Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Run Log

Since 2010 marked my first full marathon, I thought I would take a look back at my running workouts for the calendar year. I had a total of 127 runs for 940.73 miles. If I was so inclined, this distance would have taken me from Louisville to Toronto. I'm guessing I would decided to fly back home.

Since I'm a geek, I decided to make a graph showing each run (even speed work at the track) and it's distance. This actually looked pretty cool, showing my build-up to my half-ironman triathlons in May and July and my marathon in November.

Just for comparison, I looked back at 2009. I only logged 632 miles in 2009...so this past year I managed to squeeze in 308 more miles! Wow...where did I find the time???

During a run on Sunday (12/26) morning, I stepped off the side of the road while doing some hill repeats and severely sprain my ankle. This is definitely the worst sprain I've ever had and within a few hours, my ankle was the size of a softball. I iced it on and off all day Sunday while keeping it elevated. I started adding in some compression (thanks for the Christmas gift of compression socks, Mom & Dad!) yesterday and this morning I was able to walk on it without crutches. I did about 45 minutes on the bike this morning and it felt ok. It's going to be a while before the swelling goes down enough to even think about running on it, but I have to let it heal properly or it will be nagging me for months. Injuries are never good, but one now is something I can work with...one in July is not!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Run Lactate Threshold Test

So yesterday I did a LT test for the bike. Today I did the same thing for the run.

Here's the test:

15 minute warm-up at an easy pace
Then run a 30 minute time trial at my maximum sustainable pace. The key is to run at a pace that you can sustain for 30 minutes, without slowing down (steady pace throughout).
I pushed the lap button 10 minutes into the time trail to get my average heart rate for the final 20 minutes.
This average heart rate is my Lactate Threshold for running. Here's the results:

Avg. HR = 174 bpm

In order to find my ranges, I take my 174 bpm and multiply it by percentages to get each zone (just like I did yesterday to find my bike zones). For Zone 4, I use 0.96 and 1.03. This gives me a range of 166-179. This is my new Zone 4 (LT or Anaerobic Threshold). Using this formula, I can find all of my HR zones. Here's what I came up with.

Zone 1 (70-76%): 121-132 bpm
Zone 2 (77-85%): 133-148 bpm
Zone 3 (86-95%): 149-165 bpm
Zone 4 (96-103%): 166-179 bpm
Zone 5 (104-max%): 180-max

My legs and body were pretty tired from yesterday's bike test, so I didn't have the extra push that I wanted. I'm not sure that I agree with these numbers (expected them to be higher), but I will have another test in 6 weeks that may correct these a little bit. For now, this is what I'm going with.

After the run TT, I splashed some water around for the first time in almost 7 weeks. Here's my workout:
480yd warm-up (9:28)
Drills (480yd in 9:10)
Two laps of each (single arm, fist swimming, catch-ups, one side, 3-1 transition)
48yd cool-down (1:00)
Total workout: 1008 yd in 19:39 (1:57/100yd pace)

It felt good to get back in the water, but even with only going for 20 minutes, I'm sure I will have some sore muscles over the next few days.

Monday, December 20, 2010

In 250 days, I will....

...be smack-dab in the middle of Ironman Louisville. Training for that day started today (technically, I've been building up my endurance over several years, but from now on, every training session is done with a purpose - to survive Ironman!). I'm using the 36-week Triathlon Dominator program designed by Ben Greenfield. Today is Day 1.

Today's workout had a very specific purpose, which was to determine my heart rate zones on the bike. I will use these zones to make sure that every time I'm on the bike, I am getting the absolute most out of that workout.

So here's what I did this morning:

30 minutes of weights while I waited for my watch to charge - I thought that it was charged when I looked at it last night...I was wrong. Not exactly the way I planned on starting my training for Ironman (IM)!

Once I had a decent charge on my Garmin, I hopped on the bike. I used a 20 minute warm-up to get my heart rate up and my legs loose. I then did a 40 minute time trail at a cadence of 85-90 rpm. I maintained a high intensity the whole 40 minutes, hard breathing and leg fatigue. I checked my cadence once every few minutes to make sure that I wasn't riding too slow. I hit my lap button on the watch 10 minutes into the time trail so that I could get my average heart rate for the final 30 minutes. This average heart rate is my bike lactate threshold (LT) heart rate. My LT heart rate is 165 bpm. I finished with a 10 minute cool-down. This was by far the hardest I've asked my body to work since the marathon...and it felt good!

Here's what the workout looked like:

So what do I do with this info? I'm going to use this LT HR to determine all of my new bike HR zones. The zones shown on the chart above are what I used last year after my VO2 bike test in November of 2009. In order to find my ranges, I take my 165 bpm and multiply it by percentages to get each zone. For Zone 4, I use 0.96 and 1.03 (96% and 103% for you non-math people). This gives me a range of 158-170. This is my new Zone 4 (LT or Anaerobic Threshold). Using this formula, I can find all of my HR zones. Here's what I came up with.

Zone 1 (Recovery): 115-125 bpm
Zone 2 (Endurance): 126-140 bpm
Zone 3 (Muscular Endurance): 141-157 bpm
Zone 4 (Lactate Threshold): 158-170 bpm
Zone 5 (Sustained Speed): 171-max

I'll do a similar test to find my run HR zones tomorrow. Should be fun painful!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Will Running In The Cold Make You Sick?

I don't mind prefer running when it's cold outside. I've yet to find a temperature that is too low for me to run in. I take proper precautions if it get's below zero and cover all exposed skin, but air temperatures in the teens or even single digits don't bother me. I ran last week when it was 16° F. I ran yesterday morning when it was 11° . Both times, I felt pretty good after getting warmed-up. Admittedly, getting to the point where I feel loose and my legs feel good takes longer in the cold, but it's not a big deal.

I was told by two different people yesterday that "you're going to get sick running when it's this cold". I gave both people the same response, "I'm not worried about it."

I've spent that last three winters doing all of my running outside. I hate treadmills. Refuse to use them. So my runs this time of year are planned around the snow and ice, not the temperature. If it's dry outside and the roads are fairly clear - I'll dress accordingly and head out. I don't hesitate to run outside in the cold because I know that it's not the cold air makes you sick. You can't catch a cold, the flu, or even pneumonia from exercising in the cold. Not even running outside butt naked in the freezing cold will make you sick. You actually have to pick up a germ or a virus from somewhere or someone. You are more likely to get sick by using a treadmill in a gym that someone just finished lathering with all of their germs! Think people clean the equipment? Think again.

So now you have one less excuse to keep you from running this winter. Buy some Under Armour and get your butt out the door!

The 2010 Ironman World Championship will be on NBC this Saturday, December 18th from 4:00-6:00pm.
The race was actually held on October 10th, but NBC likes to take their time preparing the footage. They include not only race coverage, but lots of stories on the participants as well. In my opinion, they spend too much time talking about the athlete's and giving their life stories and not enough time showing the actual race. However, I understand that they are trying to make it something even non-triathletes will watch. So set your DVR (or watch it live if you're old school) and enjoy one of the greatest Ironman World Championships ever...the men's pro finish is awesome!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Offseason to a triathlete is no different than that of any other serious athlete. While you may cut back on workouts, you never completely stop training. I've been limiting myself to just a few short runs (4-7 miles) a week and focusing on some strength and core building exercises.

I've been doing each of these circuits once a week followed by some "abnormal' cardio (i.e. rowing machine, elliptical, stair stepper):

Swimming related circuit
4 times through with 1-2 minutes rest after each circuit.
Cable torso twists (10 reps per side)
Medicine Ball Twisters (10 reps per side)
Cable Single arm chest press with rotation (10 reps per side)
Stability Ball Military Press (10 reps)

Bike related circuit
4 times through with 1-2 minutes rest after each circuit.
One arm dumbell clean and press (10 reps per arm)
Low to high WoodChopper (10 reps per side)
Double arm lawnmower (10 reps per direction)
Tricep pushdown (10 reps)

Run related circuit
4 times through with 1-2 minutes rest after each circuit.
Ice Skaters / Lateral hops (20 reps)
Alternating Lunge with overhead press (10 reps per leg)
Squat bicep curls (10 reps)
Dumbell Running Arms (10 reps per arm)
Walking Lunge with twist (10 reps per leg)

If you would like to see what any of these exercises look like (some are pretty wild), go to this website.Yes, I get some weird looks at the gym!

Here's a list of the runs I've done since my marathon:
11/12/10 - 4.0 miles in 30:34 (7:42 min/mile pace)
11/15/10 - 4.8 miles in 36:27 (7:34 min/mile pace)
11/17/10 - 6.0 miles in 47:12 (7:49 min/mile pace)
11/20/10 - 4.3 miles in 31:54 (7:24 min/mile pace)
11/23/10 - 3.5 miles in 27:50 (7:58 min/mile pace)
11/25/10 - IHR Thanksgiving Day Race - 5.0 miles in 36:36 (7:19 min/mile pace)
12/02/10 - 6.0 miles in 45:06 (7:31 min/mile pace)
12/07/10 - 6.8 miles in 53:05 (7:51 min/mile pace)

A few more weeks of taking it easy...training for 2011 officially starts on Monday, December 20th!!!

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