Coaching Update #4

The weekly updates:

2011-02-14 to 2011-02-20

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 2:45:00 30 32.73 40 kph
Run 18.31 km 1:56:10 7:39 6:21 5:08 min per km
Swim 2400 m 1:00:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 min per 100 meters
Telemark 145 km 14:00:00 10.23 10.36 10.5 kph
Yoga 0 mi 0:45:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 20 hrs 26min One Day Off

2011-02-21 to 2011-02-27

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 65 km 2:10:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 27.5 km 2:31:30 6:07 5:31 5:09 min per km
Swim 2800 m 1:05:00 2:19 2:19 2:19 min per 100 meters
Weights 0 mi 0:10:00 na na na no pace units
XC 12 km 1:20:00 9 9 9 kph
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 7 hrs 56min One Day Off

2011-02-28 to 2011-03-06

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 60 km 2:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 6.5 km 0:43:30 6:42 6:42 6:42 min per km
Swim 1750 m 0:30:00 1:43 1:43 1:43 min per 100 meters
XC 14 km 1:25:00 9.88 9.88 9.88 kph
Total Time 4 hrs 38min Four Days Off

2011-03-07 to 2011-03-13

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 96 km 3:12:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 50.96 km 4:30:07 5:36 5:18 5:00 min per km
Swim 6450 m 2:09:00 2:06 2:00 1:41 min per 100 meters
XC 10.22 km 0:48:40 12.6 12.6 12.6 kph
Total Time 10 hrs 39min One Day Off

2011-03-14 to 2011-03-20

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 85.9 km 7:28:26 5:31 5:13 4:34 min per km
Swim 5500 m 2:10:31 3:00 2:22 1:33 min per 100 meters
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 13 hrs 18min One Day Off

I had a bit of a washout for the first week of this period, it could have been good training but then I went Telemarking for two days. It was fun, but it killed three planned runs. Sure I logged lots of hours but Telemarking is pretty non-specific preparation for a marathon, at least it uses your legs I guess. That trip also hampered the next week because I should have been working on the revisions on my thesis demanded by the examining committee that weekend, but I went skiing instead. They needed to be done the next week and so I botched another opportunity to do some high quality consistent running in alright conditions. The next week I travelled to Calgary to attend the funeral of my Grandfather, and then started work. While that didn’t force me to take 4 days off, run once and really come off the rails with training, I don’t see that I necessarily should have done otherwise. Death is a motivation sucker, it always will be and that’s just how it’s going to be. I actually don’t really care that that week was a write-off, but I am frustrated that I started to slide in the two weeks previous. It’s a good thing Dave demanded that I come out and go skiing the following Sunday or I would have skipped out and taken another zero.

The next week back took some getting used to, I had slipped a fair amount in my consistency with everything and it really felt like I was trying to get a heavy locomotive rolling again. It seemed that the whole metabolism managed to slow itself down and needed some time for the pressure in the steam chambers to build up before I could roll out of the station. I did get moving by the end of the week but was frustrated by the fact that my well laid plans for preparation for this upcoming marathon had been all-but destroyed. Part of me wanted to give up, it was a large part. I asked Dave what I was supposed to do when I just didn’t care about a race anymore. It wasn’t like I was asking if it was OK to switch to the half-marathon, I was wondering about quitting all together. Maybe I’d go to Vancouver and just be a tourist for the weekend with that plane ticket I now wished I hadn’t bought, maybe bring a bike and write off the whole idea of running a marathon.

Then I got roped into a long run that evening by Keegan and went along with it. I stand by the statement that I’ve been making quite a bit recently. “If you’re smart about who you choose to surround yourself with, peer pressure only does good things.” I tapped out a 1h49 half marathon and stayed strictly aerobic for the whole thing. Decked out in full tights and jacket, running in loose snow and doing some single-track trails… that’s a totally amazing time. It was at this point that I drew the analogy that I was the big locomotive that was taking a while to get going after a lousy three weeks of training. Hindsight helps. I figured that my best bet was to try and put together a good week of training, keep it mostly aerobic and then see where I was at before I made any drastic changes of plans.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

The last week of training went well. I didn’t roll over 20 hours or anything that would have seemed super impressive last year during the Ironman build, but I did run with good consistency and put together some pretty good runs, nothing junky. Everything had a purpose and I was happy about it. It wrapped up Saturday afternoon with a good long run of 30kms with a 5 mile section thrown in after 30kms where I was able to maintain a 7:22 pace in variable snow conditions. I got home feeling beat up, but happy. I think it’s a real positive sign to feel like the marathon training plan is back on track. Unfortunately it’s not really, there is a pretty significant hole in the middle of my buildup (as evidenced by the falling CTL [red] on the chart at right). I have modified the plan from here on out to account for this. I’m cutting the amount of running above aerobic threshold scheduled for this coming week in half. I’m also cutting out all of the VO2 focussed intervals that the Pfitzinger plan has scheduled in favour of strides and some running just slightly above marathon pace. I’m trying to be conservative with what I can ask my body to do without as extensive a base-buildup as I should have done. I’m then paring back the total volume anticipated by 10-15%, slicing it off of most of the runs with the exception of my long runs which need to stay at the higher durations as they are needed for focus on duration. The marathon on May 1 didn’t get 10-15% shorter.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

I’m posting the planned weekly schedule from here to the race [here]. It’s accurate for running, and if the weather co-operates I’ll be adding some aerobic cycling to the mix once the roads are clear. There’s not going to be stress on the muscles in my legs for that kind of stuff so I’ll sprinkle in what I have time for. For completeness sake I’ve included the PMCs for all three sports and my total at the left here as well, click on the mini-picture to expand.

Finally, I have one other stat to note… I swam a 15:31 for 1000 yards on Friday. I went out pretty conservative in the first half. I think that partly had to do with me not really wanting to suffer as much as I could have suffered for 15 minutes but also a bit of disillusionment with the purpose of doing this when Keegan had opened up with a 1:15 1000yds next to me and I was feeling super slow. I did turn it around in the second half which is nice and it made for a good workout even though it’s evidence that it wasn’t the best test of my actual 1000yd TT speed. Despite being a long ways off how well I was swimming last march at this time this is a huge improvement in my swimming since Christmas when I was struggling to come in with 50 second laps on only 100 and 200 yard intervals in a workout. I’m also happy to report that I’m actually tackling flip turns with some regularity. The immediacy of the Spring Thaw Triathlon, where successfully doing flip turns could amount to a full 0.5% improvement of my finish time has convinced me that it is worthwhile. Buying carbon aero widgets to do that would cost me between $1000 and $1500.

1000yd TT

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