Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday BEAST

Great BEAST session, but I was fatigued enough (mentally and physically) afterwards that a quick self-assessment sent me straight to shower and breakfast rather than onto the bike. It is not that I can't do another workout post-BEAST, but last Wednesday this didn't work either; other than the Sunday-Monday big work push, Wednesday's my other big work day, and it's the thought of all that I still have to dig deep for that stops me from pushing it in the morning double workout. If I work like crazy and get enough done by 12:30 or so, I can probably get out for an hour on my bike "in the world" (or on the spin bike here if it seems too cold or I am really pressed for time) - but really I just need to modify the shape of my training week.

1:20 boot camp

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TNYA workout!

Actually it was very fun, I don't know why I haven't been going this semester - Tuesday evening is my favorite of the 4 Columbia TNYA workouts, and I had a very delightful surprise when I saw that my dear friend Liz (who does not usually swim up here) was leading the lane!

I was goofing around a bit, and it was also a goofy workout, so a lot of these details are necessarily approximate:

Warmup: c. 300 yards (truncated)

5 x 50 fly-free on 1:05

6 x 75 back-breast-back on 1:40

6 x 100 breast-free-breast-free on 2:30 with flip turns (skipped one of these?)

400 pull freestyle on 8:00 (took my pull buoy off after the first 50 when I saw how far behind I was getting and skipped a 50, but I let a couple folks go fast later on too, so I don't think I could have done more than 300)

6 x 50 fly-free in theory as :20, :40 but it is not a realistic interval for our lane - let's just say that I did five of the six in a desperate scramble not to get too far behind!

2050 yards total (?)

Resolved: try and attend at least two practices per week between now and the end of June!

Tuesday run intervals!

Really I meant to do it when I got up, but even though I got up pretty late (couldn't get to sleep last night, drastic tossing and turning), it was still only in the mid-30s outside - I decided to do my tender lungs and my lazy morning self a favor and put it off till the afternoon!

It was great, too - I would think that it's not just me, but that many people doing this sort of IM training plan find the Tuesday hour-long run with harder-effort intervals the most enjoyable workout of the week. It's beautiful outside, too; a bit chilly during the warmup, but perfect once you're actually doing the intervals. I did them all in my close-to-home bit of Riverside Park, which is gorgeous at this time of year, and not too crowded (I think we were just around the daytime high of 46F).

10 mins. warmup, then 6 x 5 min. zone 3 + 2 min. walk, cooldown

1:00 total

I am resolved to go TNYA practice at 6 this evening; if I do a couple real masters practices each week, then truly my swimming will be fine, but I shouldn't let it be that every week I'm only doing a couple short easy-effort swims on my own...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rest day today

and I am sure my body needs the time to absorb the training (also: sore knees!), but I have to share this amazing triathlon-themed cake at Berties Bakery!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday long run

OK, that was good. It's still a bit nippy, but a beautiful sunny day (upper 30s) - I was only cold when I was running straight into the wind!

The 13-week training plan I'm on assumes that you've been doing a weekly 90-minute long run before you start the plan, which of course I haven't been doing at all (I wanted to, but one thing and another got in the way!). I had some minor trepidation, therefore, contemplating the 1:45 run assigned on this week's schedule ... but I didn't want to flake out on it, either.

It was pretty good, actually. I decided I'd run 10 mins., walk 1 because it gives both mental and physical relief (breaks it up nicely - I knew I'd do five 'segments' out and then turn around and make my way back as best I could! - but also significantly relieves tension on various muscles, tendons, etc. if you haven't been running long), and that worked very well. It is slow, of course, but what can you expect?

1:48:11, 9.51 mi., avg pace 11:22, avg HR 147, max HR 155

All things considered, week 1 of IM training has gone pretty well. Swimming was seriously compromised - I did two shortish technique-oriented swims instead of the 3 "real" swims on the plan. I also skipped a 30-minute high-cadence run. On the other hand, if one considers that the essence of the plan each week is 2 sets of intervals and 2 easy long efforts for endurance, one each of biking and running, then I think I have done pretty well.

Total training hours for the week: 12 and change

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday swim

(Accidentally posted this first at my other blog!)

I sat in the cafe at Chelsea Piers grading papers for some hours (it was one of the more horrible things about getting back from spring break to find not one but TWO piles of assignments, one set from each of my classes, sitting still untouched and awaiting my attention, but I am almost done with the bigger set and will have to polish off the others tonight and tomorrow so that I can give them all back on Monday); I was of two minds, when it got to around two or so, as to whether I should swim or just head home, but I decided I had better have at least a short swim.

(I can see, based on this first week of training, that swimming is the thing that's regularly going to 'give'; it is too bad, because I like it very much, but that is the way it's going to be!)

(If I do my long run early enough tomorrow, I'll have time to eat and caffeinate and digest and make it to the noon TNYA workout at Columbia, which has been added recently and which I haven't yet checked out; but this is notional merely, and pressures of work may render it in any case a bad idea.)

The pool was super-crowded, it was initially not relaxing, but the lane emptied out and it was more pleasant once I was just splitting a lane with one other guy and could do what I liked; circle swimming is fine, but consideration for others means that I have to avoid breaststroke, drills, etc. so as not to gum up the lane order!

5 x 200: free, free, IM (one-arm fly), reverse IM (fly as 25 full stroke, 25 drill - I was going to do it all full stroke, but had second thoughts after the first 25!), free

4 x 100: first two as 25 fly, 75 free on 2:30; second two as free drill-swim by 25 (catch-up, finger-drag)

200 reverse IM

50 easy free swim down

1650 yards total

Long bike bliss!

After much dithering yesterday, I decided I had to do it inside - temps still in the thirties, I just don't have the gear to make that work.  Doing it at Chelsea Piers was great, though.  I was here at 8 when the doors opened; spin studio was unlocked, so I was set up on a bike by 8:20 or so and got in 40 minutes before class started. I did the back-to-back 9 and 10am classes; we got kicked out at 11 for a triathlon group, and I finished the last 25 minutes on a bike on the cardio floor.

3 hrs. bike

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday BEAST/spin

OK, that worked better - didn't do so much 'extra' Beast (it was a considerably easier class today, too), took a 150-cal. gel before getting on the bike and used a more varied workout from the binder of indoor cycling workouts.

1:10 boot camp
1:05 spin

3 sets: (1) 4 x 3 min seated in easy gear (100rpm), 1 min rest; (2) 4 x 3 min standing in hard gear, 1 min rest; (3) 4 x 3 min seated in hard gear, 1 min rest.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An event?

I was tempted by this event last year, but for one reason or another it didn't make sense: but this year, Fat Cyclist's "100 miles of nowhere" falls on June 4, which is three weeks out from IMCd'A and would be the perfect way to get in my final long ride and with good accountability! I think Central Park is too crowded, although I guess I could do it in Central Park on Friday morning from something like 6am-noon; but I could go and do my miles of nowhere on Saturday along River Road on the Palisades - I can't remember the exact distance, but I think it would come in around 12 miles per loop, with a lot of climbing - it would be kind of perfect...

Thursday swim-spin

I did something very sensible and turned off the alarm when it went off at 5 (I had an unrealistic plan for an early-morning workout BEFORE my workout with Lauren) and reset it for 9. There really are times when it is NOT a good idea to get up when the alarm goes off; I have been pretty lethally fatigued this week and clearly needed to get a real night of sleep, not just the token thing that usually passes for sleep round here!

We met up at 10 at Chelsea Piers and did 30 mins. in the pool and then a second stab at the hour-long interval workout I flaked out on yesterday. It is great having the company, it felt much easier because of conversation and less fatigue - but also, I realize to my chagrin now that I'm at home, because I was misremembering my zone 3 cycling numbers (thought it was 134-138, really it is 144-148), which means that I was only doing ZONE TWO intervals!

Arghhhh, I am idiot - but it was a good-faith effort, and I suppose the dividing line between high zone 2 and zone 3 is not hard and fast. I was certainly breathing hard and sweating a lot, so it was good for something, anyway...

1100 yards swim (500 warmup free with every fourth length stroke [alternating breast and fly drill], 4 x 100 free drill-swim by 25 [fists, front scull, catch-up, thumbs-and-salute], 100 IM drill, 100 IM swim)

1hr. spin with 6 x 4 min. hard (high zone 2), 1 min. easy

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back with the BEAST

Hmmm, I am so unrealistic, how on earth did I imagine I was going to do a good job with my bike intervals after already having done 1:20 of boot camp?  When I started my first interval at the 20-min. mark, I accidentally hit the stop instead of the lap button, though I didn't realize it until the start of the next interval - at which point I realized I just didn't have it in me.  Will make another stab at it later on the spin bike at home...

1:20 boot camp, :30 bike

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

IM Week 1 run #1


It is the most beautiful day, it couldn't have been better. I am singularly fatigued (the Costa Rica trip was fantastic, but getting back home was very tiring and I am in the thick of the semester now again), but it was really lovely. I wasn't running enough this winter, there was too much ice and snow and my asthma was reacting badly to cold air, but it is going to be very nice to be back out there again now that my training is underway and the weather is good again.

I did get a new strap for my HR monitor, but the Garmin doesn't seem to be picking it up - must consult instructions for how to "pair" it, I think (I hope I did not buy the wrong model). So I had to guess on the intensity of the intervals - probably I did them a little harder than I needed to (c. 8:49 pace).

1hr. run (5.4mi.)

20 mins. warmup
6 x 4 min. zone 3, 1 min. walk
10 mins. cooldown

Friday, March 11, 2011

BEAST week 8 (Friday)

That's the end of this round of THE BEAST. It was a good class, and it was also the first time I felt it was both warm and light enough at 6:15 for me to ride my bike down; very pleasant, it was not actually really raining but gray and damp enough that hardly anybody else was on the path.

I continue to have some self-reproach that I didn't make better use of this last 9 weeks or so in terms of exercise, but really there is no point worrying about it, better just move forward! I do think that if our hiking on the vacation is not strenuous, I should make an effort to do some additional exercise: a short run, some boot-camp-type abs and lower-body stuff.

(Earlier this week I took the plunge and got a pair of the New Balance Minimus Trail shoes and I'm extremely excited about them; it is different enough from running in regular shoes that this trip might be a good chance to break them in, just run 1-2 miles in 'em after getting back from the day's outing and before showering and changing into some fresh clothes for evening relaxation.)

(We did another 1.5 mi. run, the benchmark we used at the end of the first week of class, and I am sorry to say that my time was pretty much exactly the same, only a few seconds slower. That first run was actually worse, I wasn't sufficiently warmed up and I activated my asthma by trying to keep up with a few runners who are really considerably too fast for me - this run felt better, and I wasn't having any asthma issues, but I was also in the middle between slower and faster runners with nobody to use as a rabbit, which certainly makes it mentally harder to post a fast time. First time was 13:57, today's was 14:00 on the nose; that is 9:20 pace, not nearly as fast as I would like, I should be able to do something more like 8:00/mi. if I really am in good shape.)

1hr. boot camp, plus 10 miles bike

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BEAST week 8 (Wednesday)

A very enjoyable class.

I'm about to explode from stress, unfortunately - I had one of those revelations (not a new one, but I was feeling it with renewed force) yesterday, I have to (HAVE TO!) make more time for myself. I haven't had nearly enough down-time over the last 2 months - it was natural, I got back to NY and I immediately plunged back in to everything I missed, I bought a lot of tickets to plays and saw quite a bit of live music and threw myself into school stuff and writing etc. etc. etc. But it is much too much - it is not sustainable, and it is not enjoyable if I am so overloaded!

I'm going on VACATION on Friday, am not going to take my computer with me and am only going to exercise as it's compatible with the trip goals. (There should be quite a bit of walking and hiking in any case; we are going to see some lovely things, it is not exactly this but much along these lines. I am especially excited about going here; check out the photo gallery!)

1:20 boot camp

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beautiful things ahead

After a rather long and tiring work day, I have just indulged myself by spending an hour or two making up the schedule for my first block of training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene (gosh, the pictures at that site are gorgeous!) at the end of June.

I am truly going to train with the goal only of enjoying my training very much and making the time cut-offs during the race itself: I'm just not in the kind of shape that would make a lower time-goal realistic, I think I will do much better figuring I'll be close to the 17-hour limit in any case and planning accordingly. But I am so very much looking forward to digging in on a serious training regimen; I am certainly in the camp of those who love training as much or more than they love racing, and I mean to eke every bit of enjoyment out of the process.

In short, a great day out there might potentially lead to a 14-something-hour finish, but I do not know that there is much emotional difference between that and a 15- or 16-something finish, so there is no reason to go crazy with the training intensities...

This plan is adapted from the "13 hours to a sub-13-hour Ironman" plan in Gale Bernhardt's superb - indispensable! - book Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. (Brent initially recommended it to me, but I have since pressed it into the hands of many fellow triathletes - it is the sort of book you keep buying another copy of so that you can give it away. An earlier version of that particular plan can be found here.)

My own modifications: adding in a couple sessions a week of the BEAST boot camp class, which I've been doing three times a week for the last eight weeks and which is now too much of an addiction to give up entirely; moving around a few things for scheduling reasons; taking Mondays off entirely because it is my heavy teaching day and it makes sense to organize things that way. I'll probably try and go to the Tuesday evening TNYA workout and get my intensity work in that way, then do Thursday as a technique swim on my own and Saturday as a long slow continuous swim, with bits of other strokes mixed in for mental variety.

So - block one (click to enlarge)....

BEAST week 8 (Monday)

Felt terrible on the way over, I am too deeply fatigued, but it was good once class started.  I have had too many different priorities over the last couple months - after spring break I am going to make a major effort to simplify things and make exercise my top priority for a couple of months.

1:20 strength

Saturday, March 5, 2011

BEAST week 7 (Saturday)

I am very disappointed in myself that I've done so little exercise in the past few weeks, but this feeling may be a symptom of such general mental exhaustion that I am not sure how I could have done it differently.

I am ridiculously tired - my Rochester visit went very well, but the combination of getting the talk written before I went, clearing off my week's teaching obligations and then the visit itself & the associated travel has left me utterly knackered!

I made it downtown for this morning's boot camp class because I had promised I would, but the first half of class was pretty awful - I did an overly hard-effort 800 with a faster runner before I had fully warmed up, and it activated my asthma, in spite of having taken rescue inhaler puffs beforehand. Basically spent the first twenty minutes with very painful lungs and also slightly worried that I was going to burst into tears!

However by 9:30 or so I was feeling much better, and I do think that it was good that I came. It is the virtue of this sort of class that even in a week where I did no other exercise, it kept me on track for basic fitness stuff. I'm meeting Liz to run at 9:30 tomorrow morning; I think we'll just do 1 x the full loop, I have midday and afternoon obligations that make it impracticable to go longer.

1hr. boot camp

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BEAST week 7 (Wednesday)

Almost didn't come, I felt so groggy and weary when I got up at 5:45 (and I have a vast amount of work to do today before I leave this evening for Rochester, where I'm giving a seminar and a lecture tomorrow), but I am glad I did.


1.25hr. boot camp