Week 6 – Off-Season

22 11 2010

3 Months old 30XT: No warranty!

This week started a bit off to say the least. I have a Garmin 310XT and so does my wife. In fact it was her birthday present just 3 months ago. The watch is great, I have it for more than a year and I really love it. My wife however, had a little mishapping with hers though. She dropped it from the coffee table, about 70cm high into a tile floor. For her surprise the screen broke and Garmin does not cover it under warranty. Very odd that a “Sports Watch” can break in a circumstance like this. Very disappointing. Cost’s $118.00 to repair! Very poor customer support is all I can say.

But life moves on and the training continuous! This week was also very busy at work, it was very hard to put all my training in. In fact I missed Thursday’s work out. I actually woke up early jumped on the bike and did the warm up. Unfortunately that was all I could do. Using the computrainer has its drawbacks too… I’m using erg mode, where I set the power I must pedal and regardless of the speed or cadence, the computrainer will maintain the load. I was going through the warmup doing 3×3′ with 1′ rest at 190W and I could barely do 190W! Just before my real workout (3×10′ at 224W and 4′ rest), I bailed. There was no way I would do 224W. This is always a hard decision, but one that has to be taken every once in a while. Got off the bike, back to bed and that was it.

Well, this was a short but hard week! On Saturday I even had a 2×12′ at 224W + 2×15′ at 190W followed by a 25 min run! Fortunately, this time was fine. Hard, but fine.

Week Summary:

  • Bike: 2:14 hours, 72 km
  • Run: 2:28 hours, 28 km
  • Total: 4:42 hours, 100 km

Wow, less than 5 hours?! I just realized how much I didn’t train… I hope I can get used again to my long workouts once I start the ironman plan. I have to say, it doesn’t look like a lot, but these almost 5 hours are pure hard workouts. I think week 8 is when I have another threshold test for both bike and run. That will hopefully show some improvement!


Week 5 – Off-Season Feeling Great!!

14 11 2010

Running Improvements, finally!

I just completed 5 weeks of my off-season program and I never felt this good so early in the season. Not sure that is good or bad, but I’ve seen some significant improvement on my run this week.

As I mentioned last week, my bike FTP improved 11% from 202W to 224W and I must say, I still think I’m even better this week, but I have another test scheduled for week 8, so we’ll see.

Now the run!! I had a couple very good runs this week. My intervals were usually at 12.5km (or 4:48 min/km) at around 170 bpm. This week it has been consistent at 13km/h (or 4:36) around 165 bpm. By the way, I’m talking about 1/2 and 1 mile intervals! I feel much better during these intervals, my breathing isn’t fading, my cadence is at 85 rpm (awesome for me!). In fact, I’m concentrating a lot on that, which apparently is working!

Lets see how it goes. This is the first time I feel some improvement on my run since week 1. I’m very excited about it. I’m starting to look forward for next season… I know, I know, it is early, but I’m really starting to think that work works!

I’m just glad to see my speed improving and my HR coming down. Have a look at week 3 vs. week 5 distribuition:

Week 5 - Heart Rate distribuition

Week 3 Heart Rate Distribution

One of my big concerns regarding the Endurance Nation line of thought was injuries. However, my hamstring hasn’t felt this strong for ages! I guess because you have so much time to recover, 2 off-days a week, what a luxury! 🙂

Week Summary:

  • Bike: 3:24 hours, 112 km
  • Run: 2:24 hours, 27 km
  • Total: 5:48 hours, 139 km

Challenge Roth might be interesting! Breaking the 12 hours barrier baby, that is the goal!!

Week 4 – Off-Season

9 11 2010

This is a bit late as I already started week 5, but I’m so busy at work that I didn’t have time for my quick week summary. So here is the short version.

I’m started week 4 with a Bike threshold and I actually improved 11% from 202W to 224W, which was pretty good. Obviously to gain back performance is always easier than building from scratch. I was 248W at my peak in this year, but still 11% in three weeks isn’t bad at all. The goal is to finish the season around 248W, which would give me the opportunity to build on the threshold closer to Challenge Roth. Time will tell.

Not sure about my run though. I’ve skipped a few short easy runs since the beginning of program, but I don’t think that would make a difference. I’ve done all the intervals… I’m just too busy. I’m lucky to be following this low-volume, high-intensity program, otherwise I would be in real trouble!

I can still swim!

Oh, what was different this week? I swam 3km in the pool. First time in the water since September (Muskoka 70.3)! The good news is that I didn’t drown. The bad news is that I’m so out of “swimming shape” that I even got cramps on my hand while doing my 600m warmup!

Week Summary:

  • Bike: 3:05 hours, 100 km
  • Run: 1:44 hours, 19 km
  • Swim: 1:00 hour, 3 km
  • Total: 5:49 hours, 129 km

Week 3 – Off-Season

1 11 2010

Bastards, hit and run!

This wasn’t the best week. Sunday morning I broke a glass and cut both hands (nothing serious)  then minutes later I realized someone had bumped into my car! The day before we had dinner at friends, and the next morning this is how my car looked liked. Yeah, the car was parked at a completely quiet street… The funny part was that my wife drove home without ever seeing the smashed door. We only saw it the next day.

Anyhow, three weeks into my off-season training and I’m starting to feel some fitness coming back. I can’t say I’m in great shape, but at least I’m better than three weeks ago! How much better? I will see that on Tuesday, when I’ll do another threshold test. I’m hoping for a 5% improvement, so maybe 215W… but we will see.

The training continues at a very high intensity and pretty low volume, as expected. Power zones are always tempo and threshold, while HR is mainly around to 160’s:

Week 3 Power Distribution

Week 3 Heart Rate Distribution

Week Summary:

  • Bike: 3:14 hours, 109 km
  • Run: 2:15 hours, 25 km
  • Total: 5:29 hours, 134 km

Week 2 Off-Season

24 10 2010

Second week of the off-season following Endurance Nation… so far so good. I find that the bike is getting easier. The intervals are not as hard as they were at the first week. I’m pretty sure I’ve recouped some of my biking fitness over these last couple weeks.

The run, well, it is still hard as hell. Maintaining 12.5 km/h is so hard… and it isn’t getting any easier. On the bright side, my hamstring isn’t hurting. So I think that last week was just some lactic acid accumulation, which with one day off, just went away. Anyhow, that is my theory and I I’m sticking to it!

This training is VERY different from Mark Allen Online. Endurance Nation has a totally different approach. I’m spending much less time working out, but a huge difference in intensity. Look at the bike profile, the majority of the time is spent in Tempo and Threshold paces:

Bike Zones Off-Season 2009-2010 (MAO)

Bike Zones Off-Season 2010-2011 (EN)

The run is basically the same. Most time is spent on Threshold Zones and above. Mississauga Half Marathon will be interesting. I will be able to compare the results on the run.

Week summary:

  • Bike: 2:59 hours, 100 km
  • Run: 1:47 hours, 20 km
  • Total: 4:46 hours, 120 km

Week 1 – Off-Season Training

17 10 2010

This was a relatively short week, not much training, but that will be the name of the game for my off-season, or “out-season” as the guys at Endurance Nation call it.

Well, I can’t say I’m very happy right now, because my left hamstring is bothering me again. It actually started to bug me in the forth week of doing nothing. Yea, the only thing I did in that four weeks was running 1 mile with a 6 years old son of a buddy of mine. I was his “pacer”, very fun race actually!

Anyhow, my hamstring tarted to bug me completely out of the blue and after a few speed workouts this week, it has gotten worse. I doesn’t bother me at while biking, but running is another story. I’ll see if I can book a massage for tomorrow, which is my day off anyway and I’ll go from there. If it doesn’t get better I might take a week off, take some anti-inflammatory and a few more massage sessions. I’ll see how it goes. At least there is lots of time between now and my Ironman Distance race (Challenge Roth).

As per this week, one thing is clear, I lost a lot of fitness on my time off, supposedly to get healthy and NOT have injuries… My 5km time trial pace as 4:50 min/km, which was slower than my half marathon pace earlier this year!! My FTP (Functional Threshold Power) went down from 248W to 202W. But that was expected, this is the beginning of the off-season, so I’m not supposed to be on prime shape… yet!

Week summary:

  • Bike: 2:27 hours, 74 km
  • Run: 1:18 hours, 14 km
  • Total: 3:45 hours, 88 km

Does look much, right? But it was actually hard. All speed workouts… Well, we will see how it goes!!

The effects of Wine & Beer on Triathletes

11 10 2010

For the last 4 weeks I’ve been conducting a scientific study on the effects of wine and beer on triathletes. I completely stop training after Muskoka 70.3, bought a charcoal BBQ and started a high protein diet toped with red wine and beer.

The result? After four weeks, all my injuries were cured! I was feeling great, having lots of sleep and a lot of time in my hand. Today, I resumed training! First workout: Threshold test!!

Here are is a comparison of the numbers before my last race and after the 4 weeks of wine and beer:

  • Weight: 87.5 kg (before), 89.7 kg (after)
  • Threshold Test avg HR (20 min): 157 bpm (before), 177 bpm (after)
  • Threshold Test Power: 248W (before), 202W (after)

Conclusion: wine and beer may not enhance your performance, but it will make you feel great!!! 🙂

The next step is to maintain the fun while mixing it with a bit of high intensity training! For the next 20 weeks I’ll go through my 8 to 9 hours weekly running and biking workouts at high intensity, before I start my Ironman specific training for Challenge Roth.

Tomorrow I’ll do my 5km time trial (running)… that is going to be fun! I hope I can maintain 11.5 km/h! 😉

The game is on! The goal in this second phase is to increase my bike threshold to ~250W, run threshold to 13.5 km/h and beer threshold to 4 pints/h before the start of the third phase: Ironman training plan. Roth, here I go!!!! Sub 12!!!!! Yea baby!!!

Bavaria won’t be the same!!!!