I'm a little overdue on my posts. Things have been nuts since I wrote last from Omaha, NE!
So I'll back up a bit, but not too much because I want to keep this brief. I'm on my lunch break. :)
Last Weekend- Saturday
I'll begin with last weekend. I had an appointment in San Francisco on Saturday morning at 11 a.m., so I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to hit the Presidio for my long run. I found this picture on Flickr from foggydave - he did a really nice job with these photos and really captures the beauty of this place, especially on a nice day!
So I made like this dude in the photo and went for my 1 hr 40 min run. I mapped my route on MapMyRun, which ended up being 11.5 miles and just AWESOME!!!
Here's out it checked out on MapMyRun: Presidio -> Marina -> Embarcadero Run
Find more Runs in San Francisco, California
My heart rate stayed in a nice aerobic zone the entire time; for the first hour I managed to keep it right at about 157-158, and the last 40 minutes I picked up my pace just slightly and kept my heart rate at 161-162. I randomly bumped into Christine as I made my way toward the Ferry Building - it was perfect timing because I was about to take a 20-second walk break and looked at a woman and her mother about to cross the Embarcadero and she looked at me and we both said "HI!" She lives in L.A. so I was very happily surprised to see her.
By the time I finished as I approached the YMCA-Presidio, I really felt amazing. I felt like I could have kept going. I didn't know how far I'd run but I just knew that I felt strong, my form was still intact and I had a huge smile on my face. Yes!
After my appointment, I rewarded myself at a pub in the Marina with some crab cakes, an egg and a side salad as well as a Chimay. I needed those carbs!
I made my way to Sports Basement in the Presidio, gift certificate in hand. I couldn't WAIT!! I went right to the running shoes section and had a nice discussion with a couple of salespeople about what shoes I should get. Traditionally I had gone with the Brooks Ariel for the last couple of years because of the strong motion control they have for over-pronators like myself. However, since I got orthotics last year, I no longer need to have strong motion control shoes. The sales guy advised me that I should gradually get down to a neutral shoe, and that before I go all the way down, I should have a light control shoe. I decided that since Brooks had worked so well in terms of how it fit my foot, I would try a Brooks shoe on again. I went for the Brooks Adrenaline.
OH MY LORD!!!! What a difference! The biggest thing that I noticed was how much less...CLUNKY the shoe felt. I suppose all that motion control support means the shoe needs more arch support, therefore more material. All I could think was how much I will FLY with these new shoes. It was like taking the heavy wheels off your bike and putting the sleek, light Zipp wheels on for race day. Beyond that, the shoe fit my foot perfectly. My foot seemed so comfortable and happy - it was almost too easy that I was a bit concerned that I was missing something. The sales guy simply smiled and said "hey - if it fits and feels great - that's what you want."
So, I bought those shoes. I went on to look for some new spinning shoes but they didn't have what I wanted in my size. Skip - I would go to Performance Bike later that afternoon on my way home (they have a store in San Rafael) and find a perfect pair on clearance for $40. Score! Additionally, I stocked up on a couple clothing pieces and that was about it.
Right here I would like to extend a very heartfelt *THANK YOU* to my spinning students who contributed to that gift certificate. YOU BOUGHT ME NEW RUNNING SHOES!!
Last Weekend - Sunday
Sunday I met up with the guys in Sonoma for a 55 mile bike ride. I thought "okay, I'm not sore, this should be AWESOME!" Well...it was awesome scenery. We rode through Sonoma, over to Carneros and through it to Napa, turned around and came back through Carneros back into Sonoma, finished with Lovall Valley Loop (a short climb up to a beautiful little valley) and back up to Brian's. Sun shining, not too cold...brilliant.
Signs of fatigue
Except that my heart rate was staying in the 130s yet I felt like given my exertion, it should've been in the 150s. I kept it in the small ring (have a compact crank on my tri bike) and just tried to keep a nice fast cadence with a higher gear, but even that felt a bit tough. Hm, that run must've really tuckered my hamstrings more than I thought.
Pat and I nearly decided not to do Lovall Valley Loop b/c we were both kind of dead (he's training for the Napa Valley Marathon and ran 22 miles the day before - made my 11.5 look like nothing!). Still, we pressed on, slow as slugs. It hurt. Bad. THIS IS NOT A BIG HILL, PEOPLE!!! Oh, but my god it hurt.
Finally we get onto the home stretch to Brian's house and what does David do? Picks it up to about 22 mph and flies back. I just watched helplessly because there was no way I had anything left to do anything about it. *sigh*
I made it a point to really stretch a lot that night. I spent about 20 minutes getting into my hammies and hips. I knew I had my rest day coming, so that should be good.
Rest day! YES!!! But right now in Build Phase, that doesn't = day off. Nope, you still work, but light swim and weights. I ended up skipping the weights and just swam Monday evening. I did about 2900 yards, with a 300 warm up and 4x (500 yards with 50 easy and another 1:00 rest) with 200 kick with fins and 200 cool. I was very impressed that my 'easy' 500 still ended up being right on 8:01 (for ALL 4!), which was about a 1:36 pace. THAT was really making me happy. After a great run on Sat, I was so excited about how much my swimming seems to be improving.
Easy bike, Hard run today. Went out at 6:30 a.m. to ride the Joe Rodota trail from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol and back. About 17 miles. Really tried to get that HR up to be in 130s and 140s but it just wasn't coming up. Still felt really weak in my hamstrings and even when I was putting out an effort the HR wasn't really coming up. Not that I needed it to come UP (supposed to be easy bike), but the fact is that for me, an easy effort should yield HR in the 130s-low 140s. Yet my legs were WORKING. If I would've backed off the pace/cadence, my HR would've dropped to 110s and that was too low, even for an easy bike. Hm.
Hard run - supposed to get HR into Zone 5a. I did a set where I warmed up for 6 minutes, then would, for 2 minutes, get into a pace where I was in Zone 4 (160s, about 8:40 pace) and then for 2:00 go to a HR Zone of upper 170s-low 180s (~7:49 pace). Repeated that for 35:00 and then did 5:00 cool. The issue was that again, I felt like I was exerting myself and pushing, but the HR didn't want to really jump up past 165 until near the end. My muscles were TIRED but the HR just wasn't wanting to come up. I did get a max of 181 but my average HR for the session was 165. Again, just not totally my style.
So I was supposed to wake up and swim hard today. I felt like C-R-A-P. So I listened to my body and said no. I decided to just get that weight lifting session in on my lunch break and that would be it. Lifting was good and I felt good about it.
And here we are. Hard bike, easy run. I went to 6:00 a.m. spinning at the YMCA with Alex. She's a great instructor and I liked her style. She saved the sprints for the end - GOOD! Still though...I just didn't feel like myself on that bike. My legs felt heavy. Tried to focus on pulling up but my hamstrings were not happy campers. I averaged a 155 HR which is okay, but even for spinning - I often average around 160 or 162 - or AT THE LEAST 158. It's only 45:00 - I really should have my HR up there for that. I just couldn't do it.
I went to the treadmill afterward for an easy 30:00 run. Did 3.25 miles and HR was really low - 148 average or so, even with a 1.5 grade and 9:22 pace. Felt pretty fine there.
What does it all mean?
So I decided to do a little research. There seem to be two forms of overtraining - Sympathetic Overtraining and Parasympathetic Overtraining. But this quote from Slowtwitch.com really hit home:
Most recreational athletes are more used to the notion that an elevated heart rate is the sign of overtraining, specifically during rest, and they’re right in their thinking. Fewer athletes are aware of, or ever experience, a heart that cannot beat fast enough. But professional triathletes are very aware of this phenomenon, especially those who engage in Ironman-style training and racing.Wow. Wasn't I just writing that?
Hm. Yeah. So the article is really great and one that I've posted below. I think every triathlete who does long-distance races should read it. Now that I'm really sticking to a plan, and I'm such a numbers geek, I can definitely notice this and I'm glad I caught it now. Most athletes really hate having to listen to their body and respond when it is saying "I AM BEING PUSHED OVER THE EDGE! YOU NEED TO BACK OFF!"
Why mine is responding like this, I'm not sure. I do know that I'm running more than I ever have in my life and also going through some major life changes right now (moving from Berkeley to Santa Rosa, changing jobs - two of life's most stressful events!). I miss my friends to some degree and I'm adjusting to life in Sonoma County. As 'easy' as it all seems to me (I DO LOVE IT), I know it's still stressful, simply for the change that it is.
So...I need to back off a bit. More on how to do it effectively later. Lunch time is up!
And remember: Let all your friends and family know how much you love them - not just today, but EVERY DAY!!
Here's the full article from http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/coachcorn/overtraining.html
How Much is Too Much?
By Dan Empfield The week of 2-7-00
(www.slowtwitch.com) Our Sport's elite have subjected themselves to physical stresses in ways unequalled by any group of people in human history. How often have these athletes gone over the edge and into the abyss? How do you know when you've done too much? And how do you come back from it? Over the next several days we'll ask that question and do our best to answer it. We've spoken to many of the world's best triathletes. We'll share their experiences, and their words of wisdom for you.
THE PSYCHOTIC YEARS
"The only guys I ever knew who’d get heart-tired were the Germans. Nobody would do the amount of work they did," says longtime American pro Mark Montgomery, probably the first American to train regularly with such early German stars as Jurgen Zack, Wolfgang Dittrich and Jochen Basting. Montgomery was talking about a little-known malady—a type of overtraining in which the heart is unable to beat at a rate high enough to do the work required.
"The best measures of overtraining are still the ones you can perform at home," says Orange County-based physician Herman Falsetti, who has worked with many of the top pro triathletes, runners and cyclists who live in and pass through Southern California. "Irritability, the disinclination to eat, inability to sleep, and high resting heart rate are good indicators that you’ve done too much and need a rest."
Most of you will never face the prospect of climbing out of a big hole such as those some pro triathletes have dug for themselves. But you might find yourself in transitory periods of overtraining, and when you do it might be because of too much "high quality" work. Roch Frey, coach of Heather Fuhr, Peter Reid, and others, says, " The body can only handle three hard workouts a week, and this is what most single sport athletes do at a maximum. Your internal system does not distinguish between an anaerobic swim, bike or run workout, but knows that the system is being overloaded and stressed regardless of what sport is being performed. Try telling most triathletes to only do one harder swim, bike and run weekly and most will laugh at you, except for a few: Heather and Peter follow this rule most of the time. This is one key to long term training that I think will save triathletes from sickness, and increase their longevity in the sport. Again, this is just my theory. I see so many triathletes hammering EVERY session."
But there are athletes, usually age-groupers, who hammer every session and do very well. These athletes have limitations, though. They are usually unable to race well at anything longer than a short-distance race. They will have more soft tissue injuries through their careers. There will also always be the question of whether they could have been better if they'd occasionally done longer miles.
Those who seem to be in greatest danger of overtraining are those who do embrace the notion of longer mileage for certain periods of time during their season, but do not heed the warnings about too many high heart rate sessions per week.
It seems easy to avoid overtraining by adhering to a few easy ground rules. But that's not much consolation to those who do triathlon at the highest levels and have spilled over into overtraining. Tinley laments: "The very aspects of your personality that lead you into overtraining—and keep you from getting out of it—are those assets which got you to the top in the first place. My drive, discipline and work ethic make me react badly to the idea of disuse and atrophy. That’s the thing that’s tough about trying to be the best. The very things that get you to the top are the things you’ve got to keep an eye on."