Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The correct way to run a 5K is to be able to hold the same pace throughout. I did exactly the opposite. I hit the 2.5 K then exploded. At 3 K I had a very strong urge to walk. Mentally I regrouped and readjusted my goal of just finishing under 21 minutes. I still managed to grab 3rd in my age group. I still can't believe that. I guess if you do the age adjusted calculations it gives me a low 18 minute 5K if I was young again.
So what went wrong. I went out at a conservative pace for me 5 years ago... not today. I also think my endurance is lacking. I've only been back at this for 5 months so I guess I can't expect too much too soon.
I uploaded my Garmin stats. Those of you who want to see how not to run a 5k... here it is. Enjoy;-)
Untitled by robchance at Garmin Connect - Details
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Here’s a short update on my progress. I went to Palm Springs, CA last month for spring break with the kids and had a great time. We visited LA, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. I ran and rode while I was there. This was a nice break enjoying the sunshine and it was great hanging out with my kids. After that trip I experienced a little setback. It’s just tough not to see my kids on a day-to-day basis and I wasn’t doing so hot mentally after I had to drop them off and head back to my small rental home in Joplin. I was working a lot and just skipped workouts in favor of drinking wine.
I’ve since kicked myself in the butt and started up again. Here is some of the latest data and progress.
Swim: I still haven’t been swimming. Just can’t get motivated to do it. Whenever I do I don’t have any trouble in that department so I know I will be able to ramp it up when the time comes.
Bike: My current FTP is around 230. When I started in January I was only able to hold 206 watts for 1 x 20 min and I was toast. Now I’m holding 235-240 watts for 2 x20 with a lower heart rate. I still need to ride more. I’m getting in maybe 2 rides a week 3 at best. But those are hard ones;-)
My goals are to increase the FTP to 250 or higher by September and be able to hold 200-220 watts for 3 hrs. 200 watts seems really comfortable right now on my intervals.
Run: The greatest improvements are here. Every run I do has some intensity in it and the results are showing. I have brought my 10-mile long run times down to 1:15. I am doing 1K repeats (4 currently) in 3:54-4:00 with 2 min jog……. Goal is to work up to 8 of these. My hill work is going well. A hill I used to have to walk on in February I now run up 6x.
Another indicator of my fitness is a workout that I did yesterday. 5K run 21:50 followed by 1:15 on the trainer with 4 x 10 min FTP intervals followed by another 5K @ 21:45. I know that’s not too fast right now but I was pleased that I was able to close that last 5K faster that the first one and run the fastest mile of 6:49 on the final mile. Eventually I hope I can get those 5K’s down to 20 min or better and run some 20 min FTP intervals on the bike in between. Getting my triathlon 10K under 40 minutes is a goal here. For a 50 year old, that would be a decent close.
My body weight has dropped to 161lbs and body fat 15%. It’s a long process. I haven’t done any long bike rides or runs so it’s harder to melt the fat away. My goal is to drop another 7 to 10 pounds by September and get the fat percentage less than 10%
I’m enjoying seeing my improvement and the progress that is occurring. That in itself is motivating. I try to make each workout a little harder and sometimes longer. Each workout builds from the previous and I’m keeping a close eye on fatigue and recovery. I’m starting to think about racing again. I’m not in race shape yet but Branson 70.3 in September has caught my interest. It’s close by and it has a difficult bike course which should be a great prep for Maui Xterra the month following.
More updates to follow as I continue to get fitter ;-)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Just before my major personal catastrophe, I was doing most of my bicycle training indoors on the trainer. For the time spent, there is no better way to get the work done. I look back on some of my bike workouts done in 2009 on the road and see some the efforts put in. I would do 2200 kj rides in 4 and a half hours. I would follow that up with a track/tempo half marathon the next day. Today, I’m getting 900-1000kj rides done in 1:30 on the trainer. I’m thinking if I can build my fitness to be able to do 4 of these a week I’m well on my way. Then maybe I can throw in some hard runs following these once I adapt.
I came across this video of how Andy Potts describes his training. I’m like Andy. I don’t mind putting in painful time on the trainer. It must be a swimmer thing. I don’t think everybody can train like this. It’s not a pleasant social thing.
I’m to the point now that instead of taking the entire day off to recover between workouts, I’m doing light workouts. It’s just another step forward. To facilitate further recovery I’m taking branched chain amino acids which contain glutamine. I feel this helps. I think many people get caught up in how much work you do and forget about the most important component... recovery. That’s where the adaptations take place.
The belly fat has been difficult to get rid of despite increased activity. I want to lose the pudge. I have started taking conjugated linoleic acid. There is some evidence that this can help in the trimming process. I have lost 13 pounds since I started this comeback endeavor so I’m also sure there is a bit of reorganization going on in my body composition as well.
Below are my latest performance curves for cycling and running. I have built some nice training models with almost perfect test/training correlations. Again, the red line is the negative effect of training, blue positive and green is projected performance improvements. I use this as a guide but I listen to what my body is telling me. My job often has me working 24 hours straight so that variable needs to be factored in. If I can’t do the workout like I’m supposed to. I either rest or take the day easy no matter what the computer tells me. I don’t have a pre-programed workout or coach so the pressure to get prescribed workouts in is absent. I just try to tweak the each weeks hard workouts to get just a little bit more progressively. I haven’t swam in three weeks but I’m going to crank that up once I get the cycling and running up to speed.
I’m headed out to Palm Springs, CA to hang with the kids and my family next week. I should get in some good workouts done out there plus some good family time.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The month of February has been a good one for me. I have been able to stick with the program and have seen obvious gains in my fitness. I resumed tracking my training with Raceday Apollo. I feel this is the most scientific training log out there and it's Mac friendly. Each workout gets a stress score based on my power meter outputs, Garmin downloads and swimming interval times. It allows me to project my fitness levels in advance and track my training stress and recovery. In short, it gives me a number to quantify the fatigue and ache in my legs. With those numbers, I am able to tweak a little bit more out of the next set of workouts to produce future positive gains in fitness.
My swimming has been infrequent. I swam 4 times this month. I just can’t get to the pool and get in a good workout. The folks in Joplin just aren’t ready for a dedicated swim workout. I have been to Tulsa a few Saturdays to workout with the group there and had some great workouts. I am still waiting on getting a deal on a Vasa Ergometer. I feel that I have good swimming technique but, presently, lack the power and endurance due to my infrequent swims. I feel if I had the indoor trainer I could work on this at home and progress the power just like the bike workouts on my Computrainer. I might just get by with one swim per week. Below is my swim graph. The two large peaks are from my Tulsa workouts at the Jenks Aquatic Center. Both were greater than 100 points per swim. When I used to swim with Jessica Meyers in 2009 we used to do workouts like that three times per week.
( the red line is the negative effect that training gives you, the stress. The blue line is the positive effect. The green line indicates the the delayed performance result you gain from the training. Performance testing is necessary in order for this to be accurate)
My bike workouts are mostly all on the Computrainer. I have done a few outdoor rides on the mountain bike for technique and endurance but I get the best workout in the least amount of time indoors using the ErgVideos. I haven’t been able to be as frequent as I would like due to my work schedule and the fatigue levels in my legs. I want to be able to put in good effort when I train.
I have advanced my intervals to the staple 2 x 20 min at threshold. It’s a workout that just takes just over an hour but yields great results. Eventually, I will be able to that workout twice a week. My FTP has currently risen to around 217 watts. I am able to average over 222 watts for both of the intervals. When I started, I was only able to hold 206 watts for just one and I was blown. My heart rate averaged in the 150‘s vs 160‘s in January. My w/kg improved from 2.6 to 2.85. So I’d say I have gained around a 10% improvement on my FTP bike power over the past 6 weeks. It’s a long way from where I was before, but it's a start. Below is my bike graph. Note the drop in performance with the higher training volume last week and the predicted green pop if I allow myself to recover a few days later. The trick is to watch the red and green lines and listen to what my body is telling me. The more those lines diverge the more I dig myself into an overtraining hole. I also need to add more tests to this model before it becomes valid. I'm basing it on my 20 min threshold interval.
My running has improved too. My steady state runs at a 150 HR have improved to sub 8 min/ mile pace from 8:30. I’m not near the running fitness where I need to be but the graphs and my overall feelings have me moving in a positive direction. Recently, I have been throwing in some 3 min threshold intervals on the backside of my long runs which are up to 10 miles now. This week I started adding some 30/30 high intensity vVO2 max Billat intervals on the back side of my off road hilly runs. I'm starting to feel the heels fly again.
I haven’t been able to hit the running frequency that I would like but I have been focusing more on quality more than anything else. I just want to see the running score numbers come up weekly and my graphs move upward. If my knees and aches and pains allow me, I will add more runs. Below is my run graph. Note the two negative peaks from my runs on Feb 19th and 26th.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Its been a few weeks since I updated my progress. I’m doing well. I have been able to maintain my training consistency and progress my fitness. I’m focused and I’ve started keeping better tabs on my data and results. This is a good sign. I’m getting serious again. The training I do today will show it’s results 14 days from now.
I am using Golden Chetah to track my cycling data metrics as well as Raceday Apollo to track and plan the rest of my training and plan out my season. Using this software will help me peak at exactly the right time. I just started keeping track of this February 1st so I will post some charts next time.
Currently my goals are to maintain running frequency of 5 days per week and cycling 4 days per week. My runs are focused on strength. I run hills instead of speed intervals. I’m keeping the run score at 30 to 70 per day and I will slowly progress it as I adapt. Cycling and running are my priorities. I have only been swimming once per week.
My cycling has been almost entirely on the Computrainer with Erg Videos. I have purchased enough videos to put together a training program that was generated on the Erg video site. I just turn it on and a new ride comes up somewhere cool with a group of pro cyclists that focus their ride at my threshold level. These rides are hard! My bike scores are over 100 each time. (My 5:20 ironman bike score was 350) My energy output per ride is around 700-1000 kilo joules with intensity factors in the 90’s. There is something about riding with these guys. I just feel like I’m there with them and a part of the group....My brain thinks I’m one of them riding along at 25-30 mph. I’ve also noticed that my cadence is higher. I average in the high 90’s now. I’ve had to bolt the trainer down to keep it in place for those power surges. I remember in Ironman Kansas when ex pro cyclist Curt Chesney went by me..... This guy was riding at an entirely different level than most triathletes. His cadence was so controlled and in the high 90’s to 100. Maybe I can transform the new Rob into something like this.
I have been swimming with the Rufus Racing group at MSSU on Thursdays. It’s a nice pool. Last week I did a set of 15 x 100 meters on the 1:45 at 1:15-1:20. I was hitting 50 meter intervals in around 35. My speed is there and I think as the season gets closer I can increase the frequency to 3 to 4 times per week with longer intervals and get my swimming endurance back up pretty quickly and still finish in the top swim pack.
My running has mostly been on trails around my house. There are some hills that used to slow me to a walk. Now I can run up them. On the flats, my pace has improved from 8:30 to sub 7 min/ mile. My legs no longer ache or feel flat and the heels are starting to fly again. Below is a picture of the roads I have been running on.
I’m excited about my progress. I’m able tofit into my 30 waist jeans again. My body fat has decreased to 17% and my overall weight stays stable at 169 lbs. My goals are to get the weight down to 150-155 lbs and body fat to less than 10% by October.
Updates and good news to follow.
I clip from my ride today with the lads.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I thought I would post a short update about my progress since the Kona camp. I gotta say that my motivation is better than before I went. I continue to work out when I can, however, the work schedule and 24 hour shifts I’ve been doing are making it difficult for me to get into a training rhythm. I’m lonely here. I miss my family, I miss Tulsa and all my old training pals. I’ve joined the local triathlon club and hope to meet up with some folks that share my enthusiasm for the sport and help keep me focused in the right direction. The club is called Rufus Racing . They seem like they have a lot of energy.
I have started riding Erg videos on the computrainer. The trainer is a grind but those motivate me and make the time go by faster. It’s just like riding outdoors with a pack of pro cyclists. I set it to my FTP and the trainer sets the resistance for my fitness, present power level, the terrain and responses to what the pack does. I have also taken the mountain bike out for a spin a few times.
I haven’t made it to the pool yet. Joplin doesn’t have too many options and I really hate swimming in “hot” water. I’m considering getting a vasa ergometer and just try to get to the pool once a week to keep my feel for the water.
My running is coming along well. I have been running off road and on fire roads hitting some really steep grades. This is improving my strength and also limits the pounding my legs take on the roads. My legs don’t ache as much as they did when I started up again. I can feel the speed and endurance improving.
I have the P90X system and do that when I feel like killing some time and working on some core strength.
I have lost 5 lbs and now weigh 169. My body fat has dropped to 17-18%. My past race weight was in the 140’s so I have a little bit to go.
It’s a slow process. Trying to do this and balance my work schedule is difficult. I recently pulled a 24 hr call and it just beat me up. Hardish training and no sleep set me up to get sick. I currently feel like dog crap. Gotta keep going.......
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
My Kona training camp was just what the doctor ordered. I am motivated and feel I got a big bump in fitness as well.
I arrived in Kona on Saturday evening, the 7th of January. At 8:00 the next morning, I was on the pier ready to swim 2.4 miles with Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen . I met her during my last visit to Kona but at that time I was in much better shape. It turns out she is dating my friend Petro so it’s a small world indeed. Karlyn toed me and a few others for the distance. My armpits were on the verge of bleeding after that swim. I rented a nice bike from bike works then got out on the Queen K for my daily rides. This was a goal; ride every day. By the end of the week the folks at Bike Works knew me on a first name basis. Kona feels like home.
My longest ride was 56 miles and shortest was 20 miles. One morning I was out cruising the Queen K and some really fit dude in a K-swiss kit on a Trek cruises up behind me. It turned out to be Chris Lieto. Kevin Moats was out there too. Chris was taking an easy recovery ride and we were able just to shoot the bull and chat a little. Kevin flatted out so I ended up riding with Chris alone for a bit. It was just like I was riding with an old training buddy. It turns out his wife is from Tulsa. His thoughts about the weather there are the same as mine.. too cold. He has moved to Kona for the winter. Just one crazy windy race day on the Queen K like Norman had a few years back and he will be the world champion. Riding with Chris pumped me up a bit more and I started thinking..... Maybe I could race here again?
It was a great camp for my kick off to fitness and I was able to do much more than I thought I was capable of doing.
My totals are as follows:
Swim 8.4 miles 4:05
Bike 234 miles 12:50
Run 20 miles 2:50
Total training time was 19:45. That’s a pretty big week for a fat guy just coming off the couch. The good thing about it was that I felt that I was getting stronger as the week progressed. On my down time, I cruised the Kona village and ate some great food that consisted of fresh fish, vegetables and drank some awesome coffee.
This was the first vacation I have taken alone. During my downtime, I drove around and visited places on the island that I had not seen before. I really enjoyed myself. There is something on this island that really makes me feel happy. It’s a very special place for me. It was tough leaving this island paradise but before I left I had scheduled my next training adventure with Petro. Stay tuned as this fat and out of shape guy gets fitter and is back on top again.
Monday, January 9, 2012
When I was fit, training camps were something I used to do to bump my fitness level up a notch. I would pick out a cool place to go and just make a vacation out of it. I know, it's not most folks definition of a vacation but I enjoyed it. It's been a while since I have done this but I always admired how my Epic Camp buddy Mark Pietrofesa got around. That guy is all over the world riding his bike. According to me, Petro "lives the dream".
Monday, January 2, 2012
I’m an applied physiologist ( Anesthesiologist ), I need some baseline data to work from. I love science and scientific method. Currently I'm in horrible shape and feel lousy. If folks just knew what it felt like to be really fit the obesity problem wouldn’t be a problem. Or maybe it still would.....I don’t know. I was lazy and let myself go. What’s another glass of Baileys or another Bud gonna hurt?
So I have a Tanita scale that measures all kinds of useless parameters. Having numbers like this at your disposal can make you sound like a geek with an eating disorder when you recite your latest visceral body fat measurement over dinner with your next date. (don’t do this) The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance then multiple regression analysis. Sounds complicated, but for a fat and out of shape guy like me it gives me some baseline numbers to go from. I like numbers.
My current weight 174.2 lbs (79 kg) Ugh!.. This close to a record high for me. I think I got up to 180 lbs when my diet consisted of Nestle’s cookies and cream chocolate bars and Burger King from the hospital cafeteria during residency. This time...Uhhh.. maybe too much Baileys and Frangelico.
My body fat is 20.1%. It is on the border of being healthy and overfat for my age.
My BMI ( Body Mass Index) is 26.5 . This number places me in the overweight category. At least I caught it before I became obese.
Some other data gathered include:
Total Body Water 57.2%
Visceral Fat 9%
Muscle mass 132.4 lbs
Metabolic Age 38
Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) 3827 cal
Stepping on the scale was the easiest part of the day. I just crawled out of bed and stood there. For the rest, I had to work for it.
For the bike, I got on the Computrainer and turned on the coaching software. A group of numbers and squiggly lines run across the screen showing my speed, cadence, heart rate, and wattage. I used my SRM for backup. To the average observer, it looks like some sort of science lab......Wait until I pull out my portable lactate analyzer and start testing blood;-).... Later
Computrainer settings: calibration number 2.33, Tire pressure 100psi
After a 20 min warm up, I tested 20 min at what I thought was FTP ( Functional Threshold Power) My goal was also to keep the cadence over 90 rpm. Normally, you should do two of these. I have an excuse.... Fat and out of shape.... I only did one.
Average Watts 206, cadence 93, Average HR147 ( monitor not functioning well it was 160’s at the end of the test.) 2.6 Watts/kg. Slightly better than untrained and falling in the Cat 5 cyclist category. I felt I got some good numbers to work from here.
For my run test I wanted to do a sub-maximal effort. I wanted to keep my Heart rate under 150 bpm and see what speed I could maintain at a 1% grade on the treadmill for 2 miles. This gives me a baseline speed and HR to work from. My speed should improve at a set heart rate. Right now I just want to concentrate on getting the miles in my legs and strengthening connective tissue to avoid injury. Later, after I become fitter and stronger, I will take my testing to the track and do test sets there.
HR 150 ( HR monitor didn’t work. Had to use one on the treadmill)
I maintained an 8:30 pace at this heart rate and it felt good.
My last test of the day was swimming. This is my forte and I still can maintain a good stroke despite my poor shape. After a 500 warm up I did a test set of
5 x 100 yards on the 1:45
After an easy 100 I did a 500 yard time trial. The time on that was 6:38. I felt that one!
So there it is. The baseline numbers of a 50 year old out of shape triathlete on the comeback trail. I will try to test periodically to measure my progress as well as change the intensity of my workouts. I also plan on changing my diet and laying off the alcohol. I’m too lazy to write about it. I’m just going to do it... Enough said. Some cool things are going to happen next week so stay tuned;-)
Sunday, January 1, 2012
After a two and a half year absence, in 2012, I thought I would bring Robsworld back. My life took a major turn for the worse on October 26th 2009. I have learned that you can never be complacent with life’s status quo. I had it all and life was all that I could wish for. Unfortunately, when you least expect it, things can change beyond your control. I suffered through a huge storm and I eventually hit rock bottom. I lost everything. If it weren’t for a few close friends, I probably wouldn’t be here. I won’t elaborate how it happened but I would never wish it on my worst enemy. The most important thing now is that I’m alive and ready to rebuild.
In August 2011, I landed in Joplin, MO. It’s ironic that Joplin is a town that has also been devastated by a huge storm and is in the process of rebuilding. It’s a 100 miles away from my kids but it could be further. I can’t complain. Joplin is a nice community and the hospital where I work provides a less stressful environment and my anesthesia group is lifestyle focused. I am truly blessed.
My depression has lifted and I have finally regained the motivation to workout and get back in shape again. I thought that it would be fun to bring back the blog and document my progress and new adventures. I’m planning to get the most out of what ever is left in my life. Documenting this should be a motivator for me and, hopefully, others as well.
My goals for 2012 are to lose weight, get cut again, be consistent with daily workouts (if work schedule allows), regain a base fitness, do some races to test my fitness, then cap the season off with the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii in October.
I plan on traveling, racing and working out in exotic locations around the globe as well. My life is going to be an adventure. I invite my readers to join me on my journey back to life and fitness. Any words of encouragement are appreciated and if you aren’t fit yourself, it might help motivate YOU to get in shape too. Happy New Year!