Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trainer breakthrough equals dead legs

As the weather has turned awesome (highs in the mid 80’s) I have been upping the volume on the weekends.  This past weekend was the biggest in a LONG time.  Not only did I volunteer at races for a total of 7 hours I also got some real training in.  Some of it was intensity and some of it was volume.

Anyway, doing so I have been taking Monday’s off from training.  Well, you know, taking days off like most of us which means that I swum in the pool (4 x 500) and then did a recovery trainer ride.  I almost never do the recovery rides but the legs were still feeling tired.

And you know what, the legs were dead when I started the easy recovery trainer ride but by the time the 45 minutes had clicked off the legs were much better.  I felt better for having done the ride then having the complete rest.  Recovery rides are something that I recommend to others but I have rarely taken my own advice.  This was a lesson learned.

And it was a good thing that the legs were feeling better.  I dialed up a hard trainer session for Tuesday morning.  I have been noticing that I have been having trainer session breakthroughs each week – but only on Tuesdays.  The rest of the trainer sessions end up being failures.  I dialed up a 2 x 20 minute session.  I added 10 watts to my last successful workout.  I had failed on this workout twice before.

To put this in perspective I have been able to increase my 2 x 20 minute repeats and 4 x 10 minute repeats each of the past several weeks.  I have also failed a fair number of times.

This time I was successful.  This workout is hard but it is not just muscular adaptations – I am getting better at doing the workouts.  I have increased the workload on the 2 x 20 minute repeats by 15% in about a month.  I am pumped to start seeing progress again.

After the trainer session, the legs were tired and achy at the office.  I was not sure about the lunch run.  I need the running volume since Boston is looming over my head.  I have been doing quarter mile walking warm ups as I make my way to the trace.  Once on the trace I set the GPS watch to only show heart rate.  Since I am simply trying to build volume am not worried about pace.  I kept the heart rate in the recovery zone.  The legs were dead for about the first half mile and then they loosened up.  The run became comfortable. 

I like runs like these because I feel I can run forever.  However, six miles was enough for today.  The heat was on in Mississippi and I am not fully acclimated yet – the mid 80’s has sprung up on us rather quickly.  I finished the run with a comfortable heart rate and the 6 miles clicked off at a hair under 8 minute miles.

I have been happy with all of my workouts this week.

  1. The shoulder did not hurt in the pool
  2. The breakthrough trainer session
  3. The comfortable recovery run (whose pace was a little quicker)

Weekend teaser – guess who I am meeting this weekend?



Matty O said...

One thing I told myself I would do this winter was build my bike intensity on the trainer. I did not do that. I think there are HUGE gains from doing your workouts on the trainer. They carry over big time on the run.

Now, the easy recovery rides, I don't know why, maybe cause it gets the blood flowing and speeds recovery and circulation but it has been working for me. Usually when I wake up the legs are stiff and sore. After the trainer, no problems. Sucks to spin that easy and slow but it does work. Being an engineer I want quality workouts, every workout. Learning that is not necessarily the right way to do things anymore haha.

Great job man. CAN'T WAIT for the heat. One last winter blast here and then I think we are in the clear.

Keep up the great work!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Awesome job!! It's always a big mental boost to not only see progress, but to feel better after working out!

Tri4Success said...

Recovery rides work. It's tough dialing the pace down several notches but getting the blood flowing really helps.

dawn said...

i heard you might make an appearance for our run in the morning.

Gotta Run..... said...

Who doesn't LOVE a breakthrough. :)

Great job on a solid week. We are having some nice 80 degree days here in SC. I am having a hard time not burning vacation days. SO HARD!

Caratunk Girl said...

GORDO. Cool. Jealous.

Sounds like a solid week.

Send some of your warm weather our way, OK?