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A new test...

Posted by Manti Mar 2, 2008


On Friday I tried  a new fitness test that I will add to my schedule and test every 4 weeks.   It was a bugger, but I can surely see how effective it will be in measuring improvement in fitness level.   So here is what they had me do...



Start on a treadmill jogging @ 10:00 min miles... then every lap (quarter mile) click the speed button up one notch (NOTE: You must use the same treadmill for each test as each treadmill will have variable speed increments for each click).   Keep upping the speed by one click every lap (quarter mile) until your HR hits 5c.   Then click the speed down one click each lap (quarter mile) until you get back to 10:00 min miles.  



When doing this note at what point your HR passes through your Recovery Ceiling and Threshold Floor.   Also note the top speed you made it too before passing out of 5c.  And note at what point your HR passes back through the Recovery Ceiling on the way back down.   Over time you should see:


  • A faster speed before you pass through the Recovery Ceiling and Threshold Floor

  • An increase of time between the Recovery Ceiling and Threshold Floor, meaning that you are increasing your aerobic capacity

  • Your 5c HR should be at a higher speed each time

  • And finally... you should see your Recovery Ceiling earlier in the downward side of the pyramid.


My experience doing this the first time:   It was pretty easy on the way up the pyramid.   Starting at 10:00 min miles and with each click only making it a handful of seconds faster, your body doesnt really notice the slight increase in speed.   I found that my HR only increased every couple of clicks up in speed as the steps weren't dramatic enough to make it jump on each click.  I suprised myself by not hitting 5c until I was running 6:40's (last year my fastest 5k was 7:03's) so a dramatic improvement in my speed this year so far.  What was suprising was the downward side of the pyramid.   Because you are only coming down a handful of seconds slower with each click... I really labored for the first few miles on the way down because you just don't slow down fast enough.   It took forever to get my HR back into the recovery area as you end up running several miles at speed.   In the end though... I walked away from the treadmill with 15 miles under my belt... a smile on my face because I ended up running several miles in the high 6's... and a new respect for what seemed like an easy test when they told me about it. 



Saturday I decided I better get back to my base training and not blow up this base phase completely and rode real easy on the trainer in the basement for 2 1/2 hours.   It was a good week... and the snow held off until Friday night / Saturday morning.   Only 8 inches and it was dry and fluffy so easy to shovel.  It is supposed to get above freezing the next couple of days so hopefully we will see some melting and be able to start hoping for spring.  



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Good solid couple of days...

Posted by Manti Feb 28, 2008


The constant drum beat of the long and slow workouts required in the base phases of training was catching up to me... so after reading Gale Bernhardt's blog ( [|p-6734] ) on intervals yesterday, I spiced up my workout by doing the interval work that she suggested (4x6 minute threshold).   It was a welcome break from long slow distance and I find myself with some nice tight/sore muscles this morning.    I am also fairly drained and found myself quite tired in the pool this morning.  



This mornings Swim:


  • 200 yd wu

  • 8x50 yd (25 catch-up, 25 build)

  • 6x75 yd (:15 ri)

  • 4x50 yd (:15 ri)

  • 4x100 yd (:20 ri)

  • 200 yd kick

  • 4x200 yd (:30 ri)

  • 12x25 yd fast (:45 si)

  • 200 yd cd


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Base 3 begins....

Posted by Manti Feb 26, 2008


As I have mentioned before... I have a love/hate relationship with rest weeks.   They are definitely needed and serve there purpose.   But it is a mental battle while you are in them as you don't feel like you are doing enough... and when the next week rolls around, I find that it is a crucial breaking point in consistency of the plan.  Mentally I struggle on the Monday after a rest week to get back into the hard workouts.



But found my way out of the mental funk on Monday night... warmed up with an easy 3 miles on the treadmill and then hit the spin class.   Our regular instructor quit and our new one may not cut the mustard.   Our last instructor actively raced and had a plan for every class (hills, intervals, speed work, etc.)   The new instructor must have read "Spinning for Dummies"... she has lots of lingo and yells lots of encouragement... but her class really had no point or purpose to it.   We will give it another shot next week, and if it doesnt work out it will be time to shop for another class.



Hit the weights this morning for the first SM session.   I will miss MS Weights... but the scales wont.   I started putting on some weight at the end of he MS Session and it wasnt fat.   Some muscle is good... but don't want to look like Arnold either.



Then onto the pool this morning for a Force workout:



Warm up:


  • 300 yd swim

  • 100 yd kick

  • 4x50 yd build :15ri

  • 300 yd pull




  • 300 yd pull

  • 6x50 yd hard :15ri

  • 300 yd pull

  • 4x50 yd hard :15ri

  • 2x300 yd pull NS :20ri

  • 2x50 yd hard :15ri


Cool Down:


  • 300 yd easy - mixed strokes


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Easy day in the pool...

Posted by Manti Feb 21, 2008


Rest week carries on... I wasn't supposed to do anything yesterday, but couldn't take it anymore so I went on an easy snowshoe walk for about 45 minutes.   It is amazing how much your body misses the abuse you put it through. 



Put in an easy day at the pool this morning... still got in 3000 yards but it was all at an easy pace.   I wanted to swim 1500 yds straight again to keep my body used to going that far in one stint.   Going relatively easy with controlled breathing, it took me 26:42.   Fairly happy with that seems how I wasnt pushing it.   I have also been working on flip turns... there getting better.   Still feel like I go way to deep on the roll, but at least I don't feel like I am going to drown anymore.  



Today's Pool Workout:


  • 1500 yds easy

  • 500 yds kick

  • 1000 yds easy mixed stroke


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Base 2 Rest Week...

Posted by Manti Feb 19, 2008

Was scheduled for 45 minutes of easy recovery work on Monday... chipping ice off the driveway for a couple of hours seemed to fit the bill nicely. So no formal workout on Monday.


Today I hopped in the pool for my second swim test. In Base 1 Rest Week the swim test (10x100 w/ :10ri) took me 17:58. This morning, four weeks later, it took me 16:38. So happy that I improved... but wondering if it is enough. There is huge opportunity to improve my swim times. Although I need to see improvement in all three areas... my swimming has the biggest opportunity from a ranking perspective of my first race. However, it is also the shortest time of the race, so a 10% improvement in time would save me only one minute for the swim... but if I improved my bike (my strongest area) by 10% it would save me 5 minutes.



But that is the joy of triathlon.... balancing it all out and trying to be good at everything.



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Base 2 is in the books...

Posted by Manti Feb 18, 2008


Base 2 has officially come to a close.   The last two long days were tough.   On Friday I was scheduled for three hours of running, but life was getting in the way of trying to get it all in one block... So I broke it up and ran into work and back home.   90 minutes each way and rolled out 20 miles.   The run into work was great and felt good.   The run home was a little more interesting as the longest I have gone this year is 15 or so.   My legs just shut down somewhere around mile 17 and the HR started to climb even though effort was held steady.   Satisfaction level was high after completion though.... by far the farthest I have ever run, even if it was split up.



Saturday morning I hit the trainer downstairs and rolled off 40 miles on the bike... just took it easy and kept it all in low Zone 2.   And after years of faithful use the old mag trainer is starting to falter.   With about a half hour to go it started rattling, resistance was erratic, and burning smells started coming from it.   So I will be looking for a deal on a trainer this week.   I guess I should look on the bright side and realize that it didn't crap out at the beginning of the 3 hour ride... and I have my rest week this week, so I wont need the trainer much while I shop for a new one. 









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I am starting to feel the tiredness of escalating time in Base 2.   One more long run and bike and Base 2 will be history with what will be a much appreciated rest week next week.



Yesterday was an easy spin on the bike for 30 minutes followed up with a 10K tempo criss-cross run.   Kept running speed constant but put in hills to get the needed criss-cross action.    Amazingly the body felt pretty good through it.   More ice and snow yesterday so it was a late night to bed as I tended to duties around the home and that made for a tough awakening this morning to get to the pool before work.



Today's Pool Workout:


  • 300 yd wu

  • 100 yd kick

  • 2x300 yd pull (:20ri) w/ paddles

  • 8x50 yd fast (:15ri)

  • 300 yd pull (:20ri) w/ paddles

  • 6x50 yd fast (:15ri)

  • 2x300 yd pull N/S (:20ri) (should have been with paddles, but arms were smoked so I took them off)

  • 2x50 yd fast (:15ri)

  • 100 yd cd


Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day... I am so lucky to have a wife and four children who love me dearly.   Make sure you remember to reach out to those that you love and care for. 



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A break in the snow and ice...

Posted by Manti Feb 12, 2008


Well the knee held up through the long distance weekend.   Rode 40 miles on the trainer in the basement on Friday morning and then put in 16 miles on the treadmill on Saturday.   Believe it or not... the knee actually felt better after the run then when it started.  



And the best news yet... we haven't had any snow since Sunday morning .   But alas it is supposed to start again tonight and be snow, sleet, and ice on and off for the next few days .



Hit the spin class last night and she had us doing hill pyramids.   It was interesting as it wasnt that hard from a cardio perspective... but my legs were like jello when we were done.   Jogged an easy 3 miles to warm down.



This morning I hit the pool and had a great long endurance workout...


  • 200 yds wu

  • 8x50 yds -- first 25 catch up drill, second 25 build

  • 6x75 yds (:15ri)

  • 4x50 yds (:15ri)

  • 4x100 yds (:20ri)

  • 200 yds kick

  • 4x200 yds (:30ri)

  • 12x25 yds fast (:40si)

  • 250 yds cd


Pray for a break in the ice and snow for this weekend... I have a 20 miler planned and I would rather do it outside than on a treadmill.  



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It just wont stop!  Not much piling up... but snow, sleet, and freezing rain everyday for over a week now... and forecast to be this way for another 5 days.   Its a bummer that I am running and riding indoors all week because of icy roads... but even more so... a couple hours of shoveling a day makes it tough to get your workouts in. 



I fell on the ice shoveling last night and my knee is a little tender... so I hit the pool this morning instead of running/cycling and put in an easy 2000yds.   But the knee was still pretty tender as I shoveled a couple inches of slushy snow off the driveway tonight.   We will see what tomorrow morning brings.  Friday and Saturday are unfortunately my long days... so if the knee doesnt straighten up it could put my distance days in jeopardy.



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Things are progressing nicely...

Posted by Manti Feb 5, 2008


So January has come to a close and I find myself in the middle of Week 2 of Base Phase 2.   Had a great spin class last night... she had us doing 1:1 pyramids criss-crossing through anaerobic threshold.   It made for a good solid burn.



I wanted to add some yardage in the pool this week and had a successful 3000yd swim this morning (Swim Workouts in a Binder - Endurance #10).   Only swam moderately in speed, but felt good to know that my body could survive that many laps. 



January Stats:


  • Swam -- 13,900 yds

  • Bike -- 143 miles

  • Ran -- 81 miles


Things seem to be progressing nicely... just need to insure that I stay healthy.   A couple of folks in the group have overuse injuries and a nasty flu is going around that is taking folks out for up to two weeks.  I am really watching my diet... consuming even more calories than normal to make sure body has the fuel it needs to repair and not be left in a weakened state.   I am also trying to catch a little extra sleep here and there.   But with 4 kids in two different schools... it will be a challenge to not pick up what they bring home. 



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BASE 2 -- Begins

Posted by Manti Jan 29, 2008


It was a great rest week last week -- the first round of fitness tests went well and set a good bench mark for future rest week testing.   Although the rest week was much needed... they are always a little bit tough mentally as you feel like you aren't doing enough.   But if you stick too it, it sure makes you feel fresh when you come back the following week. 



Ran three miles easy last night to warm up and then had a great spin class.   A good mix of hills and sprinting.   The instructor kind of had us doing it all.  And with fresh legs I was really able to push it.   This morning I resumed MS Weights.   Felt funny after a week off... but I am sure by Thursday it will feel normal again.   I really need to push the weights hard these next three weeks as MS is the only phase that I will have to build muscle mass.   After that is maintenance weights for the rest of the season.



Hopped in the pool this morning... swimming felt good, kicking felt slow, as the spin class last night left the legs tired and heavy.   Used paddles for the first time today... interesting experience as it makes you swim faster, but really tires out the arms at the same time.



Today's Swim:


  • 500 yd w/u (mixed stroke)

  • 10 x 50 yd sprints on the 1:00 (hard)

  • 200 yd kick

  • 5 x 200 yd pull with paddles (mod)

  • 300 yd w/d (mixed stroke)


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Base 1 -- Rest Week

Posted by Manti Jan 22, 2008


It is rest week and it is much needed.  



Yesterday the kids were out of school for MLK day so we went swimming at the Y, then last night under a full moon and 9 degrees... I snow-shoed for an hour.   It was beautiful!   This moring was my first T1 test in the pool.   I warmed up with 300 yds easy and then did 10 x 100 with :10RI at lactate.   Final time with RI's included was 17:58.  It will be really interesting to see how fast my swimming time improves as this is the first constant swimming I have had outside of summer when the lakes open.   Finished up swimming today with and easy 500 yds.  



Tonight I will spin easy on the bike for 30 minutes to keep the legs awake this week.   Wednesday is a complete rest day... Thursday will be an easy swim and a bike T1... then a run T1 on Saturday.



Rest weeks are so bizarre to me... My body really needs the recovery week... but you feel so lazy.   I just have to keep telling myself to stick to the plan.    I chuckled when I read Active Belle's blog on staying in Zone 1... It is one of the toughest things to do (especially if you are running with a group)... but it all pays off in the end if you will stick to the plan.   Stay out of NO MAN'S LAND at all costs!  For those of you not familiar with NO MAN'S LAND...



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Base 1 comes to a close...

Posted by Manti Jan 19, 2008


Capped off Base1 with a nice long run this moring with temperatures in the teens.   The Gazelle in Lycra and Broth Boy drug me on the first 5 miles @ tempo... and then I let them go and did the next 11.5 as a Long Slow Distance run.   When we got back to the vehicles the steam from my neck had frozen the collar on my jacket to the point that I had to actually crack the collar to take my jacket off.   But no matter how cold it was this morning... I think it was still better than starring at the water heater yesterday for 2 1/2 hours while on the trainer in the basement.  



So Base 1 successfully comes to a close.   I will focus on rest and diet for the next few days to hopefully insure that sickness doesnt set in after tearing down my body for the last couple of days with back to back long sessions.  Then a nice Base R&R week next week.   I will focus on recovery, stroke work in the pool, and some short time trials.  



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Hit the spin class yesterday and followed it up immediately with an easy 3 mile run.



MS weights this morning... Good thing it is a rest week next week.   My muscles are fried and need a good break. 



Hopped in the pool for an hour and had a great workout.   Bought the "Swim Workouts in a Binder" and it will keep me entertained for a few months.  


  • 200 free w/u

  • 200 kick

  • 200 pull

  • 6 x 50 @ t-pace (:15ri)

  • 2 x 100 n/s (:20ri)

  • 4 x 50 @ t-pace (:15ri)

  • 1 x 200 n/s (:40ri)

  • 4 x 50 @ t-pace (:20ri)

  • 2 x 100 @ t-pace (:15ri)

  • 200 pull

  • 300 free c/d


2400 total yards



Now... a long bike on Friday and a long run on Saturday and Base 1 will be complete.



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Back to full MS Weights

Posted by Manti Jan 15, 2008


The knee has been good since early last week, so this morning I eased back into MS weights on the legs.   Went to about 85% and everything seems good.   Time will tell as the day progresses.   I only have 3 weeks of MS left so I hate to loose any more opportunity.  



Swam 2000 and kicked 300:


  • 500 free

  • 10 x 50 on the 1:00

  • 300 mixed kick

  • 700 mixed strokes

  • 300 free

  • 200 stroke work


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Member since: Dec 22, 2007

Super active in my 20's as an MTBer. 30's responsibility made me the standard overweight middle-ager... Last year I lost 40lbs and completed a Sprint Triathlon. Follow me know as I look to post a top 5% finish in the Timberman Sprint Triathlon.

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