Week in Review (Build 2, Week 3)

This week spanned from January 15th to 21st. Fortunately, I was able to get some good quality workouts in all three sports in. I have drastically reduced my swimming, and drastically increased my stretching and dryland work. I am not ready to make any definitive claims, but I will say that I CERTAINLY have saw no reductions in swim speed due to swimming less. This does not come as much of a surprise to me though, as I don’t think swimming big mileage is what is going to get my swimming to where I want it to be (on the feet of the main pack at the professional Ironman level i.e. 51-52 minutes for 3.8k). On a related note, I have been seeing the world-class physiotherapist Steve Hill, and he says I have a severe case of rigidity, particularly in the tendons and ligaments. The bright side is that he thinks with a lot of discipline and the right plan, a great deal of this can be eliminated. I knew my mom saying “shoulders back, straighten your spine,” on those early morning rides to the bus stop would come back to haunt me!!

This week I will discuss two workouts. Seeing as I have talked about my brick for the past two weeks, I figure I will stay consistent. This week’s brick occurred on Sunday January 19th and was supposed to look like this:

  • 75m@265w to
  • 12k (with the first 5k at tempo pace)

I was feeling very good during this workout. So much so that I had to remind myself of one of the most important rules of training:

One good workout does not win races. 20-30 good workouts consistently spread out over several months wins races.

But, I did allow myself to deviate from the plan a little bit. I ended up pushing 272w for the 75 minute bike. Here is a graph of the results:

Brick Bike Data

Despite the fairly large jump in wattage, the heart rate still held fairly steady throughout. This is good though because next week I start doing this moderate length ride at 270w. I should also mention that I took an eLoad Apple Gel 45 minutes into this ride, and was sipping on eLoad Berry Twist Endurance Formula in my hand bottle, throughout the entire workout. Once finished, I hopped off the bike, tossed on my new Saucony Triumph 11s, and cranked up the treadmill.

My knee was feeling a lot better, so I got up to tempo pace fairly quickly this time. I was still feeling very good at this point, so I made sure not to overdo it. Once I got to 11mph I decided to hold it there. Only the final half mile did I increase the speed to 11.2mph. I ended up going through 5k in 17:09, which is 21 seconds faster than last week, and a minute faster than two weeks prior. I then slowed the treadmill down to about 9.4mph and finished the remaining 7 kilometers. The whole 12k took 45:26.

Overall, the workout went very well. But, having deviated from my plan a bit (7w higher on the bike and 11s faster on the run), I definitely paid for it. My long run of 22 kilometers the next day was much more taxing than usual. This is okay though because it reminded me of another important rule of training:

Do not deviate from the plan.

The next workout I will discuss was a bike workout that occurred on Thursday January 16th. It was intended to be:

  • 20 minute warm up
  • 5x (6s@750w w/54s recovery to 1m@500w w/3 minutes recovery to 2m@430w w/2 minutes recovery)
  • 10 minute cool down

This is only the second time I have ever incorporated Neuromuscular Power intervals into my training (595w+) and I kind of enjoyed it. My intention during these 6 second bouts was really to get the wattage as high as possible against the resistance programmed into the CompuTrainer. Thus, for this section I will present the average wattage for the 6 seconds, followed in brackets by the peak wattage hit during the interval. Here is a graph of the results:

Thursday Bike Workout

Here is a chart with the average wattage from each interval, divided into sets:

6 seconds

1 minute

2 minutes

1

587 (722)

508

434

2

587 (708)

492

433

3

552(789)

490

432

4

594 (821)

497

433

5

703 (910)

484

428

 

Overall, I was happy with the results. I am not a big fan of the high end stuff, nor am I very good at it. What I am trying to do is put in some quality time in these zones, without getting burned. My new approach to high end stuff is not to increase the wattage or duration after a successful workout, but to slightly decrease the rest. Once I am able to hit a particular wattage at 2:1 rest for Anaerobic Capacity (for example, 1 minute @ 500w w/ 2 minutes recovery), and 0.5:1 rest for Vo2Max intervals (for example, 2 minutes @420w w/1 minute recovery), this will be the green light for me to either increase the wattage or increase the duration.

If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, please feel free to comment.