Archive for April, 2009

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First Lactate Threshold Test of ’09

April 26, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

With a last week as a rest week, I took it nice and easy, focused on settling into the new job and got ready for a FITNESS TEST! Woot Woot! After a few much needed days off to let the legs freshen up, I headed out for a nice hard 30 minute ride.

Coach Brett has me doing this lactate threshold test every three weeks or so as a benchmark of my fitness. To get some more info on the science behind it, super coach Joel Friel blogged about it here. The plan was that I warm up nice and easy then go all out TT style for 30 minutes, but reset my HRM and bike computer after 10 minutes, so I only collect data for the last 20 minutes. The average heart rate for that last 20 minutes is my lactate threshold heart rate, the point where my body produces more lactic acid than it can break down and it starts accumulating in my blood. The plan is to repeat this test every three weeks or so so that I have a pretty standardized way to track my progress.

I headed out to Concord to find some nice quiet roads and not worry about traffic, and hit it hard. I felt pretty quick, and even buzzed past my old pal Chris, who I hadn’t seen since the Rhode Island 70.3 last year. Unfortunately, there was no time to stop and chat. This guy was on a mission!

The last five minutes definitely hurt. It was a good sign that I was putting in a hard effort, but I may have dropped the pace a little. Maybe next time I’ll start a little easier to keep the pace a little more even. In the end here are the stats for my last 20 minutes.

Avg HR (Lactate Threshold): 173

Max HR: 181

Distance covered: 6.75 miles

Avg Speed: 20.3 mph

Max Speed: 31.2 mph

I’m no exercise physiologist, but my avg HR seems pretty high, in a good way. If the point where my body starts to accumulate lactic acid (173) is only 16 beats away from my max HR (around 189) that has to be pretty good, right? I’m a little disappointed that I only barely broke the 20mph barrier, but I guess it is still only April. I have plenty of time to build up some more speed.

Given that the 220 minus your age rule is crap (and there is no way that I can get my HR up to 195) I redid my HR zones based on these percentages that I got from my coach’s coach at Mike Ricci at D3 Multisport. Here is where I land now.

Zone 1: Recovery – 112-145 bpm
Also known as: Overdistance
Intensity: Very Low
% Lactate Threshold: 65%-84%
Zone 2: Endurance – 146 – 157 bpm
Also known as: Extensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate
% Lactate Threshold: 85%-91%
Zone 3: Lactate Threshold – 158 – 164 bpm
Also known as: Intensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate Plus
% Lactate Threshold: 92%-95%
Zone 4: VO2 Max Intervals – 165 – 173 bpm
Also known as: Anaerobic Threshold, Race/Pace
Intensity: Race/Pace
% Lactate Threshold: 96%-100%
Zone 5a: Threshold Endurance – 174 – 176 bpm
Also known as: Superthreshold
% Lactate Threshold: 100%-102%
Zone 5b: Anaerobic Endurance – 177 – 182 bpm
Also known as: Speed Endurance
% Lactate Threshold: 103%-105%
Zone 5c: Anaerobic Capacity – +183 bpm
Also known as: Power
% Lactate Threshold: 106%+

Stay tuned. I’ll be back on the same route three weeks from now to see how I’ve come along. Apparently the LTHR is completely different for running too, so I’ll have to test that seperately too.

And in case you want some more info on lactate threshold. This article was pretty good too.

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Spectating Boston

April 21, 2009

I really don’t know why they just don’t hand out registration forms for next years race at the Boston Marathon. I had only toyed with the idea of running Boston before, but went to the expo on Friday and Sunday, and then volunteered at the clothing return after the finish line on Monday and it was a completely different story. If they were handing out 2010 registration forms, I would have snatched one up without a second thought.

There was so much energy everywhere throughout the city this weekend that it was amazing.

I snapped a few quick video clips between my volunteering duties. Here are some of the fast runners coming through, and two guys that ran in giant Solo cups. And no, I didn’t bother peeking down to see if they were actually wearing anything under there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Click through for HD version.

One of the greatest things was just all the energy bouncing back and forth between the racers and the volunteers. So many exhausted runners would walk past me on their way back to the hotel, staring blankly at the ground. As they passed, I would pat them on the shoulder, congratulate them, and make sure the wind didn’t blow their mylar blanket off of them and they had some water and food in their hands. Every single one of them would look up, eyes wide open, and crack this huge smile. It was great to be able to bring them back out of their dazed stuper and remind them of the amazing accomplishment that they just finished.

Even later that night, hours after the finish line had closed and the finisher’s corral was dismantled, the energy kept on coming. I was sporting my neon yellow volunteer jacket, and gave a little congratulatory nod to everyone I saw in a blue racer’s jacket or anyone sporting a medal. That same huge smile still came out instantly. One guy, a whole block down from me, just started yelling, “No! THANK YOU! Without you we couldn’t do this!”

I love random love spread between strangers. ๐Ÿ™‚ It made my day.

Err… well. That came out wrong, but you know what I mean.

It is definitely too early to make any promises about next year, but lets just say I have a new race moving its way up my priority list.

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Ice Bath Recovery Party

April 19, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

I started off the day hanging out with @mangorunner @Runnermaniac and @CraigMacfarlane at the Boston marathon expo talking about using ice baths for recovery. After wandering around a bit and talking about race plans for the year I headed back home home for some lunch and a quick tempo run. Once I made it back home, I could officially call another hard two week training block done and in the books.

While I was filling up my tub with cold water and dumping in a few buckets of ice, I saw that Mandy and Miss Allycat have the same mindset and are jumping into a nice frozen bath of their own as well. I guess racing season is starting to warm up and everyone is getting into the same mindset! Eventhough we are all in different parts of the country, it was like I was having a little ice bath party knowing that my blogger buddies were taking the plunge too.

Last season I was a really big fan of hot epsom salt baths, but have officially converted to the dark (er… cold) side. Ice baths are WAY better. They are going to be a regular staple in my training now.

Icey Proof.

feet-in-ice-bath

Want to see my “O” face?

my-o-face

The first minute are two is pretty rough, but once you suck it up and keep your body under water, it isn’t too bad and it actually starts to feel good. You know I’m a big geek, so I had to look up the science behind it. Apparently your muscles and blood vessels tighten and help get rid of lactic acid and other junk built up built up from workouts. I’ve been doing two 5-6 minute soaks with a few minutes to warm back up inbetween, then a nice warm shower after to avoid anything from getting too tight.

Here is a good article on ice baths that I found the other day. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6287210.stm

I think I may need to start using more ice though, because after my second soak I got a little too comfortable and was just hanging out and sucking down my favorite recovery drink, chocolate soy milk.

MMMmmmm. Soy milk. Cheers!

frozen-recovery-drink

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Who has two thumbs…

April 18, 2009

… and a new J-O-B!

Two Thumbs

That is right people.BIG NEWS this week. The days of this unemployed triathlete eating PB&J and training just about as much as my body can handle between interviewing and applying to every half decent job out there are OVER.

After this weekend of celebrating the job and volunteering at the Boston Marathon clothing return, I’ll be returning to the working world. The last three months since I was laid off have definitely been an interesting adventure, but I’m COMPLETELY looking forward to returning to a more stable and predictable lifestyle. Granted, I’ll miss being able to long workouts in the middle of the day but I’m sure I’ll get over it.

The first month I had a pretty good series of job interviews, but there was a huge drop off in the last few weeks. Momentum was zapped, motivation was sucked from my being. Then this brand new opportunity came along out of left field, the CEO and I instantly clicked, and before I knew it I had a job offer in my inbox. It is a really cool job doing digital media marketing and PR for this boutique agency outside of the city. Strange how timing works for things like this, right?

The crazy part is that once another agency that I had been talking to (who had been ignorming my phone calls) heard that I was getting other offers, they quickly perked back up and my phone was buzzing. The first opportunity was a much better fit for me, but the timing allowed me to actually turn down the other agency! My career opportunities were pretty barren for three months, the economy has been in the tank, then all of a sudden I’m offered this great position with tons of extra responsibility and get to turn down a second opportunity?

I celebrated with a nice hard 48 mile bike by myself this afternoon and am now heading out to enjoy some adult beverages with friends.

Coincidentally (again) my first week at work comes on a rest week. Perfect timing to keep a good work/tri balance, right?

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Puzzle Pieces

April 15, 2009

Theย  few weeks since my last post have been a little crazy and I’ve been trying to piece together some of my scattered thoughts into something blog-worthy.ย  Last week I got knocked out with a bad case of walking pneumonia. Coincidentally, it landed right in the middle of a rest work, so I didn’t miss out on any major workouts. While it sucked hocking up goobers the size of grapes for a week, the rest was TOTALLY welcome. I actually remembered what my quads felt like without having them constantly throbbing. It was a nice change of pace.

While it was nice to kick back and put my feet up without having to worry about getting in my training hours for the week, I definitely missed being able to work out to keep my mind at ease and help keep myself sane between balancing searching for a full time gig, a few freelance projects and the rest of the million puzzle pieces that make up my life these days.

The good news is that all the pieces of my life are continuing to move around and I have some exciting stuff in the works that is starting to solidify. All I can say is that it should be pretty freak’n sweet. Hold tight and I’ll be sure to make the big reveal once everything has come together.