Archive for the ‘biking’ Category

sore foot and a sprint tri

May 21, 2009

I hurt my foot a bit the day of the half marathon. I am not sure how cause it never hurt during or after the run until later that day. I did a bunch of stuff around the house and much of it involved standing while doing it so my theory, which my wife does not approve of course, is that I need to rest off my feet after a race. I guess the other option is only to do race distances that are not a stretch.

Speaking of which, I just entered a sprint triathlon the last day of this month. 500 meter swim in a pool, 10 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. This will actually be an easier workout than I have been doing on Saturdays when I do a much longer swim and bike and about the same run. All of the workouts are at a not all out pace with relaxed transitions that involve a trip to the locker room. So this should bring me my first chance to practice the transitions. I still need to go buy some triathlon shorts that can be used to swim and then bike and run too. With a short race I might be able to make do with what I have and adding the bike shorts over the swim suit. We’ll see if I make it to the store or not.

I am not treating this like an all out effort, but I still have some expectations. I will see how good I can guess this stuff. Assuming my foot is completely fine by then here are my expectations:
9:00 swim: (I did this pace the other day and think I can repeat it)
3:00 T1 : (I don’t know how far the walk to the bikes is and I also have bike shoes now)
33:20 bike: I hope to go 18 mph avg, but I don’t know about this
2:00 T2: I have to change to running shoes so I can’t just dump the bike and take off
27:00 : I would like to think I could hold the 9 minute pace for just 3 miles

1:14:20, this seems fast. I can’t find previous years results, but I did find a triathlon club that listed it’s members results. That time would put me in 6th or 5th place. So either I can’t estimate well, there is more to the race that I don’t know about, or the course is shorter than it used to be. I guess maybe only newbies might show up or there are only 20 people in the thing as well. I guess I will wait and see.

half marathon

January 17, 2009

I am not sure how I came to be in the position that I am now certain that I am going to do a half marathon in 17 weeks. I think my running group brainwashed me or something. Oh well, it will make me work to be ready which will melt the pounds away.

It is actually worse though than just the half marathon. I am signing up for a 10k in 13 weeks, a 12k in 15 weeks and the half marathon which is 21k or so, in 17 weeks. My goal is to finish the thing and run the whole way without having to drop to a snails pace, that is to be steady throughout the entire race. I would imagine we are talking somewhere between 9 and 10 minute miles but I really don’t know for sure until I start to run the longer distances. I have only been running 4-5 miles at a pop which is less that the shortest of the races. I will test upping the distance for a Saturday “long run” starting oh, how about tomorrow with a 6 mile jaunt. We shall see how this goes, I have made some serious progress in the amount of “work” that goes into a workout.

I also plan to do my swimming on Saturday and starting up my biking on Sunday so I will be really piling on the work during the weekends. I will basically be close to doing an Olympic distance triathlon during the course of the weekend if all goes as planned. We shall see if I can manage the plan. I may come up short on the bike, 25 miles might not be reached. But I hope to swim at least a mile if not 1.5 and then run 6. The actual distances in an Olympic tri are .93 miles swimming (1.5k), 25 miles biking (40k), and 6.2 miles running (10k).

I am happy I am at a point where I can just go out and do these distances in a weekend without actually having to then inhabit the couch for a better part of the week afterward. I will have a sore butt from the bike though, I just know it.

My first week back in the saddle, providing the weekend goes as planned, will be a new record for me of over 5000 calories burned during workouts, although I will not have a record with eating and so will be a few hundred calories from my record of total food calories deficit plus workouts which is 8500 total. This is based on my caloric needs of 2540 calories a day based on my current weight and estimated basal metabolic rate as I talked about in past posts. I hope to reach 8000 calories which will be two pounds on the scale.

Wish me luck.

Efficiency / Economy – Quickest Way to Improve Your Time

November 12, 2008

part 2/4 of this series

Efficiency is pretty easy to understand, it also happens to be where it is the easiest to make the gains. Some of it comes from working to learn the right form. It just makes sense to work efficiently. If you have a pace you want to go, it will be easier if you do it efficiently. Try running with one arm down the neck of your shirt for a mile if you think the efficieny thing is a bunch of hullaballoo. (This is what I do when my heart rate monitor isn’t cooperating and trust me, it is less efficient… of course I am frantically tugging the strap cause its slipping or licking my hand to get my skin wet so it starts working… and yes, I know I look funny but I want the thing working).

Another thing that improves efficiency is that your body adapts the muscles to what you do. You may have heard about fast twich and slow twich muscles. If you train and improve the wrong ones and then expect to perform well you will be dissapointed. This is why you cannot weight lift to run better, you must run (ok a long weight training regime might have you improve all sorts of things including running time, but the improvement is not from running more efficiently, it is from other areas). The muscles you use as you perform are the ones that are improved. The best way to gain efficiency is to first learn the proper form and then practice more and more. Until you get the sense that you can do it in your sleep and find that you can still perform as you let your mind wander you are not as efficient as you can be. Another way to think of it is you find yourself working out “in the zone” more often, the form you use is just second nature. You should eventually be able to still keep the proper form as you get fatigued, then you know you have been practicing enough. You can of course practice the wrong form and get this same feeling, it is more a sense of having learned your form as you practice it. You will need a coach or some video analysis if you want to begin the probably difficult task of having to unlearn the wrong form and so you can learn the right one. So go get a coach to make the most gains here.

To improve form is easy enough, you just learn it and then practiceas you learned it, that is properly. But can we make our muscles adapt faster or better? Sure thing. You will need to read more than what I have to share if you want all the details. I am not at a level where I need to get anything extra, I am still losing weight, that extra baggage gone is going to be the best thing I can worry about. Here are some articles to read more on the topic though:

Growing more blood vessels in your muscles just happens with exercise, researchers are trying to learn more about it to use it for curing disease:

http://news.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news-2/New-insights-into-muscle-adaptation-to-exercise-1929-1/

We might know about muscle adaptation to exercise, but we don’t always know why:

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/88/1/327

Doing two workouts in a day with the second being with low muscle glycogen content sounds like a crazy idea to me, but this reaseacher has found it may help your endurance. To achieve this you simply workout in the morning after breakfast, and then don’t eat anything and work out again at lunch time before lunch. As long as you get a little boost of carbs just before the workout (think gatorade) so your liver glycogen doesn’t go too low (bonking) and understand that you will not be performing optimally because your muscles don’t have the normal amount of stored energy (hitting the wall), I can’t imagine it would do any harm, but it will definitely not be as easy to recover from. I actually have been focusing on a smooth recovery so I can work out twice a day three days of the week, this is the last thing I want to do at this point. I would put this in the list of try it to see if you like it cause you probably won’t:

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/98/1/93

So I have been learning all about form and the following videos either helped me learn or contain the same information that I was taught. I like to go through them once in a while, along with other new ones, to try and get little tidbits of wisdom that just flew over my head since I probably wasn’t ready. I am not going to regurgitate proper form in any events here, there are going to be hundreds of websites and books that will do a better job of it that I ever could. I like linking to the videos cause it is so much more helpful.

swimming efficiency: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYt8x_7uL48

more videos from the same guy who is Ironman Champion Dave Scott on all three disciplines: http://www.youtube.com/user/ACTIVEdotCOM

bike fit and proper form:

This is a 6-part series that shows a cool bike fit system, it gives you an idea about how important it is to get a bike that fits which is a large part of having the proper form:  http://www.youtube.com/user/LindaTris

running form, now I admit this one is a little corny, but it is very helpful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibWjSEw-F4