Saturday, December 30, 2006

12/30 - 12/31/2006 Bicycling & Long Run

12/30/2006 Bicycling

I was hoping to break that 2000 mile mark for the year, but in December I realized that a) I just didn't have much time to get out and ride on the few nice days that we had. and b) what does it matter? I've already blasted through most of my personal records this year in a stellar year of riding and racing, so to go this one step further wasn't going to be a huge deal, so I let it go. 2007 is a new year with lots of new challenges.

The fact that I knew I wasn't going to break anymore records for the year doesn't mean I quit riding. Those milestones and personal records are really secondary to the fact that I love riding, and I'll take any chance I can to get out for a run or a ride. This Saturday morning presented just that opportunity as my car needed some new tires. New tires? What does new tires have to do with riding? Well rather than sitting around waiting for the tires to be put on, or having my wife follow me to the mechanic's and then driving me back home, what better excuse to ride is there than to take the car to the mechanic and ride home?

I'd say there are other excuses, but few better. Save gas, get exercise, it's a win-win. For the last ride of the year it was simply glorious.

Odo: 1957.6 miles
Dist: 25.13 miles
Time: 1:42.14
Avg: 14.7 mph
Max: 35.9 mph

12/31/2006 Long Run

The last run of the year was a different story. It was a cold, wet, stiff, aching story of 64 minutes of pain and exhaustiion. That may be overstating it a little bit, but not by much. It was drizzling and cold, about 35 degrees when I left the house. I didn't think much of it, and was kind of excited to run in the rain when I first left. By the midway point it turned into a downpour. I was at the mid-point so there was no sense in turning around so I pushed on. By the time I approached the 132 hill I was stiff and cold. I slowed to a walk for about 20 yards to catch my breath and get a little rest in before tackling the hill. For some reason my heart rate was high the entire time ranging from the mid to high 160's even on the flat road. Usually it hovers in the 150's on the flats. Maybe the cold, or the stiffness, or a combination of both was causing it, but I know it was sapping me very quickly. This was one of the worst runs of the year in terms of enjoyment, maybe only better than the day last summer when I decided to run in the extreme heat of summer on a day after I worked an overnight shift. I am proud of myself though for sticking with it and finishing up the 6 mile run.

Friday, December 29, 2006

12/29/2006 Strength. Core. Spinning

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Core Training

Core class was canceled because of the holiday, but that wasn't going to stop me from torturing myself with some core work before spinning class. I spent about 15 minutes doing crunches, planks, planks with knee dips, alternating side crunches, and more crunches. I don't remember the exact numbers, because I waited too long to post this blog.

Spinning (Intervals and Tempo)

Since there was no core class I was able to get into the spinning room early and start a little early. I was in 30 minutes early actually, which gave me lots of time to warm up and do a little tempo work before class started. I put my heart rate up around 65% and put just enough tension on for that road feel and just let my legs do the work.

After class started we did some intervals and tempo work. I can't remember what we did exactly, because once again I've waited too long and didn't note anything about the class in the days shortly after the class. silly me. Anyway, it was regular 60 minute class for a total of 90 minutes of spinning.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Running Form Analysis 3

It's some more words of wisdom from Bob Roncker. It was passed to me from him, and I pass it on to you grasshopper. Before we get to the words of wisdom I have some personal thoughts first. I've been consciously slowing down my my workout routine recently to take a bit of a break before I hit it hard in January. It has been weird and hard. As hard as it is for some people to start a workout routine and get going it seems to be just as hard to rest and take a break when you've been in a pretty steady routine for almost a year. I'm feeling a little edgy and everyday that I don't run, ride or workout I feel like I'm missing out. It's like unfinished business and I hate unfinished business. At the same time I can feel the pull of laziness. In the early morning when I would normally get up to run or go to the gym I roll over and think "I could get used to this." The truth is I couldn't get used to it. Even if I did let myself slide it would lead to some minor depression, the inevitable weight gain, junk food, self loathing, and general shittiness. So, let's skip all of that nonsense and try to relax and enjoy the break. I am excited about beginning some hardcore marathon and duathlon training, and that, my friends, is a good thing.

In the meantime let's get some learnin'... Review: (Lesson 1, Lesson 2)

In my mind one of the goals of the Running Form Session was for you to become more aware of your current running form and to understand what you can do to help you run more efficiently. Running more efficiently enables you to go farther or faster with the same effort and it helps reduce overuse injuries.

What does a running stride consist of? Here is a description that I recently read. “A running stride is a complete cycle of motion consisting of a period of weight-bearing or support on one foot, followed by a period of non-weight-bearing or ‘float,’ then a period of weight –bearing on the other foot and another period of float.”

As mentioned in the last letter, speed is a factor of:

a. Stride length

b. Stride turnover


The arms certainly affect the rotation of the upper body. Since running is essentially a forward motion, we want to avoid anything that produces a side-to-side-sway. The arms affect each of the above components.

a. Sway reduces the forward thrust, thus reducing the stride length.

Visualization – Imagine the thrust of a jet plane as it takes off. I certainly would not want to be on a jet that was swaying back and forth down the runway.

To help maintain this forward propulsion the arms should freely swing at the shoulder. For many individuals it looks as if their upper body is in a cast. The following exercise helps reinforce the arm swinging at the shoulder.

Exercise - Stand up and let your arms hang straight down at your sides. Then, begin to alternately swing them without bending at the elbow. First, swing each of your hands above your head; then lower it to your forehead, next to neck height, finally, to chest level.

This gets you used to having the arms freely swinging from the shoulders. So many people look as if they are in a body cast. However, keeping the arms straight is fine for the above exercise, but that is not the way you want it to be when you run.

b. The legs move in unison with the arms. Speed up the arms and you increase the leg turnover.

The elbows should never be locked. This affects the speed of movement. The angle at the elbow should be constantly changing. Practice the following exercise, perhaps in front of a mirror before you go out for your next run.

Exercise – Imagine that your right hand is a hammer and you are pounding a nail that is sticking out from your left hand. Notice the movement of the arms at the elbow. That’s what you want to have happening as you run.

When you bend your elbow, you shorten the length of your arm. Your arm acts as a pendulum. A shorter pendulum is a faster pendulum. See what it feels like with a shorter pendulum and arms freely moving back and forth.

Take care.


12/24/2006 Dog Jog/Long Run

Continuing our run of unusually warm weather Christmas Eve was another 40+ degree day. Since we were heading out for a long day of family gatherings and lots of eating I had to get out and do some running with Gracie. Poor Gracie would be locked up all day with nobody to take her out, so we went out and jogged the 2.3 miles up and down Filager and through Meghan's Run to get her a little morning exercise.

After dropping Gracie back at the house I continued on for a longer run. I ran what is my usual 6.5 mile route with an extra mile while running Gracie up and down Filager Rd for a total of 7.5 miles in a little over an hour. While running with Gracie we made a few stops to lighten the load or drop a load. I thought I would be annoyed by this when we first started running together again, but I find that it makes me slow down a little bit, and pulls me out of the auto-pilot that I can slip into sometimes when I'm running. I have to be more aware of my surroundings. Hooray for dog jogs!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Running Form Analysis 2

This is the second part to the follow up from the Running Form Analysis Clinic that I attended. All the information below was presented by Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot. The first part was posted on 12/16.

Here are two critical areas that affect proper form:

The arms, wrists, and hands - movement of the upper body.
Pelvic area - Posture is largely determined by the position of the pelvis.

If the hands and wrists are in proper alignment, the rest of the body tends to flow along. The way the arms swing from the shoulders and the position of the wrists and hands helps you to properly run ON your feet.

You witnessed the demonstration with the E3 bio-grips. On the second try I was able to lift a fairly heavy individual because his joints were stabilized and engaged. Having stabilized joints enables you to better track yourself more in a straight line and get a better push off with each stride. Remember the added distance gained the second time the individual walked? Speed is a function of stride turnover (shorter pendulum = faster pendulum) and stride length.

I can't say I totally understand what happens with these grips, but I am a believer in them. I definitely feel they improve your alignment and your efficiency.

Arm, wrist, and hand review:

Let the arms swing freely from the shoulder. Shoulder sway is minimized. You want the feeling of going forward.

Bend the elbows ranging from a 90-120 degree. Imagine yourself hammering a nail.

Wrists should be firm and in line with the forearm. Limp wrists are not going to give you the same forward movement.

Hands should be clenched, but relaxed. Slightly turn the palms upward in order to keep the elbows closer to the body.

The hands should not cross the midline of the body when running. This helps to avoid shoulder sway.

They also should not go higher than the chest, except when sprinting in at the end of a race.

Posture is primarily determined by the angle that the pelvis is held. If it is pitched forward, there is some sloping in the back and your legs do not have the same range of motion. Remember the exercise where you balanced on one foot, lifted your knee, put your hands at that height, held it, then bent forward, and repeated the same process? You could not lift the knee as high the second time after bending at the waist. Tilt the pelvis back. Imagine your bellybutton being pressed against your spine. Tuck in your butt. This is a hard thing to maintain and think about, but if you persist, you WILL experience better posture.

Try to practice these things. More to come.

Bob Roncker
Bob Roncker's Running Spot

Thursday, December 21, 2006

12/19 - 12/20/2006 Running, Strength, Spinning

12/19/2006 Running

I'm kind of enjoying this time between race season and starting marathon training. There are no intervals to do, and I can run whatever I feel. Feeling an 8 mile run today? Let's rock and roll. Going for 8, but not feeling it so much? 6 miles is cool. On the other hand I still feel the drive to keep going knowing that in January the real miles will begin to accumulate. Otherwise I'd eventually get bored and run less and less. I need that drive to compete to keep me going. In the meantime, though I'm enjoying this downtime.

I've decided to forgo the ADEO GPS unit for now. I'm happy using gmap-pedometer and staying light weight with just my shuffle providing tunes. I had a great 6.5 mile run on my usual route that took about 55 minutes.

12/20/2006 Strength & Spinning

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Balance Drill = 3 minute on each foot
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
clamshell crunches = 2 sets of 25 w/8lb. ball

Spinning (Endurance & Speed)

I dropped in to a spinning class after finishing up with my strength training. This means I only got 30 minutes of spinning with the instructor leaving 30 minutes to make it up for myself. I have a plan that I've been meaning to use, but forgot to take it with me. Here is the 60 minute plan that I pulled from Bicycling Magazine.

10 min. warm-up
8 min. steady state (92-95% of your time-trial heart rate; 90-100% of time-trial power) This is up for interpretation for most of us. Personally I'm going to put on a descent amount of resistance and get my heart rate to around 85%
5 min. recovery spinning
3 min. fast pedal (high cadence, low gear/resistance)
8 min. steady state
5 min. recovery spinning
3 min. fast pedal
8 min. steady state
10 min. recovery spinning

As I said though I didn't get to use it. The class I did went a little something like this:

30 minutes of endurance class
5 minute recovery
5 minute fast pedal
2 minute recovery
2 minute fast pedal (cadence 100-120)
2 minute recovery
2 minute fast pedal (cadence 100-120)
2 minute left leg only
2 minute right leg only
2 minute left leg only
2 minute right leg only
4 minute cool down
total: 60 minutes

I'm no trainer or spinning expert, but it felt like a good workout and breaking it down into small increments really made the time move along.

Monday, December 18, 2006

12/16 - 12/17/2006 Analysis of Running Form & Long Run

12/16/2006 Analysis of Running Form

I had an excellent opportunity to attend a running form clinic on Saturday. With the beginning of my marathon training coming on very quickly and my duathlon goals next year this clinic couldn't have come at a better time. We spent some time talking about aspects of breathing, balance, running form, and stride during the clinic. We also had our running videotaped, and we followed up with a look at the video. It was so helpful in terms of getting new information, and getting some excellent reminders of simple tips that I had forgotten. (The legs and arms work together, so when you want to pick up the leg speed use your arms to get them moving) As follow up Bob Roncker will be sending us emails with some of the information and tips from the class. I will be re-printing that information in this blog, so that I can find it easily, and most of all not lose it! Everything below in bold are the words of Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot.

Belly breathing as you run. Blow out the candle. Try doing it at different rates - fast and slow. Get accustomed to breathing this way.
Balancing on one leg. Many of you could do it easily on one of your legs. Gradually get to the point whereby you can handily do it for 2:00-3:00 minutes on each leg. You want to feel in control with your balance and you want to experience no strain on your lower leg or hips. This is a great exercise both for developing strength and balance.
After doing this on a flat surface 2:00-3:00, move to something uneven, like a pillow. When you can do it on an uneven surface, go back to the even surface and try it now with your eyes closed. A person who can do this for 2:00 with their eyes closed (flat or uneven surface) will have excellent proprioception and lower leg strength.

12/17/2006 Long Run

With a head full of breathing and form tips I headed out on my run Sunday morning long run. I decided to keep it simple and concentrate on breathing and keeping my upper body in good form. This meant working on the belly breathing, as it says above. This came pretty easy for me. I've been working on my breathing for a while. I find that when I get tired the first thing that goes is my breathing. It becomes ragged and a lot less effective. I'm hoping that the core work and really being aware of the breathing technique will help that out. I thought I had the upper body thing under control, but what I didn't realize was that as I get tired my arms start to flail a bit from side to side. Flail may be a bit of an overstatement, but any side to side movement isn't going to be good especially as I start to put on more miles. I'll need to stay aware and be as efficient as possible in my running if I expect to reach my goals, and more importantly not injure myself. The keys are going to be to keep my arms moving front to back with no side to side motion and keep my shoulders relaxed. I need to keep my hands gripped lightly "like letting a handful of sand fall out of the bottom of your hand" and either turned thumbs up or even slightly out to keep my elbows in tight. I think that is where my problem started as I was getting tired. My right hand started to turn in throwing my elbow out and causing that cross motion.

As for the run? It was unbelievable weather for December. I was in a short sleeve shirt and shorts on a 55 degree morning. It felt so good to get out and run on a morning like this; in fact it felt like a late summer or early fall morning...just outstanding. I ran a great 8.4 mile run.

Avg HR: 165
Peak HR: 240
Min HR: 69
Total Cal: 1083
Time: 1:04.23

Friday, December 15, 2006

12/14/2006 Core & Spinning

Core Class

I'm really feeling better and better about my core strength every week that I enter this class. This week I had a bit of a breakthrough because my back didn't hurt while I was working on the balance ball. Usually when I'm leaning back over the ball and doing crunches or other exercises that require leaning back over the ball my back starts to ache. I attribute it to weak core muscles and the fact that I sit in an office chair 8+ hours a day at work which leads to weak core muscles. It was a solid 30 minute core class.

Interval Spinning

I'm starting to come around to Jamie's way of running her spinning classes. It's not really a bad turnaround in two classes. I was still feeling that bit of skepticism at the beginning of the class as we were warming up. I didn't really know where she was going with the class, and as it was supposed to be a 60 minute interval class I was wondering when we were going to get to the intervals. The fact is I just don't trust her at this point as an instructor to get the most out of the time on the spinning bike. By 30 minutes in though we were into full on interval mode and I was working my butt off. She just has a different style of running the class, and I'm still getting used to her concentration on cadence. I can come around to her way of teaching and get into it. spinning class.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

MotionLingo ADEO

I've been using the Adeo ( for 3 days now and I've come to some conclusions. This is my first experience with a GPS device, and after reading all the reviews on the device I went in with high expectations, and after a message to a friend I realize my expectations were a bit too high.

I'll score this in 3 categories: ease of use, information, and accuracy.

Ease of use: A- The initial setup was a little confusing, but that might have been a little bit me being too excited by the aura of a new gadget. It loses a little on scoring because I had trouble using the included cd to load the software. I was able to go to the website and load it from there. Once the USB driver is installed, the MotionTrak software is installed the device was recognized quickly and I could begin playing with the settings. The MotionTrak software that captures the information from the Adeo is intuitive and easy to use. There is a lot to look at, so it takes a little bit to navigate around, but once you learn your way around it's quick and easy.

The device itself is a breeze. There are 5 buttons (not including the power button). Once you learn what each button does you can make all your adjustments without taking the device from the harness or your pocket since there is no screen to look at. All your adjustments and navigation is audible...too cool.

Information: A This score is just on the range of information you get while using the Adeo and then after uploading the information from the Adeo. Let's start with the set up of the Adeo. You can set up the Adeo to give you a wide range of information during the run at intervals (time or distance) that you choose. You want your average pace every 1/2 mile expressed in mph while on the bike? no problem. Going for a run and want it every 1/4 mile in mile/minute? no problem. The Adeo will carry 3 different reporting profiles for a regular run/walk/ride. Then there are the 3 interval reporting profiles you can program as well. I used this option today and it is brilliant. I set it up to do 800 meter intervals with 800 meter rests. Since this will be part of my marathon training plan it was a good test. It works flawlessly. It voices the begin of your interval and the beginning of the rest. At the beginning of the rest you get your pace, time, distance from the interval. No more excuses for not doing intervals because I can't make it to the gym or a track. yikes.

During the run/walk/ride/paddle you get your information through your headphones. The music lowers a bit while the pleasent voice calmly tells you your stats and the music comes back up afterwards. Of course you don't have to connect an mp3 player to it. You could always plug your headphones into it and just listen to the updates, or turn it on and forget about it during the workout and get all your stats afterwards. I love the audible updates. You don't have to wait for the scheduled updates. You can always push a button and hear all your information at any time.

Once your done with your workout plug the ADEO in with the USB cord and it uploads all of your workout data into Motion Trak program and also to your profile on the motion lingo website. The information is indepth and easily manipulated so you can see all the data in any configuration your heart desires. Not really, but it does automatically map the GPS data on to a google map...awesome.

Accuracy: B This is where my expectation may have been too high. Like I said before this is my first experience with GPS, so I don't have anything to compare this product. The first day I took it out for a 7.5 mile run. It came up with a 6.1 mile distance, and the mapping was way off. That first experience was discouraging.

This is a screen shot from the motionlingo website. If you click on the picture you can clearly see the GPS was way off considering I stuck to the roads the entire time and didn't do any cross country running or running through backyards. The shortened route reading screwed up all the stats like the average pace.

This is the same course after I mapped it out manually on gmap pedometer. Later tests proved a little more accurate. After a 23 mile bike ride it came to within a 1/4 mile of my bike computer. I really can't say that my bike computer is 100% accurate either, but it is fairly reliable.

I still haven't made my final assessment as to whether this is going to be my newest weapon in my arsenal of gadgets. It has been a lot of fun to use. The question is whether I can forgive it the times when it is not accurate. The fact that I want to get up early before work and take it running again tomorrow makes me think that I might be able to give it a chance.

As a final note, I was working on this entry I remembered that I wanted to email the technical support group about the issue they have on the website with the iPod Shuffle interrupting GPS signals. It is an important issue to me since I just got the new Shuffle and love running with it. I was expecting a response back in a couple of days, maybe next day if they were good. I received two responses from two different employees of MotionLingo. Oh wait, did I say two employees of MotionLingo? I meant an employee of MotionLingo and the CEO of MotionLingo. Now, that's what I call customer service! By the way the answer to the Shuffle question was that the new Shuffle doesn't show any of the disruption problems that the first generation did.

Customer Service: A+

Monday, December 11, 2006

12/11 - 12/12/2006 Cycling & Running

12/11/2006 Cycling

It was a fantastically beautiful day, especially for December in Ohio. It started out pretty cold around 8 am about 35 degrees, but the promise of a 50 degree sunny day kept the early chills at bay. I started out by riding my typical route through Owensville, but this time I decided to take the route backwards to change it up a bit. It was pretty interesting riding the hills in reverse. I'll have to ride the route both ways and see which way is harder.

After finishing up the 23+ mile route I decided to ride the route that I had run the previous day to see how the ADEO faired this time around. The readings were much more accurate this time around.

The totals for both rides from the Cat Eye:

Odo: 1,927.04 miles
Dist: 31.42 miles
Time: 2:10.15
Avg: 14.4 mph
Max: 34.7 mph

12/12/2006 Running

Today was a bit of a mixed bag day. I had intended to get out and do some intervals to play with the interval options on the ADEO. I ran the 2 miles into town to a location to the beginning of an interval route that I had set up on RouteSlip. Using the .5 mile interval setting on the ADEO I was able to run a couple of .5 mile intervals with .5 mile rests in between. The goal was to run four total intervals, but I got cut short by rain. It was really unfortunate that I got cut short, because I was really enjoying the intervals. This is a feature that could come in really handy when I start training for the Flying Pig in January. So I managed 2 7:30 min./mile .5 mile intervals with two jogged half miles in between before calling it and running the two miles home. It was all good as I managed a total of a 6 mile run.

Totals from Timex:

Avg HR: 157
Peak HR: 179
Total Cal: 831
First 2 miles: 16:01 Avg HR: 149
Interval 1: 3:46 Avg HR: 160
Rest 1: 5:15 Avg HR: 151
Interval 2: 3:53 Avg HR: 166
Rest 2 & 2 miles home: 22:54 Avg HR: 161

Sunday, December 10, 2006

12/10/2006 Adeo Test Day 1 - Long Run

I have in my possession a new toy, the Adeo by MotionLingo. It's not mine, but it is a loaner to test. I owe a big thanks to Brian at Campus Cyclery for giving me the opportunity to test the product. I didn't have any particular plan in mind for testing the Adeo when I found out last week that I was going to get it for testing, but after I've had a chance to play with it for a day, and see all of the features that are available I decided that I have to try as many of the features as possible before I decide if this is the GPS unit for me. Did I mention it's a GPS? I'm not going to go into an in depth explanation of the product just yet. A review is forthcoming If you want that go here to the website, check it out, and come back later if you're still interested.

Today I took it on my Sunday long run. I set it to give me updates every mile. It was a lot of fun to run with it and my iPod Shuffle, alternating between music and the occasional update right through the headphones. It made the run go quickly, and made me wish I had more time to run.

gmap pedometer: 7.64 miles
timex watch: 1:02.25
cool running pace calculator: 8:10 min/mile
avg hr Timex: 165
Total calories Timex: 1108

Saturday, December 09, 2006

12/09/2006 Strength & Spinning

Strength Training

I had a bit of an abbreviated strength training day today. I had intended to do a nice long leisurely strength training session followed by a run, but I happened to show up in time to squeeze in a workout and then try out a spinning class with a different instructor. I was happy to give up some crunches to make it to spinning on time. It might not have been the smartest thing to skip warm up though...

JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.

JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each sid

Spinning - Strength & Endurance

For the first time I got a chance to try a Saturday morning spinning class. I was actually hoping that the room was empty, and I could just use a spinning bike to do an hour of spinning on my own. In retrospect I'm really glad this class was available. I didn't have any particular plan in mind if I were to get in there and peddle on my own which would have been so boring. As it turned out I took part in a tough 60 minute split strength and endurance class.

We were working for most of the class between 65% & 85% heart rate. My heart rate tends to run on the high side, so when she says to be at 65% I'm usually at 75%. I don't feel like I'm working that much harder it's just how it rolls.

Friday, December 08, 2006

12/7/2006 Core Class & Spinning

Core Zone/Abs Blast

30 minutes of core strengthening/ab blasting goodness. This may be one of my favorite classes this fall so far. A little over a year after starting at the healthplex I can feel and see a massive difference in my fitness level and in my core fitness. I used to dread going to this class because I knew it was going to be extremely painful and difficult, but so far this year it's been....hard, but manageable in a sense that I have an easier time breathing while doing the workouts and my back doesn't hurt nearly as much.

Spinning - Intervals

A 60 minute interval spinning class with some interesting "motivators". I'm not sure how I feel about this class right now. It's definitely a lot different than the classes that Lisa taught, and I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that it's a bad thing, but if Thursday's night class is any indication of how she chooses to "motivate" the class I'm not sure if it's for me. That could be a huge disappointment because Thursday evenings are by far the best evening to do spinning for me.

How is it different? Well let's see, first she concentrates a lot on cadence. That's a little different than other spinning classes in that they would concentrate on heart rate and reaching certain heart rate goals. I know heart rate isn't always the most certain way to measure output. You're heart rate can be effected by a number of different things, but is cadence any better? So you reach a certain cadence, but then you have to use a perceived exertion. I would think that using cadence and heart rate would be better. I don't know if this was just one way of running the class, and she has more tricks in her bag...of tricks. Time will tell.

The other thing that was a little weird was how she chose to "motivate" the class. She would ask you to think about a time in your life when you felt like giving up, but pushed through and didn't quit. This is all fine and well, but she kept harping on it. Think of a situation in your life like medical problem, death in the family, etc. I don't know, you don't really know what people have gone through is spinning class really the place to be digging up your deepest darkest moments of your past? Maybe not so much in my opinion. I just have to see if it continues like that, and if it's for me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

12/7/2006 Looking Forward to '07

As I am looking forward to the coming year I was faced with a decision. I had to make a decision whether I wanted to try something new and do more, or if I was going to work toward getting better at what I'm doing. To be more specific I had to choose whether I was going to move on from duathlons to triathlons and work my way up to an Ironman event. The decision has come down to two factors: time and desire.

The first factor of time is obviously important for several different reasons. In order to properly prepare for the triathlons I'd have to set aside more time for training to devote to swimming. Since I already have a fairly full schedule with family, work, and workout time this time would have to come from out of family, work, or sleep time. I can accept some loss of sleep time, maybe not too much, but I am willing to get up at 5 am for the Master's Swimming that happens on Thursdays and carve out another early morning to do some swimming. However, with my erratic work schedule it wouldn't be enough, so I'd have to take some time from family time to get in as much swimming as it would take to actually get to a level at which I'd be happy performing. My wife is already very understanding about the time I devote to running, cycling, and time spent at the gym. To ask for more just seems selfish.

That brings me to my other deciding factor: desire. If I'm going to be selfish and take the time that it would require to do the work do I have the desire to do it? The simple answer to that question is no. I was pretty excited for a while about doing the triathlons after listening to the exploits of other triathletes on Simply Stu Podcast and Get Your Geek On! Podcast. When it comes down to it though I'm just not that excited about the swim portion of the race. I'm a pretty decent swimmer that grew up around water, but after my one triathlon experience back in 2000 I realize there is a big difference between swimming laps in a pool and being pummeled in the middle of a pack during an open water swim. It's just not that appealing to me. So, if not all that excited about it now, I can imagine how I'll feel by the end of the summer. Why exactly would I want to put myself through something that I wouldn't get at least some enjoyment from doing? There is really no good reason.

After these and other considerations I've decided that at least for 2007 I am going to concentrate on the sprint distance duathlon. I will racing approximately 8 sprint distance duathlons next year culminating with 5 races in the Wheelie Fun Series. The series will be a lot of fun, because it will feel like a real season complete with points standings and prizes. I've been tossing around the idea of doing this since early this year, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to compete. That is only a small part of next year's season as I look forward to a wide variety of races and events including my first marathon!

The marathon is going to be a huge undertaking for next year. I've got my training plan ready to go, but I'll have to make some adjustments to it to allow for my duathlon training as well. It's going to be interesting to try and find that balance between training for the speed I'll need for the shorter sprint duathlon runs and training for the longer marathon distance.

Here are some of my goals for 2007:
  1. Sub-4 hour Flying Pig Marathon
  2. Sub-20 minute 5K
  3. Sub-40 minute 10K
  4. 2:30 Little Miami Triathlon
  5. 1:20 Sprint Distance Duathlon
  6. Top 50 Finish Run Like Hell 5K
The big question is: how am I going to reach these goals? I'm ironing out the details on my training plan, and I'll be exploring more of that through December. I'll officially start my training for the marathon and spring events in January, so I'm using this month as testing and preparation time. I'm trying out a new spinning class, core class, and looking at a new strength training plan. I've also found a new gps gadget that might help keep me motivated over the coming cold months and encourage me to get outside despite the frigid weather. I'm going to take Motion Lingo's Adeo for a test spin hopefully this weekend and next week.

Only 65 days until my first race of '07!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

12/5 - 12/6/2006 Strength Training & Cycling

12/5/2006 Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
clamshell crunches = 2 sets w/8lb. ball

12/6/2006 Cycling

It was a good day for a ride yesterday, albeit a little cold and windy, but still a good day. It was about 35 degrees and fairly windy, so I made sure to layer up a bit. Once I got out on the road and warm up it was pretty comfortable for the first hour. After that my toes started to go numb, and the cold started to seep in. I didn't push particularly hard or try to go fast; it was just good to ride.

Odo: 1,895.62 miles
Dist: 21.59 miles
Avg: 14.65 mph
Max: 40 mph
Time: 1:28.25

It was a mostly flat route that wandered around the roads near our home. I did a bit of exploring on a road that I had always intended to ride up but never did. It turned out to be a really tough hill that I can definitely work into my training next year. Speaking of next year I think I'll be using my next entry to lay out my plans for next year. The schedule has come together nicely for what will be a full and exciting year.

Monday, December 04, 2006

12/2 - 12/3/2006 Long Run & Dog Jog

12/2 Long Run

It's a new route for the beginning of a new training season. Well it's not really a new route, but I changed the long run route I've been using a bit. Instead of running all the way up Rt. 132 hill and into one of the subdivisions I decided to lengthen the route across Batavia to spend some more time running in town on the sidewalks. There is also the advantage of another hill with the option to add another hill later. This will work out wonderfully as I start to add on miles. It was a fairly cold morning at about 35 degrees, but plenty comfortable with long sleeves, pants and a light jacket. It was a 7.6 mile run at 65 minutes.

12/3 Dog Jog

It was a Sunday dog jog! It was a good thing I got out to do it, because I was feeling pretty crappy all morning. It was one of those low energy days where I just wanted to lay down on the couch and sleep, and I did for about an hour and a half. . Gracie and I got out and hit the road up and down Filager and twice through Meghan's Run. It was a nice 35 minute run for 3.6 miles. Afterwards I was feeling much better. Gotta keep that up through the winter.

Friday, December 01, 2006

11/30/2006 Strength & Core

Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.

Core Class

As I get into winter training mode my schedule is starting to become more clear. Core class is back on the menu...and it is deeeeelicious. There is a new instructor in the class (well new to me anyway), and I like her approach to the class so far. I haven't done a ton of these classes, but I know what I like. At least in the class yesterday we did a mix of aerobic type work with a lot movement and a lot of plank work. They hurrrt so good. I'm going to try to do this 30 minute core class every Thursday along with a spinning class.