Breaking new ground

As Bryan mentioned in the previous comment, low heart rate if paying off!

This morning I did an “amazing” 10.5 km/h average with 143 bpm!!!! WOW!!! Ok, not exactly fast, but considering that I was running at 9.9 Km/h @ 146 bpm just two months ago, that doesn’t look too bad.

After looking at today’s numbers, I started to look at some workouts during what I think was my peaked last season. Unfortunately that was May, which was a bit early for IM France. After that all my results went south… I started to get worse each day. Anyhow, that is another story, back to the May numbers:

  • 47 min
  • 11.4 km/h Average
  • 148 bpm Average

I don’t think I EVER run at this speed for this long at less then 150 bpm. This is the workout I want to beat. Ideally I would like to break 12 km/h (5 min km) under 150 bpm. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m feeling so much better then a month ago, it is not funny.

The training is starting to pay off. I know, baby steps… I have to hold on to the small victories, after all, training at low heart rate is not exactly fun! I hate when someone runs beside me at 7 miles/h, which I’m at 6. I always think “I left my pride at home, I left my pride at home! I bet his HR is higher then mine…” 🙂

One day… one day!!!


Holidays season! ;)

Unlike Rogerio and Carlos, I’m actually doing “something”! I think that Bruno and I are the only ones following a schedule.
I’ve resumed my training and now that I’m on my 8th week of maintenance training, it might be time to take a short break.
Christmas is around the corner and I’m debating if I should continue to workout or take a couple weeks off. Usually I go skiing, but since I just moved, I’m trying to cut my expenses, while I fix up my new place. The good thing about the training is that I’m not spending money while I do it. If I would go to the movies, I would be spending more money!
Anyhow, the other point is that I’m finally feeling a bit better now. I’m getting back to my old me! This morning I even did a 160 Watts average bike workout, which isn’t great, but MUCH better than the 120 Watts, which is where I started 8 weeks ago.
I think I just going to leave the heart-rate monitor at home and go for a few good old runs. There is no swimming on Sundays either, which means that for 3 weekends I will be able to sleep past 7am on Sundays! 🙂
Well, I’ll just take it easy for the holidays.

Week 6 – 224 days to Ironman Lake Placid

The title of this post pretty much defines this past training week. Or a the lack of one actually.

I did my 1 hour run on Tuesday and felt great, was able to maintain my  HR between 125-145 bpm as planned and for the first time I was able to:

– Break the 30 min mark at 6.1 mph pace without blowing the 145 bpm limit (I did 35 min then I had to slow down)

– I finished the 1 hour with a 5.4 mph pace, which is better than the 5.1 mph that I was being forced to do to keep my HR below 145

Well, all good news, right? WRONG!

I guess I could blame it on the blistering cold week we had here in Toronto (-20C/-4F) and the first snow “storm” of the year, but this run was the only workout I ended-up doing this week. A couple of times I found myself at the gym’s door but turned around and got back home. I also had a pretty busy week at work with long office hours, but this never stopped my before. I don’t know why, but I was just not “feeling it”. Maybe is all this indoors training that is driving me nuts and this week was the peak. Maybe is because I am doing foundation training, where there isn’t a lot of change/variety on the workouts; Every week is pretty much the same thing, the volume does not get higher, there is no speed or VO2Max workouts, or anything like that. And mainly, there is no outdoors long ride on Saturdays. Gee, how I miss that! “Riding” 3 hours on the trainer is far from being fun… Running 2 hours on the “dreadmill” isn’t my idea of a good run either. This is my first time training during the winter here in Canada, and I am starting to see why people say it is so hard.

Well, the fact is: A brilliant idea poorly executed will fail as surely as a poor idea brilliantly executed. And this week I did not executed. The good news? I AM PISSED AT MYSELF! What am I thinking? This is not me! I can’t and won’t succumb to the Canadian winter “blues”.

This coming week will be my last one before my 2 weeks trip to Brazil (Sun, here I go) and I don’t care how I feel, I will push myself to complete all workouts planned. In Brazil I have already set my schedule in a way that I can still keep the training going but I can also enjoy my family and friends.

January will see me start doing my swimming workouts, and I will try to do at least one “all out” workout, like a simulated indoors sprint duathlon,  or even an indoors triathlon. Yeah, putting a good 1:30-2 hours push should get me going, as I will be able to measure my development month-over-month.

Totals for the past week:

– 1 workouts

– 1 hours

– 752 kcal

– Weight Sunday Night: Did not weight yet, but I expect to be a bit heavier due to the lack of activity this week

Lesson learned this week: Don’t let yourself down. If it was easy, everybody would do it.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

The past 2 weeks I found to be pretty much normal. My training is going well and I believe that I am finally getting used to higher cadences, both on the bike (90+) and on the run (86+, trying to get to 90+). I caught myself riding constantly at 90+ without a problem, but running at 86 or higher still requires some concentration.

Just over a week ago I had my first ride over 2 hours. It was 3 hours on my trainer watching NFL on TV. Let me tell you, it was as boring as you can imagine, but in the end I finished feeling really good about the workout and how I was able to control my HR and keep a some-what ok average.

This past week I “skipped” my bike ride on Friday (1:15) so I decided to do my 2hr ride on Saturday and do a 1:15/1:15 bike/run brick on Sunday. Kind of risky, but hey, it was not like I was going to push hard, as I had to keep my HR within the zone limits (125-145 for the bike and d130-150 for the run). Once again I felt the bike portion to be harder than the run (who would ever imagine I would say such a thing). But as usual, I started doing an ok pace at first, but around the 45min mark I had to slow down, finishing at a really, REALLY slow pace… I think I was slower than my marathon pace during IM France this year… Yeah, THAT slow.

I haven’t been swimming, and that’s planned. I was going to start last week, but then I realized that in Brazil chances are I won’t have the opportunity to swim there (no pool close by and other things to do, so I will focus in doing 1 workout a day, if I am lucky).

But when I am back from my vacation I will be back counting some pool tiles, just not sure if I will be back with my Masters Swimming team. Don’t get me wrong, they are great people, great coach and ok pool. But the problem is that they are NOT training for triathlons, not even long distance events. Everybody does the same practice everyday, the only difference is how fast you do it. I believe that’s ok if you have no swimming background and would like to improve your skills, as a team and a coach will always be better than swimming by yourself, even if it is not a triathlon oriented program. But I am in that gray area now, where I am not sure what’s the lesser of the 2 evils: Should I stay with the team and be able to have some decent swimmers around me, even though I won’t be training for triathlons? Or should I go back to the public pool, which is a better pool (50m), follow the triathlon training program by myself (I really don’t mind) surrounded by a bunch of people who sometimes makes me ask why, why, WHY is this person swimming at the “fast” lane? That’s my dilemma for 2010…

This dilemma started after I realized that during IM Muskoka 70.3 this year my swimming split was the same as 2008, when I did not practice with the Master team and had only 4 months preparing for it (swimming). This year I prepared for 6 months… Well, we shall see…  LOL

Overall I am steady doing my maintenance training, keeping around 6:30-7 hours per week and burning around 4,000 kcal. I know that as soon as I start swimming this will jump to 10 hours/week and about 5,000-5,500 kcal. Far, way far, from what I have coming in March, 2010…

One quick note: I haven’t lost or gained weight anymore, as I am steady at 195-197 lbs, but I am sure I will have to address my nutrition when March hits, since I am eating the same as I was during my training for Ironman France, but I was burning 2.5x more calories per week. So today I know that my nutrition was not appropriate back then. During the peak season I was 187 lbs.

Totals for the past 2 weeks:

– 15 workouts

– 15 hours

– 8,000 kcal

– Weight Sunday Night: 197 lbs – 14.6% body fat

Lesson learned this week: Nutrition; Protein deficit and carbs reposition should always be on my list.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Posted by Carlos “Sandbagger” Araujo

Another week has passed and I am starting to realize that this is going to be a LONG season… Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy training, but racing is what I live for. The adrenaline rush I experience during a race is quiet unique and hardly found anywhere else. That’s why training for 19 weeks without any races planned whatsoever is going to be a challenge…

I am going to Brazil (visit family and friends) for the Holidays and would love to find any kind of race there, even a 10k or half-marathon, but it is summer time down there and the last thing people want to do is to race during Xmas and New Years. Actually, the most famous running race in Brazil, the Sao Silvestre (20,000 runners boiling under a 35C heat for a 15k run) is always December 31st in Sao Paulo, but I won’t be in Sao Paulo this time, so this one is a no go. I have been thinking about a few races in warmer places in North America in March, just before I start my specific training for Lake Placid, but so far nothing caught my eyes.

Going back to my training, this week was pretty much like the last week (3 runs, 3 bike rides and 2 weight-lifting sessions), with 2 main differences:

– I did my first outdoors run this Saturday and used my “new” pair of Newtons. Boy, do they feel great! I also found out how amazingly faster I run at the track than on the “dreadmill”, at least to start… That’s because after 30 min I found myself in familiar territory and had to really slow-down my pace. At the end of my 1 hour run I was again “flying low” at the astonishing pace of  9 km/h. But two things put a smile on my face. One, was the fact that I was running outdoors. As I mentioned before, for me a bad day outdoors beats any good day in the gym. Two, during the last 5 minutes of my “run”, while a bunch of people I know I am faster than was running by me, my iPod starts playing the theme song for Rocky Balboa. I could not resist and started laughing so hard that I almost had to stop, as my HR was getting higher… Oh, the irony!

– Yesterday I “rode” my bike again since September. It was on the trainer, but it felt great, at first… After 50 min I was hurting really bad and even though my HR was perfectly under control, my legs just gave up. I can still see Fernanda’s face when I showed up in our bedroom after 1 hour of torture… She asked: “Weren’t you suppose to do 2.5 hours bike today?” To which I said: “Yeah, but the football game was so interesting that I had to stop riding and watch it. That and because my legs just can’t do it anymore.”  I could be worried, but I am not. It was late at night and I had a heavy late lunch, so I guess 1 hour was not too, too bad, eh?

Total workout for the week:

– 8 workouts

– 7 hours again

– 4,000 kcal again.

Lesson learned this week: Don’t ever do a late Sunday workout again.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Continuing my “slowly but surely” approach I did 2 runs and 3 bike rides this week, including a 2 hours “long” ride yesterday.

The week started with the usual tempo ride and I feel that my bike splits will be A LOT better, as I have not trained like this before (avg HR above 140 bpm on a trainer). The run is also getting a little time to get used to as well, but at least I have not walked yet. But I figure that it is just  a matter of time once I start doing my long runs and have to keep my HR below 150. I will do like the Johnny Walker commercial: “just keep walking…” 

My “long ride” of  2 hours was actually very interesting, as I found the 2nd hour to be easier (or not as hard) than the 1st hour. My guess is that my body is starting to adapt to this new “HR thingy”.

In total I did 7 hours and burned 4,000+ kcal. Not even close to what I was supposed to do, but then again I rather do this than hurt myself too early into the training season. This coming week I should do about 8 hours and then jump to 11-12 hours the following week when I add the swimming to my weekly routine. 

Main pointers for this week:

– Cardiac drift is a reality when you are doing your workouts indoors, and you should know that, but if you are training under specific HR zone guidelines, it does not matter, as you should stick to the targeted HR no matter what. The same goes to a scenario where I will have to run/bike outdoors and it is a very hot day. Get your body used to burn that fat!

– As always: Before going to training, leave your ego at home.

– Our Team Sandbaggers met this past weekend for our 2nd Annual meeting and we all watched the DVD for the 2009 season. It was really nice to see everybody again and to hear what plans we all have for 2010. Some will go longer, some will go shorter, but we are all looking forward to racing again. I can’t wait enough for Lake Placid.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right”. – Henry Ford

This was my first week training for IM Lake Placid 2010. I had been doing a few 40min runs for a couple weeks, but nothing that I could call training.

So this week I officially kicked off my training, and let me tell you… It’s going to be a Looooooooonnnngggggg way until July 25th, 2010 hits my calendar. But hey, it’s not about the destiny, it’s all about the journey, right?

I did 2 bike rides, 2 runs, 2 weight lifting workouts and 1 swimming. I “missed” 2 swims, 1 “long” bike ride (2:30hs) and 1 “long” run (0:55min). But I did that because by Friday night I felt really tired and my body was not taken the training load as I expected, so I decided to take the weekend off and relax. It was a good wake-up call and probably saved me of future injuries, as I will take slowly and surely instead of all out of the gate.

3 things that deserve mention are:

– For the first time EVER I did a bike workout with my avg/HR higher than my moderate run avg/HR. I managed to keep a 148 bpm HR for the bike workout and only 142 bpm HR for the run… Truth be told, I was almost walking during my run, as the ultimate goal is to keep my HR below 145 bpm during these runs and below 150 bpm on my “tempo” runs…  This change is by far the biggest change in my training this season, as it looks like I was NOT pushing hard enough during my bike workouts and pushing too hard during my runs. So far it looks promising.

– I can’t still believe how can somebody keep their running cadence at 90/min or higher. It is really hard, and during my training I have to focus in keeping my HR low and my cadence at 90/min+. The result? A lighting fast 5.2 mph pace to finish my runs!!! LOL … I start and keep it around 6,1-6.3 mph for the first 20min, but after that my HR starts to increase and I have to slow-down. As I was told by a few friends who tried (with successes) this low HR run method: “Before you go out for you runs you HAVE to leave your ego at home…” It’s like learning to walk all over again.

– My new pair os Newtons is just great! I’ve been following the general recommendation and have been doing 20min max for each run. Next week I will do 25min and the following week 30min, and so on until I can go the full 3 hours during my long runs. They are a lot lighter than my NB 769 and their design really helps me to change from heel stride to mid-foot stride… My calves can confirm that!

I good old friend of mine, former swimmer as me, is now one of the best known nutritionist in Brazil and she offered to do my nutrition plan for IM Lake Placid (training and racing). I sent her all the information today and I am looking forward to hearing back from her. I had forgotten that in a “busy” week I can burn up to 15,000 kcals and without a good nutrition plan, all this training is good for nothing.

This coming week I am planning to complete most of the training planned, but I will continue to listen to my body and if needed I will cut a few workouts out… Remember: “Must leave my ego at home…”