Saturday, January 19, 2013

Running and Biking and Swimming...Oh My!

Did yet another long run this morning.  12 miles on legs that were definitely tired, but it actually went "faster" than my previous long runs.  As I get into the routine of ironman training, I recall that these runs become "easier" and easier to do.  Was very happy with my run.  On the return part of my run I did ten 45 second fast efforts, and they felt good.  When I got home, I went for an hour and a half bike ride with a friend.  What a great way to recover!  Jumped in the pool for 10 minutes when I got home.

My training is really rounding into form.  I get some good thinking in while I'm running and my body is really feeling like it is absorbing everything I'm doing.  Running and biking and swimming...oh my!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Intervals, and Lance

I watched Lance Armstrong last night and was struck by the disconnect between his admission of guilt, his admission of being a bully, but his holding on to the belief that those around him had a choice in their decision to dope.  He clearly did not fully comprehend the power of the powerful bully.  Tonight, as I watched him tear up when talking about having to tell his oldest son not to defend him, I felt that perhaps he is truly on a journey of discovery.  Certainly, I want to believe that, because that is my nature, to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  I also understand his desire to compete again, even if it would only be doing the Chicago Marathon when he turns 50.  I understand the drive to succeed, because I have it as well.  Ironically, for me, triathlon has been a healthy outlet for that drive.  I will never win a race, I will probably never win my age group, but that's never what matters.  To me it continues to be about testing my limits and giving it my best.

Today I did three 15 minute intervals up Stunt Road.  My effort was supposed to be right around my half ironman effort, so I kept my heart rate in Zone 2 to Zone 3 range the first two times and kept a very respectable 8mph pace up a 6% grade.  The third time, I did push harder and ended up in Zone 4, increasing my pace to 8.6mph.  For good measure, once I finished, I rode up Stunt one more time in a very comfortable Zone 2 effort.  Then, rode home.  Two hours and fifty minutes of cycling, 4500 feet of climbing, and I still felt good.  Good enough to spend the next five hours with my daughters, going to lunch and the mall.  I also managed to get in about 35 minutes of dry land swim training on my VASA swim trainer.

In two weeks I'm doing a half marathon.  In just 10 weeks, I'll be doing the California 70.3.  I'm hoping that all of my hill training will finally allow me to have a solid bike ride on what I used to find a challenging course.  I say used to find, because I looked it up today and discovered that there is "only" 1500 feet of climbing on the course.  These days, that's really not much to me!  It's certainly all relative.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Easy Rider

Just went for an easy 2 hour bike ride today.  Was almost able to maintain that concept for the whole ride, but of course someone passed me.  I tried to maintain and easy effort while keeping up, and I think he realized it and let up so I could catch him.  Riding on the flats was ok, but going up hill was the tough part, it was easy to him, but not so much to me.  Nevertheless, I kept up, not out of typical male need to keep up with the other guy, but because he was just a nice guy and we actually were able to chat for the last part of my ride.  Turns out he was a former european professional cyclist.  Nothing major, but still.  I definitely didn't feel too bad having to work hard to keep up.  Today was just one of those "volume" days anyway.  The weather was beautiful and it was nice to just be out on the road.  A short swim when I got home and then a half an hour with my NormaTec compression device.  I'll probably do some Compex tonight, in keeping with the concept of focusing as much on recovery as the actual workouts.

Two days in a row of writing!  While cycling today, I realized that I just need to sit down for a brief period of time and write every day.  This blog is more for my sporting endeavors and the occasional life epiphany., on the other hand, is meant to continue to allow me to share my thoughts on the field of Geriatrics and senior health care issues, something near and dear to my heart.

See, that wasn't too hard, was it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A New Year, Ironman Training on Track

I happened to go to my blog site today and realized that I haven't blogged since I started back with my training in October.  It's been three months!  But what a terrific three months.  My foot is 98% better (I'll leave out the last 2% for when I have absolutely no "sensations" in my heel).  Last week I trained for 15 hours, including some of the toughest workouts I have done in some time.  I am reminding myself as to why I love ironman training.  When done properly, it corresponds to a feeling of invincibility that is hard to obtain anywhere else.

This morning I did VO2 intervals on my bike.  Five intervals that were each 3 minutes long, each with a near maximal effort that left me feeling almost sick to my stomach as I neared the end of the last two.  That told me that I did them properly.  What I was most proud of was my pacing.  I never looked at my new power meter until I was at the end of each interval.  Each interval had a slightly increased average power.  That's the way to achieve the most effective result from this workout.  One of the other things I love about ironman training is being in touch with my body in a way that I never knew was possible.

After the bike ride, I immediately went for a short, 3 mile, transition run.  Near the end of this, I was able to do four 30 second fast strides, right around 7 minute mile pace.  This is what I want to train my body to be able to do, and practice makes perfect!

In addition to 15 hours of training last week, I probably spent close to the same amount of time recovering.  I have a new NormaTec compression device and an electrical stimulation Compex device that are helping me recover every day.  I haven't fully achieved the feeling of living and acting like a professional athlete, but I'm getting closer!