25 C and Cycling

I got out in the bike today in a wonderful 25 Degree, blue sky day.I felt pretty good the whole day and -as is now usual- I picked upthe pace for the last 30 minutes. The graph below – from the newly aquired Ascent s/w- shows the delta HR from average. ; It’s a pretty useful graph.

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The next one is the entire ride – shows everything, but is not as clear as the one above.

0905312I managed 7 hours 49 minutes for the week – that’s the most I’ve done for a while. What’s more, I feel pretty fresh, so maybe I can do something goodthis year after all.

Short and Sharp

My schedule conspire against me this weekend and I missed my long bike ride this morning – and a beautiful morning it was too. It is now about 25 C and as sunny as it can be: my favourite cycling weather. Anyway, I managed to set up the trainer while baby got her nap – I hammered out a set of Tabata sprints. I can’t see how they can yield any significant results, however, since I had very little time to myself today, I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

My legs are very tired! Here is the graph: I’m now using Ascent for Mac with the EDGE 705 – it is far superior to Garmin’s own software.

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Short Run

I didn’t want to go out running tonight – so I put it off until the last minute and eventually decided to do a short sharp one. I stated out at 4:10/km – held that for 10-12 minutes or so. Then I did a 3:45/km effort for about 4:30. I had a small 50 second walk, then ran as fast as my legs would carry my up västerbron – that turned out to be 4:11/km and then I took it easy on the way home… I could have saved about 100 or so words by simply writing: 7.9km Fartlek.

Day after…

I’ve been wondering since I wrote yesterday’s small entry: was it a good idea to run or should I have taken a rest and done a proper run tonight – Something I currently don’t feel capable of doing today. Or to put it another way:

  • Is there any point running on tired legs at a pace I never plan to race at?.
  • Is there any point in running with such deep fatigue?
  • Does prolonging fatigue give as much benefit as adding training stress?

If the answer is no – then I have wasted two nights training by running for 50 minutes last night!

After some reflection I decided that I would continue training and take a break later in the week. While, at this stage, any training I do in this is not optimal, I believe that piling on the stress will have non-specific benefits to my overall fitness. What becomes more and more important though is rest – I won’t just recover from this type of stress on just a good night sleep.

The training I decided to do was 60 minutes on the Concept2 down in the gym. I did it as follows:

  • 40 minutes @ 182W/23 SPM
  • 8 x (1 min @ 230W, 1 min @ 130W)
  • 4 min @ 190W

That’s enough for the night. I’m very tired.

Run

I’m tired today. Sunday was an all out effort at swimming. Monday was an easy bike ride, but since I had not ridden in a while, it took quite a bit out of me. Today I planned to do an easy 60 minute run. This turned out to be a not-so-easy 50 minute run. I’t say it was about 11km, I know my average HR was 144, but it felt much higher and my legs would not turn over. It would seem it’s time for a rest. At least the run is done.

An Unexpected Incident

I -for the first time in  weeks- managed to get out on the bike tonight. I had been looking for a full free day to plan a ride, but tonight at 19:30 I figured that there was just over 2 hours of daylight left, so why not use it. I got dressed and ready in record time and was out on the bike at 19:40.

  • 2:02, 59.3km, av. Speed: 29,1km/h, av. HR: 138

I did some ‘efforts’ on the way home: 18 minutes at 147 av. HR – not champion efforts by any means, but it was better than nothing. I feel good now.

60 min Swim TT

I decided to do this test today despite not having swam over 1500 continupus metres since late 2007. I’m not swim-fit, nor am I 60 minute fit for anyhting as far as I see it. Neertheless, I wanted to get an idea of where I am and what is possible for Vansbro Simmet in 7 weeks time.

4125m in 60 minutes

That’s 1:27.27/100m and extrapolates to a 55 minute Ironman. If would like to take 5 seconds/100m off that it would put me at 43900m for the hour and a 51 minute (non-drafting) Ironman swim.

Now that I know what I have, it’s time to figure out how to get what I want – or need. As I see it, I will only make two swims per week. One should be distance, the other should be speed – simple so far. I should also start using the stretch cords whenever possible: this should mean pretty much all the time, but to date, it has not worked out like that, however, now that I have a goal in sight, I should get them out more often. My arms are aching as I type – time to go.

New Goal?

I’m tired yet very motivated today. A dangerous combination that can at times lead to injury, however, I think I’ll use the motivation to plan a new goal rather than going out and hammering myself and increase my chances of getting injured.

I’ve pretty much decided that I will do Vansbrosimmet – an open water 3km swim in the middle of Sweden. Economically, it is a difficult one to justify: 330km drive, a night in Vansbro, sub-40 minute swim and then the 330km drive home. A lot of time, money and petrol for a short swim, but I feel I can do well, and the question is: is that enough justification?

Goal would be Top 40 (of 2000) – it’s difficult to predict a time since it depends on the current on the day of the race.But I’d like to beat 37:43 since that would get me on my Tri-Club’s Top 5 List; something I’ve had on my list for some time. This is an ambitions goal, since the guy currently in 5th place in the Top 5 is a better swimmer than I’ll ever be, but on a perfect day, one never knows what can happen.

The race is only 7 weeks away – that’s not a long tine considering that my swim fitness is not deep. My speed is pretty good, but my ability to hold that speed for a significant amount of time is limited. Step one is to do a 60 minute test set tomorrow and see how shallow my fitness actually is. From that, I’ll decide whether I focus on medium, faster sets or long swims. I will be going into the test very tired, but the result will still be pretty reliable. I’ll wait and see what comes of it.

Collecting Data

I rowed today – instead of the one hour row, I decided to do my goal distance of 15km and collect some data. Said data was then to be examined, from that I could see what I have to do to get the 60 min/15km that I desire. I started out at 178W and planned to hold that to the end. This pace was very easy until about the 42-44 minute mark, from where it got progressively harder and harder. The only thing that stopped me from switching to easy/hard intervals at this point was the pure fact that it was a data collecting mission. As time progressed, so to did the effort required to hold a constant pace, but the value of the data also increased – this is what I got:

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Now – I’m not sure what I hoped for. I’m equally not sure what to learn from this… One thing is certain: My HR started at 147 and drifted to 168bpm. This is not good. I reckon that I can hold a HR of 168 for an hour, but if, at the end of that hour I can only produce 178W with that HR then  I am not ging to get anywhere near the 15km since that requires about 205W average for the hour.

Conclusion? I need to find 28W!

That’s not going to come easy. As for how to do it, I don’t know yet – but at least now I know what I need.