Saturday, January 31, 2009

View Larger Map

Above is the hike that I took out behind my new work location in Greenwich in the corner of CT. We found a kickass trail that is gonna be PERFECT once the snow melts. I am gonna figure out how to link it up with that water processing type building on the right beside the highway.

January month in review

Wow, month #1 is already in the books.....that FLEW by! So I did the following:
11050 yards swimming
177 mile biking
35 miles running
3 hours of strength

thats not a lot for 24 total hours of work. Those #'s will go up signifigantly though. I think this was a good first "ease in" month. Next weekend though the REAL base training will begin such as a 90 min outdoor bike followed by a 1:15 hour run the following day. Then those #'s will increase into February with a 2 hour outdoor bike followed by a 1:30 run the following day. I just know that that is gonna be a pain-filled weekend, but I also know that I am gonna start to see HUGE performance changes following that. I am REALLY looking foward to getting back into those longer steadier workouts. BRING IT ON!

Oh and tomorrow @ 9AM in the freazing cold I will be running my second race in central park. This one is only 4 miles. I hope it warms up with no wind! I was down near Union Squre this evening and it was just bitterly cold out, especially in the wind.

Friday, January 30, 2009

EZ ride and dreadmill run

Just did a quick 30 min trainer session last night.

Then this morning did a 30 min dreadmill run....boring as usual, but I am ready for my race on Sunday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

more kettlebells and blisters

Did my second kettlebells class this morning. I think he worked me a bit less hard this time because I told him that I have a race this sunday and after the last class I could barely walk for 2 days. Orrrrr because I have done 2 strength workouts that my body has gotten over the shock already and it can deal with the stress. I will find out tonight and tomorrow if that is true.

My palms are riddled with blisters from gripping the iron kettlebells. Either I need to HTFU or get gloves.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

swam a bit harder

tonight's swim was another 30 min swim with the usual drills. What was new was I incorporated 5 x 25 yard strong lengths where I tried to go all out, then recover 25 yards. Something I haven't done in forever, and it hurt, and I completely out of shape, but my form was good (I think).

Just gotta keep it up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

put through the ringer

Man oh man we got pummeled tonight on the trainer. I was feeling pretty good to start out with and I did a spin up of up to 147 RPM (my legs were spinning FAST!), then we went into the main sets.

The first was 8 mins with 2X(2 mins sitting, 2 mins standing) @ 60 rpm with high resistance. The standing after awhile starts to hurt....BAD. Then 6 mins @ 95-100 rpm at around the same wattage, so an easier gear but a super fast cadence. The faster cadence, easier resistance was a different kind of hurt. Then we did the 2 sets all over again. Finally we finished off with sprints.

Lets just say I was happy to be done!

Monday, January 26, 2009

a swim and a "feeling"

Did a 30 min swim tonight and I accomplish 1150 yards, with a 3rd of those as drills.

My quads are pretty sore today after yesterday's run. So the kicking drills during tonight's swim made my legs ache, especially my left knee. Its good helps loosen em up and to get the soreness out.

I had a "feeling" tonight that I hadn't really felt before while swimming. It was when I went for the "reach" part of the stroke and I felt my lat muscle engage on my right side. I mean I REALLY felt it engage. So this is what my coach has been talking about so much. I think I felt it every now and then when we would practice stretching out arms up a wall out of the water, but I wasn't quite sure. Well tonight I DEFINATELY felt it. That just means that I am getting my maximum reach and engaging that muscle to do the pulling.

So for my next swim on Wednesday, that will be my goal to engage that muscle and to also engage that muscle on the left side as well.

I think my left arm cross over is getting better as is my right elbow recovery. I am feeling a lot smoother in the pool and a bit stronger as well. I have been doing this same workout every monday night and usually I end up with 1050 yards...tonght I was able to get in an extra 100 in the same time. Also, my warmup of 450 yards was easier than any night this year so far. My swimming endurance is slowly creeping back!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

17 degree run

17 degrees this morning, with no wind, which meant it was actually pretty warm while running. I was wearing the appropriate layers, and as long as I didn't stop, I did not get cold. It was a very good run actually...7.27 miles over an hour and 7 mins...i felt strong from the start and maintained a good pace (9:17 avg). On one part of the run the road was blocked off by firetrucks, so I had to divert down a steep hill, which meant I would have to climb back up that elevation to get back to my route. That first steep up killed me. My heart rate spiked to over 180 and my pace dropped to about 10:30. Guess that means I need to work on my hills!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

indoor time trial

I did a 10 mile indoor time trial this morning on the compuTrainer down at Altheus. There were 4 of us hooked up and racing each other. Basically this race was not about tactics, but about how hard you could go and remain at a sustainable pace for ~30 mins. Here is my data:

I ended up finishing in around 28 mins, so I averaged 21.8 mph and 236 watts. My threshold power, as of the Tuesday's power test, is 220 watts. So this is my new baseline and a number that I will want to increase over the next months.

I am starting to notice that biking indoors is ok and maintains things even with doing the hard intervals, but its nothing compared to going outdoors. Even a 90 min outdoor ride I feel gives me a better overall workout then riding indoors for 75 mins while doing hard 4 x 6 min intervals. I think its the variability in the terrain that works ALL of your legs muscle groups that help you become stronger. Its also amazing how after only 1 50 miler how much your legs will snap immediately to a new level. Hopefully I can do this in a few weeks. I have a 4 mile running race next weeekend so a long ride is out of the Q.

Friday, January 23, 2009

short swim

but a breakthrough! on a couple lengths I picked up my pace naturally and swam strong with good technique. It felt great! now I just gotta do this type of swimming more often until it becomes my new norm.

I think its all starting to come together.

Unfortunately I missed last night's 30 min bike and only did 22 out of 60 mins of swimming this morning. I am just freaking wiped and my arms were giving out @ 1000 yards. This week kinda didnt turn out the way it should have but at least I am feeling sorta stronger than 3 weeks ago.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

no time to post!

it has been go, go go go for the past 2-3 days. Is today Thursday?

Sunday I was supposed to run for an hour, but it snowed so I was relegated to the dreadmill. I tried for 60 mins, but I was just not mentally there and gave up @ 30 mins. I was also still recovering from last Thursday's kettle bells class.\

Monday I took off.

Tuesday was a hard one where I did two trainer sessions. The first I was hooked back up to the VO2 max machine with the mask where we determined my power zones. I am still awaiting that data. But here is a graph that shows what a power test looks like in watts (notice the stair stepping every 3 mins or so):

Then immediately following the test (which I was working at a 9 out of 10 intensity) I went into the next room to do the 1 hour spin class. This is what that looked like:

So yeah, after 6 min intensities, there were 15 second all out sprints.

I got worked over pretty hard!

Then yesterday morning I was back on the treadmill for a 30 min run with a couple surges. I felt great for this workout because I think I ate enough (and the correct kind) food immediately following the each spin session. This helped me recovery. Then last night I was in the pool for an hour. That hurt and I was outa breath for most of the workout.

Now this morning I was back at Altheus for a one hour strength class to learn the ropes on how to do a quick strength routine in about 20 mins. My coached stretched it out to make it an hour. My arms and forearms are pretty sore right now. I was able to do 2 sets of 20 pushups this time without looking bad! lol

This week is turning about to be about 10 hours of work. Next week, though, things are gonna come down to let all of this hard work absorb.

I'm tired!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

75 mins...

on the trainer. I went fairly well. My tush hurt by the end and had to stand to allow some blood flow back into the region.

75 mins and I was done....not sure if I wanted to spend another 15 on that thing. At least the first 60 were easier than last week's 60 mins, so its getting better.

Still wish I could be outdoors, except when it feels like -7 out, I think I will stay indoors.

Friday, January 16, 2009

recovery bike and swim

The recovery bike this morning sorta kinda loosened me up from my ultimate soreness. Unfortunately I went right back to my rigid state.

But the saving grace of the day was my swim that I just got back from. I had zero motivation to go swimming tonight, but boy oh boy am I glad I did. It FINALLY loosened me up that I can actually walk normally today. Those 1000 yards were of pure loosen-me-up-ness.


I did my first kettlebell class yesterday morning.....7AM in the morning....yeah, too freaking easty for my taste! Basically the point of this class is to work on core strength but also to tighten me up.....and to make me really REALLY REALLY REALLYsore!

In fact, I was walking like some old person who throw out his back all day today. I could barely bend down to touch my toes. I had to mentally get myself ready to bend over to pick something up, that is how much that kettlebells class kicked my ass.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

dreadmill run and an asskicker in the pool

this morning's dreadmill run was not bad. I was a bit sore in the hamstring's from last night's spin class, but otherwise fine. I borrowed my friend's Garmin footpod to test once and for all the speed of the treadmill. I was right! The treadmill is displaying slower speeds than what it is actually doing, by about 20-30 seconds! I KNEW I was going faster than what it showed.

I feel better now. I averaged a 9:32 min/mile pace to keep things easy-ish.

Then tonight I just about drowned myself in the pool. 2100 yards in one hour, including about almost half of those yards being drills. I knew I was swimming somewhat correctly tonight because for the first time in my life my lat muscles are sore and I can feel em. Finally!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

spin class

Higher repetition sets tonight at the spin class. I (tried) to keep my cadence at a minimum of 90 rpm, even with harder gear changes.

It was tought tonight, but manageable.

my funny race pic

This is from this past weekend's 5 mile race. My facial expression is like "get this over with!"

...while the woman behind me is like "OH HAI!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

just a swim

an easy day.....early swim. Did 1050 yards in 30 mins with drills mixed in. I swam in the morning to get it over with and to clear up the rest of the day.

I was going to attempt yoga @ work today for the first time, but my meeting @ 12 ran over.....i didnt want to show up late on the first day. I think I will try again for next Monday.

I will have 36 hours of rest between this morning's swim and tomorrow night's spin class. I have a feeling tomorrow night is gonna be a tough one!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

post race, on the trainer

I feel fine post race. I guess I could have gone harder yesterday? Man I am so mad at myself for just thinking that my watch was going to automagically pick up my HRM. I really wanted that HR data.

This morning I hopped on the trainer for 60 mins, and no longer than that. BORING!

video out into your TV, then I use my noise Fortunately I have "The Office," Season 5 from iTunes. I bought a cord that will take your iPodcanceling headphones and I can't hear the trainer and I can hear and see my show perfectly. That was a necessay expense because I am going to be spending a lot of quality time on that thing. Still definately easier to pass time on that than the dreadmill.

I had to mix it up @ one point cuz it was getting really monotonous. The good news is is that at the point I had been increasing speed, cadence, and power gradually, so I was getting looser.

Here is the graph:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

COLD, but very successful race

I completed my first race of the season, a 5 miler around central park. It was VERY cold, about 24 degrees at the start and even colder before then. I was on the 5:41 train down to 86th street to pick up my race # and timing chip. It was so freaking cold! Although it could have been colder...

When I started my warmup, it was just that, it warmed me up and unfroze my frozen hands. I was in the 4th corral, so when the horn went off, we didn't move. It was ok though. We just walked slowly until we got to the start and we were off! I think I picked a slower corral than I should have, as I was trying to get around everyone. I am gonna move up one corral for the next race.

It could have been a good thing though to be in a slower corral as that kept me from going too hard too soon. My warmup loosened me up, but I wasn't @ 100% yet.

Between miles 2 and 3 I started stripping off clothing because I was fully warmed and overheating. By mile 3 I was at 100% and ready to really go. I picked up my pace a bit and went into auto drive until the end.

I finished in 42:51 over 5 miles, so an 8:32 min/mile pace average. I will take that! Considering a year ago I was just starting the couch to 5K on the dreadmill. I think I will call that some good progress over the course of a year! Not running at all, to belting out 5 miles and not even blinking.

Here is my pace graph:

Friday, January 9, 2009

short indoor ride

30 mins on the trainer this morning @ a recovery heart rate. I did just that. Ended up with 7.31 miles.

Tomorrow AM I race Central Park. Its gonna be fun and the first time I run Central Park.

I am actually going to warm up for this race, cuz its gonna be stupid cold and the only way to stay warm is to keep moving.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

met with nutrionist, and garmin fun!

I met with Altheus' nutritionist today. Basically I can only consume about 2450 calories a day to promote a 1 pound per week weight loss. My diet so far has been good, I just needed to cut down on portion sizes, and add even more balance to my diet. She also helped me understand why my blood sugar would be so outa wack after eating a piece of food. i.e., I was not eating any protein or fat with that high sugar piece of fruit. 2450 calories is gonna be tough, but I will be using to track those calories. So in 10 weeks, if all goes as planned, I should weight in the 154-155 area, which would be about a 20 pound weight loss since last February. Not bad i'd say...

I got my Garmin all hooked up to my computer and was able to download the data. Looking at it is very very similar to CycleOps Power Agent, but instead of just showing a graph, it shows off a map of my route via the GPS. It also shows the heart rate graph over horizontal bars of my 5 heart rate zones. So for this run, it turned out to be mostly a tempo run since my heart rate was mostly in zone 3.

Awesome stuff! I will get the route and graph uploaded to a site that is publicly viewable.

And finally, my Garmin HRM is compatible with my PowerTap's computer. This is awesome as I can graph an outdoor route via GPS along with power, heart rate, etc.

difference between GPS and

My GPS during my run said that I went 4.62 miles. said I went 4.82 miles.

Which is more accurate? Well if I map the .25 mile track by my place, it comes out to EXACTLY .25 miles, so I am gonna go with for now.

So either I ran a 9:11 min/mile pace or I ran an 8:48 min/mile pace. I am gonna go with down the middle, which is my usual 9 min/mile pace.

I am borrowing my friend's foot pod that will work with the watch. It overrides the GPS, which is fine, and I will run the same course again and see out of the 3, which is the most accurate.

ran outside

This time my run outside went a LOT better. I have NO idea why that last 3.5 mile outdoor run last week whipped me so badly. I ran 4.62 miles this morning in about 42:27, or about a 9:11 min/mile. I was tired by the end, but right now I feel only a little sore.

I used my Garmin for the first time, and I was basically figuring out how to use the thing as I walked during my warmup. When I was about to start running I was hitting the "Start" button and nothing was happening. I quickly figured out I had to go into the "Training" mode, then hit "Start." So disaster averted, I went on my run and tried to keep it as easy as possible.

I only sorta slipped once on the ice, and had to navigate out into the middle of the road a few times because the sides of the road were pretty icy in some spots.

I am ready for the 5 miler on Saturday. As of right now its supposed to snow. I am not planning on putting in a personal best anyways....just wanting to finish @ this point!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

back in the pool

and tonight was actually not that bad. I actually had some endurance!

I put in 1550 yards in about 43 mins and change, which was about half of what I was supposesd to put in. OOPS! This is the first time back in the pool in about 2 weeks, plus I have to run about 5 miles tomorrow, 2 workouts on Friday, then a 5 mile RACE on saturday followed by a 90 min bike on Sunday. I think tonight is not gonna break the bank!

My form in the pool was good when rested. When I started to get tired, I got sloppy. I am happy with tonight. I think a few more weeks and I will be on a better solid footing, if that makes sense.

I'm tired and I need to learn how to use my watch before bed before I get up @ the crack of stupid tomorrow morning for a run.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

it has begun!

with the first spin class of the year. It wasn't too too bad tonight. I think I could have tightened up the resistance one more turn as during the hardest intervals I ran out of gears, and was only pushing ~250 watts. Yeah, there could have definately been a lot more resistance.

Good to be back on the bike. I still wish I could be outdoors....

My coach has got me on training peaks. He can update my workouts on the fly, I see em, do em, then report with data. Pretty awesome! There is a lot to it and I think its gonna take a bit to get used to all of its features, especially sharing workout data.

Also, I bought the Garmin 405 Forerunner, a GPS enabled watch with HRM. It has every bell and whistle I can imagine on it, except for being able to swim with it, which is not biggie. I look forward to using this new toy as well.

And now that I have every toy I could ever imagine having for this super expensive sport, I must now go out and actually start logging some solid data!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Tonight was the start of the new season. THE Assessment.

Started off with weight and height measurements, then onto body fat caliper measuremeants. I came in @ 25% body fat. So I have LOTS and LOTS of room to loose some poundage :)p

Then it was onto the treadmill. I remembered from last year's bike test that it was gonna start out easy then get hard, VERY hard. It happened just like that. Towards the end I was running 9 mph (or about a 6:44 min/mile) at an incline. I was moving fast and starting to lose composure and I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest, so I called it quits. It was enough data anyways. My heart rate peaked at a max of 194, and prolly could have gone higher had I gone longer. I was putting out a max VO2 of 61, which for my age is above average (yay! at least I have one thing that is above average!). If I lose some body fat, that number is going to increase.

So my heart rate zones break down as follows:
Zone 1: 144 -154 BPM or 10:00 - 10:56 min/mile pace
Zone2: 154 - 164 BPM or 9:31- 10:00 min/mile pace
Zone3: 164 - 174 BPM or 8:13 - 9:31 min/mile pace
Zone4: 174 - 184 BPM or 6:40 - 8:13 min/mile pace
Zone5: 184+ BPM or 6:40 or faster min/mile

So this means that my Anaerobic Threshold (AT) is at 174 BPM. That means that if I train at 174 BPM or higher, then I will improve that threshold, meaning I will get faster and be able to hold it for longer. I think, though, that I will train at pace and feel rather than staring at my heart rate. Or, like I did this past summer, if I need to do a recovery run at a slow pace, I will set my alarm to go off I go over a heart rate limit, so force myself not to overdo it.

After the treadmill, I did some raw strength work, starting with benchpresses. I can bench a max of a whopping 107 pounds. WOW! I can however, leg press 447 pounds.

And now for the best part. I can do 20 pushups in 60 seconds and can do 21 situps in 60 seconds. I am a lean, mean, not so great core machine! haha

Sooooo.....doing strength 2X per week is gonna help with that, such as a Kettles and Bells workout and an at home simple strength workout such as pushups, planks, situps, etc. Plus I am going to try to start yoga once per week, starting next week when it starts.

So I am mostly sore right now from doing the freaking pushups and sit ups. ouch!

Friday, January 2, 2009

a new year and time to get things going

The holidays are finally over and they took a bit of a toll on my endurance. Time was one thing, but not getting outdoors on a regular basis definately took more of a toll, I think. From here on I will be on a fixed schedule without very many time wrenches thrown in. Plus, I will have scheduled races thrown in to keep up my motivation!

So this morning I hopped onto the treadmill and ran a 5K in about 28.5 mins, or a 9:30 min/mile pace. Still not the same as going outdoors, but I kept my pace a bit higher than usual to simulate the outdoors.

From here I am taking it easy until Monday night, which will be my treadmill assessment test to determine heart rate zones, VO2 Max, and zone paces. This will set me up for my first race on January 10th, almost a week away. The race is 5 miles around a portion of Central Park, in NYC.