Out Season Week 14: Reflection and Run Test with a Double BOOM BOOM

I finally got my butt moving for this run test. Fear is not even close to what I was feeling. I had to overcome a mental block like you would not believe.

A block knowing that I could have trained better.

A block knowing that I have been chicken to running outside since converting to treadmill training in my basement before it broke.

A block not wanting to see my final time.

A block in just not enjoying running period.

Today I got up and forced myself to the Y to run on the treadmill there. My last two run tests have been outside, but since I have been training on a TM over the last month I decided to stick with the TM. I got to the Y and after signing up for one of the new TM’s I made my way over to find a young couple taking the very one I signed up for. This made me mad, but I decided to just move to another treadmill. An older one.

I did my warm up and just was not feeling it, but tried to tell myself to get loose and focus. After one mile of gradually picking up speed, I stepped off to stretch and get ready.

I cranked the TM to 9 mph and tried to hold that pace at least until the 1.5 mile marker. That was the plan. My hamstrings felt tight, but I got into a real nice groove. A groove so nice that that TM decided to short out on me and turn off. I went from 9 mph to 0 in .5 seconds. Talk about a disruption of flow. I was about .3 of a mile in and had to quickly move to a new TM. Needless to say that a 6’4″ 220 lb man coming to an abrupt stop like that caused a lot of people to stare.

I moved down and started back up. There was about a 30 second lull in the running, but I figured that since I was only a little bit into the run it was not a big deal so I just continued forward instead of starting over. I was out of whack from this point on. I tried to maintain the 9 mph which my watch read as being sub 6:10 mile pace. I was doing good until around the 1.5 mile mark when I had to stop for a quick cramp stretch. I had a 10 second break in the action to stretch my hamstring. I know it is not recommended  but it is what it is. I had to move the pace down to about 8.5 and 8.0 mixed in back and forth to be able to finish and keep my hammie from going crazy.

In the end I hit my goal. I ran the 5K under 20 minutes. I was quite happy. I know that I would be able to do this even if I did not have to stop twice. I was at 19:28 so even if I slowed down a bit more I would have been under 20 with no stops. This was a great sign. Perhaps this is what I needed to reignite my running goals.

This is my second fastest time. Last year I ran 19:!4 at  4.21.12 : PROJECT RENEWAL 5K

I know with a bit more mileage and run focus I could get below 19:14 in a race. I need to seek out a race in about 6 weeks after this next training block of 6 weeks of run focus.

So, this is a double BOOM BOOM. I am quite happy with the results. Reaching goals is always a great feeling. The hard work and getting up every morning early has paid off.

Here is my Out Season Test Recap

Week 1: My time was 20:52 with a 6:43 pace
Week 8: My time was 20:33 with a 6:37 pace.
Week 14: My time was 19:28 with a 6:17 pace

A few things I have learned through the Out Season.

1. Mileage – I have gotten away from the notion of worrying about getting so many miles each week. Rather, I have finally begun to shift to work on the actual workout at hand. Run for 45 minutes with the intervals instead of just an easy 7 mile run. I am adapting my thought process to put in quality instead of quantity  Last year I thought the more miles, the better. It is QUALITY that matters and this Out Season has proven that idea.

2. Rest – You have to listen to your body. Even though I had workouts to do six days a week there were times when my life and schedule were just too busy to do it all. The body wears out if you don’t take care of it and sometimes that means taking an extra day here or there. The journey is long so if I have to sacrifice a workout here or there it is worth it to stay healthy and injury free.

3. Rest and Nutrition – Two more important things especially this time of year. Getting good sleep is huge. As I work on eating more balanced and eliminating foods that I don’t really need(this does not always happen :)) my sleep has improved. I realize the importance of getting enough rest. I also realize the importance of proper nutrition. They work hand in hand and do make a difference. Sometimes you don’t notice right away, but charting data long term you can see the results.

4. Spice It Up – during the Out Season I hit a low in motivation. I had to change things up. I did a CrossFit workout during my test week. Probably not the best week to do this, but it was needed. That change of pace changed everything. Sometimes we have to go against the grain, against the standard protocol and do something different to reignite our passions. I plan to do CrossFit once I am done coaching. It will be a good break of action from SBR(Swim, Bike, Run) and keep me going. The key will be balance and not wearing the body out. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

So there you have it. My first Out Season is in the books. I made massive gains that I am so proud of. I look forward to training hard and seeing where it takes me this year in my races. I will enjoy the rest of this rest week by mixing things up with some swimming and lifting and then move on to  a six week run focus training program before hitting up my Ironman training. Time to sign up for the races!

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Out Season: Week14 Bike Test go BOOM!

Last week was technically week 14  and the last week of my out season training. However a lull in motivation, busy work, and a CrossFit workout that left me sore for days pushed my test days to this week. A week in which I am to be resetting my brain and mind for the next phase of training.

Monday I had to stay home with two of my kids who were sick. This is never a fun day, but it is what it is. Ava finally went down for a bit of a nap and I decided to get on the bike and get this bike test done once and for all. I won’t lie I am not feeling the greatest either. I have a major sinus infection and just feel worn out. I have felt worn out for a couple weeks so I hope I don’t have something worse than just a head cold!

The bike test is simply on paper, but a monster in real life.

Bike Test, for Power Athletes ONLY!

WU: 10′ easy, then 8′ building from 50% FTP to 100% FTP in 2′ increments, 2′ easy. Fine to use estimated FTP if this is your first test. The intent here is to get in a good warmup, so use your best judgement. 

Test 1 — Vo2 Max Test: ride 5′ at the best (hardest) effort you can sustain for the full 5′. A good target is 120% of your estimated FTP.

 Recover 1: 10′ easy spin, stretch, recovery. 

Test 2 — Functional Threshold Power (FTP) Test: time trial for 20′ at the best (hardest) effort you can sustain for the full 20′. 

Recover 2: Minimum 5′ easy spinning

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/199304

I will be honest in that these tests make me nervous because I have worked so hard over the last 14 weeks and my fear is not seeing improvements. I have struggled the last few weeks with getting all workouts done and eating healthy. However, the results show that WORK, WORKS! I know that doing these bike workouts I have rode harder than ever before

So here is my progress over the 14 week Out Season on the bike. I am quite happy with the results!

Week 1: 24.9 mph 40 minute test @ 149 HR

Week 5: I converted to Power and tested again
VO2: 245
FTP: 202

Week 8:
VO2: 270
FTP: 215

Week 14
VO2: 288
FTP: 95% of 252 = 239

As soon as I finished the 20 minute FTP ride I had to stop and get Ava. She only slept about 30 minutes. Later in the day when she slept again I jumped back on to finish the workout. I ended up riding an extra ten minutes so I got 70 minuted done.

Tuesday morning(today) I was going to swim, but I am not feeling good at all after going to bed at 8 pm. I think I have been hit with the bug after being with my kids all day. I hope to run test tomorrow if all goes according to plan!

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Out Season Week 14 – Blended Run Workout

I have not ran in about two weeks due to several conflicts of schedule and a broken treadmill mixed in with sub zero temperatures.

I had the following workout to get done from earlier in the week

MS: 30′ @ EP/Z1/Easy, then 6 x 90 (2′) @ TP/Z4/Hard

I headed to the Y early this morning on my late start. I really wanted to sleep in, but I knew I had to get a run in. My hamstrings and lower back are still ungodly sore from CrossFit. I wanted to do more than just do an easy run. I needed to find out if I had anything in my tank for my test run or not. I did not want to go all out and mess things up, but I had to see if it would be wise to test soon.

I was to already have tested this week, but my schedule and lack of mojo and shifted things around. I started off running and my hammies were sore, tight, and not feeling the greatest. I started super easy below my easy pace just to loosen things up. Instead of running steady I decided to pick up the pace over time to keep things interesting. You can see what I did below. I don’t have any Garmin data as my watch has also died. I guess it is time to find more money to replace the things breaking on me! I hope my body is not next.

Here is what I got done this morning.

Mile 1: 9:09
Mile 2: 8:34
Mile 3: 8:00
Minutes 26 – 30:00 – 7:30 mile pace
Minute 30 – 32:00 – 7:00 mile pace
Minute 33:00 – 34:00 – 6:40 mile pace
Minute 34:00 – 35:00 – 6:18 mile pace
Minute 35:00 – 41:00 – 8:49 recovery pace

Total miles = 5 miles

It felt good to get going. I had to get over the hump about 15 minutes in when I did not feel like running anymore, but once I got over that I was focused and ready to go. I am glad I got the run in.

As soon as the temps rise about below zero I will attempt to run outside for my test run. I want to use the same course. If not, then I will hit up the treadmill on Monday for my run test.

Despite a tired and sore body I plan on hitting up the bike test this weekend. I will then knock out the other bike workout on the opposite day. Then Monday I will do the run test. This will wrap up my Out Season and I will move into the Get Faster Block of training. I just need to decide what my focus should be. The focus will either be bike or run. I should probably focus on the run as this is the sport I am struggling with mentally. However, I also know that this means more running. I will figure it out this weekend.

Now it is time for breakfast and getting ready for a shortened school day.

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Out Season: Week 14 – Mixing Things Up During Test Week

Alright, another crazy, tired, nonstop week of action. I have not updated my training every day like I normally do as I simply don’t have the time. So here is a brief catch up of all things training which as you will see is SO not what the plans call for on the last week of November Out Season.

I will say that I have hit a wall with motivation which is why I have chosen to mix things up. Why did I not just wait one more week you ask when OS is done? I feared that waiting one more week would lead to complete disconnect. That cannot happen. So I made the change this week.

Monday – Swimming!

Since I did not race Sunday due to ice and snow I wanted to swim. I jumped in the pool and knocked about 1500 yards. I can tell it was my 2nd swim in 5 months. I need to get back to the basics and build the endurance up slowly.
Warm Up – 200 free, 200 kick, 200 pull
Main Set – 10 x 50 every 60 seconds
Cool Down – 100 kick, 100 swim with paddles, 100 pull, 100 free
Total 1500 yards

Tuesday – no training due to very poor sleep.

Wednesday CrossFit – I decided to give this a try. I needed something different and a new challenge. This was a great group of people and look forward to finding a way to make this happen more in my training.

Part 1)
Dynamic Effort Bench Press
On 45sec interval 3 Reps for 9 sets
50% of 1RM (3 sets at close grip) (3 at med grip) 3 at wide grip)
learn something with this speed!

Part 2)
5 Rounds
On the 2 minute Interval
5 Deadlifts (335/225) (255/175) (185/125)
15 Medball Cleans (30/20) (20/14)
scores are the time it takes to complete each round. score your fastest and slowest.
rest 5 min
50 ball slams for time
Part 3)
Banded Good Mornings
3X25 FAST

Thursday – I could barely get out of bed from Crossfit. Holy smokes I have not been this sore in a LONG time. I can barely walk. Instead of testing my bike today, I decided to hit up the Tuesday workout I missed just to loosen my legs and back up. I am glad I did not test as my legs and mind were not ready.

Tuesday workout done today

MS: 3 x 8′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

There you have it. 3 workouts. 2 not part of the plan, but 2 that I really enjoyed. I plan to do my run test tomorrow. It will have to be on the TM as it will be sub zero here in Iowa. My goal is to break 20 minutes despite not running in two weeks! We shall see what happens. My bike test will happen Sunday to wrap NOS! Here is to Getting It Done! and doing what you need to do to stay the course.

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Out Season: Week 13 – End is Near and All I Do Is Bike?

So things have…….what shall I say, “fallen off the bandwagon”.

I have been focused on diet and training after being spotty in early January.

Last Saturday I had my Lego Robotics State Competition with my students. That day and some other family matters sent my focus in a whirlwind. Making excuses, yep! But it is called life and life is something we all deal with.

Saturday I fell off track eating and ate like a pig, like 12 cookies, chips, 8 sanwiches of Jimmy John’s platter, and various other debris of unhealthiness.

It tasted so good! This pretty much ended my eating clean process of the AdvoCare 24 day challenge. I was doing so good up until this point. I was good with cravings out the window and a system in place. From that point on I could not get back on track. I ate good from that point on, but each night I fell apart eating chocolate, drinks, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch before bed.

Added to that my treadmill quit working and I hit a wall of fatigue.

Monday I did the weekend bike workout that I missed out on from being out of town.

MS: 2 x 18′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard, 1 x 10′ @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

On Tuesday I was back on track

MS: 12′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard, 18′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard, 12′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard.

Due to feeling extremely tired and worn out, a busted treadmill, and super busy schedule of life I did not get anything done Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Saturday I got the bike workout out done, but did not have time to run

MS: 2 x 18′ (4′) @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard, 1 x 12′ @ 95-100%/Zone4/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/Zone3/Mod-Hard.

Sunday I was to do an Indoor Triathlon, but snow, ice, and sleet kept me from traveling. Not the best of training this week. Life deals you cards and you have to deal and adapt. The good thing is that my races are not until the summer and fall. The bad news is that I test next week and I have not ran in 12 days. I will see where I am!

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Out Season: Week 12 Thursday Bike VO2 Ride

I had to really muster up some energy this morning. After doing my AdvoCare weigh in I had to get on the bike and ride. My legs were tired from the run last night. My knee was tender from the stupid treadmill.

I had to do the following workout

MS: 2 x (5 x 1/1) @ Vo2/258/Very Hard. Take 2′ easy between each set of 4 x 1/1’s. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/172 – 182/Mod-Hard.

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/163001

I got off to a late start and therefore the rest of the morning was a mad scramble to get out of the door in time. Thank goodness my kids are awesome and helped make ends meet. I hit all intervals except the first which I missed by one power.

Tomorrow I have to decide whether to hit the pool and swim at least one more time before my race next weekend or do the Sunday run workout as I won’t have time to get both weekend workouts done. What shall I do?

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Out Season: Week 12 Wednesday Night Run

I had to dig deep to get this run done. I really did not think it was going to happen. After getting the kids to bed we had to figure out the next phase in the AdvoCare 24 day challenge and what we can and cannot eat. I finally made it down to the treadmill around 8:30 and took some time to get set up and took off.

My treadmill is struggling lately. It kept jerking as I ran. It hurt my knee by the end of the run, but after about 30 minutes it finally stopped the sudden stop motions. I started off watching the pilot episode of American Horror Story, but had to change because that opening sequence was too much for me handle before bed. I hate scary movies and shows so this was not a wise choice. I went back to Breaking Bad and knocked out the workout.

The workout was a 60 minute run consisting of

MS: 1 x 200, 1 x 400, 3 x 800 all at @ IP/6:39/Very Hard with full recoveries between each.

Tip: Build your pace across each repeat here so that your final set is your strongest.

 My 800’s were 6:17, 6:18, 5:58. I was way below my 6:39 pace, but it felt easy and for some reason my watch was not showing these numbers. It kept bouncing around at an above 6:39 pace. This was a blessing to see for me personally to see that numbers this low. I have not seen numbers this low in training ever!

I felt good to get this workout done. I know this weekend will be tough to get both workouts in as I am out of town with my robotics team competing at state. Trying to manage and coach ten 5th – 8th graders is a workout itself.

My knee was sore and I hope a rest day will do it some good.

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Out Season: Week 12 – Tuesday Bike Workout

Woke up early this morning knowing that I had at least a 75 minute bike workout. I did not look ahead at the workout as my new system is just to figure out that morning of so I don’t back out. Today called for only 70 minutes, but it was tough. My legs were tired from the Sunday run and getting after it in practice yesterday. I get so fired up coaching. If I could bring that passion and fire into running I would be winning races!

I had to finish up a couple loose ends on my Netflix watching. I finished up Coach Carter. That movie is great. It was even better not knowing it was based on a true story until the end. I thought it was just a good feeling type movie and not based on a real world team. Very cool! I finished the final episode of The League and am sad to not have more to watch. I started watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or something like that. It is okay, but not worth the hype that some have made it out to be.

Enough of movie watching and onto the workout. Here was the plan

MS: 10′ (4′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard, 18′ (4′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard, 10′ (4′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard. 70 minutes

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/159605

I had to work to keep in the zones today. My legs were tired and you can I had times where I very quickly dipped and had to regather. I had issues with my bike seat. It became loose on the ride and kept moving up and down which was a real pain. I did not have time to stop and fix it as I have a very short window to train in the morning before all three kids wake up and need breakfast, lunches, milk, etc. Thank goodness for a great wife.

I felt great when I was done as I always do. If only I could bottle that feeling of greatness after a workout and sell it I would be a millionaire.

My eating has continue to be healthy. Still struggling with snacking but Thursday I weigh in after the 10 day cleanse phase of the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I hope that I see some results.

Now to mentally prepare for the run workout tomorrow which I am sure is going to be a joy!

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Out Season: Week 11: Sunday Long Run Late At Night

I was not able to get up in the morning early enough to run. I have found that despite the struggles to train at night when the family is sleeping is tough, I think sleeping in a bit on Saturday and Sunday has kept me on the right track by not sacrificing sleep.

Tonight I got off to a much later start than planned. I was not able to run in the afternoon. I had to much too do and still have not got everything done quite yet.

The workout called for a 75 minute run  consisting of

MS: 4 x 800 (3′), 1 x 1 mile all @ TP/7:05/Hard (5′).

Creating a 75 to 90 minute run from this run, where personal and physical bandwidth allows, is recommended. Simply settle into a pace between LRP/Zone 1/Easy and MP/Zone 2/Steady.

My zone 1 pace right now is 8:49 and my Z2/Marathon pace is 7:32.

I started off running much earlier like around 8:15 but was having troubles getting my foot pod to connect to my watch. I have to have data. Plain and simple. No just getting out and running. I have a plan and goals and I must visually see them. After running on and off trying to calibrate and such I realized that the battery in the foot pod was dead. I scrambled around the house and found another watch battery and was good to go. Hopefully this solves the mystery of inaccurate readings of my Garmin.

I watched the majority of the movie Coach Carter. I don’t know how it ends, but I cannot wait to find out. I thought about only running 60 minutes, but decided to stay tough and get the 75 minutes done. No more excuses with this training.

I feel good. I am glad to get it done. I had some minor tightness in my right hamstring, but other than that I felt great. Off to the pool for some easy swimming just to get back in the flow before my first race in two weeks. Off to cool down and bed.

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Out Season: Week 11 – Saturday Run and Bike Workouts

Today around 12:30 I was able to get on the bike. My legs were sore still from the workouts this week and they were tired. I think the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge is working me a bit more than usual. Without all my snacking and junk food I am seeing a difference in recovery. I am not saying my junk eating helps me recover, but my prior eating kept my glycogen stores up for sure. I need to eat healthy and I am only 6 days into the cleanse so my body is adapting. I know the end result will be good as I slim down and continue to fill my body with healthy foods. This week has been a tough one.

The workout today called for

MS: 2 x 15′ (4′) @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard, 1 x 8′ @ 95-100%/204 – 215/Hard. Remainder of any time you have available (if any, not required) @ 80-85%/172 – 182/Mod-Hard. 90 minutes on the bike.

I was able to hit the zones once again but it was tough. I moved my bike to the main basement so I could watch college basketball. I love college basketball! I watched the Hoosiers hang on to win and also Duke lose. Lots of great things to take away for my own coaching.

Rides – TrainerRoad http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/156258

After the kids went to bed I had to pry myself out of bed and head to the basement to run. I started watching Coach Carter and started up the treadmill. This bad boy was struggling tonight. It was real choppy at first and I about blew my knee out a few times. Finally, it was able to get going and I could start the workout.

Running at 8 mph on a treadmill at 2% incline is equivalent to 7:13 mile pace. When I run sub 6:39 for my interval workouts I run at 8.5. Tonight for some reason my watch was not converting and it was making me mad. I needed to run at a 7:32 pace.

MS: Steady run as MP/7:32/Steady out and back. If bricking, do 20′ only.

You can see that as I picked up the speed on the treadmill the time was going slower for my mile pace. I know I ran at least 4 miles. I know I should not let something like this bother me as I know I put the work in, but this kind of thing drives me insane. I NEED to see the data. It is just the way I am.

I toughed it out mentally and got both workouts done. It feels good to stay committed. Tomorrow I head out for a 75 minute run to end another great work of training. I need to hit up the pool next week on the rest days to make sure I am ready for my race in two weeks. Woo-Ha!

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