Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zone 2 runs

So the Coach had me do a zone 2 run for 50 minutes today. I did this on the treadmill for time constraints, convenience of HR monitoring, and the fact that it was cold outside and I just discovered my running pants have holes in *ahem* unmentionable places. Not that you'd notice on the average run, but still.

So, Zone 2 goes up to 153 bpm. Normally, in 50 minutes on a treadmill I can run 5 - 5.2 miles with no problem at all. Today, my heart rate kept creeping up into zone 3 - high 150s, even 160 at one point. I felt fine, but in an effort to try to keep it to the proscribed workout, I'd slow down and take it easy, even walking twice to get the heart rate down. I ended up with 4.8 miles, or an average pace of 10:28 per mile. Ick.

I've enjoyed getting faster over the last couple of years (knocking over an hour off my marathon time from marathon 1 to marathon 4)... and trying to keep it in zone 2 was just hard. Saturday I'm supposed to run in zone 2 for an hour, with 3 minute "surges" into zone 3 every 20 minutes. I'm just hoping I can keep the "surges" to 3 minutes long!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To the Max

Yesterday my prescribed workout was a max HR test... it was a one-mile warm up followed by one mile "As fast as I can possibly go for one mile, and then really pour it on for the last 300 meters." I did this on the treadmill, which give me distances in miles and fractions thereof, so I interpreted the last 300 meters as the last about .17 miles. Yeah it's a bit off if you do the math, but it's close enough.

Anyway, I figured as I headed into this workout that I'd do the test as prescribed and then get in another 2 or 3 miles just to make it worth my time. The thing was, I was supposed to leave it "all on the track (or treadmill in this case)." And I did. I got done, took about a 2 minute break, then started back up. Yeah, I could barely make it through another half mile. I ended up with a log entry of 2.5 miles and 23:56 (the warm up and cool down were really slow!)

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about this isn't just to put some words down on the HR test. I was thinking about my best 5k, last year at the Art City 5k in Springville. It's the only 5k I run in a given year, so I like to go "all out" and see how much I can PR by. The thing is, I've never gone "all out" like I did yesterday in a 5k. I figure it's supposed to hurt like it hurt yesterday... I really need to try that out and find my true "5k race pace" I think. I wonder how fast I can really go. I've never felt like that at the end of a 5k. After all, it's only a 3 mile run, right. He he... yeah. Like yesterday was "only 2 miles"... right.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Saturday I went for a swim at the local pool. It cost me $4 and another $5 for a lock (that I get to keep) for the locker. I was going to have my cell phone and wallet in there, and the pool isn't in the best neighborhood, so I figured it'd be best to lock them up. I really am going to get a membership. Really. Maybe even tonight, if I'm not doing anything else.

Anyway, this was the first time I went to a pool just to swim laps. I think I've figured out just enough about swimming form (in the freestyle stroke) to know what I should be doing. Breathing to the left is still awkward for me, but I'm going to work on that. I got to try out the jammers my sister got me for Christmas, and I must say, they are much better to swim in than board shorts!

I can't believe what a newbie I am. I can run marathons, ride a bike all day (almost), yet swimming a straight 50 meters is hard for me. It only takes half a minute of catching my breath before I'm ready to do it again, but it's hard. I watch others effortlessly glide through lap after lap and I want to be that person. I'm sure it will just take time to build by endurance in the pool, just as it took time to build my endurance running. Back in 2008, when I got my bike, I couldn't believe how hard it was to ride long, considering riding is supposed to be easier than running (for the most part), yet I had a hard time anytime the road turned up. A summer of riding hills made me much stronger (though I still have a ways to go yet), and now it's not nearly as hard. I know the progress will come in the pool as well, as long as I stick to it and try to be somewhat consistent.

Saturday? I did 1000 meters in 43:01. (that includes all the rest time between laps) for an average of 4:19/100. Yeah, I got some work to do.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ask The Experts

Okay, anyone out there who claims to be a fitness expert or coach or mentor or just really good at figuring things out, help me out here.

Right now it's hard for me to determine exactly what to do on a day-to-day basis, because I don't have any goal races specifically scheduled for 2010. Tentatively, I'm planning on the Salt Lake Century ride on May 15 and the St. George Marathon on October 2. Neither of these are concrete at this point. I'd also like to do at least one triathlon this year, probably either the Daybreak Triathlon May 29th or the Stansbury Park Tri on July 24th. In any case, I really want to get better at swimming, just for overall fitness. I'd also like to drop about 20 lbs (currently 6'1" 210 and no, it's not all muscle.)

Got all that?

Now, as far as time/equipment goes... we have a gym at my work that has dumbbells and a few machines, as well as an indoor cycle (Cycleops 300PT) that even has a power meter. I have access to a treadmill both at work and at home in our HOA clubhouse. I generally do something at lunchtime at work, either a ride on the indoor bike (or on my road bike, weather permitting - that is, north of 40ยบ), a treadmill run (or an outside run, weather permitting), or an upper-body (or full body) dumbbell workout. I plan on getting a membership at a local pool/rec center very soon for early morning lap swimming. When the weather improves and I'm not risking life and limb by slipping on ice, I'm not opposed to early morning running as well. That said, I would probably (on my own, but this isn't set in stone) limit 2-a-days to 2-3 times a week. Also, I don't work out on Sunday at all. That's non-negotiable.

So, as of late and because I haven't really narrowed down a goal, I've just been mainly exercising at lunch M-F, usually doing 1-2 bike rides (indoor this time of year), 1-2 runs of 4-6 miles each, and 1-2 dumbbell workouts. I also like to do combination cardio/dumbbell workouts where I'll run hard for 5 minutes, then do a couple of sets of an exercise or two, then run really hard for 5 minutes again, etc.

By the way, I'm a 35 year old guy, for those that don't know.

Assuming I'm going to ride the century in May (goal of under 6 hours), the Tri in July, and the marathon in October, what do you think I should be doing on a weekly basis? I'm just looking for general guidelines here, not necessarily a specific plan. Let me know what you think. The more opinions/input the better.

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's time to set goals for 2010. I'm not sure (100%) what they're going to be, yet, but I think I'm getting a better idea.

One goal I know I have is to be healthier, in general. You know I've been a bit of a fitness fanatic for the past couple of years, but I haven't really focused on health. This year, I'm going to pay better attention to what I put in my body, food-wise, and try to focus on more fresh, less processed food. Also, I'm going to focus on getting more/better sleep. That is, get the kids in bed, and get ready and in bed as soon as possible afterwards. This will enable more/better opportunities for AM exercise such as swimming, running, 2-a-days, etc.

Other than that, I don't have any number-based goals yet. I'd like to see if I can swim 100k this year, in addition to keeping the bike/run numbers comparable to last year. I also don't have a firm race-schedule. Tentatively, I'm planning on the Salt Lake City Century ride in May and the St. George Marathon in October, but those are tentative at best right now.