Monday, October 5, 2009

Transition set up and motor pacing

On Friday I continued with the Power90 DVD workouts. They are already becoming a little bit routine although I do like the strength training portion of them. That was one area that I missed this summer – I just did not have time with all of the other volume.

At lunch I decided to try the Tabata intervals on the treadmill. I warmed up for 10 minutes real easy – 6 MPH – a one mile warm up. Since I normally do not do 20 second sprints with only 10 seconds of recovery I was going to take it easy. I have plenty of time to up the intensity. I do not want an injury that is for sure. So right at the 10 minute mark I cranked the treadmill up to 11 MPH. I can do ¼ mile intervals at 10 MPH (or at least I could the last time I did intervals) so 11 MPH for only 20 seconds should not be too hard. And it was not too hard. I was only doing 8 sets for a total of 4 minutes. I would jump on for the 20 seconds and then jump off of the 10 seconds. They were manageable but I did want to jump off the treadmill at the 20 second mark. I looked at my heart rate results after the fact. I topped out at about 179 beats per minute – nowhere near my max – at least the max that I have seen during 5k races – (192 – 194). I also noticed that the 10 seconds of rest did not allow for my heart rate to recover any. During the 4 minutes my heart rate slowly climbed. There were not any dips like in a traditional set of intervals – 10 seconds is simply not enough time for my heart rate to drop. However, that being said, I think the short rest breaks did allow my heart rate to climb at a much slower rate. If I had been outright for the entire 4 minutes I do not think I would have made it – My heart rate would have gotten out of control. Next week I think I will try the same routine but a little faster – a little harder. – Maybe 12 MPH.

On Saturday a group of us met to ride the Eagleman Triathlon bike course – this is the local race that started up last year. I’m not racing it – I have a class that starts on Saturday – but I wanted to get out and ride the course as well as help set up the transition for next weekend. There was a pretty good group of us at 6:30AM. We were going to ride two loops for a total of about 33 miles. I had invited a friend from campus – Jason – who wanted to get in a little bit of open water swimming – the Eagleman will be his first triathlon. Jason was on a hybrid bike. I decided to hang back and shoot the breeze with Jason while we rode the course. Jason had not been off of the trace much and the hills proved challenging. When we were about done with our first loop the fast guys were starting their second loop. I pulled a u-turn and tried to catch up with them. This was tough. They were riding pretty fast and they had a couple hundred yards on me. I really had to dig deep and maintain a fast pace to get a wheel. All I thought about was that you just need 30 more seconds and then you can coast. I think I said that a couple of times. But finally I caught up with them. It only took a couple of minutes for my heart rate to subside from my hard effort. My heart rate dropped back into a comfortably hard range. I was relieved to have caught up with them. We had a good ride for a few more miles and then Keith took the lead. He created a gap of about 50 feet and no one was going with him. I dug deep and tried to bridge the gap - no one came with me. Keith rounded a corner and I finally caught him. We worked together to create a big enough gap that no one could bridge. To be fair –Keith and I are not racing next weekend – we had nothing to lose. All in all it was a spirited ride and a lot of fun. When we got back at the transition area we did a little baby brick – nothing much, only like 1.5 miles. It was a good pace but nothing spectacular. It was comfortably hard.

After the run a few more people showed up and we spent the next few hours assembling bike racks, putting up temporary fencing, carpeting the swim / bike entrances and trading race stories. The place really started to resemble a triathlon transition! Later, Ben and I drove the bike course and marked the turns. There should be no miss understanding of the course – easy stuff. While we were marking the course Mike L. was riding it. We passed him but he was right of our tail! For a couple of miles we were just in front of Mike and I was driving so that he could motor pace off of us. It was a lot of fun – more fun for me since I was driving I am sure. But there was a nice straight away and Mike was right in my draft doing about 35 MPH. It was pretty cool stuff.