Posts Tagged Clipless

Weekend Workouts

I’m starting to feel a lot better about my training and the tri coming up.  My training has been more regular over the last week and I’m starting to feel like I’m not playing catch up quite as much as I had been.  I guess I didn’t lose as much of my base fitness as I thought I had.  Or maybe I’ve just done a good job of gaining it back.  Whatever it was, I’m glad to be back in the game!

Friday was a planned complete rest day.  I got home and felt like I should go do something anyways, but managed to convince myself to stick to the plan since I had done a pretty good job of getting in my workouts during the week.  Curtis and I had a “date” night and went out to a nearby seafood restaurant for some fresh fish.  We had a delicious dinner, starting with sushi as an appetizer.  Then seared ahi tuna with mushrooms and truffle sauce.  It was quite good.  Curtis had a whole flounder for his meal, with a really delicious cucumber salad on the side.  It was a very nice and relaxing evening.

The running club has a five mile run every Saturday morning (and a 10 miler on Sundays), so we decided to get up early to make it for the 8AM start.  Curtis had to drag me out of bed, because I woke up and decided I really didn’t want to go.  But we went, and I’m glad we did.  I started out running in the middle of a pack, but I was pretty much alone.  They all seemed to know each other and it was hard to find an opening to break into the conversation.  After a few minutes, they picked up the pace, faster than I wanted to push it.  So I fell back and met a really nice woman who has quite the running resume.  She has run numerous marathons and ultramarathons.  We ran together for the rest of the way together.  It was really nice because she’s been a member of the club for a number of years, so she could tell me a bit more about it and introduce me to a lot of the other people.  We did walk for a bit on a few hills, but ran the majority of the five miles.  I tried to not be the one to suggest dropping to a walk, I only asked to walk once.  The rest of the times, she was the one who decided when we would walk.  I think I’ll try it out again on Saturday and really try to run the whole five miles without stopping, even if it means I have to find someone new to run with.   The whole run took 53:11, so about a 10:30 pace.

After running, we met up with a bunch of the club members for breakfast at the town center nearby.  I had a very delicious bagel with veggie cream cheese.  Yum.  It was a nice break from my usual oatmeal for breakfast.  I don’t think we’d do the group breakfast on a regular basis, but it was nice to meet a few more people.

I did go to see a dog later on Saturday evening, and to see how she would do with my cat.  Unfortunately, it did not go well.  My poor kitty was not very happy about having to travel in her carrier and then get to a strange place to meet a big German Shepherd Dog.  Needless to say, she will not be my dog.  She definitely needs a cat-free home.

Having my workout done early in the day on Saturday was such a treat that  I decided to do it again on Sunday and go for my bike ride first thing in the morning.  I’ve found it’s easier to keep up with the training on the weekends if I commit to it first thing in the morning.  I did 34 miles in 2 hours and 19 minutes at an average 14.9mph pace.  Throughout the ride, I had a really hard time clipping in on my right pedal.  I’m not really sure what was wrong, at first I thought there might be something stuck in the pedal or in the cleat, but I checked mid-way through my ride and didn’t find anything.  I’m not sure what the problem was, but I hope it doesn’t happen again!

When I got back to the house, I was really happy to see that my average overall speed was a bit faster than my speed on the first leg of the ride (14.8mph).  It was a beautiful morning, if a little hot and humid.  I managed to keep up a good breeze to keep me cool throughout the ride.  By the time I was done, it was nearly 11AM and the sun was really beating down hard.  The rest of the day was pretty low key- Curtis and I wrote thank you notes for our wedding gifts and watched movies all day.

Today was my day for weight training with my mom.  We did NROL4W Stage 1, workout A:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 15 @ 60lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 15 real push-ups

B2. Seated Row – 2 sets of 15 @ 70 lbs

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 15 @ 15lbs dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 8

We’ve finally got our sessions worked out so that we are a lot more efficient about taking turns.  We had been trading off on each set, but that wasn’t very effective because it threw off our rest intervals.  It was also hard to constantly change the weights between my mom and me.  We haven’t figured out the perfect set-up yet, but we’re definitely making progress.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try and get to the pool in the morning to get a swim in before work.  We’ll see what happens.  I’m not very tired, but I’ll need to be asleep in a half hour in order to get enough sleep to get up on time.

Have a great week!

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Back to the Grindstone

I’m here!  Sorry, I’ve been terrible about blogging the past couple of days.  I was pretty busy over the weekend doing wedding planning stuff and didn’t have quite as much time for working out as I would have liked.  I only got in about a half hour easy bike ride (all in Zone 1).  I’m not too torn up about it though, I still consider that part of my week “off” after the race.  But now it’s time to get back to the grindstone.  Yesterday, I did 45 minutes of weight training- the usual consisting of some core work and then full body workouts.  Then I ran a mile on the treadmill and walked some to cool-down.

I’ve almost got my training plan for the next 18 weeks figured out.  I’m using Joe Friel’s guide to create an annual training plan in The Triathlete’s Training Bible.  I’ve just truncated it to fit the last weeks of this season for me.  If things go well with it, I expect I’ll use it for my next year’s training as well, with the end goal of possibly doing a half-Ironman in the fall.  We’ll see.  The first step was to determine goals and figure out how many annual training hours I can complete.  I based my program on 450 annual hours.  My three main goals are:

1. Complete the Olympic distance triathlon in 3:40.

2. Improve my run speed to be able to run a 10K at a 9 minute mile pace.

3. Improve bike strength to be able to sustain a 90+ cadence for at least 60 minutes.

Based on these goals and the annual training hours, I’ve broken down my schedule into six different periods- two base periods, two build periods, a peak, and race periods.  I’ve also assigned specific targets for each week for each sport.  Every fourth week is a rest and recovery week.  My final step is to plan out each week’s workouts.  The book has some example workouts to use, so I’ll probably incorporate some of those and make up some of my own as well.

The weather was gorgeous tonight for my bike ride.  My focus for this ride was endurance, and I wanted to stay mostly in Zone 2 with a few Zone 3 efforts included.  I rode west on the trail, which is opposite the direction that I usually ride, because it has a few good short hill efforts to play with.  My total workout was a little bit over 22 miles.  I felt really great on the first half, I was riding in my big chain ring and pushing a high cadence the whole time (I should really get a cycling computer so I can record this).  My heartrate hovered between 160-165, with a few efforts to 170+.  The second half took a much greater effort to keep my cadence high, and I didn’t manage to stay in the big chain ring the whole time.  On the bright side, I’ve noticed a HUGE improvement since the last time I did this ride and was hurting by the end of the first leg.  The whole workout took about 1:42 minutes.  The first and last mile were my warm-up and cool-down, so without those, I did 20 miles in 1:22, which is 14.2 mph.  I had finished the first half in exactly 40 minutes, so I was a bit slower on the second half.  But, I knew I needed to work on my bike endurance and strength, so at least my goals are in the right place.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the time includes the numerous stops at road-crossings.  As I get further on the trail, there are less crossings, and there are even fewer after my turnaround point, but I don’t like to go too far on evening rides since I don’t have a light and don’t want to get caught out after dark.  As a result of all the stops, I’ve gotten a lot better at clipping in and out of my pedals.  I still have my moments (like today when I almost fell but managed to save myself at the last second!), but I don’t un-clip 25 yard in advance of a possible stopping point anymore.  I did witness another cyclist fall today, though, luckily he was alright!  I think he was just thinking about too many things at one time because he was passing some walkers, another cyclist was coming toward him and he was approaching the road crossing, all at the same time!  I’m glad I managed to finish my ride without incident!

I’m going to try and be better about blogging this week, but I will warn you that I probably won’t be doing much this weekend.  I’m going scuba diving to get my open water certification, and I expect to be pretty tired after being in the water all morning Saturday and Sunday.

P.S. This blog post took me 2.5 hours to write because I am watching the Biggest Loser, and haven’t been able to concentrate!

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Yet another WINDY April day

And now for my regularly scheduled post…

I left work fairly early today, around 4:15 and decided to rush home and go for a bike ride outside before weight training.  I was supposed to ride for a full hour, but only got in about 40 minutes.  Overall the ride was decent, it was pretty windy (15mph average with gusts up to 28 mph) on the return trip, but the ride out had a nice tail wind to give me a little extra speed.  Oh!  I almost forgot, this was my first time riding on the trail with my cycling shoes and pedals!  I was extra-cautious because there are a number of places where the trail crosses roads and I didn’t want to get stuck and fall.  I’m still getting used to balancing when I’m trying to unclip and stop at the same time, so for now I’ve been unclipping VERY early.  The only time I had any real trouble was on the way back home, I got stuck at an intersection and unclipped both feet so that I could reach the crosswalk button.  The “WALK” symbol lit almost immediately and I was going to cross, but I couldn’t get my feet clipped back in!  I ended up hopping off my bike and walking across instead of risking falling in the middle of the road.  Luckily the traffic will be extremely light or non-existant during the tri, so no need to worry about stopping during the race.  As long as I make it through the transitions, I’ll be ok.  Otherwise, riding clipless today was awesome!  I am really making an effort to keep my pedal strokes as smooth as possible to be efficient and “pull up” as well as pushing.  I can tell a big difference on how quickly my climbs went today.  I think once I get a bit more comfortable and some more practice I’m going to see some pretty good gains.  Now, I just wish I had a trainer so I could do some drills!  Adding it to my tri-gear wish list!  (I may have to add a whole page dedicated to my “wants”).

After my ride, I headed over to the gym for my weight training.  I was a little late, so I missed a core set of V-ups.  I’ll have to make it up by doing some more ab work tomorrow.  The rest of the workout was:

Core (2 sets):

While doing a side plank, lower and raise your hips throughout the set.

Leg circles

Main sets (2 sets of each):

Inclined sit-ups with a twist

Reverse row with a bungee

Dead lift + upright row

Rotator cuffs while standing on the bosu ball

Bench dips

Shoulder press

Row with bungee

One-armed row

Arnold press

Wide-grip pull-down

Legs (1 set after 2 of Main)

3 sets of jump lunges

1 set of pump lunges

2 sets of bench lunges

3 sets reverse lunges (half on right leg, half on left leg)

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow’s going to be a running outside day (hopefully).  The weather should be nice and mostly sunny with a high of 63° F.  This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous! And hot – mid 80s.  I’m looking forward to my brick on Saturday.

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Catching up…

What a great weekend!  On my new training plan, Fridays are my day off, which worked out perfectly this weekend since I drove  four and a half hours to Smith Mountain Lake.  It took awhile to get the bikes (and me) all packed up and out the door.  I took my brand new Speedplay pedals and Louis Garneau cycling shoes with me to install and try while we were there.  We didn’t arrive until 11:30PM and then didn’t get to bed until pretty late, but luckily we got to sleep in a bit on Saturday morning.

Around 11:15AM, we left for a bike ride.  We decided to ride from my aunt and uncle’s house where we were staying to the park where the transition area for the tri will be.  I have now officially used my clipless pedals successfully (mostly).  I did fall twice, but both times I was going really slowly and about to stop.  The first time I fell I actually forgot I was clipped in and down I went.  The second time, was on the way back to the house, Curtis and I were flying down a hill and he yelled from behind me that his chain was off and he needed to stop.  My stop was not very graceful.  My center of gravity was way off balance and down I went again!  Luckily, I didn’t get hurt or anything, but it was a good learning experience in getting my foot out and gaining my balance before trying to put my foot down.

The ride was very very windy, and just as hilly if not more so than I remembered.  But I’m confident that I am going to be a lot more prepared this time around.  We did nearly 28 miles in all, including an 8 mile ride to and from the park and the 12.4 mile bike course.

On a side note, you may wonder how I determine the mileage on my rides and runs outside when I don’t have a cycling computer or GPS.  I use this great web application, at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/, which allows you to map out your workout on Google maps and then it calculates the distance “as the crow flies”.  You can also see a graph of the elevation changes, and save the route to re-visit later.  I use it all the time and have found it extremely useful to plan out my workouts in advance.

My heart rate was about 162 bpm on average throughout the ride and maxed out at 175.  Keep in mind that these numbers are based on my intermittent glances at the heart rate monitor since I do not have an average and max heart rate feature.

On Sunday, after we were back home again, Curtis and I took a quick run.  It was between 2.5 and 3 miles and we finished in 27 minutes.  I felt good and as it was supposed to be a relatively light workout (Zones 1 or 2 the whole time), I was happy.

Monday finally brought back weight training.  We only had a week off, but it seemed like much longer.  Today was tough, but I felt strong and only reached muscle failure on one exercise.  Unfortunately, I can’t for the life of me remember everything we did today.  If I can remember, I’ll update this post or add to a later post.  After weight lifting, I did a short 20 minute walk on the treadmill at a pretty high increasing incline.  It felt good though, and I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow!

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