Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Quick Catch Up

OK, I've been a wee bit slack over the last few days. Here is a quick summary of my rest week thusfar:

Sun 26 Dec: 25min run, hard pace HR up to 165. Not sure of distance - 10 time around an unknown oval. Felt puffed at low HR.
Mon 27 Dec: 70min on the road bike. Hilly. Again, felt puffed at low HR, but pushed it up over 150 at times.
Tue 28 Dec: 1100m swim. First 800m with flippers. Took breaks every 100m.
Wed 29 Dec 24min run, hard. Got HR up to 170. Puffed all the way.

I seem to be getting puffed a little too easily for my liking, but otherwise the rest week seems to be having the desired effect - I'm feeling pretty good.

The doctors running orders - short distance with decent pace, should be setting me up for a good 10K time in the new year and an attempt to make 6 minute K's my new training pace.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I am a bad insomniac, so while everyone is still in bed, at 6:30 I got too bored and decided to blog it up.

I've felt a bit tired over the last few days, so next week will definitely be a rest week, the plan being to do only six shorter sessions.

Thursday 23rd December

This was a funny old day. I felt like utter crap in the morning, and the weather seemed to be closing in. I had also committed to doing a big day of mowing, rubbish removal etc. I decided not to go for my long bike ride, but to start my work.

Having completed said work at 5:30PM, i.e. doing physical work all day, I felt much better than I did in the morning. I grabbed the mountain bike (the road bike having given me some nasty chaffing last time I used it) and hit the road for 110 minutes. It felt great. I took a few extras (like the country lanes) off last weeks long course and added a 12K loop to the course, which brought it to 39K. During the last 12K the predicted lightning and thunder started, when I was out in the middle of the turf farms. I think I sped up a bit at this stage, but I got home before it started to piss down.

Friday 24th December

Again, I felt crappy when I got up this morning, but I had a fair idea that there was no chance of a session in the afternoon, so I went straight to the pool and went for a very slow 20 laps of the 50m pool, all with flippers and breaking every 100m. I wanted to grab 36 minutes on the bike in the afternoon, but as predicted, this didn't eventuate. I did, however, weigh in at 76.2Kg. Even during marathon training I was finding it hard to get below 80, so this is very good.

Saturday 25th December

Today is a scheduled rest day, in which I plan to undo much of the good weight loss I have just written about.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Speedwork Sucks

This morning I would describe as a "stretcher session". I hit the local oval for 5x400m reps at 1:45 pace. This was my first go at speedwork off the treadmill, and so pacing was always going to be hit-and-miss.

The first rep was done in 1:43. Very happy with that. I was taking a 90 second standing rest, and the other reps were as follows:


Obviously I set my sights a little low, but by the end of the last, I had to take a lie down. After I had regained my composure I warmed down over 3 laps and went home. The knee felt slightly niggly towards the end, but I am still stoked with it.

During the day I finished my Xmas shopping (yay), and went for a swim in the afternoon. I knew it was going to be a struggle after the speedwork in the morning, and it was. I got through 800 sluggish metres on various drills.

I'm feeling a bit washed out tonight. I need a good nights sleep.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Going good.

Saturday was a rest day. During the day I caught up with Craig and borrowed a road bike from him which I spent the day fixing up. Unfortunately when I took it for a ride that afternoon I found I had missed the fact that the rear brakes were shot, so I ended up doing my Sunday long ride on the mountain bike.

Before I started on my ride, I popped in to watch the first half of the Hawkesbury triathlon club race. I got roped into doing some marshalling and so I hung around for a bit longer than I had expected. I knew quite a few of the people from the triathlon club from the gym. They were doing a BBQ/picnic after the race and I sort of wanted to hang around, but I had a busy day, so I set off on my ride.

I had mapped out what I thought was a 33K course, but it turned out to be 35K. The new bits of the course were very flat and it was a very comfortable 95 minutes to complete the course. I pushed myself a bit – the avge HR was about 145, but I felt quite good. I had neglected to use my hydration pack, so I spent the rest of the day drinking anything close by. I also went and saw the musical “We Will Rock You”. Brilliant. If you get the chance go.

Monday morning was a 4K run around the local oval. I did this in 22 minutes (pretty fast for me). I was keen to go fast, as that was doctors orders. Got the HR up to 168. Knee was starting to play up on the last lap.

Straight from training to physio. He was happy with my progress, but he really hurt me again. He doesn’t want me to increase my distance for 3 weeks until he sees me next.

Monday arvo is Swim Squad. This was excellent. I felt so good in the pool. 200m, which would have been a real struggle 2 weeks ago was no problems. Ben (swim coach) has noticed big improvements with my stroke.

This morning was the first ride on the road bike. I was down for 73 minutes on the plan, but I went for three loops of my 10K course. With the distance to and from the loop the ride was 31.5K, done in 80 minutes. Quite a bit faster than the mountain bike, so training recently has just been great.

Friday, December 17, 2004

A Decent Run

Today I was down for speedwork: 5 x 400m intervals.

I had thoughts of heading to the local oval to do them, but I decided that the best thing for my knee was to do them on the treadmill. When the knee felt a little niggly this morning that settled it: treadmill it was.

I started with a 500m warm up, and went for 3 sets of 400m at 13kph with 200m rests at 8kph. I felt that this was a little soft, so I did the last two 400m efforts at 13.5kph. This felt a bit harder, and got my HR up to 170. I didn't want to go much harder than that while I'm getting back into it. Finished it off with a 700m warm down and 15 minutes of stretching. The knee felt it a little bit during the last effort, but overall the knee came through well.

Tomorrow is a well earned rest day before a long bike ride on Sunday.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A weary

The day started with a short bike ride (12K, 36 minute). Did it in low gears, trying up the cadence.

Later in the day I did 1Km in the pool, 100m at a time with flippers on the whole time. I felt weary towards the end of the swim and I'm feeling pretty sore now. I'm not sure about 9 workouts a week - it might be a bit much. I'll have a talk to Craig about it.

Tomorrow is running interval day. I haven't decided on oval or treadmill yet. Treadmill would be safer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So ... very ... tired

I drank coffee last night. Two cups.

For a normal person this might not be a problem. For a chronic insomniac it was a certain sleepless night. Not a single wink.

Luckily today was a soft day on the plan, just a swim. Problem was I got a bit muddled with times and thought I had to leave the pool earlier than I actually did, so I only got in 6 sets of 100m in the 50m pool.

After this it was straight to the physio for an extremely painful ITB release. I told the physio I was planning to just go on three short runs a week, and he is happy with that. He wants to see me again on Monday.

Now I am just tired. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A bit of a worry

Today I knew I was going to be pushing myself a bit. After two workouts yesterday, I had myself down for a bike ride in the morning and run in the afternoon.

My bike ride was anout and back course to Richmond, 22.9K. It is flat and unprotected and into a 20kph westerly the first half was a bit of a struggle. As I am incrementally increasing the length of each ride, I incorporated the same country lanes I used on Sunday. The ride home was a lot easier and I felt pretty good afterwards. Finished the course in 68 minutes.

So with my knee feeling good I thought I would do my afternoon run on a flat bit of road out in the open, so I drove down to the lowland flats that I had rode in the morning and did a straight, flat 12 minutes out and turn around and come back. I finished where I started in 24:10, so I didn't slow down much. I hit a heart rate of 165, which was about what I wanted to do - not flat out, but more intense thatn normal training pace.

I later measured what I had just run at 4.3K, a little slower than 5:30min/k, which pleased me.

The only problem is that there has been a slight niggle in my knee since the run (which was 8 hours ago). I didn't feel bad during the run, but by the end of the run I could feel it a little bit, and it basically hasn't got any better.

As a result I have amended my program. I planned to do an running interval session on Thursday, but instead I am going to do that on Friday, and do two swims and one short bike ride for the next two days to give it some time to recover. I am also going to see the physio tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Good News

It was pissing down when I woke up this morning, so the run I had hoped to do on the local oval became a tredmill run. 3K at 6 min/k pace. It was a great session for a couple of reasons:
  • My heart rate only got up to 154 (so I haven't lost as much runningt condition as I had thought).
  • My knee did not hurt at all. Didn't feel it.

I iced it afterwards, and felt a little sore after sitting down for a while, and a little tight in the ITB, but running was not a problem.

I spoke to the sports doctor, and he was happily surprised. He wants me to see the physio ASAP (I'm booked for Wednesday) and short runs for the next two weeks, but he is encouraging speedwork (10K PB here I come, it's a painfully soft 57 minutes).

I finished the day with swim squad. Tonight was a tough session, I won't say "stretcher session", but I do feel like a nice lie down. T'was about 1.2K of drills. Tomorrow is a little softer.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Country Lanes

Last night I prepared for this mornings long bike ride by taking a look at the street directory and picking out some roads I could use to extend last weeks long ride course.

Having chosen said roads I headed out at 6:30 this morning for a 95 minute 34 kilometre bike ride. I felt pretty good for the first half of the ride. When I hit the new parts of my course I found that the chosen roads were real country laneways. The turf farms had given way to dairy farms, and the roads looked very lightly trafficked.

Midway through the ride there was a street with a couple of short, nasty little hills, and from this point I started to struggle just a little bit. The rest of the ride passed without surprise, but by the end I was glad to be finished, but I got through it all.

Later in the day I caught up with Craig, who has offered to keep coaching me and looking at my program. I have to say I am utterly stoked about this. At the moment the program is all over the place because of the knee. Once we see some improvement I will go over the program with Craig and decide whether I am going to pursue triathlon, running or both.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The mystery of the atypical dodgy knee

Thursday 9/12

Looking for a soft day today, so I kept to a 12.9K bike ride in the morning. Went out a little hard. My knee felt bad all day.

Friday 10/12

The day started with a 1K swim in the 25m pool. Again, this was interval style - 50m of swimming, concentrating on my stroke, 45 second rest. While I was there I met a bloke called Brett who was getting his life back together after beating leukemia. The positive attitude emanating from this guy was enough to brighten my day.

I had an appointment to see the sports doctor late in the afternoon. He wanted my knee to be sore when he saw me, so I went for a 15 minute run around some hilly bits of Windsor before I left. I had the pleasure of meeting Coolrunner Luckylegs over the phone as I tried to help her sort out her blog during the run.

The knee wasn't feeling too sore by the time I got to the surgery, but the three flights of stairs sorted that out. He poked and prodded it for about 20 minutes, he called it an atypical injury, and in the end he gave me a shot of cortisone and asked me to call him on Monday after I go for a run, and we will take it from there. I was tempted to start whinging about how long it is taking to sort this knee out, but that would be so wrong after the conversation I had with Brett this morning.

Tomorrow is a rest day. By the looks of the weather I won't be in the garden or finishing painting the shed. So in other words - a proper rest day.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Short Swim - Painful knee

My knee is causing me grief today. I could feel that things were not as good as they had been when I got up this morning, and things were pretty bad by the time we'd finished walking the dogs.

I was still feeling a bit stiff in the shoulders from Mondays swim when I got to the pool this morning, so I decided on a very soft swimming session, just 750m in the 25m pool. I started with flippers so that I could concentrate on my stroke, but I took them off halfway through as I felt they were aggravating the knee.

As I said, I have had stroke correction lessons before, and I am having the same problem now as I had then: when I correct my stroke, my stamina goes out the window, and I can only swim 100m before I need a breather. Obviously, I need to stick with it and the stamina will come with a correct stroke. Last time I think I sacrificed the stroke for a lazy stroke that I could keep up for over 1Km. This is better for writing in a training diary, but lousy for my swimming, so for the moment I'll stick with "interval" swim training when I'm not in the squad.

I've been feeling a bit fatigued over the last few days. I'm considering using next week as a rest week, cutting back on all sessions. I'll see how I feel on Sunday after my rest day.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Another 2 workout day

Started the day early, walking the dogs at 5:30 . I usually do this every day, most of the time with Fiona, as was the case today.

I followed the walk with a 20K, 54 minute bike ride. I kept pushing myself too hard throughout the rideand spent most of it with a heartrate around 145. The hills are still getting easier with each ride, which makes me feel good.

The sports doc had said that running faster shouldn't cause any further aggravation, so I had planned to jump straight on the treadmill after the ride and knock out 2K at 6min/k pace. My previous run was at my slowest training pace, 7 min/k.

Unfortunately, I decided to have a quick look at Seek before I jumped on the treadmill. By the time I stood up again, the knee was feeling decidely ordinary. I jumped on the treadmill anyway, but after 2 minutes I gave up rather than risk something awful.

I spent a couple of hours on my feet in the early afternoon, after which the knee was feeling much better, so I jumped on the treadmill and did the aforementioned 2K with only minor discomfort. This workout got my heartrate up to 151, which proves to me that I have some way to go to get back to full fitness.

Another positive worth mentioning is that my weight, which I have struggled with for 14 years is as low as it has been since I went on the medication that started my weight problems all that time ago. I am hovering around 77.5-78 Kg (I'm 173cm tall)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Swimming 101

Today has been a good day.

Kevin Boundy (sports doctor) rang me in the morning and I gave him the rundown on how my knee had been over the week. He asked me to come back in on Friday and told me that I could run as long as I wasn't aggravating things too much, but he'd like me to aggravate it before I go in on Friday. I think a nice hill run followed by the drive over to Penrith will do the trick nicely (now that's something to look forward to!)

Later in the day I went to a swimming squad at the gym pool. The squad numbered three, and the other two were a similar level to each other and far more advanced than I. I was lucky that I was able to get some individual attention in the sqaud, and I felt that I have made some improvement with my stroke. The teacher (a bloke called Ben) got me wearing flippers to help me concentrate on my stroke rather than staying afloat, which seemed to work well, so I'll stick with that for a little while.

There has been a small amount of movement on the job front. I'll be talking to an agency on Thursday that seems keen to talk to me, so hopefully something can come out of that. (and then I'll buy the Polar 625x I've been salivating over!)

The knee has been very good today - a combination of staying on my feet deliberately and general improvement I think.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Stronger, Faster Riding and a ... run!

OK, I've been a wee bit lazy for the last few days. Here is the last few days:

Friday 3/12

I got all excited: today was the big day - first run. I got out early and did an enjoyable 12K on the bike on my trusty 10K run course (I have a warm up walk to the start of the course and at the end). I felt OK after the run and I rang the sports doctor as instructed.

I left my number and was told he would ring back. I called back twice with the receptionist telling me that "You will have to be patient, he will call you back" on both occasions. He didn't. I got the shits at about four o'clock and decided to go for a run. 400m and my knee was in agony. The pain is a little different to what happened last time I went for a run. Instead of the pain all around the bottom part of the knee, I felt a pain I was having earlier in my layoff - a stabbing pain in the left side of the left knee.

So the knee is not right and I will have to wait until Monday to speak to the doc.

Saturday 4/12

Rest day involving atrocious nutrition. My knee seems to be good as long as I don't sit on a chair, which I did far too much of today.

Sunday 5/12

Started the day with a 32K bike ride after walking the dogs. I felt great on the bike - I'm really starting to notice improvement in speed and strength. The ride took about 86 minutes and was mainly in harder gears compared to previous rides.

I'm hopeful that I may be able to get onto a road bike cheaply by borrowing one from ex-coach Craig. He mentioned this several weeks ago, and since I am riding around on my brothers dodgy old mountain bike a move to a road bike will help things along. My concern is that my balance is generally less than good, so a road bike may make me more likely to stack. I came off a bike in the Adelaide Hills once at speed, and I don't like grazes like that.

After the ride I got stuck into painting the shed, studiously avoiding sitting down. When the clouds came over at four o'clock I went inside and thought to myself "this knee feels OK, I might try running again."

So knowing that completely flat was in order I went to the treadmill and knocked out 2K with only slight discomfort. Woo Hoo! Never did I think I could get a kick like that from running on a treamill. Ben is back!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Changed my mind

I had a rest day planned for today, but I felt that it would be a better use of my time to have the rest day on the weekend, leaving me more time to spend with Fiona, so I went for a swim this morning.

My arms still felt a bit stiff from Tuesdays swim so I decided I wouldn't push myself too hard. I went for the 25m pool and did forty slow laps trying to concentrate on my style. I got lazy at several points, and my kick goes to pot if I'm not concentrating on it, but I do feel as though its getting better.

I think that "concentrating on style" is probably why my arms still felt sore from Tuesday, so I don't expect they'll feel any better after today. That's OK, I don't plan to swim again until Monday. There is a novice swim squad at the gym on Mondays, so I hope that things might improve with someone watching my stroke. I had a series of stroke correction lessons last year, but I know old habits are creeping in. Besides which, I really haven't done any swimming since the lessons up until injury stepped in.

Tomorrow I will ring the Sports Doctor and get some opinion on whether I can resume running (woo hoo!)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Getting There...

OK, so I didn't blog yesterday.

I swam last night. Went to the pool at 8 o'clock after it has cooled down a bit. I've decided to concentrate on form rather than putting in long sessions, so I just did the same 20 laps as my last outddor pool session, but I spent most of it concentrating on trying to get my form and kick right.

I had a decent sleep and decided the time was right for a decent hit out on the bike.

So after walking the dogs at 5:30, I hopped on the bike and went for a leisurely 28K ride in a loop to Richmond and back. I kept my heartrate pretty low, and all in all I was happy with a good workout.

Tomorrow I'll take a rest day and spend a bit of time stretching and letting my knee recover. I have to say it feels great this morning, so hopefully the sportd doctor has got it right and I will be back into running training in a week. In the meantime I'll keep toying with the triathlon idea.