Oct 27, 2006

Planning a year

It's time to lay out my training plan for the upcoming season, and I've been trying to combine Rich Strauss and Gordo Byrne's ideas on training. Both of these coaches suggest a lot of time in or under AeT as a way to build base endurance. This means the majority of your training time is long and slow, in Zones 1 & 2. This should do a couple things for me, first it gives me the ability to simply complete the Ironman distance race, at heart a test of endurance. Secondly, exercise in that zone is also ideal for bodyfat reduction another area I need to work on. I have a goal of losing another 20 lbs to get under 200 lbs for the race in July.

I'll post more as it comes together, but I'm aiming for minimums of 3 days per week in each sport starting in November. Then, every other week I'll add either an additional bike or an additional run. The second bike week should fall on a recovery week, and this additional ride would be very easy.

The end goal of the plan will be to have minimum 4 rides of 6 hours plus, 4 runs of close to 3 hours and 4 swims of 1.5 hours. I'm hoping the swims will be in Crystal Lake in the spring since spending that kind of time in the pool isn't a lot of fun. In addition, I will be doing the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman distance the first weekend in June.

I have a spreadsheet where I track most of this data, and will publish it as I fill it out.


Oct 16, 2006

Hartford 1/2 Marathon Race Report

My last big challenge for the year was the Hartford 1/2 Marathon on Saturday the 14th. It would be my first attempt at the distance, and part of the progression of my run focus for the last month and 1/2. I've been running between 4 and 5 times a week in an attempt to strengthen and stretch out my running. Prior to this race, the longest distance I've competed in was 10k, although I've done a few 10k's as part of a triathlon.

Training had been going well, I did 2 runs of 11 miles, and had been fairly consistent at just over 10 minute pace for the long runs. I had a great run on Monday where I did 8 miles at race pace, just under 10 minute miles and kept my heart rate pretty consistent in Zone 3. My goal for the 1/2 marathon was 2:15, figuring that I could handle that pace pretty consistently. A stretch goal would be to come in under 2:11, and break the 10 minute mile barrier. As a comparison, my 10k P.R. was 58:41 for a 9:28 pace.

It was a relatively flat course, and turned out to be both well attended by spectators and runners, so there was always a lot of other folks on the course with me. I started a decent ways back with Jon, a friend from work who was also running his first 1/2 marathon. It took a minute or two to get over the mats after the gun went off, but I started my watch and off we went. Right away, I wasn't feeling too great and rethinking my decision to go for a 30 mile bike ride the day before. I quickly told myself that this was just part of my training for Lake Placid 2007 and that I didn't need to run really fast for it to be successful. We went through the 1rst mile in 10:02 though, so it was reassuring to be right on pace. The second mile was a bit uphill, but familiar since it is the course that I ride on the way into work although this time going over the river we got to go on the highway bridge instead of the attached footpath area that I have to usually take on my bike. The second mile was 10:46, and my legs were still a bit leaden. Things improved a bit as I hit the first water stop and grabbed some Gatorade, well at least that's what they claimed it was. There wasn't a whole lot of mix in the water I suspect, but you did get a tinge of flavor. Third mile was 9:24, and I thought "Whoa, better back off a bit". Fourth and fifth were 10:21 and 10:22, but my legs started to feel really good, so I stretched it out a little bit.

As the miles continued to tick past and my legs continued to feel good I kept a good pace and began to have thoughts of negative splitting, middle miles were 9:47, 9:38, 9:33, 9:20 and 9:31. At this point, I was over 10 miles and feeling great. I could feel my goal was within my grasp and felt better than I could have imagined feeling. Every time I hit the lap button and saw 9 something I would shake my head in disbelief, and say "I can't believe I feel this good". While not real fast, I felt like I was racing instead of just trying to finish the run. I've never really considered myself much of a runner, so this was just a great, great feeling. The excitement picked me up and pushed me forward hard, mile 11 was 8:59! Yep, you knew it was coming, I got a bit too excited and suddenly it hurt, mile 12 was a bit of a struggle both mentally and physically. At this point I knew I would finish, and probably exceed expectations as long as I didn't totally fall apart, so I told myself to try to recover a bit and then go hard the last mile. Coincidently, we also hit a steep but short hill. Mile 12 was 10:40, but I got my wind back a bit and started to pick it up to come home. I wasn't really familiar with the finish, so I kept waiting for the course to end however I was able to stay really strong. I managed to pass a ton of people, as it seemed like many were slowing down at this point and I really picked it up. The final 1.1 miles went by in 9:21 and I was thrilled to start running down the chute with 2:07:xx still showing on my watch! What a great feeling to finish, knowing I had exceeded my goals!

After cooling down, grabbing some food and getting a free massage, I was still on a high feeling like I can do this! It's been a great season, and I still have a few short runs to do this fall for fun. I'm going to try to bring my daughter on 1 or 2 since I don't need to race any of them any more to have had a successful year.


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