Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lotsa Lotsa Lotsa Training Hours

Yeah.  I know.  The posts are few and far between lately.  First, I leave the country for a week  Then, I return home and am welcomed by the three most intense training weeks of the year.  Granted, last week was a bit of a wash as I was fighting a cold.   But things ramped up quickly, starting last Thursday.


This was my first run in over a week.  My last run was on the treadmill in the resort's air conditioned gym, so running outside with a dew-point in the 70s was a bit of a rude awakening.  Okay.  It was more like a slug in the gut.  The heat kept sending my heart rate through the roof, and I had to slow down repeatedly to keep from red-lining.  By the end of the run I had sweat so much, it looked like I had just finished a pool workout.  It looks like I'm going to have to re-learn running in the heat.


Friday was a fun little pool workout.  The meat of the workout called for repeats with increasing intensity.  The first leg was at a comfortable pace.  The 2nd repeat was at 'cruising' speed - think driving down the highway on a road trip - efficient, but quick.  The 3rd leg tweaked it up one more notch - steady, but really pushing it this time.  Here are the splits:

11:20 = 1:37/100y
11:02 = 1:34/100y
10:35 = 1:30/100y

Seems pretty even to me - good enough to call it a successful workout.


Saturday called for kind of a screwy brick session.  For those of you that aren't hip to my tri lingo, a brick is any series of back-to-back workouts.

First, I had to do a run in the morning.  It was just a hair over 1/2 an hour.  No big deal.  Then, I had to wait until later in the day to do a swim, followed by a run.  The day kind of got away from me, and I didn't end up hitting the pool until nearly 7:30.  I did a steady, non-stop 2200 yard (1.25 mile) interval at a 1:35/100y pace.  Nicely done.  There was one problem though. 

The next part of the brick session called for a 60-minute bike.  However, I started swimming so late that I wouldn't be able to hit the road for an hour before I ran out of sunlight.  There was only one thing to do - head back home and dust of the trainer.  It had been in mothballs since spring, but came to the rescue on Saturday night.  Still, it felt weird to bike while watching TV again.


This was a loooooong bike ride - the longest of the year so far.  Now, as some of you may recall, my last long weekend ride didn't turn out so well.  In essence, I was working on the fail-road (all the live-long day).

This time around, it was a different story.  I made sure to have plenty of fluids on me and made a couple stops along the way to pick up some water, Gatorade and fresh fruit.

First, I headed down to Chaska - about 25 miles on the nose.  The, I headed east through Prior Lake, Savage, Burnsville and Apple Valley.  Then, I headed North through Eagan and into St. Paul.  I made one more pit-stop on Grand Avenue and then headed down Summit until I reached the river.  From there, It was just a quick hike down the Greenway trail to get back into my neck of the woods.  The whole thing looked something like this:

Notice the gap in St. Louis Park where I stopped my Garmin at an intersection and forgot to restart it until 2 miles later.  Whoops.

In the end, I pedaled through just a bit over 92 miles in 5:31.  At least I know, that at a relaxed pace, I'll be able to cover the 112 miles in the Ironman somewhere in the 6:30 range.  

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  After the bike, I had to do a quick 20-minute run.  That felt a little weird, but at least I could still hold a sub-10:00/mile pace.  


There was only one workout scheduled for Monday - a wicked-long swim.   I had to do 8 repeats of 500 yards each.  The odd-numbered repeats were at an easy cruise and the evens were at at a more strenuous pace.  I sure felt more fatigued for this workout than the swim from the previous week, and really had to gut out those intense intervals.  My splits seem to reflect the fatigue too:

8:16 (1:38/100y)
7:46 (1:33/100y)
8:20 (1:40/100y)
7:35 (1:31/100y)
8:24 (1:40/100y)
7:39 (1:31/100y)
8:24 (1:40/100y)
7:42 (1:32/100y)


Tuesday was another screwy brick workout.  The first chunk was a short swim workout that I was able to do over lunch.  I'm fortunate that my office is literally across an alley from my health club, so I can just hike over there to hop in the pool.  It was a pretty straight forward workout with 12 100-yard repeats.

In the evening, I had to get somewhat creative.  The plan called for a 60-minute bike (first 30-minutes easy, last 30 minutes HARD) followed by a 30-minute run.

I was helping out again with the Tuesday Night Time Trial out in Maple Plain.  I showed up early and set up part of the course.  Then, I took my leave for the easy 30-minute ride.  Then, I hopped at the end of the line for the time trial - and off I went!  It was a grueling 11-mile course with constant rolling hills and I was going balls-out.  Or, at least as balls-out as I could go considering the workout volume of the previous few days.

I finished in 31.06, which is a 21.22 MPH average.  The only other time I raced this course was 2 years ago and I managed a 19.5 MPH average, so, I'll take anything over 21 with a smile. After all, I'm not training for a sprint.  I'm in it for the long haul.  For the record, the winner on Tuesday clocked in at 28.47 MPH.  That's just SICK!

Wednesday (Today)

The first workout today was just an easy-peasey-lemon-squeezy run over lunch.  I jogged over to the Centennial Lakes park.  For those of you familiar with Edina, it's where all the money goes to feed the ducks.  See...

When I got home from work, I just headed out for what was essentially a recovery ride.  I hit some paths near Medicine Lake and then headed West towards Wayzata.  For those of you not familiar with Wayzata, it's where all the money goes to have coffee.

Tomorrow, I'll have the longest run of the year so far - almost 3 hours.  Yikes.  The challenge will be picking a path where I can re-fill my water bottle at local park drinking fountains.  Okay.  Fine.  The REAL challenge will be actually running 3 hours straight, but I'm trying not to think about that part.

Finally, after a well-deserved rest day on Friday, I'll be riding the 100-mile route in Tour de Tonka along with several thousand other riders and my homies from the Twin Cities Spoke

The scary thing is that next week calls for even more training hours.  Eeek.

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