Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 12 / 20

Just to confuse you, here week 12 is numbered 16
 I'm back, that little warning from my back putting the brakes on my training seems to be behind me now. This week went to plan, that is to say, more or less the original plan. I can't say that I am completely free of aches and pains but my troublesome shoulder is going the distance without giving me too much grief - whether it just needed a rest or whether the extra-curricular strengthening exercises I am doing are the reason only time will tell. Whatever the case, when I get to the taper before the Ironman I'll have time to fix myself up (and my bike, for that matter) good and proper.

It seems like I am not the only one falling to pieces with the training load: today the big chain ring worked its way loose - just as well I was only 500 meters from my house when it happened. I had a brilliant idea today which will seem all too obvious to anyone unlike myself, who is not used to doing anything by halves. I had a 6 hour ride to get in but my wife had just come back from Haiti the day before and so was knackered physically and emotionally - I couldn't really do my usual disappearing act leaving her with the kids and, yet, if I left it too late my beloved lunch would get screwed up. On the other hand, six hours on the turbo trainer would require more motivation than I can muster. So I did what would come naturally to most normal people - a compromise: I got up before the sun and did a couple of hours on the turbo trainer with a good DVD and then went out and did the rest on the road (and, amazingly, it didn't rain although it looked certain to do so). An added bonus of the turbo trainer is that I get a "discount" from my trainer of 20% on the riding time. This is because when you are riding on the roads you typically spend some of that time coasting or free-wheeling. I'm not sure I buy it really because I burn more calories per hour on the road than indoors, but it is true that that gets reflected in more time spent in higher heart rate zones. Anyway, as they say, best not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

The rest of the week was fine. I did a pleasant 1h30m run on Saturday, this time hitting my target heart rate (145bpm) all the way. Recently I have been slacking a little bit on the long runs, using my new found aerobic fitness to run at a lower heart rate rather than to run faster. I had to do series of high intensity both in running and on the bike on consecutive days but I more than recovered by the next day. My only regret this week is that today it was the Madrid Half Marathon, one of my favourite races and one I have not missed for the last three years. But it just didn't fit in to my plan: had my wife been around on Saturday I might have swapped the run and the long bike ride so that I could run (at low intensity) along the course but, let's face it, I would have ended up over-revving the engine had I found myself running with everybody egging us on.

Looking at the graphs of objective and subjective training load (carga objetiva / subjetiva), it seems as though the training is having an effect because my perceived (subjective) load is relatively lower than it was a number of weeks ago. I've got two more weeks of increasing intensity / volume ahead, a mini-taper before the Half Ironman in Lisbon and then a last build and taper cycle before the Ironman itself. The end is in sight.

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