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Monday, June 14, 2010

Trading Volume for Intensity

It is that time of year where I have traded volume for intensity. There are not many LSD (Long Slow Distance) rides or runs. The weekend of intensity started early with the first time trial of the season. Sure, I was a few seconds off of my best time but it was a solid effort. In fact it was easily my best ride of the year. I gave a good hard effort for the entire ride (30:43). I analyzed my ride and I should have pushed harder for the last mile or so – that is what I did last year and that would have allowed me to post a PR. Still, I was pleased with the effort.

I followed up the cycling TT with a longer swimming TT at lunch. Although my swimming has quickened in the last few months this is where my endurance is suffering. Last year, while training for Ironman Louisville my shortest swim would be 3000 yards with several in the 4000 yard range. This year I have been calling it quits at about 1500 yards with my longest year to date being 2500 yards. I still stuck to the intensity over volume for this time trial and just did a hard effort 1500 yard effort. Swimming is not my strong suit and I did not push this TT as hard as I could. It seems like in the swim the difference between an all out effort and an easy swim is just a couple of seconds. I finished up the 1500 yard time trial in 23:30 – not fast by many standards but pretty quick for me. I will take a 1:34 100 yard average for that distance. When doing 100 yard repeats my average times have dropped to 1:30 give or take a second. These are good swim times for me.

Friday I knew that I had a work commitment for lunch so I needed to get a good workout in before work. I planned ahead so that I could run into work. This is a 6 mile run along the trace right to campus. It was warm and humid and I had an aggressive game plan. I wanted to run the 6 miles in 39 minutes – a 6:30 pace. This would be challenging but not too far out of reach. But I blew it. I started out a little fast and then picked up the pace. I was feeling strong but it was not sustainable. I ran the first 3 miles in just under 19 minutes (6:23, 6:11, 6:22). It was that second mile that blew me up. The next 3 miles were just trying to recover. They all clocked in at just over 7 minutes per mile. I finished the 6 mile run in 40:42 – way off of my goal pace. I need to work on my pacing.

Saturday morning I met the group for a long ride just south of town. This would include a few hills that you just do not get while riding on the trace. There were a few solid hills that I tried to attack and some good long breakaways. It was an eventful ride. We had a broken spoke, a flat and later a crash. I was able to break away from the group in the later miles. It was a good effort but JD wanted to make sure that I mentioned that I was chased down by him (the Diesel) and Butch. It was a hot fast ride. I had a blast. Unfortunately Jason had a tip over about 10 feet from the end of the ride. I saw him walking his bike and he had a shiner near his right eye. I gave him a towel and noticed that his helmet was cracked. Wow. That is why you wear helmets!

Sunday I wanted to redeem myself for the botched run on Friday. I was going to attempt the 6 miles in 39 minutes. This run did not work out either. Although I hit the trace in the morning the heat and humidity was unbearable. The conditions zapped any speed that I might have had. On top of the heat my legs were feeling the ride the previous day. Six miles fast turned into 2 miles fast with a struggle just to get home. I 86’d the run. I finished with 4 miles in 29 minutes instead of 6 miles in 39 minutes. When I got home I submerged myself in a cold bath to release some of the heat.

Not every workout was successful but the weekend as a whole was solid.

7 comments:

  1. I often wonder where the trade off is. The long workouts build the endurance but if you push your limits with shorter workouts at a sustained hard effort, this has to help.

    Solid workouts. The humidity is brutal. I have felt it on a couple workouts so far (not horrible this summer yet) and don't attribute my poor performance to the heat until I am done and it sinks in that its pretty humid.

    Any updates on the horse flies?! Got eaten up over the weekend (they come out a lot up here when it is really humid I have noticed).

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  2. I tend to do more LSD than intensity, and it shows in my speed (or lack there of!) I know I need to ramp up the intensity.

    Awesome workouts - I really hate the humidity, it kills me!

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  3. Really nice workouts James! I'll let you know how the LT and VO2 testing goes on Thursday -- will be interested to get your feedback.

    If you want a copy of that beIronfit program let me know - I got it in a spreadsheet.

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  4. I need to follow your program! I have pretty much just added distance but kept overall intensity levels about the same. Are you following a particular program or is this just knowledge built up over time.

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  5. I miss intensity. In this year post-injury it's been all aerobic and now it's all long. Next year I'll be back to the speed work hopefully!

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  6. Last year, I didnt have any build workouts, this year I added build workouts and I see an improvement. I think too many people are more concerned that they should always train to make sure they can make the distance and forget to add speed to the distance

    I like the new background

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  7. your workouts are amazing. I don't know how you do it. Just finding time to run [minus the swim/cycle] is hard some weeks.

    Way to go!

    Completely inspiring!!

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