Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Weeks and Counting

Barb's Race is less than 5 weeks away and I am considerably less stressed than I was last year...well, other than worrying about my sore Achilles...I am less stressed.

Since I extended my weekend and took a mini stay-cation, I got in a few additional workouts...

On Thursday, I did Spinervals "Muscular Endurance"...another 2:25 workout on the bike trainer. I followed this with four hours of bar-b-que prep work. HS and I have finally come to an agreement on the location of our new built in bar-b-que so my task was to remove all of the ivy where we are going to build it. I did not intend to spend four hours doing this, I just did. I guess I was in the "flow" state.

Barb's Race 2013
On Friday, I got in a 5 mile run in the morning, and then swam about 2,000m in the afternoon.


Saturday was our Barb's Race/Vineman practice ride.The team split into two groups and I took the riders that wanted a brisk pace. Because I knew the route, I took the lead. A few times Anthony offered to "pull" for a while if I was tired. I would let him take over, but then I would drop back. My goal was not to draft someone, I wanted to ride the route as I would on race day...alone (since drafting will only get you a time penalty).

Our route was a bit shorter than the actual race. We rode for about 54+ miles at an 18.1 mph pace. My bike split last year at Barb's Race was 3:14 at an average pace of 17.4 mph. I was ranked 12th in my age division for the bike. I would like to finish the bike in about 3 hours this year, so I am going to need to pick up the pace to about 18.6.

Barb's Race 2013 Results

Last year, my average pace on the run was 9:45. I am hoping I am able to rehab my Achilles enough to be able to maintain this pace. If my times remain static on the swim and run and I am able to drop some time on the bike, I should be able to finish in less than 6 hours.

Sunday, after church (and breakfast with the Turners), I did a 6 mile run around Embarcadero...this was my first venture out of my "safety circle" around my house. I've been keeping close to my base just in case I have to walk back. On Sunday, my Achilles were still pretty sore, but I was able to get through the run.

Yesterday (Tuesday, June 24), I skipped the Fleet Feet run, and ran for an hour around my neighborhood. Running as soon as I got home instead of waiting served more than one purpose... 1) It removed the temptation to snack 2) It allowed me to run in the hottest part of the afternoon 3) It allowed me to run as I will in the race...by myself.

My goal yesterday was to run for 60 minutes and to keep my heart rate below 168. It was 91 degrees and after 3 miles, I had to slow down significantly in order to keep my heart rate in check. Three weeks ago I did a run in the hot afternoon and got a mile and a half before my HR monitor started beeping at me that I was out of my zone. Last week I made it for 2 miles before this happened. Yesterday, I made it 3 miles before I had to ease up in order to stay under 168. The average July temperature in the Santa Rosa area is 83, so I should be good to go if I keep up these afternoon training runs.

Tuesday Run by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

I melted on the run last year :-(

More on Heat

Sunday morning before church, HS and I headed over to 24 Hour Fitness to sit in the sauna. I made it for 30 minutes. I'll be heading back to the gym on Thursday for another sauna session (since it is my rest day).

Podcast that got me interested in heat exposure:

From "Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance Health & Life" by Ben Greenfield:
In the same way that cold thermogenesis can cause positive cardiovascular adaptations, heat exposure can not only result in enhanced blood flow distribution, but also better ability to tolerate extremes of heat during workouts and races (44). 
Gradual exposure to repetitive exercise and non-exercise heat stress produces several beneficial physiological adaptations, including improved heat transfer from core to skin, more efficient cardiovascular function, decreased heart rate during hot exercise, decreased skin and body temperature during hot exercise, increased blood volume and less electrolyte loss via kidney filtration (43).
Passive Heat Training
Because it is relatively less uncomfortable, I am personally a bigger fan of passive heat training. Passive heat training involves sitting or standing in dry heat saunas or steam rooms to simulate heat, and induces the same cardiovascular and sweat changes as active heat training, but without the recovery implications or discomfort that accompanies active exercise in the heat – like setting up your bike trainer or treadmill inside a sauna. 
Positive adaptations can occur with as few as 10 days of passive heat training. If you’re doing passive heat training for race preparation, then for optimum results you should begin 4-8 weeks prior to your event. Begin with 10-15 minutes of passive heat training, and gradually work up to 45-50 minute sessions every 1-3 days. 
Active Heat Training
In contrast to passive heat training, active heat training is crucial for experiencing the physiological and psychological responses to hot weather racing, and although more uncomfortable, results in faster results than passive heat training. Active heat training, as the name implies, involves exercising in hot conditions.