Friday, 13 May 2011

Back on form...

Finally I'm feeling really like I'm getting back on form.
This week I really kicked it back into tough.
Steph and Alexa are away to the states for a visit, so Im on holiday and being full time dad for 2 weeks. For the first few days though Zane was still in school so I took advantage of this and got some solid training in.
On Wednesday I started out with a 16 mile run that took 2.5 hours..
On thursday I knocked out my first half century bike ride of the year. 50 miles in 3 hours 10 minutes. Not gonna win any records for speed... but decent enough training and all zone 2.
Finally.. today, Friday... I finished off this 3 days of tough training with a self supported olympic distance triathlon...
First of all I got back in the pool for the first time in about 7 months. It was tough and I was slow but I managed the 1500m in 34:37... Not bad.
Then I drove home, and headed out on the bike. Which was an Awesome ride. Zone 2 all the way, felt great. Bit of a balls up at the end.. blew out both wheels.. Then blew out one of my two spare tubes when changing it.. had to ride last mile home on a flat back wheel.. time for changes isnt included :D Still managed the 25 miles in 1:31:17 (not including tyre changing time). Would have been better if it wasn't for the last mile on a flat.
Finally, I headed out on the run. The run itself was tough going.. but after these three days and as the first brick I've done in ages, this was to be expected. Still did it in 58:48 with an AP of 9:29.. so not bad overall! A decent 3 hours worth of training, which brings the week to a total of nearly 9 hours for the week in just 3 days.
Feels good. :D

Friday, 6 May 2011

Sort your Zones out...

Ive done quite a lot since my last blog post.. Training has been up and down. This blog post is a bit of a training tip though, rather than an update on my training.. and the focus is training zones.

Most people train with a heart rate monitor. If you don't, you should, go buy one.. I'll wait....

Got it?

OK.. good.

So.. Its one thing to have a heart rate monitor (HRM) but its another thing to actually use it correctly. In order to do so, you should actually train according to your heart rate. The key to doing this correctly is to discover your own heart rate zones. Now lots of websites and probably even your own HRM software will probably offer to do this for you based on your age. It may even be really fancy and ask you to determine your resting heart rate. This is very basic and there is a way better way to do things. The way to find your ideal training zones is to base your training on what your heart rate is when training. In order to do this you can do a lactate threshold test. I first heard about these things from Joe Friels book "The Triathletes training bible" and thankfully Joe as a blog post that explains both how to do a LT test and how to set your zones based on it. LT tests are tough. It basically involves you doing 30 mins running or cycling (you will need to do both.. at different times) to find out what your average heart rate is at lactate threshold.

I did a run LT test the other night for the first time in over a year. I'm glad I did as I discovered that my standard zone 2 heart rate was a bit better than i thought and my pace for zone 2 runs is a little better than I was aiming for.

Training according to heart rate makes sense. Its a way of gauging your pace and effort based on what your fitness levels allow and what you re capable of and what your body can do, rather than what you want to do or think you can do. Running based on heart rate and doing a lot of zone 2 training can reduce injuries and ultimately make you fitter and faster... So.... clear off and do a wee LT test. :D

Just to finish, and cuz I like pics in my blog posts.. here is a little pic of me, covered in mud at a recent adventure race/ mudrun i did recently...