Tuesday, December 30, 2008

outa (outdoor) running shape

Today's outdoor run was a doozy. It was my usual 3.5 mile loop that I had been running for months. Unfortunately this was the first time I have ran outdoors in 2 weeks. So running on the dreadmill is cool, but again, its NOTHING like running outdoors.

I basically got my ass kicked today. I went exactly 3.5 miles in an 8:58 min/mile pace. I was whipped @ the end and had a side stitch. Also, my right outside calf muscle is feeling a little tight. I guess that happened during my 45 min treadmill run last Saturday up in NH.

I think I am going to move my outdoor running to lunch time now that the studio is in a place where you can actually run outdoors on some decent roads.

Monday, December 29, 2008

i went outdoors

on the bike! it was in the low 40's and really sunny, so why stay inside! this beats the trainer any day. This is also the first ride that I have done outside with the PowerTap. Here is what the graph looks like:
I had to smooth the heck out of it to make it resemble something readible. At the default settings the graphs were just a gobblygook mess. Here is the elevation profile so you can line up the hills with the graphs (somewhat):
So if you look at in the middle of the graphs, you will notice that the blue and purple lines cross, this means that I am climbing up the largest hill of the ride. In other words my speed (blue line) drops, while the torque (purple line) spikes along with the wattage/power (yellow line). This gives me a better understanding of how torque, speed, and wattage all play together, especually while climbing. The opposite is true between the 10 and 12.5 min marks when speed increases, and torque and power tank....this means I am going down a hill.

Pretty cool stuff!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

increasing run-nin-ning

did 45 mins on the dreadmill up here in snowy NH. so thats about 5 miles. That comes out to ~13 miles this week. I am slowly ramping my mileage back up in the runner department. I remember averaging 15 miles per week over the summer and I didn't realize I was putting that much in. Now it takes so much effort to just get through half of that.

Im becoming better friends with the treadmill....able to tolerate it more, BUT I'm looking forward to getting out onto the road. Its supposed to be in the 50's-60's tomorrow, but alas I will be in a car driving.

BUT! Monday and Tuesday are looking like possible biking days!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

run, swim, and MOVED

Did a 36 min/4 mile dreadmill run yesterday afternoon. Yeah, a 9 min/mile pace on the dreadmill is a lot freaking harder than a 9 min/mile pace on the road, even going uphill. I sustained a 3 min 9 min/mile interval but realized at the end of it it was more like an 8:30 pace on the road.

Then today I did a half mile swim in about 25 mins. My swimming endurance is completely shot. I was doing mostly 50's and had to stop and take a short betwen between. I'll get it back, and this time with MUCH better form.

And I am excited to say that my company has moved right smack in the middle of my training ground over in northern Greenwich, CT/Armonk, NY. Now I don't have to drive up there everyday after work, i'll just go FROM work. And to top things off, I will still be able to go the pool during lunch. Its gonna be great and our new facility is just gorgeous.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Did a 35 min super boring indoor training ride this past Thursday AM. I was holding about 200 watts and was suffering a bit. Who knows.

Took yesterday completely off.

Then this morning ran 5 miles in 45 mins on the dreadmill. It actually went by fairly quick since I was doing an extended ladder interval session. It hurt, but I am maintaining my running really well now. I upped my mileage 10% from last week, and I can up my mileage another 10% this coming week if I just do 4, 4, and 5 mile runs.

Monday the 5th of January I will be on a treadmill doing my anaerobic threshold(AT) testing which will set me up for my first running race on the 10th. I am all signed up as a member of the New York Road Runners club (nyrr.org). This race will be a 5 milers around Central Park. I have never ran around Central Park, but I look forward to it and I hope that it won't be too freaking cold!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

easy run and early next season

Did 30 mins @ about a 10 min/mile pace on the dreadmill this morning. Just wanted to take it easy and recover from last night. I did 3 miles.

So last night @ spin class I talked with my coach about coaching and early next season. I am gonna be busy! Once per week I will be doing yoga, Kettles and Bells, a spin class, and the next level up swim class. The Kettles and Bells class is a soviet era style dead weight lifting class that works on your core and strength muscles. This will help with explosive energy. Its gonna hurt @ first (prolly will continue to hurt no matter what) but it will help tighten me up, I hope.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

so so spin class

I coulda gone harder tonight, and my power data showed! You can't hide when using this thing. If you look in the middle of the graph, you can see 6, 4 minute efforts. You will notice that the 4th has the highest power and speed shown, this is due to the fact that I was working REALLY hard during that interval. Then if you look @ #5, you will notice that it is the lowest overall out of the 6, and this is due to the fact that I could have (and definately should have) used 1 harder gear.

I slacked off, and I will admit that.

As for #6, you can see high cadence #'s and speed. This happens when you pull up while pedaling. Amazing what happens when you engage a full range of muscles during a pedal stroke. YOU GO FASTER!

Monday, December 15, 2008

outdoor run and final swim class

I actually ran outdoors this morning. It was 50 degrees, so why not take advantage of that!

I was quickly reminded (as I was on Saturday AM) that a treadmill does NOT replace running outdoors. Sure, you can run fast on a treadmill, but that is peanuts compared to the variability of running outdoors on uneven and rolling terrain. I put in a good run: 3.82 miles in 33:45, or about 8:50 min/miles.

Then tonight was my final swim class. We were videotaped completely above water this time, which was good, because it showed off this funky right arm recovery swing that I did, some strange left handed flippy thing before the recovery, and a left armed cross over. YIKES! Thats quite the list on my "bad habits to break" list. Fortunately I think I have kicked the squiggly arm, but I am going to monitor that sucker to make sure it DOESNT come back. At least with swimming its pretty dang clear on what you need to fix. Well at least I will have goals!

I am still writing up my adventure relay race from this past weekend. Its a looooooooong one.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

fast dreadmill run

Did the usual 30 mins this morning, but I upped the last 30 seconds of my longer intervals to 8 min/mile paces. I am feeling it now....oops! I think I went a bit too hard. Hopefully I will be recovered enough for the relay race this weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the meaning of fatigue

Wow tonight was just nothing but pure torture and pain. I couldn't swim a single 50 yard straight without finishing completely out of breath. I even managed to get in 3 100's, and I thought I was gonna drown by the end of em.

I'm gonna contribute this to 2 things. #1 is that I am finally swimming a bit more correctly so that I am now using a fuller extent of my muscles, which are not as toned up because I am using them correctly, so I am using more energy to enable them. Or rather #2 (which this is more likely the case) I got my ass wooped so bad from this past monday's swim class that I am not recovered from it yet. So I am gonna go with 1/3 of #1, and 2/3's of #2.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

spin class, with POWER

Did my second to last spin class tonight, but my first using my PowerTap. You can see below in the graph the different sets that we did over the hour long workout. The last set before the cool down were 3 30 second spinups, increasing cadence every 5 seconds. I peaked out at 565 watts! SWEET! I again came out at an average power of 245 watts, so since I have hit this number 3 different times, I guess I am gonna use this as my functional threshold (FT) wattage.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Woo hoo! I didn't do the squiggly arm tonight! YES!

So I am pretty excited, and the entire class cheered for me! FINALLY! I broke the curse of the squiggly arm. But whats funny is that I developed an arm crossover on my left arm. Oops! Well thats nothing major compared to a bad squiggly arm. I'm gonna see if I can get the video to show a bad example of what I used to do, and what I did tonight.

But in the meantime, here is that MAP test that I tried to do last weekend:

back in the pool and a "normal" run

Got back into the pool yesterday for 30 mins working on drills and working on fixing my squiggly arm. I think its getting better, gotta wait for the underwater video tonight to see if its looking better. Besides a bad roll to my right, I think when my hand enters, I rotate my palm inwards, causing my to swoop my hand to make it straight again, this I "think" might be contributing to the squiggly arm. So to combat that, I am not rotating my palm inwards, cause there is no point to it, and by keeping it straight the entire time, there is no need to swoop it. Afterall, I don't rotate my left palm inwards, and that arm doesn't squiggle.

Then this morning I hopped onto the dreadmill for a 30 min zone 3 run. It hurt a bit, but it was good that I did this because it again showed that I still have that runner's edge. Our relay race for this saturday is gonna hurt, but at least I should be able to do it with some sort of speed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

first run in a long time and more wattage fun

I ran for a solid 15 mins on the treadmill this morning, my first run in 2 weeks. Surprisingly, it felt like I hadn't stopped running. I even did the usual 4 X (30 second on/90 second off) intervals to see how my speed work was doing, and again, it felt fine. After the 15 mins though, I did feel like my overall endurance was not the same, and that was confirmed when I got off the treadmill and I felt some inflamation in my quads. That went away quickly, which means that I haven't lost my running shape entirely, I just need to reclaim it and get back to doing a 10K and feeling fine afterwards.

Then I took a small break, ate some food, let it digest and hopped onto my new trainer, the Kirt Kinetic Road machine:
I did another test, this one is for finding your MAP, or maximum applied power. My coworker is a self proclaimed "wattage junkie", he gave me some rough instructions on how to conduct the test. Basically warm up for 15 mins, then get into a 90 RPM cadence starting at about 170 watts. Every three minutes increase your wattage by upping one gear in the back, while maintaining that 90 RPM. Stop when you can't hold 90 RPM any longer. It took me three iterations before I could no longer hold 90 RPM. I'll post the data when I get back. I think I got the same number as my previous test, since I haven't really had time to improve over a 2 day period. Still, a good test! I am gonna need to consult my coworker to see how to do the test better, as 3 interations was not enough data to clearly find the number I was looking for.

Friday, December 5, 2008

first powerTap test

Just did my first powerTap test yesterday. It was basically a 20 minute @ lactate threshold time trial to find my power threshold power level, in watts. Here is what it looks like:

I averaged 245 watts @ lactate threshold. This would put me at the bottom of being a CAT 3 cyclist, if I were a pure cycling racer.