Monday, 19 September 2011

Is there such a thing as "Free Speed"?

So, after weighing in at 98.3kg on Monday morning it was time to consolidate on this and make sure that another 2 or 3 kilo's dropped off before my next half marathon in 2 weeks time on Sunday 25th, the Sri Chinmoy on Yarra Boulevarde.

They say that weight loss is free speed.  By "they" I mean Ruley.  He tells me that every kilogram lost is equal to (conservatively) 3 seconds per kilometre.  Technically, this means that since I have started on this little program I have gained a minimum of 66 seconds.  Funnily enough, my average time per kilometre has decreased by about a minute.  For a weirdo, that Ruley is pretty smart..........

So even though I didn't end up doing the Kinglake ride (see my previous entry for details in need), I was still knackered and the normal Monday rest day was scheduled as normal.  I did, however, end up doing a 20 minute swim cord session in the evening.  It's amazing how much sweat this short, sharp session can drag out of you!

Tuesday morning it was back down to the track early for the normal 2km interval session.  The aim for this session was to try and improve on times, down to 9.20 per interval from 9.40/9.50, and if the legs are feeling fresh to do 8 intervals, up from 7 the previous week. A quick 2km warm up and then it was into the first interval. Bearing in mind this first interval was being done prior to 5.30am, the brain was still a bit fuzzy, and I wasn't able to do my maths as well as I should have.  Subsequently, glancing down at the Garmin and seeing 4.17/km pace, I thought I was behind target of 4.10/km.  You see, at 5.30am 4.20 and 4.20 equals a 2km interval of 9.20 apparently!!!

Suffice to say this first interval knackered me and I struggled to maintain pace throughout the remainder of the session.  Ruley turned up at 6am, and when I told him what had happened he said to pull the pin after the 6th interval and warm down.  "Gladly" was my response!  Total session of 17km in 1.41.

For the record, my interval times were 9.05, 9.16, 9.22, 9.16, 9.27, 9.17.  Pretty happy with that considering the cock up at the start and only 2 intervals over goal time by 2 and 7 seconds respectively.  Some 16 weeks ago, these intervals had a goal time of 11.00 and were blowing out to circa 11.30!!

Tuesday lunchtime was a short, sharp swim of 1400m consisting of 400m warm up, 8 x 50's @ 50secs, a 400m TT (@ 7.25) and a 200m cool down.  Tired for this one, but pleasing to see a slightly better time for the TT than last week.  Tuesday evening was a 30min legs and core session.  How much fun are these sessions?? I always know I am going to wake up the next morning and will be feeling the muscle soreness in the abs and legs.

To top off Tuesday, it was off to Myotherapy for my regular fortnightly session.  The awesome guys at Shepparton Myotherapy look after me like no other and make sure that I am able to get out and get all of my sessions done.  Normally I see Monique, who would not be out of place in a torturers chamber given her sadistic pleasure in seeing me squirm as she buries her thumbs into my ITB's or hip flexors.  Alas, she was away on leave for a couple of weeks and had offered to book me in to see Kirsty instead.

At least I thought I might get a slightly easier session given that Mon was away.  Unfortunately, Mon had neglected to tell me that Kirsty is the owner of THE toughest thumbs in Australia.  I reckon Mon must have worded her up and told her to make me pay.............and Kirsty didn't disappoint!

As I sit here a week later, I still have cup marks up and down each side of my spine, all over each quad, and covering both calves.  I have had a fair bit of cupping in the past, including that unpleasant technique of dragging the friggin things up and down the thigh to try and loosen up the ITB.  I can say that I have never been marked like this before, not have they ever lasted this long.  In addition, Kirsty made good use of "the toughest thumbs in Australia" and enjoyed digging them approximately 2 foot into my hip flexors, closely followed by my ITB's down near the knee, and to top it all off, the abductors.  A week later and I still have spots sore to the touch.

I never thought I would say it, but..........please come back Monique!!!

After that little torture session, Wednesday started off with a nice little roll around with Team P&W of 45km. A bit over 1.20 for an average of 31.5k/hr.  Was great to get out with the crew and talk a bit of crap and hang shite over each other. Wednesday PM was another 20 minute Swim cord session. 

Thursday's tempo run was due to be a steady effort out for the first half (5km) at approx 5.10 pace, then a balls out TT home to get a bit of a gauge of where I am at presently.  Having spoken with Ruley though and telling him I was still feeling a bit flat, he said to play it by ear and see how I was feeling once I got started.  So heading off to the turnaround point, average pace was the 5.10 as targeted.  Unfortunately, once hitting the turnaround point, the legs had nothing.  No drive, no power.  So it was a plod home again at the same pace.  A total of 11.4km in 58.42, average 5.09/km.

Thursday PM was a scheduled 3000m straight swim, the first time I had attempted this.  All other long swim sessions had been broken up into smaller sets.  Managed to get into a nice rhythm, at least as much as a rhythm as a spaz like me in the pool can, and punch out a 60.49.  Would have been nice to see a 59.xx, but that will have to wait for another few weeks I guess.

Friday morning was scheduled to be a brick session with a 20min run off the bike.  Unfortunately, my old mate Foss found out on Monday they he had been made redundant.  As a result, he wouldn't be in a hurry to head home after our ride and get ready for work, so it was decided breakfast was in order.  I organised with Ruley to do a bike/run combo that night instead on the wind trainer & treadmill.  Was great to be able to sit and catch up with Foss (and co) and I know that being the great bloke he is, that he will be back in emply very, very soon.

It would be nice to say that it was a nice gentle roll around the Team P&W loop, but it wasn't to be.  A very mild morning of 8 degrees and a pleasing tailwind for the majority of the ride made the pace very hot and the last little section saw a few falling off the pace.  Heading into the final sprint, I found myself rolling to the front and sadly, being left high and dry with no one left to roll around me.  Head down and pushing hard to try and cover the last 1500m or so, only to have 2 pull around me with about 100m to go after enjoying the ride on my wheel.  Had to settle for third and some French toast for Breakkie.

Lunchtime was another short (recovery swim) of 1000m broken into 5 x 200's and covering the distance in low 19mins.  A few minutes in the spa's to give the legs a bit of recovery and then it was back to work.

After picking the kids up on Friday and getting dinner and bath's out of the way, it was time for a story and then kids off to bed.  Turning the footy on, I stepped onto the Wind trainer for a 20min rollover of the legs to warm up, followed by a 20min treadmill session.  I was under strict instructions to keep it nice and gentle, so settled into a very leisurely 6min/km pace.  Even with the fan on, it was unpleasantly warm!  I now know what Peter has been going through with his heat sessions in the lead up to Kona!

I must make special mention of my old mate Princess this week too.  Not for any particular reason, but simply for that fact that he has been a bit precious about not getting a mention prior to this.  Does this satisfy you now Princess?

Given it was my weekend with the kids, sessions had been scheduled on the wind trainer and treadmill, but again after speaking with Ruley and the legs still feeling flat and tired, the high intensity sessions that had originally been scheduled were changed to nice steady brick sessions consisting of a 40min wind trainer and 20min treadmill.  This same session was done both Saturday and Sunday.

The aim of these changes were to try and freshen the legs up a bit so that I can get back into it again this week with Yarra Blvd scheduled for next Sunday, and then the Melb Half Mara 2 weeks later.  Interestingly, the treadmill gives me a heap of pain in the lower legs, specifically in the right leg where I get the pain from the compartment syndrome.  I don't get the same (level) of pain when running on the road or the track.  What's the go with that????  Clearly, it must have something to do with changing my technique with on the treadmill in comparison to running outside.  Anyone else experienced this?

Sunday night was another Cords/Legs/Core session of 40mins.  It's amazing the difference that the cords have made in a short time.  I really noticed this during the 3000m swim on Thursday.  I didn't get anywhere near as much fatigue in my shoulders as what I have in the past and hopefully this will continue to improve as the cord use becomes more consistent.

So, the sessions for the week were:

Monday             PM Swim Cords, 20mins
Tuesday             AM Run 17km (2km ints), 1.41.47 @ 5.59avg, 158bpm avg
                          Lunch, Swim 1400m (inc 400m TT @ 7.25), 27mins total
                          PM Core/Leg session, 25mins
Wednesday       AM Bike 44km, 1.23, 31.5k avg, 141 bpm avg
                         PM Swim cords, 20mins
Thursday           AM Run 11.4km, 58.42, 5.09avg, 158bpm
                         PM Swim 3000m (straight), 60.49
Friday               AM Bike 44km, 1.19, 33.2k avg, 139 bpm avg
                         Lunch Swim, 1000m (recovery 5 x 200's), 19mins
                         PM Brick, W/T 20mins, T/M 20mins
Saturday           AM Brick W/T 40mins, T/M 20mins
Sunday             AM Brick, W?T 40mins, T/M 20mins
                        PM Cords/Legs/Core, total 40mins

A total of 14 sessions for the week!!!  Albeit, some were only short sessions of 20mins or so, but the aim was to freshen up a little after being a bit flat. Hopefully it has worked and we will find out come Tuesday morning when it's back down to the track for another big 2km interval session.

The diet has generally been pretty good, but I still need to work a bit harder on portion sizes.  And bread remains my achilles heel.  I need to get all the bread out of the house I think, otherwise I end up just churning through the whole lot far too fast.

Monday morning's weigh in saw 98.0kg on the readout.  Only a nominal drop of 0.3kg, but again have noticed a big change in body shape.  Have had to update the wardrobe with a few bits and pieces of late.  A total drop of 22kg in 27 weeks so far.  Hopefully, this trend continues.  After all............they say it's free speed!

Train Safe,

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