Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: a GREAT Sprint Tri or Duathlon Workout

>> Thursday, July 24, 2014

In this week's "Thirsty Thursday" segment, I thought I'd share that awesome/killer/horrible duathlon workout I like to do. This is a GREAT workout for tuning up for a sprint tri or duathlon. CLICK HERE for details on this workout from a duathlon clinic that I went to a few years ago - I think you'll have to click through to page 2 of the article for more on this specific workout. Click that link above for more details on the workout, but it's basically 4 intervals of hard biking and fast 1 mile runs. The biking is 9:30 for each, and it's 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds of easy spinning. It's a leg-trashing workout!

I had tried a bit of hard running earlier last week to make sure it wouldn't aggravate my ankle - I was 99% sure it wouldn't be a problem, and I was right. Brother-in-law Matt came over to workout with me, and he brought his fiancée Angela to do it as well. And I invited 2x relay partner Jeremy too. We got set up in the garage and we took off:

Warm Up on Trainer (easy-moderate with 1 pick-up): 10:02
Transition: 0:10
1 mile run: 2:58, 3:07 = 6:05

I hit the first 0.25 mile in 1:25. "Yeah Steve, 5:40 pace? You're gonna die. Stop it." I backed off a bit and got back to the garage in 6:05 - surprisingly fast for my lack of speedwork lately!

I was the first one back in our group, so I (obviously) started my next interval. I snapped photos of everyone else once they were back on their bikes and I was on a "30 sec easy" spin:


Matt back on the bike behind me doing 30 secs hard.


Angela on her 30 sec break of easy spinning.


Jeremy going hard on his bike. (Note: you can see 2 ladders set up between
the 2 pairs of bikes, and I like to set those up to hold bottles and/or sweat rags.)

Transition: 0:20
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:23
Transition: 0:12
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:08 = 6:15

OK, that 6:15 was more of what I was expecting, not the 6:05 I started with. When Jeremy got back, he said that he lost 30 seconds from his first run, so I didn't feel as bad losing just 10!

Oh, and before anyone got back, I snapped a shot of me back on the bike (it's awkward to take selfies around other people):


Sweaty. Gross. Look at how nasty my pits are. Look.

Transition: 0:24
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:33
Transition: 0:13
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:06 = 6:13

OK, let's make the last one faster.


Angela transitioning to her final bike/run interval.

Transition: 0:22
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:40
Transition: 0:11
1 mile run: 3:01, 3:01 = 6:02

Total time: 1:05:14

That's exactly 1 minute slower than the last time I did this workout with Matt. (And the vast majority of that 1 minute came from slower runs - and just a bit from slower transitions.) My FASTEST mile this time (6:02) was still slower than my SLOWEST mile last time (6:00). But really, after having not done ANY speed work for my running in the past 11 months, I can NOT complain. Seriously, the only hard running I've done since last August was the 1 mile run at the end of the YWCA Indoor Triathlon back in March.

I got photos of the other 3 on their final interval after I finished up:


Matt heading out on his final run.


Jeremy rounding the final corner back to the garage.


Angela thrilled to be finishing up.

I had to snap 2 final photos of under (sweaty) Matt's and (dainty) Angela's bikes:


Matt's sweat puddle. He ruined a perfectly good block of wood.


Under Angela's bike. Angela, you're welcome back ANY time.

This workout was given to me at a duathlon clinic a few years ago, but I also love it for before sprint triathlons. It'd be fine before longer races, but it really teaches you how to go fast and hard on tired legs.

This is more for my records than for anything else, but I've apparently done this workout 8 times now. Here's links to the first 7 times: first at the track with Marie, then a shorter version on the track with Matt, then near the track by myself, then out of my garage by myself, then out of my garage with friends on a HOT day, then on a chilly day in the garage with my Garmin, finally last fall with Matt.

p.s. I've been posting on a few Thursdays with the "Thirsty Thursday" tag. Click that link for posts tagged with that - you'll find informative bits of training information I thought were worth sharing.

Big race this weekend! Check my twitter and/or my instagram for race updates on Sunday!

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Solid Workouts Recently and RACING This Weekend

>> Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here's a quick glace at what June's training looked like:


There were 2 time trials in there, and 3 relay triathlons where I was the swimmer.

And here's July so far:



Here's a breakdown of some workouts worth noting:

SWIM:

On June 1st, I did 8x200 between 3:07 and 3:11. Then a week ago, I did 7x200 between 3:04 and 3:09. Progress!

I did my "go to" long hard swim of 1500 on June 10. I felt like I was going to die, and I did it in 24:57 (1:39.8/100). I did the same swim 10 days later 1 second faster per 100 (in 24:42) and I felt much less like death. Logic tells me that if I just keep doing this workout every 10 days, soon I'll be doing it at 1:20 pace... right?

On June 7th, I did my "go to" speed workout of 10x100. It ended as an average workout: 1:26/100.

Overall, I've been doing a fair amount of swimming: I'm up to nearly 80,000 yards on the year already (which is GREAT for me). That's more than I swam ALL YEAR in 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2008!


BIKE:

I did lot of shorter harder rides earlier in the summer, and then did two Time Trials in early June. I had an OK amount of speed, but not much distance training.

On the 9th, I did my longest ride of the year - nearly 30 miles. (That's long for me right now - shut up.) I did 3x5 mile intervals in the middle. I did them in 14:10 (21.2 mph), 13:13 (22.7 mph) and 14:06 (21.3 mph).

On the 13th, I did my normal quick loop. (For locals, it's basically along River Road to Hwy 5, then continuing on Shepard Rd to downtown St. Paul, up Ramsey Hill, down Summit, and back home.) I had my fastest average ever at downtown before climbing back up to residential streets: 22.2 mph! Not bad for city riding! Oh, did I forget to mention I had the wind at my back for part of that? Whatever. After bucking the wind the final few miles back (and after the big Ramsey Hill climb), I'd only dropped to 19.9 mph. I finished in 46:30 when the loop usually takes around 48 minutes.

Yesterday, I did a 25 mile ride with the middle 15 at tempo pace. It was a little breezy, and I finished the tempo 15 with a 21.3 mph ave. Again, not crazy fast, but OK for me in the breeze. I'm not the fastest I've ever been on the bike, but I'm doing OK this summer.

Overall, to have 153 miles (and 40 mins on the trainer) from the 1st of July through the middle is pretty good for me. (I've actually only had bigger monthly totals 5 times* in the last 5 years, and I'll jump ahead of 3 of those totals by simply doing the triathlon next weekend - I will easily have my 3rd biggest month in 5 years.) But my yearly total is still pretty crappy. I won't be breaking any yearly records in 2014.


RUN:

So you all know I'm still working my way back from that nasty ankle injury in April. I'm doing 2.5 to 4 mile easy runs right now.

BUT, I did my first hard running last Friday night! I did that fun/nasty duathlon workout of bike, run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run with 3 friends. My four 1-mile runs were slower than usual (being I've done NO speedwork in 11 months because of 2 different injuries), but I got through it just fine. I'll post more about that in the next few days.


Finally, I want to mention that Pharmie and I are racing the Waseca Triathlon this weekend. I'm doing the sprint for the 4th time, and Pharmie and Angela will be trying their "1/3 Iron" distance for the first time: it's a 1 mile swim, 34 mile bike, and 8.8 mile run. Wish us luck! Stop back to see how we do! The sprint ends with a 4.4 mile run, and I'll be doing that as my longest run in over 3 months. YIKES!

* My top 5 months of biking since August 2009 (when I started logging miles on BeginnerTriathlete) were May 2010 (208 miles), June 2013 (188 miles), May 2011 (163 miles), August 2013 (162 miles), and July 2012 (159 miles). I don't really like to bike much.

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Mama Intervals

>> Monday, July 21, 2014

Thursday night, Pharmie took Henry to the track to run intervals. Here's what she posted that night on Facebook:

How to run intervals as a new mama:
1. Feed the baby
2. Hand the baby to daddy. Baby smells so bad that daddy feels compelled to bathe him ASAP.
3. Take Son 1 to the track. It's full of lacrosse players. Backup: soccer field.
4. Run sort of 400s using the Garmin. Son 1 cooperates somewhat then insists on holding your hand.
5. Forget to start the Garmin for 1/3 of the intervals.
6. Let son watch Thomas on the phone when the soccer ball no longer distracts him.
7. Finish intervals, play soccer with Son 1 and run home.

My speed may take a bit to come back. :)



My wife is a stud.

Oh, and here's how bathtime went with me:


He pissed all over the counter just after I took that last photo. You can see it in his eyes.


Nearly nude before his bath.

We're trying to make this "2 kids" thing work!

Back tomorrow with some recent workouts and training totals.

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11 Years Ago...

>> Saturday, July 19, 2014

Celebrating this today:





The first 8 of those were great, but the last 3 years have been awesome.


Henry 3 years ago.


About 1.5 years ago.


Just over 2 months ago.


1-week-old Charlie.


Charlie a week ago.


House full of dudes (from 2 days ago).

Happy 11th Hunnie. I love you!

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Friday Funny 759: Sleeping Positions

>> Friday, July 18, 2014




Related: here are some Airline Sleeping Positions:



Lots more funny stuff posted all day long on http://steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 758: A Non-Runner's Guide To Runners

Remy (from "Remy's World") recently shared some helpful tips on the Huff Post blog. Here's some information for non-runners:

Why do runners run?

Why do runners run? You might as well ask, "Why do birds fly?" or "Why do fish swim?" or "Why do people buy scratch-off lottery tickets?" The answer to all those questions is the same: Because it's awesome. Also, in the case of running, because maybe you can lose a few pounds.

Why do runners wear those crazy clothes?

Scientists are unsure exactly what purpose is served by the skimpy and often brightly colored gear runners wear. One theory is that it's meant to attract potential mates. Another is that it's defensive, as it makes them more visible to motorists. Some biologists believe that runners have actually evolved to prefer brighter clothing, as those wearing dull colors like "Pavement Gray" tend to not live long enough to reproduce.

Are runners dangerous?

You should never provoke them, of course. But runners by their nature are docile and will go out of their way to avoid confrontation. However, females pushing jogging strollers may attack if they feel their babies are in danger. Also, hearing certain phrases might enrage runners; among them:

• "Running will ruin your knees."

• "Marathons cause heart attacks."

• "Hey, you're a jogger, right?"

• "Jogging will ruin your knees."

Runners who hear any of these may respond forcefully. Meaning, they will go on to Facebook and post a rant that their running friends will then "Like."

What do runners eat?

Runners enjoy a varied diet, consisting of bananas, sports drinks, bagels, pizza, smoothies, beer, pasta, spareribs, chicken lo mein, muffins, scrambled eggs, sushi, ice cream, grilled shrimp skewers, black bean enchiladas, and those big turkey legs they sell at state fairs and Renaissance festivals. And that's just on their long-run days.

You might be tempted to feed runners--especially the skinny ones--but don't do it. You'll only attract more of them, and runners swarming in great numbers can be a nuisance.

What should I do if I encounter a runner who's lost and scared?

From time to time, a runner may stray from his pack and find himself in unfamiliar territory, such as a sports bar or a dinner party full of extroverts. Often, he will appear agitated, or confused.

Don't panic! Runners can sense anxiety, and it will only make a bad situation worse. Instead, approach the runner and ask about his footwear or his watch. Both will likely be running-specific. Soon he will be talking about running, nonstop, which will put him at ease. This will buy you some time while someone phones the nearest specialty running store. The store will send someone to collect the runner and return him to safety.

What if I find a runner in my house?

Especially in the hot summer months, runners may seek relief in air-conditioned homes and then panic when they can't get back out--especially once they realize that their GPS watch has lost its satellite connection. If you discover a runner stuck in your home, open a door and try to "shoo" her out with a broom. If that doesn't work, try a little trickery. Pointing outside and shouting, "Hey! Isn't that the guy who wrote "Born to Run"?" has been known to work.

How do they reproduce?

Runners practice a complex mating ritual that begins with the male donning a novelty T-shirt reading "Distance Runners Do It Longer" and ends abruptly, minutes later, with the female reminding him that they both have to be up early for a long run so they really should just "hit the hay."

In short: No one knows.

There's much more, of course. Runners are complex, fascinating creatures, and they have much to teach us. I hope that this information helps ensure that your encounters with runners--this summer and beyond--are happy and healthy ones.

Check out more funny things on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com/!

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Friday Funny 757: Parenting Lies




That last one is too cute. And depressing.

In related "Parent Lies," here's how to commit "Toy Murder:"



We might have to have a visit from The Hammer Fairy soon. I like that idea. A lot.

Check out more funnies on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 756: Summer at the Beach

This is all too true...



More funny stuff on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

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Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Runner's World Can't Draw Maps

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Instagrammed this photo over the weekend. It's a photo from a Runner's World magazine from 2005 that I found at my Y. Click the photo to enlarge it:



I captioned it with this: "Runner's World / Minneapolis-St Paul rant: I can understand moving the Cathedral 2 miles so it fits better on your map. But labeling Hamline Ave as Selby isn't even close. And you placed the Metrodome in the wrong spot by about 10 miles AND in the wrong city. Nice work."

And local "mplsmitch" added something I missed: "I like the idea of moving Kenwood Parkway to Cedar Riverside." They have it on the wrong side of downtown. Oops. Come on.

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Two Updates: Urban Garden and Photo Series

>> Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In early May, I had a post titled "Addition to our Family," and here's how it started:

Saturday was a big day. We've been working on the landscaping around the garage (see this post from last month to see some previous work). We were finally going to plant our raised veggie beds and then re-seed part of the neighbor's yard that got torn up during garage construction last fall.

Here's a "before" shot from Saturday morning:


Skinny raised beds, pavers, and re-graded yard ready to be seeded.

And here's an "after" shot from Saturday afternoon:


Oh wait, that's not our garden. That's Charlie - my new son!!!

Yeah, Saturday didn't quite go as planned.

Well, here's a quick update. We got our plants planted a few days after Charlie was born. Here's 2 photos a few days after planting on May 18:


Tomatoes and peppers on top, and herbs and onions to the right.


View from the other side. Sidenote: the pavers go RIGHT up to our property line!

Just over a month later (on June 25) this is what it looked like:


Tall grass, GIANT tomatoes, nice sized basil, and zucchini spreading out at the lower right.


Some cherry tomatoes a few days later.


Picking some cherry tomatoes on July 3rd before visiting some family. (50 harvested so far.)
And that's a zucchini on the upper right, LOTS of basil, and a ton of cucumber blossoms.

And here are 4 final photos from Friday (July 11):


Overall shot (notice the new rain barrel to the far right too!).


Tomatoes are going CRAZY. No more cherry tomatoes yet, but round 2 is forming.


We've harvested basil twice, and our zucchini needs more space in the back.


Just before harvesting my first cucumber of the new garden. Another one is close.

The pepper plants are growing well and have a lot of blossoms, but very VERY few peppers forming - we've always had that problem. We'll see what we get by the end of the summer!

And unrelated: last week, I posted a small new series of photos over on my Photo Blog. It's photos of the Minneapolis / St. Paul area at 4 a.m. Here are 2 examples (click to enlarge):


Under the Franklin Ave Bridge.


High Water at Harriet Island.

Click here to check them all out. Thanks!

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Final Race Thoughts: North Mankato and Waconia Relays

>> Monday, July 14, 2014

So it's been 2 weeks since my back-to-back relay race weekend, but I haven't posted my final thoughts.

In my North Mankato Triathlon race report, I noted that I swam well and was among the first out of the water in my wave.


Me hitting the beach (seen before in my race report).


Our relay team post-race with our 2nd place medals! (And all our kids.)

It was 400 meters, and I swam it straight and hard. I noted I was technically the 2nd team swimmer out of the water, but the 1st swimmer was the guy who accidentally cut the course and was DQed. And looking at all overall swim times, I was the 16th fastest there (out of 163). But I could have been ranked so well because it was a smaller race that didn't attract crazy fast people.

Then the next day I did an 800 meter swim at the Waconia Triathlon.


Swim photo from my race report.


Getting our 1st place team awards. (Devon only had a babydoll tee for me to wear.)

I didn't swim as well at Waconia. I'm DEFINITELY better at shorter swims - I can't maintain a pace as well as I should be able to over a greater distance. On the final stretch of this swim, I actually felt a little fatigued from the 400 swim the day before - I didn't think that'd be an issue! It didn't really slow me down, but I DID feel it. I was the 5th swimmer out of 12 teams. There are 3 reasons I was slower: this race draws more speedsters, I didn't swim quite as well, and I can't hold on to my speed very well as the distance increases. Here my swim would have been ranked much worse when you compare it to everyone's individual swim times: I'd be ranked 61st out of 169.

Both races were great venues. Being Pharmie and I are from southern Minnesota (and the distances are right my alley), we really hope to race the North Mankato Triathlon as individuals next year.

If you missed them, click here for my family relay race report at North Mankato, and click here for my best friends relay with buddy Devon at Waconia.

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Are You Faster Than Average?

>> Saturday, July 12, 2014

Runner's World published some interesting information yesterday:



I'll be 33.6 years old (the average 5K age) in late October, so maybe I'll have to go out and run a 28:46 5K (average male 5K pace). And it's interesting to see that the average 10K pace for men and women is faster than the average 5K pace. I'm assuming that's because 5Ks are a bit more "beginner friendly," whereas 10Ks maybe won't draw first-time racers (people will be a bit faster).

And here's a breakdown showing last year was another record year for participation. (But the Runner's World data points out that this "figure is an aggregate of race finishers; the number of individual runners who finished a race is less, because the aggregate includes multiple race finishes by individual runners.")



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