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IronMind

Posted by niemsco Jan 21, 2008

Its been a few weeks since I've written and I looked at the last entry where I seem pretty excited about getting into training again, my excitement wasn't so great the last few days.  Its been a long two weeks of training since then, and there has been more mind training that I've had to deal with than actual physical training it seems.  Week 1 was pretty good, I got my hours up to nearly 15, and had a long run of 80 minutes and long bike of 3 hours on the computrainer.  Now if things remained "normal", getting in the hours is not such a big deal, but as I'm not a professional triathlete, having training free days is not so easy to come buy.

 

Last Saturday as I finished the long bike and then went to lift weights, I had an evening flight to France where I was to attend a company kickoff meeting.  The original week of training my coach had me on was adjusted as I didn't know what I would have available to me.  I didn't have a pool so I had some swim cords, just needed to have some type of bike and a place to run for the most part.  I was actually at Disneyland in Paris, which was interesting.  I managed to get two a days for most the days, even suffering through jet lag and a few long nights of "company activities".  I even got a 100minute long run in the day before I left.  The problem occurred on the way back getting into the US.  I had planned to do my long bike on Saturday but I had nothing in me.  I think I was more mentally drained than physically.  I look back on it a few days later and I'm pretty disappointed.   It was a challenge of the mind I missed out on, which is very important for an IM experience.  No matter how exhausted I may have seemed I should have still gotten on the bike and did the 3:30 hours on the CT, then ran.  It shows me that my mind is not yet ready for the IM, but at least I realize this.  

 

Even Sunday morning I didn't feel like doing anything, but finally I snapped out of it and got in almost four hours biking, running, swimming and even lifting weights.  I went a little overboard.  Luckily my wife was understanding and my daughter had a play date in the afternoon, so instead of sitting around watching TV I started up again.  I managed to get in nearly 11 hours for the week, where I wanted to get in 15.  I have to get my mind in the right mind set to overcome the work issues.  I'm expected to go back to Europe in a few weeks and I'll be in Asia (Japan and Korea) before mid year.  I'm trying to push those trips to after IM Arizona.

 

I guess the lesson learned is to try and get the workouts in no matter the cost.  When you finish you will feel better.  Unless you are injured or sore, which I was neither, you have to beat the negative thoughts, otherwise those thoughts are going to beat you down during the race.  Luckily its still early in the training schedule but I need to create the IronMind set.  IM training is as much the mind as it is the physical toll, sometimes its more mind than anything.  Training for an IM is going to have its highs and lows, I experienced this in my last IM, just need to train the mind better and acknowledge the negative thoughts.  The mind is always trying to get you to sleep in, or skip a workout, but come race day you will feel better that you didn't and can trust what you put into the bank.

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IM Arizona - Time to train!

Posted by niemsco Jan 7, 2008

Ok, well today is the first day of build phase #1 for IM training.  I finished my last recovery week in good shape yesterday and look forward to working hard the next few months to get lean and mean

 

Right now I won't have a tune up race until March 18th, which is a half marathon.  I don't plan on doing any indoor tris before the IM, so IM will be my first tri of the year.  I think that's fine however.  In March I'll get some open water training in Florida as I'll be on vacation for a week.  I'll need a new wetsuit this year, so I'll have a chance to work it in.  Plus I'll use it in masters a few times.  I may get some looks, but who cares. 

 

My original plan was to peak for IM Wisconsin, my second IM of the year to try and qualify for Kona, but I've talked with coach and we revised the strategy based on my desires.   We are going to peak for Arizona also and go all out and see where I am, so I will not train through the race like I originally thought.  Why the heck not, I'd like to open it up on the bike and see where I end up.  So we are going to do... I guess just me... some 5-7 hour rides and some 3+ hour runs before April to get ready.  Probably go a bit over 20 hours a week and hold it.  That may be tough considering the life schedule and I will be traveling internationally and domestically this year for work.  

 

I've revised my major goals a bit for 2008 since I posted them. 

 

1) Qualify for Kona

2) Break 3 hr in the marathon (straight marathon not IM marathon). 

 

I'm not yet sure if I will run a marathon, but it's been my desire for awhile to break 3hr.  I put that on hold for last year to learn how to train for IM.  If I do well in AZ, I may run a marathon in May.  Otherwise I may run the Chicago marathon again and give it a shot.  Depends.   I'll update this blog with my training log:

 

Today:

50 minute run in Zone 1.  I crept into Zone 2 however.  Not something I can really afford to do.  Need to get a lot of easy aerobic runs in.

 

55 minutes of x-training (20 minute vasa:  200m warmup / 4 x 200m sets at tempo / 100 cool down; and 35 minutes of Yoga)

 

Total: 1:45

 

Next week I'm in France so hope to get a good 14+ hours in this week because who knows what I'll get next.

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Badgers Win!

Posted by niemsco Dec 29, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

Yahoo!!! Badgers beat Texas at Texas 67 to 66 in one the best college hoops games I have ever seen. Wow was I ever fired up... unbelievable.

 

 

Just finished my first recovery week of four. Basically all I did was one workout a day no more than 60 minutes and took Christmas off. I'll probably take tomorrow off, but who knows. I may get on the computrainer. That thing is getting addictive. I'm excited about IM Arizona because I just realized its less than four months away! Argghh!!! Right now I don't plan to start my build up until January 21, which would give me 12 weeks. Will need to talk to coach about it, but I'm sure he will suggest the conservative route. I'm looking to push pukin hard when I can train. I'm suppose to do a lot of travel next year for work, so I'll need to train when I can. Gotta keep Kona on my mind as the ultimate goal.

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

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Cut the cheese!

Posted by niemsco Dec 26, 2007

 

Christmas was great! I didn't work out at all and the family came over to our house. I feel like I've gained 10 lbs in two days! I wanted to share a few of my gifts that I'm really excited about. First is my Cut The Cheese shirt.

 

 

 

I've been looking for this shirt for awhile. I saw it at Target up in Wisconsin, but couldn't find it around Chicago. My kid LOVES it as you can guess. She's at the age where Cut the Cheese is funny. And I can't help laughing everytime I see it. I'm going to wear it to the gym and get some looks. I'm sure some people may be offended, but who cares. The other two gifts I got from my wife and my daughter.

 

 

 

 

That blue guy is called Big Toe! He is an Ugly Doll. I got that from my daughter. Everyone got a different ugly doll. My daughter got Peaco and we gave my wife Gato. They are pretty funny. They seem to be a hot item. Bit Toe is sitting next to the new Aero helmet I got which I'm sure is going to drop an hour off my Ironman bike time :). The first time I saw these helmets I thought they were a bit goofy, but they are pretty much mainstream now. I figure why not, I've been wanting to get one.

 

 

Oh yeah I forgot about the new hats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got a UW one, I'm an alumn, and my daughter got a Northwestern one. We live a block away from the Northwestern football stadium (have season tickets as well as basketball tickets). Plus my father in law was a professor there for 40 years. So I have a family of Wildkats I need to put up with. But that's ok, as long as they aren't playing the badgers they can win otherwise they're toast! I was hoping the badger basketball team would be a little better this year like last year, but they just seem to be average right now. We'll see what they do against Texas.

 

 

Off for a run later today so I don't gain too much weight. Lots of goodies yesterday, and still a lot laying around the house... ugh. 

 

 

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I had two time trials this week for swim and bike. Just as a recap... I've spent some months since Ironman Moo to drastically improve my swim and bike. I want a shot at qualifying for Kona next year so I've got a lot of work to do. So I invested in a computrainer and vasa ergometer. People rave about these things. Most people know what a computrainer is, but the vasa ergometer is basically a swim machine. People swear that they achieve tremendous results from this and never touch a pool. Sounds insane I know. Of course you need to first have a good feel for what swimming is, good form, good balance, etc. Its really for those that are at a point where they really want to begin propulsive swimming. So I'm an easy sell what can I say, I got them both! Enough of the small talk, I had a "pool" time trial this week and then a functional threshold power test on the computrainer. First the pool test.

 

Swim time trial:

The goal of this was to do 3x300 with 30s rest inbetween and have consistent times. So if you went 4:30, 5, then 6 minutes.. that would be bad. But 5 minutes for all three.....good. I did this before Ironman several months ago... maybe July or August? I basically did a 5:30 at that time for all 3. I was essentially a 1:50 swimmer back then. In the time trial I went 4:56, 4:57, 4:54! Killed it. I went from a 1:50 to a 1:39, :38 swimmer. Which seems to be what I've been swimming at masters lately. Is this all the vasa? No, but it certainly got me going with building strength, along with masters I dropped my time big time. Now I just need to knock 30 more seconds off and I'm golden ;). That may take a little longer.

 

Bike time trial:

I did the FTP test as described in the book "Training and Racing with a Power Meter". I did this just 4 weeks ago, the results are somewhere in my blog. So basically you end up doing a 20 minute time trial, after a long warmup, subtract 5% from that, and that is your FTP, which is the highest average wattage you can maintain for 1 hour.  Basically I improved my wattage by 13 watts in the time trial, 6.5% increase in four weeks, which is a pretty huge improvement. Basically went from a cat 5 to a cat 4 almost cat 3 in a month. A lot of this had to do with using the spinscan to try and find my optimal bike position. Bike shops around where I live charge you $300 bucks for a bike fit. They use the computrainer spin scan to figure out your optimal position. I'm not paying $300 bucks when I have one in the basement! So tweaks here an there over a month really helped, I'm pretty happy with the setup now. Is this all the computrainer? Yes! I haven't been out on the road for months, all computrainer.

 

Of course this needs to translate in the lake and the road, but I'm confident it will. I'm done with this time trialing for awhile until next year. Time to relax.... at least for the rest of the day

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The Last week

Posted by niemsco Dec 17, 2007

This is my final week until I take a month off and gain some weight and get out of shape..... But that's suppose to be good I'm told.

 

Its good considering the weather. I've shoveled more times this year than the past several. Thank goodness for the computrainer and the treadmill I have in the basement. My treadmill is on the fritz however, if I get the MPHS over 9, it will shut off and I will go flying. It seems to be generating too much power for the outlet I have it plugged into because I also lose power. Maybe if I can get an extension cord to a 20amp outlet that would be helpful. But maybe the thing shouldn't be overheating like it is and its time to replace. I don't generally like to run on the treadmill and if there wasn't all this ice around I wouldn't be running on it. This wednesday I may give it a go outside. Major workouts for this week are a swim time trial and a computer trainer Functional Threshold Power test, as well as a long brick on Saturday.

 

I can say so far that this strategy to not take time off seems to be working. My swim has improved drastically from where it was (in fact I really haven't been swimming for a year), my running improved which didn't seem possible, because I've been at the same pace for a long time, and the bike improved. We will see for sure at the end of the week, or should I say next year after the recovery. I think in the 3rd week of january I'll start the build to IM arizona. The week before I'll be in France for work. It looks like I may do a lot more traveling in 2008, especially to Asia. I'm not sure how this is going to effect things. As long as I'm not traveling on key dates and I can actually work out it should be ok. This year I racked up 50K miles on United, which is lighter than last year, went to Japan and Europe several times. But I haven't traveled in a few months (except Boston). It definitely is inconvenient for the training schedule I have to say, but I'm not really going to be looking for a new job, at least not yet. This is one reason why I got a coach as my training schedule is usually abnormal and I need help planning things. Its definitely been helpful in that regard.

 

I think I've got my race schedule down for next year. It goes like this:

 

March - March Madness Half marathon (Cary, IL) - This race is tough!

April - IM Arizona

May - Madison Half Marathon (Madison, WI)

June - Rockman Half Iron (Rockford, IL)

July - Raceine Half (Raceine, WI)

Aug - Steelhead (Benton Harbor)

Sept - IM Wisconsin

Oct- Chicago marathon (maybe)

Dec - Huff 50K (I'm skipping it this year.. coach's advice)

 

After looking at this I guess I don't have any short races. But then again 3 halfs, so I want a month inbetween each one with no extras. May drop one depending on how things are going, two I may use for training days rather than race. At least I got hotel reservations at all the ones that require traveling, which of course I can always cancel... You need to sign up for the hotels way before races in these events to get a good place. In fact I'm only signed up for one of these races so far, IM ZONA!

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Ice and Snow...

Posted by niemsco Dec 12, 2007

It must be the slow time of year for blogging. 

 

Going back to Boston I was fortunate enough to get to the airport early and catch the 5pm flight rather than the 7pm flight I was on.  I had heard snow was coming to Chicago and would be hitting pretty hard.  The flight was a bit delayed while in the air due to weather conditions at Ohare, but overall pretty good, which I was surprised at because Ohare is a disaster when the weather gets bad.  The ride home was treacherous, there was a lot of snow on the ground and the plows hadn't come through yet, so my 2 hr run on Wednesday wasn't look like it was going to happen.

 

I was still sick and in fact, I took four days off in a row.  I haven't had four days off in a row all year, but with the snow and the ice on the sidewalks and having the cold, I just said forget this.  I actually became very unmotivated and started to question the whole Ironman thing.  Fortunately come Thursday I snapped out of it as I finally got onto the computrainer.  Finished the week off with some treadmill running, computrainer and the vasa and felt decent. 

 

Sunday rolled around we got part of this ice storm going around.  I spent most of the morning de-icing.  There was a 1/2 inch of ice covering everything.  I've never seen it this bad, it was even like that on the street I live on, where were the salt trucks?  I had to drive to the store to get some salt, so it took about 20 minutes to get the ice off my car because I left it on the street.  From all this I think I got a pretty good workout, so I just relaxed the rest of the day  

 

By the time Monday rolled around I was pretty much over my cold.  Three weeks long.  I've never heard of a cold lasting that long.  Not sure what I had, but I can finally get around without carrying a box of kleenex. 

 

Now for the good news, I've been running on the treadmill on an incline of course between 1 and 1.5, and I feel like I'm running better than ever.  I've logged hundreds of miles on this treadmill, maybe a thousand plus (its getting old), and I feel a lot more powerful, so maybe the training is worth it.  I was able to maintain an 8min pace quite easily and mostly ran between 7:30 and 7 at a comfortable effort.  Which compared to previous miles I've logged, I've never ran this well on the treadmill.  Running really well off the bike also.   Its still too treacherous to run outside in my opinion, why risk the broken bones when I've got a treadmill in the basement.  I've been watching some Ironman dvds I have of some of the Kona ones to keep me occupied.  Favorites so far are 2001, 2002, 2004.  Compared to the one I just saw, the 2007, these blew that one away.  Seems like the coverage has gone way down in my opinion.  Though 2006 was good.

 

Yesterday I missed masters, but did a 1k time trial on the vasa erg.  When I first got the thing I couldn't do 1K on it.  Its tough actually when you first start doing it.  I had never gone beyond 300m on it actually in any one set, but I figured what the heck.  I surprised myself and went 18:09 / 1:49/100m.  I did the first 500 in 9:25 so I kicked it in after that.  When I first started, it was a struggle to get in the 1:50s on 100s, so I've made a lot of improvement here and I've been seeing that in the pool.  So the swim and run are going well.  The bike I don't know.  I'm not sure if I'm in the optimal position on the bike and I keep making adjustments on each ride.  I've found some bike fit programs at some shops around here, but they are like 300 bucks!  And they use the spinscan on the computrainer to do this.  I can't justify paying money for this when I have a computrainer at home.  I'll keep playing around with the seat position, I've lowered the aero bars some, and work on the spinscan to see the efficiency.  Though I'm not sure if power or efficiency is more important.  Sometimes getting a high efficiency seems to hurt more than just pedaling. 

 

I guess I could pay someone 300 dollars to tell me what I already may know, or they could help.  My experience in these matters however is I'm not going to get my money worth and I'm better off just doing it myself.  Hey if I can finish my basement I can figure out the right bike setup.  I do have an engineering degree after all, time to put it to use. 

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Boston

Posted by niemsco Dec 3, 2007

Fortunately I didn't get any sicker and made it through the week ok. On Saturday I did some of the IM Arizona bike course on the CT and did 75 minutes at 180 watts. So that was a pretty good workout, then a 30 minute run with about 14 of those minutes into zone IV on the treadmill. I was a bit out of it after that, but then recovered.

 

The weather in Chicago on Saturday was awful! There was a freezing rain and snow and it was extremely windy. This weather was suppose to be headed east which I was hoping my trip to Boston somehow would get cancelled. I went out that day and got a Christmas tree despite the weather. My daughter really wanted to put decorations up. Its a good tree actually, I'll put a picture up here when I have a chance.

 

I watched the IM worlds later in the day, and I have to say it wasn't one of the best coverages I've seen. I have all the IMs since 1991, and 2007 was just ok. Certainly not as good as the last few years. Didn't seem like they put an effort into it. The next day I saw myself on TV! IM Wisconsin was on Versus and I wanted to watch that before going to the airport. At the end when the #3 woman passed the #2 on the marathon, I saw myself for about 5 seconds. I remember the pass happening because there was the TV crew and I was just looking to see what happened. That was pretty cool! 5 seconds of fame. I actually followed the #3 woman for several miles after that, but she eventually passed me back. Of course I still had another lap to go!

 

So I'm in Boston and its snowing like crazy out! I'm not going out running, hoping I can tomorrow. I did take some EmergenC on the plane yesterday. I feel pretty good. I hope I don't get snowed in tomorrow and can get home. Its suppose to snow today and tomorrow. Time to get to work.

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On Edge...

Posted by niemsco Nov 28, 2007

 

Had a great thanksgiving.  The race in Wisconsin wasn't one to write about.  It was in the teens and the course was covered with ice.  It stormed the night before, we drove in a blizzard to get up there.  But I did it anyways and ran the 10K in 43:50.  Was my slowest 10K to date, but certainly the coldest.  I had gone hard the day before so I wasn't worried about it, I'll get em next time.  The next day I went for a recovery run.

 

 

On Saturday I felt horrible.  I think sticking around in wet clothes the day during the race got me sick (am I'm still sick!).  I did about an hour easy on the Computrainer simulating the Wisconsin IM course, then stayed in bed the rest of the day sick.  I was supposed to do a longer bike and run, but decided I would try and put that until Sunday.  Sunday I did it, I went on the IM Wisconsin course on the CT and went hard hard hard for 60 minutes, then an easy hour, then a 45 run where I did 30 minutes building to a zone 5 pace.  Yep after that I was more sick... Hmm I'm wonder when this is going to stop?

 

 

So onto Monday, I'm suppose to do another hard run.  Now I never do two hard run days in a row, but originally my hard run after the bike was suppose to be Saturday.  I was feeling better so I did it anyways.  I actually ran great, faster than I did in my 10K race.  Then after I went on the vasa later in the evening for dry land swimming, I got sick again.  So obviously I see the patter of my body keeps breaking down and I get sick.....

 

 

But on Tuesday morning I go to Masters swim anyways (can't miss a workout).  I again feel good and have no problems.  I know later in the day I have this pukin hard bike ride on the CT.   When I get to it I start going at it.  Basically I'm working some high wattage in some intervals and I don't think I'm going to make it.  It was one the hardest bike sessions I've ever done.  The CT has really taught me how to train hard on the bike.  I'm already seeing improvements in the wattage I can hold.  Man was I happy I did it, but then I got real sick.  Not sick sick, but I was just out of it.  I loaded up on cold medicine and went to bed as I had a 105 minute run the next day and a recovery swim.  But these were an endurance pace zone 1. 

 

 

I figure every day I wake up and I feel good... why not, you only live the day once.  I'm surprised I recover over the night, just to break down again at the end of the day... like an old car that keeps getting fixed.  I got the run in but have some stomach issues, swim is fine.  But the nose is just running like crazy.  Cold medicine at night... just had it. 

 

 

That's my current dilemma.  I figure if I dread working out in the morning I won't do it, but I actually feel good.  Its all above the neck, so my philosophy if its above the neck, you can work out just watch it, below the neck forget about it...  I'm going to keep this up until Sunday where I'll take the entire day off, but then I have to fly to Boston for a few days for work (sucks!). 

 

 

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training update/power update

Posted by niemsco Nov 21, 2007

Last post I left it on Monday, so I'll start with Tuesday.  I'm actually feeling pretty good, not worn down yet.

 

On Tuesday I had Masters at 6am.  I've been continually improving on my swim, more than anything else.  One of the main sets we had to do was 5 200s descending, with 150 inbetween for recovery.  I was to start at 3:30 for the first 200 then descend 5 seconds on each one, 3:30, 3:25, 3:20, 3:15, 3:10.  A few weeks ago I think I wrote about my 3:14 or so that I was happy about, so this seemed to be challening.  On my first 200 I went 3:20.  I thought that might be too fast, but I was pretty relaxed.  Next 200 was 3:10.  At that point I figure just keep going for it.  Then 3:10, 3:06, 3:05.  Man I felt good after that.  A big improvement in just over a week.  Not sure where this is all coming from, but maybe that vasa ergometer is really doing something.  I've been working on the form and getting the stroke count down also, concentrating on catching the water early.

 

Tuesday PM had a Computrainer cadence workout.  I did this one a few weeks ago, it was pretty tough, it goes like this:

 

WU: 5 min easy

20 min of SLT (30 sec left, 30 sec both, 30 sec right, 30 sec both)

MS: 10x45 sec spin-ups (:15 @ 110, :15 @ 120, :15 @ 130) w/ :45 @ 100 rpms btw then 5 min @ 90 rpms, 5 min @ 110 rpms, 5 min @ 90, 10 min of single leg training, 5 min @ 115

CD: 5 min

 

I pushed this at a pretty high heart rate, getting into zone 5.  The last 5min at 115 is a pain in the rear, but worth it.  I also determined my FTP (funtional threshold power) to weight ratio.  This is some ratio described in a book call, racing and training with power (I forget the exact name).  I was around a 3.00.  This is actually not that great, I feel a little depressed, but now I'm determined to get this up.  Basically the less you weigh and the more power you put out, this will go up.  3.00 was in the Fair/Good category.   Arghh!  My FTP is at 190watts according to the power test I did last week.  I'll do it again in a month and see where I am at.  Maybe the data was off the first time (I'm hoping :).. ).   The bike is the most important for me to improve on as it promises the biggest reductions on my IM time, so I plan on working on getting this number around 5.00 or in the high 4s.  I'm not sure if I can lose weight below 140 and be considered healthy.  The swimming is actually making me look bigger, ughh...

 

Wednesday AM: Long run 90 minutes, zones 1 and 2, windy and rainy, horrible but fun.  And I do train with an iPod most the time, except the track, but never race with one.  I usually run alone, so I need something to keep me busy.  I actually fine running hard with an iPod as a distraction, you need to really focus on your breathing and your form when racing, iPod will slow you down, but its great for training runs and especially on the computrainer.  

 

Later today I'll do a recovery swim before I head off to Wisconsin.  Its suppose to snow later today so it may be a long ride.  Got the 10K tomorrow morning, legs are a bit out of it from the last two days, but that's life

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recovery week over

Posted by niemsco Nov 19, 2007

 

Ended up finishing the week in good shape finally. 

 

 

Friday: Masters Swim, then a 25 minute brick run after.  Stomach was a little queezy during the run.

 

 

Saturday:  When 1:45minutes on the computrainer in zones 3-5, then finished with a 30 minute run directly after.  Did it early enough to where I was done before anyone else was up.

 

 

Sunday I took the day off.  My folks were coming down from Wisconsin for a visit.  It was my mom's birthday and my daughter was really excited about it.  This Wednesday night we will drive up to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and I'll run a turkey trot 10K up in Madison.  I don't really have any expectations, and won't be doing any resting before hand.  I have long run and swim the day before.  Should be fun though.

 

 

Today starts another hard three weeks.  I just got finished with an hour run where I did 5 intervals of 5 minutes in zone 5.   Rested 90s to 110s inbetween each one.  Later today I'll work out on the vasa.  I started running with some perscription orthodics in my Newtons.  I'm breaking them in, but they seem ok.  I've had foot issues for years, but just ignored them until finally my doctor convinced me otherwise.  Quiet week at work, a lot of people gone, except for me....

 

 

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FTP test

Posted by niemsco Nov 15, 2007

Going back to last weekend I have to say I again didn't get my long ride in like I hoped. I was to ride 3 hours and 2 of those hours hard.... pukin hard. But instead just an hour and twenty minutes, not pukin.... I'm not giving up hope though. Lots of motivation just a few bum weekends.  Swim is doing better than expected, bike could be better.  This week is suppose to be a recovery week so the workouts during the week haven't been as difficult as previous:

 

Monday: Run 45 minutes (easy), X-Train 15minutes (just went 15 minutes on the Vasa)

 

 

Tuesday: Masters am (75), and a tough Cadence workout on the CT (90min). Tuesdays never seem to be easy.

 

 

Wednesday: Easy 50 minute run, Easy swim (30min)

 

 

Today I did what's called a Functional Threshold Power test(90min). My coach actually wanted to come over to my house and monitor me on this while I did it. I said come on over. He lives in the same town luckily so I definitely wanted to take him up on this. I guess the purpose of this test was to figure out what kind of power I'm putting out based on heart rate. The test was sort of brutal and I'm still feeling it. After warming up I went 5 minutes as hard as possible, then eased back then eventually began a 20 minute time trial trying to maintain over 200watts. Now for me, being 140lbs, 200 watts seems to be a lot, at least it pushed me to the edge in that 20 minutes. Throughout the entire time he took some data constantly asked about RPE and then in the end we got a decent outlook of where we need to get to.   He kept asking me questions when I was dying.... I was like ease up already man I can hardly breathe! 

 

 

He mentioned my saddle height was too high and I rocked too much. I have a Scott Plasma, so I need to take a hacksaw to the top tube in order to get the seat down. That's just the way they make them, but not a problem. I thought I might be too high. So it was pretty invaluable information throughout so I was happy with that. I would say overall a success, pretty cool actually!  Not really a recovery day, but I've got an easy bike on the weekend. I still might turkey trot also.

 

 

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Newton's to the rescue

Posted by niemsco Nov 13, 2007

If you've read some of my previous posts I've made some references to a pair of Newtons I invested in about a month and a half ago. A few weeks ago I swore I would never wear them again and they were a waste of money. Maybe it was three weeks ago. Anyways..... I never tossed them aside or donated them like I suggested. Maybe I was too stubborn about the 175 price tag and wanted to wear them down to the core before moving on. In any event I continue to run with them.

 

I got them a few weeks before the Chicago Marathon and put about 50 miles on them before running it. I complained bitterly about leg pain in the last few miles, nevermind the heat, I blamed the shoes!! But even weeks after, I still had issues with the shoes and had lower leg pain.

 

To make a long story short I think these are the best shoes invented and I realized this on Monday. I decided to stick with the shoe obviously. I read on their website a few things that were interesting. Such as if you are not a true forefoot runner you may have some aches and pains as you will be using muscles you have not used before. This is similar to my computrainer. Computrainer tells me how efficient my pedaling is, actually measures the torque at each angle in the stroke. Bottom line is it tells you how efficient you are and wiggling here and there you can get the numbers up, but it hurts in the beginning. Newtons are the same. I guess I wasn't a true forefoot runner like I thought, more of a mid foot runner.

 

But let me tell you I went for a run on Monday and I was nothing but forefoot. I could keep a 100 cadence whether I was running 9min/mile or 7min/mile, and I never felt any pressure on my heels at all. I could really feel the actuators on the shoes propelling me forward. It took me 150 miles to get use to them and I was running like I never ran before. Now I can't say this is making me any faster, but because I do Ironman I'm very encouraged by the show because they enable me to maintain a high cadence on the forefoot, which is crucial when you are tired after the bike. I think it will improve my IM marathon time, but not sure about straight marathon time. I don't plan to run any straight marathons in 08, but will run some halfs.

 

I've become a true believer in these shoes, for now until something goes wrong :)... but one absolute at least for me is they changed my running style. If you are not a true forefoot runner they probably will cause some discomfort for awhile. And if you are a heel striker you should use these in moderation with other shoes as they suggest... believe me its going to tear you up. By the way, the shoes actually do wear from the outside in, so even though they look like s&*t on the outside they are getting more comfortable on the inside. They make this claim on their website and its true. I'll keep plugging away on them for at least 300 miles. I'm not doing a lot of running mileage right now, so I can save some money to buy others some presents for Christmas

 

 

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Recovering?

Posted by niemsco Nov 9, 2007

 

Its been a great week so far.  Probably the best I've had in awhile leading up to the weekend. 

 

 

Monday: Hard fartlek run (60min - 5 x 5 minutes at hard pace.  Got HR into 180s near end of each set); evening: X-train (45min): afternoon worked out on the Vasa Erg (10 sets), then planks, supermans, other core

 

 

Tuesday: Masters swim (75min) - great, swimming is improving, consistently near a 1:40 pace fairly relaxed; evening: Hard bike (75min) - 3 mile time trial.  I got the computrainer working again.  Not sure how, but I worked on maintaining high numbers on the spinscan which measures pedal efficiency.  I see that my right foot generates less wattage than my left, but its more efficient than my left.   With some work I can get both wattage and efficiency evenly distributed, but it takes some work.  May need to make some adjustments to my bike position.  The 3 mile time trial was ok.

 

 

Wednesday: 90min run, no prob; afternoon 30min recovery swim

 

 

Thursday: 90minute medium-hard bike; 45 minute x-train session same as Monday

 

 

Friday: Masters swim 75min; and 30minute run after that

 

 

This month's Triathlete magazine had an article in it that makes me laugh everytime I look at it.  Its got a guy sitting on a couch with his HR monitor on drinking beers.  I was startled to see that the empty beer bottles, Stella Artois, on his coffee table, the exact same beer I have in my fridge.  In fact I wanted to just sit back and be a couch potato after looking at that picture.  But the article was about recovery during this time of year, but obviously not being a couch potato, but then again not doing the kind of thing I'm doing right now either.   I thought about it for awhile and actually called my coach about it.   I'm was a bit hesitant at the time on the plan that I'm on.  But he explained that the workouts in this case are purposeful and we are trying to get some good data before we start the build for IM Arizona.  In fact he said it would be ok to overtrain at this point, I will have a month of recovery in dec/jan.  But in the end need to listen to my body to see how much I can take.  Frankly that talk made me feel a bit better and I'm cruising along.  In fact my swim has improved so much I'm averaging 10s per 100 faster than I use to swim.  Maybe even more.  That's quite an adjustment in less than two months.  Today I went at a 3:13 200, and I don't think I ever got below 3:30 when I trained for IM Wisc.  If I can keep that improvement up I can get around that 1 hr IM swim I would love to have!

 

 

The big problem will be on the weekend.  I'm not thrilled about the long bike, if I don't do it at 4am, then I probably won't do it as I'd rather spend some time with the family.  I explained that to him and he said he'd cut the bikes down and to spend the time with the family.  Probably have shorter more intense weekend bike sessions.  Well see.  I'm still looking for a running race to do, but am not overly thrilled about it.  I'm not sure I have leg speed to race, and I'm not sure what benefit I will get from racing if I'm not ready to race.  I'd rather train. 

 

 

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Yoga time

Posted by niemsco Nov 5, 2007

Last weekend I was in another rut.  I trained 11 hours out of the 14 I had planned because I again skipped the long bike.  I just didn't have any urge to get on the bike and ride for 3:30 hours, I went 30 minutes and that's it.  During the week I was able to finish everything fine.  If I can't get on the bike really early around 4 or 5 am, then I don't do it.  I don't like to eat into the schedule with being with the family, so its been a struggle.  I tried getting on the computrainer last night to make up for it during Sunday night football but found my CT is going beserk.  It doesn't give speed anymore, and doesn't vary resistance, so its sort of useless.  It was acting up earlier in the week I think something happened, now I got to call them up and get this resolved. 

 

 

I did start something new last week, which was Yoga.  Mostly a flexibility routine about 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  I'm constantly stiff so figured this might help.  I've also been seeing a chiropractor for my shoulder and now heel.  I hurt my shoulder many months ago and its never healed.  Its getting a lot better.  But now I'm getting some achilles problems on the left foot, problems I had just after IM Wisc.  Looks like the prescription is orthodics.  I think my insurance will cover this, at least I'm hoping.  I was prescribed orthodics six years ago for foot issues, but that was before I became a runner.  I sort of ditched them when I started to run as they really weren't built for that type of thing.  However these new ones should be but won't have them for a few weeks.  He suggested I tape my feet before running, but that's not going to work in T2.  I'm not spending time to tape my feet, but I'll try it out during normal runs and see if it helps. 

 

 

First part of the week I've got the following:

 

Monday morning (run): Step-ups BT workout.  15 minute warm-up, then 5 minute bursts at RPE of 8-9 several times.  In between get HR back down to RPE of 5.  10 minute cool down. (1 hr)

Monday evening: X-Train: Vasa for about 20-30 minutes, then planks, supermans, swiss ball, lunges, step-ups (45min - 1hr)

 

Tuesday: Morning: Masters Swim (75min)

Tuesday evening:  Suppose to do a computrainer time trial for some wattage testing, but probably just ride for 75 minutes as computrainer is broke.

 

Wednesday morning: Run long (90min)

Wednesday evening: recovery swim or vasa depends on time (30min)

 

That's it for now.

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