Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Return to Strength

There is a groove in the road from my house to Ponds Forge which has started to fill in over the last few months.  I don't usually use the gym but the pool.  However,  having exhausted all strength training options at home for certain upper body exercises,  the time has come to get back into the groove.

My journey starts, not with anatomical adaptation but by repairing the rear wheel on my bicycle so that I do not have to take my car to the gym.  There are standards people!

So tonight that job is done. Tomorrow I rest. Safe in the knowledge that I have swum today and will pump weights on Thursday.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Allerthorpe Post Race Analysis - Back on a high note.

I have to write these down before I forget.

Thank you to my lovely family-in-law
Before races:

  • Check tyres are OK & change / repair as necessary.
  • Charge your garmin(s)
  • Awkward things to remember to pack - number belt, track mitts, sweat band, hair bobble, HRM 
  • Remember to set up the HRM settings on your Garmins - screens, alarms
  • Check the lock laces on shoes
From today's race - learnings

Swim - went off a bit fast but not too bad.  I need to focus on upping the time which I can hold that pace.  All in all though, I am really glad with my performance.  I managed to hold on to a few people but let it go and swim on my own when I needed to take it easier.

Bike - Didn't know what HR to hold and my HRM kept telling me my HR was too low.  I guess I had it set to 4 minimum and I was mostly riding at 3.5 to 3.8.  Thing is, that's actually 4.5 to 4.8 so I was nearing my assumed threshold.  I backed it off to 3.5 to see me through the event but that did feel a bit slow so I upped it again.  It translated to around 20 mph on the bike so that was a bonus compared to previous PE rides.  To conclude on this, zone 4.8 is about right for being close to threshold for me.  I now need to concentrate on going faster in this zone and also coping well with occasional sorties above that threshold.  I can have a play with 3.9 & 4.0 in training.

Run - The run was trickier to keep an eye on.  My watch kept going off at the beginning leading me to believe I also had a HR low alarm set on that.  I didn't so the time I wasted walking and trying to change the alarm was truly wasted.  I seemed to settle down into a pace although I could only look at average HR because I hadn't set my screens up properly.  I eventually found my HR and realised that the alarm was going off because HR was high... so I need to do more Brick sessions then...

I continued for a while at a steady pace, keeping below my alarm limit of 173 but I was just getting passed a lot.  When someone came past me who was going only slightly faster, I dropped in behind him as he was a good size for me to draft him.  The extra heart rate of 180 bpm (anaerobic now) was offset by the reduced effort of running into the wind.  I reassured him that I couldn't keep it up, stuck with him for about 5 minutes then dropped away again when we hit the sanctuary of hedgerows.  

When two miles was called on the run, I tried to lift my pace to keep the number of people passing me to a minimum.  It wasn't too difficult to do and although it made my HRM sing out, it felt do-able.  With 1 mile to go I checked the time and estimated I could beat my PB if I strode out to an even faster run.  Unfortunately I couldn't keep it up longer than 1 minute and my legs started to ache and people started to pass me.  It wasn't a major event today (although a very important part of my recovery) so I backed off and waited until the final leg into the finish before releasing the finish beast!

The finishing beast was not strong enough to keep a couple of athletes at bay but it was enough to stop most of them from passing me.  My sprint finish started just before turning off the road and no-one else passed me.  Nor did I catch anyone.  It was 3 minutes long but felt like a lifetime.

Things to do before my next race:
  • set up the screens on the run watch so that I have the information I need - like actual HR.
  • More brick bike-run sessions.
  • Sub Th workouts to improve speed & consistency.
  • Super Th workouts to get accustomed to accelerations & to make speed attacks stick.
  • Endurance swim speed sessions in the water.  Work on speeding the third lap from 10:30 to 9:30 then all laps to 9:00
  • Look up how much time I was able to hold the finishing pace that I attempted with 2 miles to go and work on extending it.  Max HR duration 5 minutes at 180.
  • Check the bike HR settings for sub- and super- threshold limits based on today's performances.  Aim to keep 3 Peaks HR lower than that.
Swim: 29:07 average SPM = 53 Laps: 9:00, 9:33, 10:31 (T2011 - 29:45)
T1 - 4:27 Forgot gloves and went back for them in this weather! (T2011 - 03:56)
Bike - 1:16:52 Z3 - 12:29 Z4 - 59:05 Z5A - 2:04 Z5B - 0:44 Z5C - None - how very restrained! (T2011 - 1:12:52)
T2 - 2:48 Left helmet on & forgot to switch to lock laces! (T2011 - 02:42)
Run - 1:01:46 Z3 - 0:55 Z4 - 37:30 Z5A - 13:28 Z5B - 9:48 Z5C - 0:14 (T2011 - 57:41)

Overall - 198 /
Women - 34 / 49
Women AG - 9 / 13
Though I claim I could advance at least 8 places based on the number of people having a little walkie during the swim and the large peloton that passed me on the bike course.