OS Week 9: Saturday Morning Brick

This morning I woke up with super tired legs and  sore body from training and moving furniture all over the place. I knew I had to get this workout done early or it would never happen. After a few technical glitches I got things ready to rock and busted out a good brick session this morning.

Here is the workout

Bike – 90 minutes
MS: 2 x 12′ (4′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard.

MS2: 1 x 5′ (5′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard.

Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/172 – 182/Mod-Hard.

Run – 30 mintues or 15 if bricking

MS: Steady run as MP/7:32/Steady out, HMP/7:14/Mod-Hard back. If bricking, do 15′ only.

My legs struggled this morning. It was not easy after going three straight days of training. I know I need to get these workouts done and I am glad that I have done so up to this point. After about an hour the last half hour of the ride felt good. The only painful part was that I grabbed the wrong shorts and did not have my cycling shorts so I was without padding. I was already a tad tender from the last two days of riding.

Here are my TR results – Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/139404

As soon as I finished the bike I checked to make sure Ava was asleep. Aiden and Addy were already up so I put on my shoes and started up the wonderful treadmill. As soon as I started Amanda was down with Ava. I quickly finished so Amanda could go back to bed. It felt good to have all the workouts done for the day.

I ran the following in 15 minutes

The run was not easy. I was tired and I had to focus to finish strong and keep pace. I hit my paces and felt good about it.

Afterwards I tore up a great big breakfast with the kids. Time to recover to get ready for my run tomorrow. Looking forward to heading outside for once!

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Out Season: Week 7 – Weekend Brick Workout

This past weekend has been so incredibly busy that I am just now getting around to posting about my Saturday workout. I had no Sunday workout for once as I have testing this week on both the bike and run.

I woke up very early around 4 am to get this brick workout done. I had a long day ahead of me with my robotics team competing at the regional all day from 7:30 – 5:30 and a birthday party for a friend of ours afterwards. It was nonstop kid noise for about 14 hours. Needless to say I knew that if I did not get up early this workout would never happen.

Here is the workout for Saturday that I had to get done

MS: 2 x 10′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. MS2: 1 x 6′ (5′) @95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

We have no volume goals, per se, for any of the weekday and weekend cycling workouts in the OS. Ride for the time you have availble, focusing on the mainset. Fine to ride less, or more, than the time prescribed, depending on your personal circumstances.

MS: Steady run as MP/Z2/Steady out, HMP/Z3/Mod-Hard back. If bricking, do 15′ only.

You can see that my workout on the bike is split. This is because my watch filled with memory and I had to stop for a minute and delete history to keep going. I had about a 2 minute pause in the workout.

I won’t lie. I was tired. I had started to get a head cold the night before, but as the ride continued I felt better and better.

During the ride I watched the documentary Vegucated. It was a fascinating documentary. As always when you watch how the meat makes it to your plate it is disturbing. I am not planning on being vegan, but it was good to watch to help me prepare to start eating healthy. You watch and hear all the stats about processed food and so forth and it is scary. This was a real wake up call. I cannot think that as my diet has continued to get worse over the last few weeks that I now have a cold and feel crummy. I really think there is a connection.

Anyways, I jumped on the treadmill to get the run done right away. I actually felt really good coming off the bike despite my legs feeling tired.

The downside to this workout is that I was on my feet for the next 8 hours. This did not help recovery much. Sunday my legs felt quite tired and I know this was due to the fact that I did not really recovery properly.

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Out Season: Week 6 – Saturday Brick Workout

I made sure that I did not lose out on a run this weekend like last weekend. I was not able to train in the morning due to my youngest deciding to start her day around 6 am. Later in the day I got this workout in and went with the brick workout to ensure I did not lose out on the run.

I felt good during this workout. I was rather surprised by how strong I felt on the run.

To start I had to jump on the bike and do the following:

WU: 5’ easy, 3’ standing @ big gear/low cadence, 2’ easy, then 12’ at 80-85%/Zone3/ModHard, then 3’ easy. 

MS: 2 x 10′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard.

MS2: 1 x 5′ (5′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard.

Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

I programmed the workout in TR. I still don’t know what I am doing wrong, but I set my zones in the workout, but when I go to do the workout my Power Zones are so much higher. I am doing or reading some wrong. Anyways, here is my workout on TR

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/122114

I hit all my goals as my Zone 4 is 193 – 202 and I was at 198, 196, and 198. I got in 80 minutes finishing up riding in Zone 3.

After the ride I checked quickly to make sure Ava was sleeping and jumped on the treadmill for the brick run of 30 minutes. Doing the brick it called for

MS: Steady run as MP/Z2/Steady out, HMP/Z3/Mod-Hard back. If bricking, do 30′ only.

My zone 2 is 7:40 pace and my zone 3 is 7:22.

You can see I was pretty spot on. My first mile reads 7:51, but I think my first few minutes of building up to speed inflated the time because I was cruising towards the end as you can see mile 2 was 7:29. It is hard to gauge on the treadmill as my pace fluctuates up to 10 seconds depending on my stride. My last two miles I was at 7:18 and 7:14 running at the same speed on the treadmill so you can see the difference. I felt great and this run felt super easy. My legs were tender due to running on a treadmill. My body hates the treadmill.

I felt great getting this done. I could feel my fitness and speed picking up so it is great to see the progress. I look forward to the tests in two weeks.

The rest of the night was spent with my daughter who was turning 6. We hit up a pizza place she loves and all the games we could handle.

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Out Season: Week 4 – Saturday Brick Workout

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I failed to get my run workout in yesterday. I told myself not to let myself skip the workout as I did not do it on Wednesday, but I just did not have it in me. I was mad at myself for not getting it done, but to be honest I think it was best. After a long day of cleaning and cooking all day Thursday, my body was worn out. I did some damage to the food prepared.

This makes for the 3rd workout I have missed in four weeks. I cannot get into this habit. I already skip the short little run on Tuesdays as I always have a game and don’t feel like running after a long day. I don’t feel bad about that, but I hate it when I miss the key workouts.

Today I jumped on the back this afternoon after mustering up the motivation to get going again.

The workout on the bike called for

5’ easy, 3’ standing @ big gear/low cadence, 2’ easy, then 12’ at Z3/80-85%/Mod Hard, then 3’ easy.

MS: 8′ (2′), 10′ (2), 10′(2′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard.

I need to retest myself on the bike. Staying in my HR zones of 143-148 don’t challenge me that way I think they should during a Z4 ride. Now that I have TrainerRoad set up I am thinking of doing a bike test tomorrow and start using virtual power. I feel like I have come a long way on the bike in the four weeks of training and the Z4 area is not much of a challenge. I constantly find myself slowing down to stay in the zone.

 During the first 8 minute session I was at 26.5 mph with 144 HR
The first 10 minute sessions I was at  25.3 at 146 HR
The second 10 minute session I was at 25.7 at 145 HR

The numbers tell me that perhaps I could have cranked a bit more on the bike as my HR could have gone up to 148.

As soon as I finished the bike I jumped off and put my shoes and socks on. I jumped on the dreadmill and started running. I know the plan calls for a 20 minute run when bricking, but I needed to run a bit more since I missed my Wednesday workout. I did not want to be stupid so I just decided to go for 3 miles.

The run workout called for

MS: Steady run as MP/Z2/Steady out and back. If bricking, do 20′ only.

I ran for about 26 minutes. My Zone 2 pace is 136 – 144 HR for a 7:40 pace. I could not run at this pace and keep my HR this low. I ran a 8:27 pace and was over at a 150 HR. This did not feel tough at all. I felt pretty good.

I did not use any fuel during either workout. I stuck to just water. I figured I packed away plenty of energy from all my eating the last two days.

Tonight I will eat somewhat healthy finishing up leftovers and cheer on my Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Tomorrow morning I will wake up early and get my run done so there are no excuses to be had. I need to ensure I get these run workouts done.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

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Sticking To The Maurer Power Training Plan – Brick Workout

I am not going to lie about my motivation still being a little under the weather. I posted this morning how I just could not get out of bed. I did not ride last night. Yes, my schedule just was not workable to dedicating the block of time needed, but another part was just not wanting to.

Today I made a vow to myself to quit riding the unmotivational train ride to nowhere. Honestly, I have to thank Josh H when he left such a needed comment on my DailyMile page about hitting my goal Saturday. He said

you’re going to do it. Every time I doubt what I can do I think about those in my life that have gotten me to this point and I write them on my hand. When it’s tough during a race I look at my palm and I get a burst of energy. I also tell myself “you can do more than you think you can.” You got this Aaron

He is right. I need to be thankful that I can do what I do. Amanda and I talk about this all the time, at least 3-4 times a week. There are so many people we know who are going through things, have this or that that keeps them or a loved one from getting out and exercising. I also started to think about my kids and being able to tell them that I gave it my all. 

So, Ava went down for a nap a little past noon and I quickly jumped on my bike to ride before I lost my mojo to better myself.

I was really hoping to start to see some improvements in my fitness after some major changes to my diet and some new changes to my nutrition while training.

I originally was going to ride 45 straight miles, then thought about doing a Spinerval interval workout, but then I went back and visited my insights and new changes to training after my Racine experience. One of them was to include brick workouts as I never do them. I decided to do just that.

I rode 40 miles on the bike at an easy pace of 20 mph for 40 miles. I started to watch Breaking Bad. I am hooked after two episodes. From there I jumped off and was ready to tackle the treadmill when I realized Amanda was home early from class.

I quickly put on running shorts and headed outdoors instead. It was perfect to train outside to work on heat and also to avoid the treadmill. My plan was three miles for this first brick with at least one pick-up to mentally prep for Bix.

I headed out with my new HR monitor, shorts, and sunglasses. The sun was shining and I took off. It felt great to be running. I remembered how I felt this good at Racine, but died before long. I kept myself at an easy pace. I tried not to rev it too much despite really wanting to just get out there and hammer it.

After about .8 of mile I hit a nice flat stretch of road and decided to do a .5 mile pickup at my Bix pace Saturday. I ran this split at a 6:59 mile pace. It felt good. It felt even better to know my body could hit sub 7 and not die. I know I don’t think I could hit that pace for 7 miles, but it felt nice and relaxed. By this point I decided to just go for a loop which would put me past 3 miles. I eased up and tried to run at my half marathon pace for 70.3. I could not get myself to go that slow, but I did ease up to around 8 min pace. I then decided to hit one more pick up on a flat road at ran another .5 at a 7:15 pace. This is where I will probably end up. It was much harder this time around.

Right after this it started to rain. I finished up with 4 miles right at my house. It was great running in the rain. I took it as a sign for me to wash away all my self doubt. I have been pretty hard on myself and I need to get back to positive thinking and this brick workout helped me get back on track.

Now, the key is to get back to a good recovery. I will swim a big swim workout tomorrow morning and that will be it until Bix Saturday morning. I hope to see many of you there. It will be a great time.

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My Goals For The Bix 7 Saturday

Looking at the weather for Saturday morning I don’t think we could ask for better conditions to run the tough Bix 7 course.

This week I have been trying to get back into the swing of half Ironman training. My body is tired. I could. not get out of bed this morning to get my bike ride in. I would have had to ride indoors anyways with the weather, but my plan was to do a brick workout to work on running with tired legs. I figured this would be good for both my triathlon training and the Bix. I just could not get out of bed this morning. I opted for sleep and took the day to sleep in until 6:45. I only have a handful of days left before it is back to the routine 4:30 am wake up call.

Looking back at my posts from last year for the Bix and also at my Garmin data from the Bix last year I have my work cut out for me this year. My goal is to PR. Last year I crushed my previous time running the Bix of 58 minutes with a 52:36 time. I really surprised myself, but I was immersed in some serious marathon training running and putting in lots of miles for my first marathon.

This year I would like to beat my 52:36 time. This means I need to run faster than a 7:27 mile pace. This was my pace after including some added distance due to the course(I ran 7.07 miles according to Garmin). I don’t know if I can pull this off or not. I am in great shape, but I don’t know that I am in great running shape. With triathlon training I have not been putting in the running miles as much. I really had to scale back my running due to some nagging injuries and therefore have been running even less the last few months.

In order for this PR to happen here is what I feel I must do.

1. Hit Brady St at a decent clip. Not all out or I will bonk hard, but with the chance this year to be closer to the front of the massive 15,000+ pack I think I can get up the hill faster than last year. My mile 1 last year was around 7:49. My goal is to be under 7:49 hopefully around 7:35. Nothing drastic, just smart racing(I think).

2. Mile 2 I cruised on last year hitting 6:53 pace. I honestly don’t know if I can run that fast. I know that was not smart running at that pace last year, but this is one of the few parts of this course where you can just get out and go. I would like to aim for a 7:00 – 7:05 pace.

3. Miles 3 and 4 I was in a nice groove despite the tough little hills that always get me mentally. I ran 7:25 and 7:27 last year. Ideally, I would like to hit sub 7:20 during these two miles. and hit up a GU at the turnaround to head home.

4. Miles 5 and 6 are the backbreakers. This is the long uphill battle. The hardest part of the course for me. This is where either my lack of training with running will catch up to me or hopefully God will give me a gift to keep on pressing. Also, this is the key mental toughness test. A key training element for my 70.3 races. When the brain begins to tell you that you cannot do it, you have to have the toughness to shut the brain off and just run. It won’t be hot so I should not have to worry about the heat issues like I had in Racine. Last year I ran 7:37 and 7:52 respectively. This year I want to try to be under 7:30.

5. Mile 7 I cruised with 7:02 descent down Brady. I will try to keep the same pace and perhaps run in stronger than last year.

I don’t know how all this calculates, but my goal in my mind is to run between 7:12 – 7:08 mile pace. This is going to be flat out tough, but I am ready to challenge myself. A month or so ago I was hoping for 49 minute run pace. I honestly don’t think this is a reality. My training for running at this pace for 7 miles is not there.

There you have it. My plan. A lot of things have to go right in order for this to happen starting off with my body feeling fresh. So far this week my body has been tired. I have not trained crazy volume, but the week off last week has caught up to me. It is amazing how quickly the body fades and how hard it is to get it back.

I did  not get my bike ride in yesterday so I have reshuffled my schedule to get my third ride in on Sunday instead of a rest day. Today I would like to get a brick workout in. I hope to get a good workout in today if and when Ava sleeps. Trainer and treadmill look like my options today.

There you have it. My thoughts for this Thursday morning. I am still on course with eating more natural and healthy food. I do believe that is part of the reason my body is tired as I am sure my body is adjusting to not having the typical foods that it craves. It is going through some withdrawals I am sure.

Sunday I will assess how I feel mentally and physically to decide if I am up for another 70.3 distance race. The long course Pigman Triathlon less than a month away and I might tackle that one to give this race distance another run for the money. Time to figure out my nutrition plan and see what I can do.

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78 Days Remaining – 50 Mile Brick With My New Entourage

This was a great morning for training. I did not get my ride in last night. After my swim yesterday I was sucker punched by either a nasty little cold or a massive dose of allergies. It just took over my bald head and my chest. I was sneezing, coughing, and struggling with a massive headache. I cancelled my ride and went to bed around 8:30 since I knew I had a big workout today.

I really wanted to do this workout outdoors and practice the real transition, but the weather kept me indoors. I was not in the mood to deal with the cold, wind, and rain.

It took me about 25 minutes to clear all the gunk that dried in my throat and sinuses from sleeping. I felt like a turd, but eventually I was ready to rock. My legs were tired, but after a few miles I was in a good groove.

I decided to go with a ride at my Olympic Distance on May 20th. After a 3 mile warm up I kicked in gear for 25 miles. I kept my cadence all above 80 for the ride and grinded out on a big chain up front and about 15-14 on the back. I watched three episodes of Entourage and that really passed the time. I never watched this show before and I stopped by the library yesterday to find something to watch. This really helped me out at 5 am in the morning.

As soon as I hit 28 miles I jumped off my trainer and switched to my running shoes. I tempted no socks and prayed for no blisters like last time. I made my way to the treadmill and ran 3 miles.

I wanted to run a 5K. I don’t know why my mile splits were not recorded which makes me mad. I know I ran like a 8:05 on the first mile, then picked up the pace to 6:45 – 7:15 the second mile and then ran 6:30 or faster the last mile. I was cruising and it felt nice and relaxed. I was surprised. I did not have the jelly leg feeling. I am sure part of this was due to the trainer and not having real hills to climb.

After the run I had about 7 minute transition as my son was up and I had to get him settled. Amanda was up with Ava so I double checked to make sure things were good and headed back downstairs to ride another 17 miles. I watched Entourage some more(great, great show).

My goal on this set of the ride was to maintain 80 cadence, but I felt like I was cruising on tired legs. I cranked on the big chain up front and 11-13 on the back. I had push, but it did not feel forced. I was so thirsty during this ride. I killed some water big time while riding through this section. Upon finishing this ride I jumped back on the treadmill for two miles. I wanted to hit 50 miles for the day.

Once again, I don’t know why my mile splits were not recorded. At one section of the second mile I ran at a 6 minute mile pace for .2 miles, then eased up to 6:30 mile pace for about .5 mile, then finished with 6:00 mile pace for the last .2 miles. I pushed on this one, but once again it did not feel too forced. My breathing was heavy towards the end, but I did not feel exhausted and I recovered quite quickly.

This was a great workout. I needed this. This helped me mentally for my race. If I can feel like this come race day then I will be able to achieve a great time. Things are falling into place on piece at a time.

I have a big day of running tomorrow. I will be running the practice run for the QCDC. I will get in a bike ride prior to the run and then knock out the 13 miles. I will be going nice and easy and not trying to overdo it. This will end a great week of training.

I will train strong through Wednesday, then take some needed days off while in Florida competing against 14 countries with my robotic team.

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98 Days Remaining – 2 Days Rest, >100 Until Race, BIG Brick Workout

Holy Moly Everyone!

I leave for the Dells for two nights and I feel like I was in a time warp.

My last post was from Thursday when when we had a huge CRAZIES turnout. I was 102 days away from race day.

Today I stand at 98 days. This number makes my palm sweaty with nerves knowing that in less than 100 days I have to have my “A” game for my “A” race. I have so much to work on and improve to be ready and now that the number is double digits it really spikes my nerves.

I ended up taking two days off from any exercises. Thursday night I had a date with my wife and we went to Lady Antebellum with Darius Rucker and Thompson Square. It was an excellent show, but I was so tired all day and that night I felt so tired I felt sick. My body was worn out.

Friday morning I had plans to ride and also swim all before 7 am before packing up to leave for the Dells by 9 am. That did not happen. I chose to sleep in and let the body rest. If I felt this worn, then pushing my body through two workouts would come back to haunt me. It was a great choice because I felt so much better with a few extra hours of sleep.

Saturday morning I wanted to get up and get a long run in of about 11 miles, but that did not happen. Ava threw up during the night, I was tired, and as I woke up to get ready to run Aiden woke up and was full of life. Instead of leaving him to bother the three Maurer ladies who needed their sleep I opted to take him out and we just walked around for an hour and talked and messed around the resort for over and hour. It was well worth. Yes, I missed my run and it did bother me that I was three workouts short, but it did not outweigh how important this bonding moment was for Aiden and I. I drank coffee and he drank OJ and we just walked all over the entire complex. It was a blast.

Saturday night was another rough night of sleep. 5 people in a hotel room with one being under a year old just does not lead to proper sleep. Sunday morning I was in no mood to run early. I just decided to take the two day rest and enjoy it. My body felt so much better from a just a few days back. Despite eating like a slob(I forgot all my health food) my body felt ready to fire at full capacity. I will be really surprised if I hit my weight goal this week after some of the junk I fed my body, but the rest was just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday we got home around 11:30 and Ava crashed right away. I headed out on my bike to make sure I got my long ride in. I could not neglect this ride. My bike needs serious training if I want to be good come race day. I headed on Forest Grove and I was killing it. I felt like I was just blazing the roads. Little did  I know that the 20-30 mph winds were to my advantage. When I turned out by PV Junior High I hit smack dab into the wind and was cranking hard to get 12 mph. I hit my new favorite road when I turned left at Argo (County Road something) and felt good. I was mentally frustrated with the wind and tired legs so this was needed. I stay on this road and did not turn on Indiana Ave. and tried to take a new route. I hit a huge hill and I could not shift my gears down while pedaling(stupid shifters are not on the handlebars) when I heard a huge POP! and my chain snapped off. It did not break, but once again I was learning more about bikes. I flipped my bike over and figured out how to put it back on. I wanted to hit that hill again so I turned around and headed back on that road. I kept on it until I was past Leclaire Rd. I turned back around gain and nailed the hill. I stayed on that until somehow I hit Valley Dr. I had no idea how to get back to so I cut up Crow Creek Rd. and finally found my way to Devil’s Glen where I jumped on the bike path to finish up. My legs were dead. I had to really crank hard on this ride, but it was a good push.

I came home, unloaded, put on running shorts and my new Tri racing shoes and headed out for a run. I decided to brick this workout to see how my body would respond after a long ride. I did three miles. My legs felt tired and goofy the whole time. They never bounced back to normal. About mile 2 my stomach started cramping. I need to work on fueling on the bike to keep this from happening because there was no way I could continue on for a half marathon pace with this ache in my gut. I ran by feel and was very happy to see my time.

It did not feel like I was running 7:00 pace, but more like a 10:00 minute pace. I was happy with this. I need to continue to work on this and figure out a good pace. It has me worried about how tired my legs felt after 43 miles. I would still have 13 more miles and still 10 more miles of running after my 3 miles today. This was a wake up call. I need to really get the ball rolling. I don’t feel ready and in 98 days I won’t have any more time to get ready.

This was a great workout to end the week despite missing out on some key workouts, but I think it was well needed. Time to enjoy what little time I have left with my family before school tomorrow. I look forward to a good night of sleep to help my sinus infection go away. Happy Easter.

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