My Training Week - February 2006

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Sunday 26th February 2006

In an attempt to start increasing my weekly training hours, I kicked off this week with a 90 minute turbo session. OK, it wasn't difficult or hard, but after a long lay off I need to get the body used to continuous exercise over longer periods. I was able to hold a high cadence of over 100 for the whole 90 minutes with heart rate averaging about 130bpm. Although I felt tired after the session, it wasn't because of the intensity or effort, it was more to do with sitting on a saddle and pedalling for an hour and a half. And watching the Ireland v Wales rugby international certainly helped to relieve the boredom!

Monday 27th February 2006

After yesterday's marathon effort on the turbo, I was looking for a steady, recovery run tonight. The course is an undulating 5.2 miles, the last two miles of which is downhill and fast. After a steady start, I picked up the pace and was surprised that the old legs were able to push so hard. The final time was 30 minutes 36 seconds; one of my first sub 6 minute mile pace runs over this longer distance.

Tuesday 28th February 2006

Rest day.

Sunday 19th February 2006

Although yesterday's run was the longest since my return to running at the end of December, I wasn't expecting my calf muscles to ache so much. They weren't painful, but I knew I had overstretched myself and would pay for it over the next few days. Just as well then that today's session was on the turbo! It consisted of a straight through 25 mile time trial based on low output of 180 watts and high cadence of 110 plus. Time taken was 46 minutes 34 seconds, about a minute faster compared to my previous effort last week.

Monday 20th February 2006

If anything, my legs were more sore today! Walking to and from work in the very strong and cold wind had convinced me that going for a run would not be the best option so although I have a general rule of alternating bike and run training, I decided that tonight would be the exception to the rule. After a ten minute warm up on the small ring, it was straight into a pyramid, "out of the saddle" session consisting of 1,2,3,4 and 5 minute intervals with equal recovery. I ended with a 10 minute warm down making it a 45 minute session in total covering about 16 miles.

Tuesday 21st February 2006

Rest Day

Wednesday 22nd February 2006

Felt like a fast, tempo run tonight so headed out into the freezing weather for a 5km run which includes one long hill. Thankfully, the calf muscles were less sore than earlier in the week and the after effects of last Saturday's long run had all but disappeared. On most of my regular runs, I have certain checkpoints and a good idea of the sort of times I need to achieve at those points depending on whether I want  a recovery, steady or tempo run. Well, at the half mile point, I knew I was on a good'un and continued to hold a good pace to finish in 18 minutes 43 seconds. OK, this was still nearly two minutes slower than my best over this particular course, but considering the problems I've been having and the time of the year, I'm well chuffed that I can turn in these fast runs, albeit over quite short distances.

Thursday 23rd February 2006

The weather today was foul. Freezing temperatures and driving snow. It had been a long and hard day at work and by the time I struggled back from the station this evening feeling numb with cold, I had totally lost any interest in going out in it again. So, another rest day.

Friday 24th February 2006

Tonight was a quick but hard turbo session consisting of 6 x 5 minute intervals starting at 180 watts and moving up 10 watts at the end of every interval Over the 30 minute session, I felt strong and even at 230 watts I was still able to hold a cadence of over 110rpm. Total distance covered was 16.4 miles.

Saturday 25th February 2006

The wind was very strong today but thankfully, the direction had changed from the bitterly cold North Easterly that had made most of the last few weeks so cold and bitter. This afternoon's 6 mile run was partly on the canal towpath and partly on road. In hindsight, the towpath was a mistake given that it was more like a mudbath most of the way! After being blown around most of the local roads, it was nice to get back into the comfort and warmth of the house and some all important recovery food and drink. Time taken was 37 minutes 57 seconds.

Sunday 12th February 2006

The weather today was grey, wet and very murky so the best place to be was in the garage, on the turbo, watching 14 man strong Scotland put up a brave performance against the Welsh. The session was a 25 mile time trial at a constant 200 watts which took me 47 minutes 57 seconds. As I've said before, spinning at these constant power settings is nothing like riding on the open road and it is relatively easy to maintain very high speeds provided at the same time you can maintain a high cadence of 100 rpm and over.

Monday 13th February 2006

Another tempo run tonight, albeit over a shorter distance of 3.8 miles. But there are three significant short hills during the run which makes this far from straightforward. The first 2 miles are almost all uphill and the legs were certainly screaming for relief at the turn round point. But the closing miles are fast and furious and in the end I clocked a respectable 22 minutes 20 seconds. Still managing to hover around the 6 minutes per mile pace. If only I could maintain that over 10km at the end of a standard distance triathlon!

Tuesday 14th February 2006

Another night on the turbo. This was a straight through 6 x 5 minute intervals at 180, 190,200, 210, 220 and 230 watts. Total distance covered was 16 miles.

Wednesday 15th February 2006

Headed out for a longer run tonight but after 5 consecutive days of training, I didn't want to overdo things. So it was on with the HRM and a plan to stay at 150bpm. I managed to hold that level throughout the run except for the one hill of any significance where even walking would have pushed the rate up to well over 150! The run covered 5.2 miles that took me 33 minutes 15 seconds.

Thursday 16th February 2006

Rest day. Found out that my sister, who lives in Boston, USA, was due to go into hospital today to have a lump in her breast removed. The doctors are 95% certain its benign, but its still a worry and I didn't feel like training.

Friday 17th February 2006

Official Rest Day

Saturday 18th February 2006

Saturday has become the day of the long run so it was out for a steady 8 miler in 53 minutes 10 seconds. I felt strong throughout the run and could probably have managed another couple of miles but the last thing I want to do at this stage of the season is to lose yet more time over a silly and preventable injury. Perhaps I'll have a go at a ten miler next week. Good news from the USA. My sister is fine and the doctors are even more certain that everything will be fine. perhaps their is a God after all.

Sunday 5th February 2006

Rest Day - Yes, the third rest day on the trot, but again, not part of the plan. On Friday I had bought some new wash basin taps and started to fit them this morning. But what started as a minor DIY job, soon turned into a major job having cracked the wash basin trying to get the old taps off. It took me virtually all of today to get things up and running so not time for training.

Monday 6th February 2006

Having wasted the last three days, it was essential to get back into the training routine. So it was back into the cold of the garage for a high cadence 30 minute session, covering a total of 16.8 miles.

Tuesday 7th February 2006

The temperature was still hovering around the zero mark tonight so it was a case of wrapping up well against the elements. Tonight's run was an undulating 4 mile course that started OK but just got faster and faster! Final time was 25 minutes 13 seconds. Perhaps those 3 days off did some good!

Wednesday 8th February 2006

Back in the garage for a no holds barred ten mile time trial. All the settings were neutral so it was as close as I'm ever likely to get to the real thing. After a two mile warm up on the small ring, it was straight onto the 53" x 13" which I managed to hold for about the first three miles. For the rest of the session, I eased back with a 53" x 16" gear, but with a higher cadence, the speed differential wasn't that great. After a final lung bursting sprint over the last mile, I finished in a time of 22 minutes 30 seconds, my fastest ever time for this session. Not sure though whether I could then have headed off for a run of any description!

Thursday 9th February 2006

Rest Day

Friday 10th February 2006

Tonight's turbo session was a straightforward 45 minute session at a consistent 180 watts. Last night's run had taken its toll in terms of stiffness and soreness so this was never going to be a hard session. Total distance covered was 22.8 miles

Saturday 11th February 2006

A tad warmer tonight so no hat or gloves for a slightly longer run over 5 miles. After a steady first mile, I upped the pace to six minute miling which I managed to hold for the entire distance to finish in a time of 30 minutes 57 seconds. My pace at this time of the year is much better than it has been for several years and, fingers crossed, more of the same will enable me to get back to my 2001 times.

Wednesday 1st February 2006

After several very short sessions of about 600m last week, it was clear that I needed to up the distance if I am to be ready for swimming 1500m by the early season. I began today's swim session with a 400m warm up in 7 minutes 5 seconds and followed this with 4 x 100m and 4 x 50m intervals, making 1000m in total. Total swim time was about 17 minutes 13 seconds.

Thursday 2nd February 2006

I don't know why but I had felt tired all day at work, and having heating problems in the building didn't help much. The walk back from the station after work in below freezing temperatures convinced me that a run was not the best of ideas! So although it was cold in the garage for a turbo session, at least there was no wind and I could wrap up warm against the elements. This was only a short recovery session; 30 minutes at a constant 180 watts. Total distance covered was 16.2 miles.

Friday 3rd February 2006

Rest Day

Saturday 4th February 2006

Rest Day - This rest day was not on my schedule! I spent most of last night fitting a new tuner card in my PC and all was working well -until this morning when nothing worked! It took me most of the day to sort things out and in between, I just had to watch England destroy Wales in the rugby, with a little help from the ref!

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