Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Strange Bunch

Somewhere between D.C. and S.F…..I normally only blog once per week…yes I have other things to do…but given this painfully long flight and the last two days, I thought I would check in.

For some reason I woke up around 4 yesterday. Out of bed at 4:45, and out the door at 5:15. It was spectacular. Sure, it was still cold (25), but the starry sky was beautiful. I noticed it as I waited for my Garmin to synch up. I hit the road thinking I would stick to my plan for 6 mi. Early on, I felt much lighter and looser than normal. It probably had a lot to do with using the roller last night. I need to do much more of that. By mile 1, and without effort, I was already down to an 8:15 pace. As the run progressed, I felt better and better. So good, in fact, I entertained adding a bit on. By the time I got to the decision point, I was cranking along at 7:30-45, felt great, but realized another mile or so could hamper future workouts. So I decided caution was in order and stuck to my planned route. The next ½ mile was generally up hill. It took a bit more effort, but I didn’t slow down much. Around mile 4, the endorphins were really flowing and I got the pace under 7. Keep in mind that my 10K race pace is somewhere around 6:20. At mile 5, I slowed down to bring it home...It turned out to still be under 8:00. What a great run.

I followed that up with an hour on the trainer. I knew I had a threshold test to do today, so I didn’t want to blow it. After a warm up, I alternated 5 minute periods, 220w seated and 260-280 slower cadence (75-80) standing (FTP is about 275). That went for 35 minutes.

Today I woke up at 2 friggin’ 30 thinking about the FTP test the same way I think about races. It was impossible to go back to sleep. I probably got another 30 minutes of sleep until I got up at 5. After the K.P. warm-up protocol, I dove into the test, stepping up 20w every 4 minutes, starting at 160w. I did this in January and failed after about 30 seconds at 300w, about the same as last year. After I hit 220w, I was sick of the TV, so I put on the iPod and turned the TV off. At 280w the volume went up. Bottom line? I failed after 2 minutes at 320w, a huge improvement over January. That’s my “win” for the day. Total ride 90 minutes.

Afterwards, Christine and I had a good laugh. Now keep in mind I am a total morning person, and she is far from it. I alluded to my win this morning. I said, “What a great ride. I sat on my bike in the garage, it was 39 degrees (yes, inside the garage), I was alone, pushed myself to failure, and all the while didn’t travel an inch.” We triathletes sure are a strange and driven bunch.

I’m looking forward to unleashing this energy on the competition.


  1. hehe...love that. Mark and I have the same conversations after some of my workouts. SO funny.
    GREAT job on your 'win.' I might not be staring at the back of your shirt on the Polarbear run this year after all. :)
    So what is the KP warm up? just curious.
    enjoy San francisco..

  2. Nothing special- 10 min ez, then 2 or 3 x 4 min at your 2nd or third "step" with a bit of rest, then 3x1 min @ ending effort- total is about 30 min.

  3. Yikes, that bike threshold test sounds TOUGH! I've seldom ridden indoors but the times I have I've hated. Not sure why since I have no problems running indoors on a treadmill. Probably a drive like yours to compete/improve would help. I waffle between feeling too old to do so and wanting to become an AG champion by age 60 :-)

  4. I don't know how many times I've contemplated going back to bed while waiting for my garmin to sync up. I think 25 degrees would have done it for me. Good workouts. You seem to have great discipline which can be half the battle.

  5. solid improvements Steve.

    Good call on the repeatability....always live to fight another day!