Thursday, January 29, 2015

The 2015 Winter Training So Far

So here we are at the end of January already. For me this means I am pretty much 2 months into a training cycle, as I start on December 1st. Last year I was still just finishing up Phase 1 of my training plan at this point, but for this year it was time to change things up.

Last year I had a marathon to think of, even though it wasn't until September of the year, so I focused my year around a heavy amount of run training. This year I am making my training more Triathlon focused, so that will change things up a bit. It means less running overall, more cycling and definitely more swimming. Trying to get that all in every week, while not over training is a good balancing act.

I know my body at this point and I know what will lead to injuries, so that is a great start. Limiting those factors will make Ian a much happier sporty guy. So my physio has to fit in to all of my training as well (a mix of strength and flexibility training).

Last year I ran 5 days a week,hitting a high in the mid 70's for kilometers per week. While I did everything right, I still had some nagging soreness and aches that I just couldn't get rid of. Pulling back to a max of 60km a week did great things. So I know that now, I am just not a high mileage person. So every kilometer has to count.

This years base sessions have included 4 runs a week, 2 swims a week and 1 heavy indoor trainer ride on the bike. Of course I also ride to work many days each week, so the base for cycling is quite high from that stand point. The 4 runs started with shorter easy runs (7.5 km) to 3 easy runs and a long run, and now include intervals. Intervals are done to effort, that being a Zone 5 heart rate effort, and over the last few weeks I have seen the recovery after these efforts sky rocket as well.

Last year the intervals came later, after threshold work, but again, I wanted to change things up a bit. I slogged through Threshold work last year for some reason, just no oompf it seems. So this year I wanted to kick the fast muscles into over drive before hitting the sustained higher speed endurance work.  And it seem to be working as my intervals have gotten longer, the speed growing and the endurance over the 500m repeat getting better.

As for swimming, well it ebbs and flows. But the main thing is my comfort level in the water has increased even more this year. I have brought back thew breast stroke into the fold and use it as a cool down between intervals in the pool. I think the strength it brings and the change up are making me happier in the pool. So for now that sort of work continues.

And cycling? Well of course there is my commute to work. In the winter it isn't always fun nor fast to be biking with a ton of clothes on, but I figure it makes one stronger. The trainer has traditionally been not my favorite thing either. Sitting on it for more than 30 minutes has often killed me. But just this week I hit a milestone at 1 hour 4 minutes, watching 2 shows in the process. This can only make me stronger, at least mentally.

More up dates to come. Hope you are having a great winter training session as well. Stay safe!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 and Race 1 in the books

So yup, here we are only 11 days into 2015 and I have race 1 all done. This was the MEC 5K Winter Classic. A cold day and a quick race will lead to a short blog post, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that is there.

It isn't hard to dress for a cold race, it is hard to dress for waiting for a cold race to start. Luckily, the parking lot and race start are side by side, so heavy coats and gloves mean you can stay warm while waiting.

The course was going to be very slippery in the park today with loads of ice all around, so I wasn't predicting a super fast time. Still it is nice to give it your best.

A slightly confusing start and we were off. I surged into the lead quickly, but let some of the 10k runners slide by. After about 1 km in, a 5K runner slipped past me as well but I stuck with him easily enough.

Most of the race seemed to be trying to find grip on the path. I hit some icy patches here and there but nothing that lead me to lose footing. Still, not wanting to ruin my season this early with a spill I stuck to a moderate pace, not even looking to my Garmin.

The worst seemed to be the down hills where we were weaving all around the path and not able to find our true speed.

As the finish started to loom closer, I was still hanging with the other 5K runner. We picked up speed a bit, but with the finish line covered in ice, I didn't sprint and came in second at a time of 19:43. Well sort of second. One of the 10K runners decided to bail and turn his race into a 5K, taking the win. That really sucks for the guy who beat me, as he should have taken that win and ran a great race. Oh well.

Still, a great day for a run. The body felt great, the heart rate was high, and I held back quite a bit. Bring on the next one.

Running on ice? Fast quick feet are your friend, it's like having extra gears. Also, good balance. So practice standing on one leg then progress to single leg deep knee bends.  That's my tip for the day.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 by the Numbers

So I usually post up my yearly totals from all my exercising and training and then go through an analyse those numbers a bit. I figure I'll do a post that is much quicker this year, but I still like to get that info out there.

Bike: 5502 km of riding. Not too bad. Most of it was commuting with a few heavy training sessions taking place earlier in the year.

Swim: 84 km. I like to say swim in kilometers as it sounds huge. But really that isn't much. It probably explains why I didn't do as well in the one triathlon I raced this year. Of course the insanely cold water and my hatred of cold water also didn't help. This number will increase this year.

Run: 1826 km. So yeah, that was a nice number. Sure loads of people get far bigger numbers in, but I am all about maxing out each run and extracting the best out of them. My goal of running the best marathon I could this year was very successful on a low mileage marathon plan I created with some help from Coach JZ at Kinesic Sport Lab. I want ti run for a long time, so I want to run correctly.

My Garmin lists 61 km of of other as well. That is mostly skating, which is far more than I ever got growing up.

So that is a quick glimpse at what I was up to last year. Let's bring on 2015!