope) that I will get stronger and be able to get my heart rate up. I've noticed that after having biked in zone 1/low zone 2 for so long, I have good power at lower heart rates, but lack strength at higher heart rates. Total ride: 40 miles; 237w; 139bpm; 79rpm

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday: 5 mile run

Today was an easy day as the final day of my recovery week. 5 mile. 9:09 min/mi.

I haven't felt that great the last couple of days. Have felt low on energy and low on power. I believe this has somewhat to do with the decrease in volume as my body has probably been shutting down and repairing itself. However, while this is ok during training, I can't afford to feel this way at the time of the race. And so I am going to need to experiment somewhat and figure out how best to taper.

Tomorrow marks the halfway point in my training. There are 24 weeks to go until the Ironman. And so tomorrow, I start my training in earnest. I begin with a 4 week tempo training block. The block proceeds as follows: 2 days on, building up to 2 hours of tempo riding by the end of the block; and then 2 days recovery. That gives me 12 sessions of tempo riding, and then a recovery week. I will ride the hardest I have ridden yet during this block and so it is important to stay focused, but also listen to my body. Tempo riding is done at 154-158bpm; 70-75rpm.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday: 40 mile bike; 10 mile run

Today I performed a Field Test on the bike to determine my training zones for the upcoming Tempo phase. I did not feel great at all and was definitely lacking power. I warmed up for 24 miles and then did the test. My average heart rate was 159bpm for the time trial. Considering that 159bpm is the top of my zone 2 and aerobic threshold and that my average heart rate the last time I performed the test was 175bpm should tell you that something was off. In any event, I'll go by the results of the test and try to retest in a couple of weeks. Based on the results, I will perform my tempo rides at 251w-268w, 70-75rpm. Those wattage numbers will come up as I ride within what has usually been my Tempo heart rate zone: 154-158bpm. The goal of the four week tempo phase is to build up to riding comfortably within this wattage range for 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Prior to the test, I ran 6 miles, and followed the test with a 4 mile brick run.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday: 56 mile bike; 12 mile run

The purpose of the day was to continue to recover but also to open up the muscles somewhat and get the neurons firing in preparation for tomorrow's difficult field test. So today was another relatively easy day, but not a true recovery day--I had spurts of pushing around 250 watts for example and my run was faster than a true recovery day.

I started with an 80 minute run. 9.19 miles. 8:41min/mi. 139bpm. I felt good but started to develop some blisters which hopefully won't become worse. I'm going to put some new shoes on tomorrow.

For the bike, I rode 56 miles easy. While running, the heart rate monitor cut my chest--this is something that has happened before--so I didn't wear one for the bike. This is not a good time to go without a heart rate monitor as starting next week, it is important that I stay in a specific heart rate range. I'll explain more about my upcoming training within the next couple of days....

In any event, for the ride, I wanted to get an easy ride in but not a recovery ride. Without a heart monitor on, I mostly went by feel and looked at my watts occasionally. I felt fresh throughout and had to hold myself back--a sign that I am recovering from the last few weeks. Total ride: FL: 2:40:30; 210w; ###bpm; 82rpm; 20.9mph.

I followed the ride with a 3.14 brick run. No heart rate monitor. Initially I had planned to run very easy, in my recovery zone, but I felt good, and just went with it. 8:04 min/mi.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday: Day Off

Day off. Had to work late. Needed a day off anyway. So good day to take it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday: 20 mile bike; 10 mile run

I slept funny last night and when I woke up, I couldn't move my neck. It took me 10 minutes to figure how to get out of bed. Needless to say, it made it pretty difficult to train today, though when I did, the blood flow seemed to help some. Today was another recovery day. First run lasted 50 minutes. 5.49 miles. 9:06 min/mi. 127bpm. I then biked tonight for 61 minutes. 20 miles. 184w. 121bpm. 81rpm. And followed the bike up with a 40 minute brick easy recovery run. 4.48 miles. 9:09min/mi. 127bpm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday: 56 mile bike; 9 mile run

Morning recovery run. 50 minutes. 5.46 miles. 9:09min/mi. No heart rate monitor.

Evening recovery run. 40 minutes. 4.37 miles. 9:09min/mi. 132bpm

56 mile recovery ride: FL: 2:48:01; 188w; 118bpm; 78rpm; 20.0mph

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday: 20 mile bike

I was very close to taking today off, and even had blogged that I had. I thought of every excuse why I should take the day off--long day yesterday, tired, recovery week, etc.--but the fact is I was just being lazy. As I was writing here I remembered what I wrote last week, that generally if I take Monday off, I tend not to recover until Thursday. So that was enough to get me on the bike for a recovery ride. Most of the battle is just getting on and once I finally did, my legs felt good. 182w; 120bpm; 79rpm.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday: 112 mile bike; 9 mile run; abs

Today turned out to be a mammoth of a day. It was much of a rollercoaster, but overall, it hurt. I got my work cut out for me.

In the morning, I ran 6.4 miles in 50 minutes. I felt sluggish for the first mile, but then loosened up and felt ok for the rest of the run. 8:08 min/mi; 154bpm.

A few hours later, I got on the bike. I had planned to ride 56 miles twice today. However, I was running short on time and so decided to just ride 112 all at once. I didn't want to bike too hard, but just wanted to get it done, zone 1. I thought it be a good endurance test; it didn't go that well.

Within the first 30 minutes, I wanted to get off. I was just not feeling it today. I told myself to stay on and just do 56. At the hour marker though, I was really struggling and didn't think I could go anymore. I stopped pedaling for a second, but then told myself just to ride 10 minutes more. 10 minutes later--and 70 minutes into the ride--I wfinally started to feel ok, though I never felt great at any point on the ride.

I was ok until I hit the 80 mile marker. From that point on, I suffered. I felt okay physically, but mentally, I was really hurting. You seriously start going crazy from sitting on the trainer for 4-5 hours--one of the reasons why I usually like to break up a 112 mile ride into two; one in the a.m. and one in the p.m.-and this ride was no different. I thought I was going to lose my mind. However, I just kept going and couldn't have been happier when I finished. I drank 4 32FL/oz bottles of Gatorade and 1L of water for the ride.

Surprisingly, my stats post-ride turned out to be ok. I averaged 239 watts, 136bpm for the first 56; and 248 watts, 143 bpm for the second half. So I increased power despite feeling like crap. Total ride was 241w; 139bpm.

The biggest surprise of all though was that when I finally got off the bike, I felt great on the brick run. I was sort of in shock as I was expecting to feel as awful as I felt on the ride. So though I ran slow, that second run was the best part of the day. 2.50 mile brick run; 9:00 min/mi.

Week Summary.

Looking back at my training log, I had a great week. I biked 378 miles and ran 37.67 miles. Next week is recovery.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A word about my diet

Today I literally cleaned out my refrigerator and my kitchen. While on the bike yesterday, I was thinking about my training over the last 5-6 months, and the things that I need to do better over the course of the next 6 months leading up to the race. The list is long. But the two most important areas that I need to start working on is my diet and my run. I'll talk about my run training in another post.

As my base fitness seems to be coming together, I was thinking that it makes no sense to sabotage all my work because of a bad diet; and if I am honest with myself, my diet has been pretty bad. If I want to reach my goal and run as fast as I want, I need to drop weight. And I think fueling myself better my have an attendant benefit of increasing recovery time and allowing me to have better workouts (especially re the run).

Yet I also don't want to lose strength and power. So I think that by starting now and gradually losing weight--rather than suddenly before the race--I'll not only be able to maintain my strength and power but will hopefully improve on it at a lighter weight. I don't want to be at my race weight until the week of the race, but I also think I should start losing some weight now.

I went to the grocery store today and this is what I bought: oranges, peaches, mango, grapes, apricot, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, pears, bananas, avocado, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, grape tomatoes, egg whites, vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, nonfat milk, Kashi Go Lean cereal, turkey, and chicken.

I think that I'll be able to stick to a healthier diet if I make it as routine as possible, much like training, so that I don't have to think too much about it. Every day, I plan to eat a fairly large breakfast including egg whites, cereal and milk. And for dinner, I plan to eat turkey, chicken, fish, or spaghetti, as well as salad. I'll eat fruits, vegetables, salads, cottage cheese etc. in between, and hopefully won't need much else. Having said that, I still won't deprive myself of any cravings (within reason) just yet (I typically tend to want some chocolate as least once a day).

I'm sure there are healthier diets out there, as I have read some people suggest for example, staying away from dairy --which is not possible for me as I love milk and cereal--and sticking to the darker colored fruits such as all berries. However, if I am going to start eating more fruits and vegetables, I am going to start by eating the ones I like.

Saturday: 56 mile bike; 8 mile run; abs

Started the day with a 50 min run. I usually run the morning run a little harder than the evening run and that was no different today. However, I ran a little easier than my usual morning run as I was feeling a little tired and don't want to risk injury. 5.59 miles; 8:56min/mi.

I then biked for 56 miles and followed that up with a 30 minute brick run. I felt strong and powerful throughout the bike, averaging 247w at 138 bpm. My biking is now in an entirely different galaxy than it was when I started training after the last Ironman, 6 months ago back in November.

For the brick run, I ran easy and felt solid, but was also very hot; I ran on the treadmill without a fan or any other circulation. I felt good otherwise. 3.29mi; 9.07min/mi.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday: 42 mile bike; 11 mile run; abs

Started off with a 60 minute run. I felt good throughout, but didn't have a heart rate monitor on. I ran 9 minutes and then walked 1 minute for the first 20 minutes. I then gradually picked up the pace for the remainder of the run. 6.80 miles. 8:49min/mi.

I then biked for 2 hours at a relatively easy pace, but not at recovery ride pace. I felt good but was struggling mentally towards the end. 42 miles; 224 watts. I followed the ride up with a 40 minute brick run. The best part of the work out was that, while easy and slow, my heart rate was in the 120s and 130s throughout the run. 4.37mi; 9:09min/mi.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday: 56 mile bike; 8 mile run; abs

a.m. 50 minute, 5.62 mile run. I warmed up for 20 minutes, running 9 minutes and then walking 1 minute at 6.7 on the treadmill. For the last 30 minutes I gradually increased the pace up to 7.0. My left shin still hurt a little but my right shin felt better, so that is good. Averaged 8:54min/mi.

p.m. 56 mile bike; 3.10 mile brick run. One of the best workouts I have ever had. I felt absolutely fantastic throughout the ride and on the run as well. For the bike, I warmed up for 20 minutes and then gradually picked up the effort level until the 1:10 marker, where I hovered around 280watts +/- 10. I followed up the ride with a 3.10 mile easy run. Towards the end of the run, my left shin started to become a little irritated. But endurance-wise, I felt great. Total workout: Bike 56 miles, 264 watts, 146bpm, 81rpm; run 3.10 miles, 9:08 min/mi

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday: Day Off

Day Off. Am just getting home from work and it is 2 a.m. I had planned on taking an easy day or day completely off anyway. So the timing worked out well. Tomorrow I'll pick up running again--hopefully the shins are better--and get a good bike ride in as well.

Macca in his own words at last weekends Wildflower.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday: 56 mile bike

56 mile bike, capping my heart rate at 159bpm. Started off easy, gradually increasing the effort for the first hour. Then rode about 270-280 watts for the remainder of the ride. Legs felt great. Butt and groin area; not so much--am fighting some uncomfortable saddle sores. Averages for the ride: 252.5w; 143bpm; 81rpm

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday: 56 mile bike

Today was a good recovery day and an important one. Mondays are important days and I find it to be perhaps THE most important day of the week. It sets up the rest of the week in terms of overall volume, and more importantly, I tend to recover much quicker if I do a recovery ride rather than taking the day off entirely. Looking back at my training log, I've noticed that I tend to struggle for most of the week and only feel completely recovered on Thursday if I miss the Monday ride. And thus the quality and volume of my Tuesday and Wednesday rides tend to suffer. So it is important that I do not miss the Monday ride from now on, though mentally, it tends to be the toughest day on which to ride because I tend to be tired from the weekend, have to recalibrate my internal clock so that I wake up early--much earlier than the weekend, and also think--incorrectly--that I have all week to make up for the lost volume.

Today I broke the ride up into two parts to make sure I got it done and to prevent too much exercise stress. I rode 70 minutes this morning and then 101 minutes this evening. I felt great on the first ride, and even better on the second ride. 170w for the morning ride and 192w for the evening ride, capping both rides at 124bpm. The total for the day. FL: 2:51:59; 182w; ###bpm; 79rpm; 19.6mph.

My motivation right now is extremely high. I think that in retrospect it was probably a good thing that I got a little sick, which forced me to delay my Tempo training. Tempo training is very tough mentally and physically and you need to be completely focused to complete the training block. I don't think I was ready yet and I think the extra time will help me in the long run. On the other hand, with only 6 months to go, the margin for error is becoming smaller. While I have a good base, I have a lot of work to do if I am going to go sub 10. I now have to pick up my training and stick to my program. I can no longer afford to miss periods, days, or workouts. The time is now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday: 56 mile bike; 2 mile run

Easy ride though I had a couple 10 minute stretches of pushing around 250w. FL: 2:42:22; 205w; ###bpm; 83rpm; 20.7mph. I felt good and am getting back my energy. Tomorrow, I am going to strap on the heart rate monitor again and ride a true recovery ride -- 114-123bpm.

On the run, however, my shins hurt. I just can't seem to get my run straight. I ran 2 miles at 8:20min/mi and then cut it short after my shins started acting up. It is very frustrating.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday: 56 mile bike; 9 mile run

Started off the day with an 8 mile run in 8:49min/mi on the treadmill. No fan, I was definitely sweating and felt sorry for the girl running next to me. Then hopped on the bike and did the same drill as yesterday. Easy ride. No heart rate monitor. I felt good but got a little tired mentally at the end. FL: 2:43:16; 201w; ###bpm; 84rpm; 20.6mph. Followed up the ride with a 1 mile brick run.

On a diferent note, I've added a column to the right tracking my weight. I haven't been concerned about my weight up to this point and, as such, haven't been depriving myself of any cravings. With about 6 months to go, I am going to start eating more carefully--though am not going to be too strict just yet--to start gradually getting my weight down. I did the last Ironman at about 155lbs and hope to be a little lighter than that this year.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday: 56 mile bike; 1 mile run

Biked the Florida 70.3 course. 56 miles. Didn't wear a heart rate monitor again but rather just biked on feel, on what I felt like was an easy effort level. FL: 2:43:19; 201w; ###bpm; 84rpm; 20.6mph. I felt pretty good and feel as whatever was sapping my energy the past couple of weeks is now gone. But I'm going to keep riding easy for the remainder of the 4 week training block, which not including this one has only 2 weeks left. I did a 1 mile brick run afterwards, something which I am going to start incorporating after every bike ride in addition to my normal running just to get used to, perhaps more mentally than anything else, running off the bike.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday: 84 mile bike; 2 mile run

I woke up and didn't feel much better. Started out with a run in the morning. My plan was to run about 7-8 miles. I got 2 miles out. Everything hurt. Muscles. Tendons. Bones. I had no energy and walked back in.

In the evening, I just said f*ck it and went for it despite how I was feeling. Hopped on the bike without a heart rate monitor, because quite frankly I don't want to know how much fitness I have lost. (I think I'll go without a heart rate monitor for a few more rides). My plan was to go as long as I could, up to 56 miles, at a very easy pace, just to prove to myself that I could still do it. Surprisingly, I felt very good but continued to go easy the throughout the ride. Before I knew it, I had ridden for 4 hours. 84 miles. 219w. 84rpm. I was tempted to finish the whole 112 miles, but didn't want to overdo it on my first ride in a while.

For this four week training blc, I was meant to start my Tempo riding. However, given how I have been feeling, I am not going to try and make up for what I have lost. I'll continue to ride easy for the most part, and push back all my training by 4 weeks.