Monday, February 28, 2005

Day Off

The last two days have been as follows:

February 26
Shortish, annoyingish bike ride with the group. About 13 miles or so, round trip. Lots of stopping. Low average HR, stopped keeping track. Waste of a morning in many ways as the instructor spent TWO HOURS going over stuff about bikes that wasn’t really relevant to anyone but the most serious cyclists. Then the ride was slowish and I couldn’t do the full thing—which only a handful did, but which made me feel like a total wuss—because I had to get back. Overall, it was a level I ride for about an hour. Warmed up on my own at the beginning, but no time to stretch at the end. Bad!

February 27
Much better: between clients at UBF, I took Rocky (Johnny’s bike) up into the Hollywood Hills from the gym. Don’t know the mileage, but was essentially a tough hill climb for about 55 minutes, then a descent/flat for another 25 minutes or so. HR hit around 149, averaged in the mid-120’s for the ascent (there was some flat and coasting before I hit the real hill, otherwise it would have been higher.) Then did core and some good stretching before my next client came. This could be a Sunday ritual, as I’ll have 2 hours between clients for the foreseeable future. Really fun! Stayed in the saddle—in the granny gear, admittedly—for almost all of the climb. Kept going up and up and even went off-road once.

Funny that I have such a hard time keeping the HR up on the actual bike, which you would think would be harder than a spin class, where my HR averaged much higher. But learning handling and awareness, not to mention the fun factor, makes it, I think, a better workout overall, even if it’s less concentrated and intense. Funny that ersatz biking seems less intense.

Don’t know quite how to plan this week’s working out: perhaps I’ll hit the treadmill for some interval work following a sprinty-style swim tomorrow. OR I’ll bike to and from the gym, an 11- mile round trip. But running is important right now…haven’t done it for a few days now and should. Can’t do LD run tomorrow. Perhaps I should do my LD swim tomorrow? It’s a little out of order, but my legs are sore! I took today off because yesterday was a “stolen” workout after the lame one on Saturday. Argh…oh, well, I’ll figure it out. Swim and run is a priority right now. Biking can wait a day or two.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


6:40-7:50 AM

Warmup: dynamic; 200 yds of ankling; 200 yds buttkick drill. USEFUL! 6 one-minute sprints.; 90-sec to 2 minute rest between, sets of 20 pushups.
MHR: 159
Avg: ???
Time: 25 min

Approx. 7.5 miles, steadystate (I think—lost track of my laps, but I think I did 5 around the neighborhood). This makes 15 mph average. Lots of stopping at signs, sadly.)
Avg. HR: 133 (spot on aerobic: 71% mhr: a tiny bit high, actually)
Time: 30 minutes: 4 min/mile.
Generally good, but I wish I could find a spot to go go go without a lot of stoppage. Still, a bricklike workout felt good. Tomorrow, back to camp—and an hour long ride.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Swimming Workout

6:45-8:00 AM

Warmup/core work
1600 meter swim: 34:29 (2:09/100 meters)
Cooldown: Yoga, 10 min.

Good workout. Felt easy. Pushoffs off the wall (sort of cheating) made me faster, clearly, but also was able to keep panic in check if I swallowed a little water—just swam through it for the most part. No drills today. Shaved a minute off my last-week mile time: pretty good, though the real test will be next week, since last week I was really just trying to get through it, and this week was really my first time trial. No biking. Tomorrow: fast running, maybe some biking, too? Good work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pretty Good Run

6:30 AM-7:40 AM

LONG RUN/SHORT, RECOVERY BIKE: Run 40 min level II-III; bike 15 min @ 1-2
Dynamic w/u.
Run: 4.8 miles
Time: 37:57
Avg. Heart Rate: 146 (78% mhr); max 162 (86%)
Pace: 7.91 minutes/mile (!)

Bike: 3.2 miles
Time: unk.
Avg HR: 134 or so
Pretty good run, there, chappy. Pushed it hard—note AVERAGE MHR percentage (bumped up by final sprint, but it was in the 150’s for much of the last 2/3-but felt good. Last 1.6 miles (final neighborhood lap) tough but manageable. HR recovers fast and well, and now, just a few minutes after, I feel great—energized. Legs pounding a bit—have to stretch it out. Realized that I didn’t schedule in a sprint run this week, which I SHOULD do, maybe after my long bike tomorrow, just a handful of sprints? Biked more for fun, really, because it’s so much fun. Going to bike long tomorrow, maybe at Griffith? Good workout. Not really a brick, but good.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fast Swim, Fast Run

After a day of rest, I did:

Dynamic stretch/core work.
1/2 hour or so of swimming:
Drills: 50 yds of drill up, swim down: fisting, buoy, breathe on R, catch-up, rolling. Good technique stuff.
MAIN SET: 5 (?) X 50 yd. Sprints, fast as I could, which was about 45 seconds per. Pathetic for speed, but good for me. Rested about a minute between, going for about 90% recovery between sets. Felt the form, swimming from the hips, but also felt like I was reaching at times, pushing the edge of good form (It was raining REALLY hard at times, but that was good practice). Heart rate WAY up: high 170’s after one set, though fell quickly. Didn’t wear the monitor.
Cool down: 100 yds, easy.

Stationary bike, 15 minutes. Level 5, rpm ~80 for 45 sec., then sprint at rpm 120 or so for 15 sec. Repeated every minute all the way through. HR: 130’s avg.—hard to see—HRM couldn’t read it.

Yoga stretching: 10 minutes.
Workout duration: 1:10 or 1:15.

Felt good overall. Worried about workout length…I need to get up to 2 hours at times.

Tomorrow: Long run. Want to hit 6.2 miles! Run second half faster than first. Accelerate gradually. HR easy first half, faster the second.

Week plan: Tues: Long Run; Wed: Fast Bike (and short, easy run?) Thurs: Off, Fri: Long swim, Sat: Long Bike. Want to really push speed whilst keeping distances on long days fairly steady., tightening times on mile swim and long run.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Brick Workout!

7:30-8:40 AM

Wound up going to Griffith Park instead of the beach: very rainy and cold today. Bundled up in rain gear, etc., and stayed pretty comfy overall. Powered up to and past the observatory in low gear (stayed seated almost all the way up), then zipped down to the head of a running trail, which terminated, again, after a steep climb, at the observatory. Very good hill run at the end, but kept cool and easy pace. Heart rate pretty low during the ride—in the 110’s and 120’s most of the way—tried to pedal hard on the way down, but HR still dropped, of course—made up for it on the steep run. Overall:

47 minutes bike
19 minutes run
Total time: 1:06:27.
Avg. HR: 123 (approx 66% mhr)
Top HR: 149 (80% mhr; for some reason it’s not showing on the SW right now, but that’s what it was at w/o’s end.

Did 10 minutes of yoga stretching when I returned home and a set of pushups: 23 in 20 seconds; not bad. Upper bod still strong, clearly. Did 22 pullups straight the other day too. Fun to do a brick! And in the rain, to boot. Felt like a tough gut. Could have gone on. Ate a cheese stick at the top of the run. That run will definitely be a good spot: very hilly but good surface for the feet…want to tackle it for real one day; really powering up rather than taking it easy. Get HR up further. One thing’s clear: base is now built. Now must work on speed…

Next week: ease off on sheer distance and up the intensity for some speed work.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Swimming a Mile

6:10-7:20 AM

Flexibility Warmup
: core work—column strength/flexion emphasis.
Long Swim: 1600 meters (1 mile) in 35:24. Last 200 meters a bit faster.

Well, okay. Finally swam a mile! My longest distance. Quite manageable. On that last 200 meters or so, I pushed it, and felt GOOD! All the stretching I’ve done made me really feel the reaching in the water. Kinesthetically, it was great to do such a long, low-intensity swim, because it helps ingrain good technique. Rolling to the left when I breathe felt easier and more natural. Plus, on the 200 meter blast, I felt suddenly like I was actually swimming from the hips, as Harr suggests, and felt the hydrodynamics working for me. Also learning to keep the head IN THE WATER when I breathe. Kicking easily and rhythmically. It’s such an interesting movement, and you can really feel the way that correct technique helps you.

Didn’t do any breathing on the right…gaw. Anyway, quite happy with my progress. Will stay at this distance from here out. I’ll try to go a little faster every week without killing myself.

Tomorrow: brick workout! Going to the beach bike trail to ride a full 20 miles or so, then run another few, keeping myself at around 130 HR or so. Must bring a snack so I can keep my juices going. Want to run ON the beach, down by the water. A two hour workout for once, easy intensity, but LONG. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Heart Rate in the Zone

5:55-7:10 AM

Core work: 5 min
Spin class with HRM: 54 min
Yoga stretches: 10 min

Avg. HR for core work and spin class: 135
High: 169
Kcal: 1135 (seems high)

Well—clearly spin class WORKS as far as keeping my HR in the zone, if not a little high. That average is pretty up there. And to go to 169—close to 90% max puts the spin classes in the III-IV level in intensity. Thing is they lack technical difficulty of real biking, but for base building AND strength building, they’re good. Jeff is a great instructor, keeping things intense. This will be an excellent supplement.

Legs still got very tired! Long way to go in developing leg stamina. Time in the saddle. Keep going to class. HRM very useful with the AVG and HIGH functions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Long Run

Yes, did a long run today. Wanted to do 6.4 miles but wound up doing 4.8 miles at around 132 heart rate. Did the last 1.6 miles at 143 or so…a little more intense. The whole thing took me 46 minutes or so. Pretty slow—around 9 minutes a mile. But felt good afterwards—not wrung out the way I do after sprint workouts. I took around a 30 second-one minute break at each 1.6 miles to have some water—helpful. Definitely a good pace for me; or I should say intensity level. Didn’t bonk, and felt energized after, not drained as I said above.

Thinking of going back to the tried and true three on, one off method. That gives me time to do a speed and a distance workout of all three disciplines, plus some strength training on each three-day cycle if I so desire.

Went to Griffith Park today: they have some great running trails! No need for a track—I’ll run like Rocky, back to nature style, and do Fartleks, sprints and hills, all in a beautiful place. Plus, there’s a great 2.2 mile climb for bike work, and lots of bike-friendly roads throughout the park! It’s about a 3 mile ride from our home—not through the most bike-condusive area, but if I go early enough it should be okay. Course I’ll have to balance early and no traffic with early and no light. I COULD simply load the bike into the back of the truck and DRIVE there, too.

Tomorrow I go to spin class, this time with HRM ON! Will try to stay above 125 or so, and hopefully in the 130’s-150’s throughout the workout. I like the instructor Wednesday mornings—Jeff. A good guy, better than the sub last Tuesday. Depending on where my heart rate is, I may keep going to him, but tomorrow I pick up my bike; or I should say THE bike, at the shop. Perhaps I can do the run this weekend. Another possibility? Do my OWN ride Sat morning before Heidi’s hand class—maybe an early Santa Monica trail ride, maybe there and back for a total of 17 miles or so? Getting myself down to Redondo might be a little much.

Picking up the bike tomorrow! Hurrah. It will be good to at last have it.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Workout

Swim: 200 yds of drills: fisting, push the buoy. No r-side breathing: I was sharing a lane with a guy who seemed serious and was a pretty fast swimmer—r-side makes me swerve. This also kind of screwed me up—I was self-conscious about my swimming.

Main set: 4 X 200 yds. Took around 4 minutes each time. Pushed a little too hard in the first couple and wore myself out. Form was good throughout, but slower as the workout went on. Not the greatest workout after last week. I think my “sprints” should be shorter: 100 yds maximum. 200 yds is too long for a sprint. Was SLOWER than my “trial time” at Triathlon Training Camp! Argh. Unless their timing was wrong, which is possible. Anyway, overall, not a great swim after last Friday’s triumphant 1000 yards with ease. Watched a couple of good swimmers out there: little splashing.

Still, there were times when I felt strong. Next time I do sprints I should DEFINITELY go back to 50 yards. Maybe the Men's Health swim drill.

THEN: Stationary bike, 22 minutes. HR at 130 starting at 2 minutes. Max 137 or so, min 125 or so. Kept spinning rate around 95, peaking at 110, so pretty good clip. A good range breath-wise for me, but this bike—maybe the adjustment on it?—made my legs get sore and lactic-acidy. I kept up the pace at level 4-5 for the full 22 minutes, but it was VERY uncomfortable. Legs burning. Do I not like biking? Haven’t had that problem in Spinning class, but maybe b/c my heart rate wasn’t in the zone. I want to wear the HRM in Spinning class from now on and make sure my heart rate is up sufficiently. Because if my legs are going to be burning when I’m in my training zone I DEFINITELY need work on biking, and lots of it. Didn’t much like the bike I was using—big, wide seat, uncomfortable…small cranks.

Finally have a bike (mountain anyway) to use for training! I have to get it seriously tuned up, however. It’s Johnny’s. I don’t know where I’m going to bike, legitimately…maybe TO the gym and back on swim days? But it will be good to do some training in the elements for a start, and get away from this gym nonsense. Hopefully they can tune up the bike at the shop by later this week and I can use it for a longer ride this weekend.

Not sure my training this week: long run tomorrow? Got to look into the distances I’ll be biking and running here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Last Few Days

Tuesday, Feb 8: Spinning class. Not bad. Basically submitted myself to their system—their warmup, their cooldown, their workout. Overall pretty good, but I HAVE to get ahold of a BIKE. I can do it this weekend—I’m going over to Johnny Ray’s and can get it then. Biking for real feels VERY different, though I’m learning to get my cadence up. I remember Will (Cybele’s friend) saying he had a really hard time with Spinning, as if it were harder than real cycling. Eric Harr says that real cycling is easier on account of the downhill parts where you can coast, so I do think Spinning is beneficial in that way. In a pinch—and for these first couple weeks—it’s been good. But now I need to get out there for real. There is a 6 AM class T-W-Th, so when I need it, it’s good. I like the Wed instructor. Wanted—but forgot—to wear a HRM.

Wednesday, Feb 9: Resistance training. Did a Functional Workout from the Boyle book, (Functional Training for Sports) : snatch, bench, lunge, rows, 1-l stiffleg dl, d2 press. 2 sets of each, manageable weights (155 on bench, 65 on snatch, 25-lb db on lunge, 135 on rows, 25 lb db on sldl, 25 on d2’s.) Felt a little sluggish and like I was approaching overtraining, which I can sense now a little. SWEAR TO GOD that I calmed down CONSCIOUSLY at the end and slowed down my panicking system by doing 2-3 minutes of prayer pose-breathing after my yoga stretches at the end of my workout. VERY helpful, but thinking of rejiggering my resistance training. Is it helping or hurting? I look great, I have to say: abs are really there, everything else tight, if a little smaller (the scale said 182 or 3 the other day, in bathing suit only). Do I NEED weights after all those years of training with them? Is my time better spend on the bike or in the pool? The BIKE I’ve been neglecting sorely.

Thursday, Feb 10: day of rest. Considered another spinning class, but trying to think long-term and keep myself this side of overtraining. Got a long swim tomorrow; want to attempt 800 yards straight, grampa pace. If I can manage that, just one more workout (next week?) will get me up to 1000 yards, which is the 25% over-distance length I need to ensure a strong swim at Redondo. At that point, I can start open-water work (!!!). May need a wetsuit for that. Psyched for the Friday long’s becoming a weekly ritual! R. Shoulder surprisingly good—perhaps it’s worked itself out?

Workouts must get a little more focused. If I do the Tri Of The Champions (4-30), it’s about 10 weeks out now. That’s actually pretty close. Perhaps I should experiment with a week of NO WEIGHTS and see how that goes. Shouldn’t just do wts. Because I want to be big. Must think functionally.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Heart Rate Monitor

Saturday’s run (2/5) very instructive. Wore a HRM for the first time; kept in the aerobic zone, around 130/minute. EASILY ran for the hour. Realized that I could have gone on and on at that pace, given sufficient hydration. Must remember that MOST of my training should be at that level: just building the aerobic base.

MONDAY (today)
Swim workout: functional flexibility w/o; core work (draw in + flexion, V ups, rev. crunch w/twist, etc.). Swim warmup: 200 yards of drills: fist, breathe on the right, push the bouy (finally getting it; head staying down and not emerging on breaths); barrel-rolling from s to s; catch-up drill: also getting easier!! Stroke must be improving.

Main set: 4X75 yds; first 25 at sprint speed (timed one: 21 sec); next 50 at easy aerobic pace. Attempting to prep for good start and/or dealing with rough water. Important.

Cooldown: 200 yards, easy, focusing on form. Some alternate breathing, though I still need to breathe every cycle and not at 1.5 cycles. 5-10 min. of yoga stretches out of pool.

Feel: more tired, of course, than the energizing and encouraging long workout on Friday. But my form is starting to take hold: when swimming fast, I could feel it working for me: stroke direction, breathing, kicking, rolling. Good!

Friday, February 04, 2005

This Weeks’ Training

MONDAY: Swim: 6 X 200 meters. One minute breaks between sets; easy pace. Concentrated on form. Last 200: drills only. Buoy, Fisting, Rotation. Manageable. Shoulder okay; getting better, easier. Also core work, flexibility-focus warmup, cooldown yoga.

KateTUESDAY: 1 hr. 45 minute hike, carrying 25-30 lb. Resistance (Kate), up and around Runyon Canyon. R. foot still bothersome, tried to go hard up the hills, but still fairly easy, even with Kate. A level 2 workout.

WEDNESDAY: Strength training. Functional, lightweight, 2 sets of full-body moves requiring balance and coordination: chinups, presses, scarecrow, lunge and curl, touchdown and press. Felt good; not too intense. Also core work, flex. Warmup, yoga.


FRIDAY (today): Swim: flex. Warmup, core work (drawin + flexion). Easy swims at 500, 400, 300, 200, 100. Last 100 breathing on the RIGHT. HARD! Must keep drilling that to become bilateral breather. Tough, long workout—but DID IT! 1500 yards total, just 100 shy of the mile. I now have the endurance to get through the 400 meters—easily—that the sprint race will require! Hurrah.

Tomorrow (Sat) will be another long run. I’ve secured a bike loan from Johnny Ray and will use his ride for the race(s). Should be fun…glad I’m doing it on the relatively cheap, you know? Now that I’ve got the endurance for the swim, I’ll make one day a week an endurance day and one day a speed day. And once I get Johnny’s bike I’ll start doing the same with cycling. (didn’t spin this week. Bad, but had to rest and miss the Wednesday class…audition that day). Anyway, I’ve got to get on the bike, the real bike, soon. So that will give me the chance. Thinking that I should make it 2 bike days a week—again, one endurance, one speed, and just one run a week…speed AND endurance, bringing my weekly workouts to 5. I think I’ll stick with that for awhile, and see how it works. The triathlon camp workouts are tough, and of course I get competitive, so I push myself.

Tomorrow’s run will be longer than I’ve ever run! Over an hour. Going to go easy and not kill myself AT ALL on this one. Stay with the pack.