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Showing posts from February, 2011

Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard 10km

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I plan to train through the majority of races this year. Having a reduced volume of training each week, means there is more to lose in the long term, if cut down too much leading into races. Instead I rearrange the order of a few sessions, and avoid any extra hard training in the couple of days pre-race. That way I shouldn't have any undue fatigue for the race, but won't be completely fresh either. The benefit in this approach will hopefully be some decent races, but more importantly, better fitness gains over time.
With this approach, plus the fact I am focusing on developing my triathlon abilities, I felt a little nervous going into the 10km run. I have plenty of indicators in training to say I am getting better, but if I am not run fit then I don't tend to feel fit in general. The lack of recent racing, plus reduced focus on running leaves a big question mark in my mind. I should race well, but there is still a strong possibility I have got it wrong.
Sleep was less than i…

Entered

Earlier this week, I flicked through the race calendars and entered some. It has been too long since my last race. My training has been going well, but I need to know if it showing up in better racing yet. It is certain my swimming and cycling is better, but I am not sure about my running. Only one way to find out.
The first race on my schedule took me by surprise. After paying my entry fee, I realised it really was only a few days away. So far I have entered the following:
Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard 10km
Emergency Services Games: 10km Cross Country, Half Marathon
Run For The Kids


Incidental

I was planning on putting my name down for an overtime shift just before I go on leave. That changed after I managed to accumulate a ridiculous amount of overtime by just getting stuck on jobs that have taken me way past my so-called finish time. Finishing just before 01:00 when the shift was meant to be over at 21:00 cuts in on sleep.

Since I have had a string of the extra long shifts over the last couple of weeks, the training has been cut down to the bare bones. Even so I still believe I am doing enough to make some gains. At worst I should at least be maintaining my fitness.

I am coming into a block of leave so in theory that should leave me with plenty of extra time. This I plan to fill up with getting the garden up to scratch, getting away with the family to the beach for a while and of course some good training.

It is also time I think about what I am going to do about racing. It's been too long since I have put myself out there for a true test. As circumstances have fallen a…

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Consistency is good. Quality consistency is better. It is easy to whinge about the less-than-a-handful of sessions I've missed recently. Looking back over the last few weeks there is a more accurate interpretation. The mileage is relatively low compared to my previous standards, but I am training 7 out of every 8 days with 9 distinct sessions each time. Going into more detail, each of those sessions has always been productive, and not simply filler junk.

How do I know training is productive?

The ultimate test is racing. It's been some time since my last race so I drop down to next levels of proof.

That proof comes from the training itself. All isn't based on time trials in the strict sense, but pace, speed, time and distance plays a significant role. What I am looking for is what others may describe as Breakthrough Sessions. I tend not to give a specific. Doing so implies they can be scheduled. Instead I find they happen when focussing on the basics of training.

What I am look…

Need For Sleep

The most likely reason for me to miss a training session is the need for sleep. I can function quite well on reduced sleep for a little while. With a 5 month old and shift work that is often required. It becomes a problem if I try to maintain everything without catching up on that sleep. This has been a feature in my life since I began taking training seriously.

There is a difference now versus my early training years. At the start I would refuse to miss training. Sometimes this led to improvement. The consistency in training did pay off. The down side was big. A couple of times my body descended below simple sleep debt. It was now sleep bankrupt. Training was near impossible and the loss in fitness over the ended recovery time clearly was much more detrimental than any gains I had made in the lead up.

Now I am in a position where catching up sleep is harder to do. Plus have some extra experience. The result is I don't let myself get that run down. At the start of the week it was cl…

Repetitive

It's not always faster times that indicate improvement. Today at the pool I swam an endurance set of 30 x 100m. The pace wasn't quick. What was important is it is my first longer set that didn't incorporate any significant rests.

While my swimming has been getting better, it still is a long way from where I want to be. It's easy to swim fast for a few short repeats, but it's maintaining something more moderate for length that shows me up. The kind of fitness I need for racing.

What builds plays a big role in building that type of fitness are the longer, steady sets. The kind that can become boring very quickly. That have had me looking to find ways to justify cutting it short. Today was different. Today I actually enjoyed watching the black line for an hour.

This means my swim fitness is returning. Only when I am fit have I enjoyed the 30 x 100m. Finally I am in that territory again.


Tropical Strength

Reasonably often the mag-trainer becomes a less than appealing option. While it has many pluses such as time efficiency, staying in earshot of the kids, tightly controlled training and probably a few others, it does have some downfalls. One of those is it can be easy to become bored and slack. To get around this I often manipulate the session a bit. Sometimes I will be be happy with a straight 5x5min, (1min rec) set. The repetition can have me lost in the zone. Other times it is exactly what will lead to an excuse filled head of why it is a good idea to step off early.

This morning was one of those times. Some extra difficulty getting out of bed. A slow descent down the stairs. I knew I needed the extra kick. So out comes one the Spinervals sessions. I simply chose the first one that fitted the time frame I had: The Uphill Grind. At times I get more out of myself with someone shouting in my ears to: go hard; Spin, Spin Spin!; don't slow down on me now... and all the other catch phr…