Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Another mixed bag

I had a time trial scheduled in for last night's training session with coachJez.  The plan was for a partly indoor sprint tri but by the time I got to the session, I didn't really see the point of doing it.  I have 4x identical sprint races this year, the first of which is really very soon, so why do a time trial now?

After a bit of a chat, we decided to go ahead with -something- anyway.  So I plopped into the pool in my 2XU tri separates and hit a 400m swim.  Which was rubbish.  07:18 and every time I turned, my shorts felt like they were filling up and causing drag.  This was very confusing at the time as last year all I remember of those shorts is how fabulously comfy they are.  I'd never felt that drag in the water before. Current suspicion is that I've not worn them for a swim without a wetsuit over the top... I'll verify that from my race spreadsheet later, but it makes sense.  Anyhoo, not the fastest swim I've done by a long shot and a demoralising start.

A quick dry off (people get snippy if you drip all over the gym floor)and on to the spin bike for 30 minutes hard work.

I started off at a heart rate of (caveatted) 85% HRmax for 10 minutes, then 88% for 10 minutes, then 90-91% for the last 10 minutes.  This was absolutely great.  Never mind that 30 minutes is way faster than I can probably do 20km, learning that I can push my cardio system that hard for that long is a really good thing.  OK, so the real % will get moderated once I've done a proper max heart rate test (hopefully this weekend), but understanding how it feels to push that hard for that long and not keel over, or even vomit, is a very useful experience.

And straight on to a run around the track of 10 laps (and extrapolate a 5km time from that).

Lap 1 and coachJez yelled at me to wind it back a bit.  The next 8 laps came in at 51s per lap (90% HRmax) like clockwork so I put in a bit of a spurt for the final lap, coming in at 41s (94% HRmax) for that one and the calculation came in at 24 minutes for 5km.  That would have been a PB for 5km for me even without a swim and bloody hard bike beforehand.  Very very pleased with that.  Very pleased indeed.  I know I can hold a higher heart rate over 5km as I've more than once held over 180 bpm (84% HRmax) for an entire 5km, so there we go.

The swim I'll put down to bits of biology and the fact that I just hate that particular pool; it's dark and busy and I nearly smacked straight into someone's face at the end of one length.  I can do better, by around 10s per 100m or so, so it was just a bad day.  The heart rate trace shows there's loads of effort for little forward motion compared with previous swims.  The bike and run were really good.  Overall, despite not really getting the point, I got a massive psychological boost and a couple of learning points.

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