My Training Week - January 2006
My Training Week
Sunday 22nd January 2006
The last 3 or four turbo sessions have been pretty ordinary but I'll use the calf injury as an excuse for the time being. But if the leg is OK to run on, then logically, there should be no problem with a hard-ish turbo session. In the end, I plumped for one of my favourites. Its a 70 minute session but has plenty of variety and hurts in different ways! After a 10 minute warm up, it was straight into 10 x single leg drill, 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off. OK, so the jury is out on the validity of single leg drills, but I am very imbalanced in terms of the strength on my right (good) and left (bad) hand sides, so working on my weaknesses in this way is something I have always tried to do on a regular basis. After 5 minutes recovery, it was "out of the saddle" for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 minute intervals with equal rest periods. This was only my second attempt at this session this year and the last 5 minute interval was desperate stuff but I managed to hold on and even managed a "sprint" over the last 30 seconds. After another 5 minutes recovery of easy spinning, the session ended with 5 x 1 minute sprint intervals of 30 mph plus with 1 minute recovery between each interval. By this time, my legs were pretty shot and it was with some relief that I had made it to the final warm down! Total distance covered was 23.6 miles.
Monday 23rd January 2006
No meetings and a free lunchtime meant that I could at last head for the pool. This was only my fifth time in the pool since September last year and it showed! In view of the lack of pool time, I was planning on doing a series of short intervals with plenty of recovery but once in the pool I decided to go for broke and see how far i can get before grinding to a halt. In the end, I managed a 400m swim fairly comfortably, but the time was a disappointing 7 minutes 21 seconds. So that's a minute to gain over the next few months. I finished off the session with 5 x 50m with very little recovery. But even these were taking me 23/24 seconds per 25m, way off my usual training pace at the start of the season. At least this was a wake up call and a clear message about the amount of work I need to do in the pool. After yesterday's hard turbo session and the lunchtime swim, I felt tired when I got home but was determined to get out for a run. In the end I opted for an undulating 4 mile circuit which started slowly but gathered momentum over the last three miles. Final time was 26 minutes 18 seconds, a shade over 6 minute 30 seconds per mile. And although the sessions today don't add up to much in terms time or distance, it felt good to be back to training twice a day.
Tuesday 24th January 2006
Wednesday 25th January 2006
Back on the turbo for a tempo 30 minute session. I set the power output at a constant 200 watts and gradually upped the cadence so that i was sprinting at 30 mph plus for the last few minutes. By then, the heart rate was just over 150 which, for me, is quite high for the bike and I know that I need to do a lot more "hurt box" sessions so that I can operate at higher heart rate levels. Total distance covered in the session was 16.7 miles.
Thursday 26th January 2006
Found my way to the local 25 pool at lunchtime and decided to replicate Monday's session. I had, in any event, decided that I would always swim at least a 400m warm up session, something that I have neglected over the past couple of seasons. As I get fitter, I will also try to increase the distance covered in the whole session but with only an hour for lunch, its difficult to do much over 1500-2000m. I felt more comfortable in the water compared to Monday and clipped 19 seconds off for a total time of 7 minutes 2 seconds. At half way, I thought I might break the 7 minute barrier but I must have tired over the closing lengths. The fast lane was virtually empty so unfortunately I can't blame the traffic or slower swimmers! I then moved on to a quick 5 x 50m which, on average took 46 seconds compared to 49 seconds on Monday. I'm not putting this improvement down to any greater fitness since Monday, I think it has more to do with the desire to improve. On Monday I had set certain benchmarks and today, I guess the mind (and body) were determined to beat them.
Friday 27th January 2006
Boy was it cold tonight! So it was with hat, gloves and several layers of clothing that I headed off on an undulating 4 mile run. By now, the torn calf muscle is long forgotten and I am confident again of setting off at a reasonable pace. I felt strong today and clocked a respectable 24 minutes 47 seconds, a shade over 6 minute miling. This was another sign that the speed hasn't diminished with the long lay off, but I do need to build up the endurance/stamina side of the equation if I am going to maintain that sort of speed over the longer distances of 10km and above. Tonight gave me the confidence to have a go at a 10km handicap event on Sunday. So watch this space if you want to find out how I got on.
Saturday 28th January 2006
Another turbo session over a 25 mile distance with a constant power output of 200 watts. This can be a hard session if you persevere with a low cadence but get the pedals spinning and its relatively easy to keep the speed much higher than you could ever achieve on the road. But before anybody asks what the benefits of such an easy session are, in my case, high spinning means high heart rate. In other words, I am training the cardio-vascular system rather than muscular strength/endurance. There are plenty of other sessions in my turbo repertoire to cater for those training effects! I finished the 25 mile session in 52 minutes 30 seconds. Now if only I could translate that into actual road speed!
Sunday 29th January 2006
Well, in the end, I didn't make it to the 10km handicap, but I went one better by knocking out a 7.5 mile run in 48 minutes 30 seconds. That's equivalent to 6.5 minute miling and I was, to be frank, I bit gobsmacked that I was able to maintain that sort of pace over the longest distance I have trained for some 4 months. I left home at about 15.00 hrs and all of my long runs take me along unlit country roads around Chobham and Windlesham and I was therefore conscious about returning home in daylight. As it happened I think I could have managed a few more miles timewise, but perhaps discretion was the better part of valour given my recent long lay off and more recent calf injury. Hopefully, I'll be up to running 10 miles and over on a regular basis which, if previous years are anything to go by, appears to be the recipe for success in running terms. If you look at my results page, you'll see that I was turning in some pretty good run times in 2001 and to find out why I dug out the training diaries and it didn't take me long to spot the reason why. In the first three months of that year, I was putting in a long Sunday run of 15 miles and over. So if it worked in 2001, there's no reason why it shouldn't in 2006. I just need to be patient in building up the distance.
Monday 30th January 2006
I was expecting to feel quite tired after yesterday's long run but it turned out not to be the case. That is until I stepped on the turbo and tried to push my way through a 10 mile time trial session. After a short two mile warm up on the small ring, it was straight onto the big ring and a 13" cog. I was pushing 250 watts and about 27 mph but after five minutes my legs were shot and I had to jump up onto a 15" cog. With five minutes to go, even that gear was too tough and I was dropping below 200 watts so it was on to an even smaller gear but with some enthusiastic spinning, I was back up to 230-240 watts. After a last few minutes of spinning, I completed the 10 miles in exactly 23 minutes. One of these days I will get myself to a proper ten mile time trail to see what sort of time I can churn out in the real, non-turbo world!
Tuesday 31st January 2006
Rest Day - After 6 training days in a row, I thought it was time to have a rest day. I'm now working on the basis of just one rest day a week and in time will change that for an easy, recovery session day. The next upward shift in my training pattern will be to include more double training days so that i can work back to my usual 11-12 sessions per week.
Sunday 15th January 2006
On waking, the calf muscle was still tender but walking down the stairs was less painful and I could put my full weight on the left leg without too much discomfort. But it is still too soon to resume running and I'm not sure that turbo work is a good idea either. In any case, I'm driving my daughter Gemma back to Bristol and this is the first real drive I've done since the eye problem so all things considered, I have decided that another rest day is probably the wiser decision.
Monday 16th January 2006
The tenderness had all but disappeared today but there is still a niggling discomfort in the belly of the muscle. Still no running then. Instead, I opted for my usual recovery session on the turbo of 30 minutes high cadence/low resistance spinning. The pleasing thing is that my heart rate tonight was averaging 125, compared to 145 when I first did this session after resuming training three weeks ago. These positive signs are helpful and keep me going despite the little setbacks, injuries, etc.
Tuesday 17th January 2006
Rest Day - Got back from work a little late today and didn't feel like another turbo session and still thought it was too soon to return to running. In the end, I took the easy way out and had a rest day.
Wednesday 18th January 2006
I was hoping to be in shape for a run tonight but I could still feel a bit of soreness in the left calf when climbing stairs so decided to wait another day just to make sure. Instead, it was back on the turbo for a "tempo" 30 minute session whilst watching the final part of "The Fantastic Four" DVD. In these sessions I try to gradually ramp up the work-effort so that I finish almost flat out and not wanting to pedal another yard. I guess its trying to replicate that feeling in the last mile or so of a hard bike split - at least, that's how it felt tonight!
Thursday 19th January 2006
Tonight was my first run since I pulled up with a torn or sore calf muscle on Saturday. The plan was to do an easy 5km course which had several short cuts along the way just in case the problem re-occurred! I started the run at nothing more than a shuffle and took about 8mins to complete the first mile and a bit. the left calf still felt less than 100% but i was able to run OK without changing my form and over the last two miles or so I was able to pick up the pace to something like my normal training pace. The run took about 20 minutes 30 seconds which is a good 3 minutes slower than normal over that short distance but at this stage, I'm not worried about speed. Just being able to run consistently 3 or 4 times a week is the main goal. Distance and speed can come later.
Friday 20th January 2007
Good, no ill effects after last night's run but I'm still sticking to the "no running on successive days" rule until the calf injury has fully cleared and I have built up to a reasonable level of fitness. No swimming again this lunchtime as I was giving a presentation to a merry band of Hungarian Financial Regulators in the City. So it was back on the turbo for a steady 20 miles at 180 watts that took me 39 minutes 47 seconds. OK, it looks fast on paper, but boy was I spinning!
Saturday 21st January 2006
After another days rest from running, the left calf felt good and although I was keen to start pushing hard again, I was also mindful of the need not to overdo things and risk a relapse of the injury. I though I would slightly increase the distance to a hilly 3.8 mile circuit but whereas on Thursday I started very gingerly, tonight I set off at my usual training pace for this distance. The leg felt good, with no ill-effects and although I struggled up the worst of the hills - nothing to do with the injury and everything to do with my lack of fitness - I finished strongly to record a time of 23 minutes 14 seconds. This was a shade over 6 minute miling and it was great to be running again without fearing that with every next step the injury might return. If I can continue to run every other day with a gradual increase in the distance, then I might have a go at a local 10km handicap race held in Windlesham on the last Sunday in every month. Its a low key event, but is a great way of measuring running fitness levels throughout the close season. Other races I have in mind are a few of the MABAC cross country events, the Woking 10 in early March and the Kingston 16 in early April.
Monday 9th January 2006
Tonight I managed a "hurt box" session. It was one of my hillier courses, about 3.8 miles long and I completed the run in 23 minutes 8 seconds, a shade over 6 minute miling. I'm in the process of sending my heart rate monitor away for a replacement battery so I have no idea what the ol' ticker was up to but it couldn't have been far off my lactate threshold of 170 bpm. I'm pleased, and equally shocked, that I can manage these sorts of times despite the long lay off. Provided that I continue to build up slowly and remain injury free, the portents of getting back to my 2001 running form are good.
Tuesday 10th January 2006
Tonight I had the pleasure of sharing my turbo session with "Cobbie" of Tri-Talk fame, or Pete in real life. Pete is the handsome one on the right! He happened to be in the area and I was only too happy to share the pain! We ended up doing the 75 minute "Aero Builder II" Spinerval which consists mainly of 3 x 20 minute interval sets with very minimal recovery. This was the first hard session on the turbo since the comeback and I would be the first to admit that I was struggling on some of the power intervals.On the other hand, Pete looked calm and in control and very fit! Still, I hung on to the bitter end but will probably wake up with sore legs in the morning! Total distance covered in the session was about 35 miles.
Wednesday 11th January 2006
As expected, my legs were rebelling from last nights heavy session and my planned run was ditched in favour of an easy recovery session on the turbo. The session was a simple spinning session at 100 rpm with resistance set at 180 watts, which suited me and my tired legs! Total distance covered was 16.2 miles.
Thursday 12th January 2006
Friday 13th January 2006
Back on the turbo trainer for a hard 10 mile time trial. The first mile was a bit of a warm up for the real thing, but the next 9 miles was spent averaging 25/26mph, which would be very nice if I could replicate it out on the road. My final time was 24 minutes 15 seconds. Looking back over the week's training, I have only managed one run so far, so I will need to address this over the week-end and try to fit in one easy and one harder run, in terms of distance. The eagle eyed amongst you will also have spotted that no swim sessions have featured in my training diary so far. I intend to address this next week, but so far, I have just been too busy at work working through the typical post-Christmas backlog of work and e-mails.
Saturday 14th January 2006
Headed out for a scheduled "tempo" run over a fast and flat 5.2 mile course. All went well until 4 miles when I felt a twinge in my left calf muscle. I stopped to press the muscle to see if there was any local pain, but i couldn't find anything so I continued, albeit at a slower pace. But with about a quarter of a mile to go, I felt a stabbing pain and couldn't put any weight on the left leg. I walked the rest of the way and tried to apply the best RICE treatment I could muster at home. Although this is a bit of a setback, I must try to stay positive and forget running for a few days.