1 day off from exercise…too funny that it’s noteworthy

We took a little trip out-of-town this past Labor Day weekend, so in the spirit of ‘recovery’ and ‘vacation’, I actually took 1 day off from exercise

…only noteworthy, since it was my first day off from exercise in 6 weeks 🙂

…typically 12 workouts a week…4 in each sport…7 days a week

On my Sunday ‘off’, my wife and I took our own version of a ‘Tour of Italy’ in the funky little town of Asheville NC, visiting a series of excellent Italian restaurants and wine bars, sampling a number of wood fired pizza’s, Italian wines, local craft beers, fine Italian cuisine, and decadent desserts from early afternoon through the late evening

…how many calories you say?

…rats, I forgot to count…I would estimate…let’s see…I’ve become pretty good at this since I track it every day…based on experience…ummm…_lots_ 🙂

…although since the debauchery spread over 8 hours, I didn’t really feel ‘painfully stuffed’ rolling back into the hotel…definately at least ‘full’ though…okay…maybe ‘uncomfortably full’…oh yeah…and another 4 weeks to my next ‘official’ weigh-in, so time to recover…fun weekend

…so back to my more ‘disciplined’ daily lifestyle…in our picture on the right, you can see my training volume in hours per week since 1 week after my Vancouver Half Iron race on July 3rd…the first 4 were ‘recovery/transitional’ weeks in the 10:15 – 11:28 range, and then the last 4 weeks the beginning of a 12 week ramp-up to Ironman Florida, with a lot more Intensity as well as Volume

The Sunday off…and actually a light Monday with a 45 minute swim and 30 minutes of yoga, was partial ‘recovery’…my exercise volume last week was ‘only’ 12:23:20, and lighter than normal Intensity…my right knee had been acting up, so cut back some of the running, and then to be a bit rested to see if I can get in a maximum Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test on the bike, and a maximum vDOT run test this week

In this picture, my 2010 training for the same 8 weeks…travel last year resulted in a very light week in week ‘8’…clearly I’m taking it up a notch this year 🙂

In the past, I’ve taken recovery ‘weeks’…so 2 higher volume weeks 12-15 hours each, followed by a week at 7-8 hours, and then repeat…this year to tighten things up a bit, I’ve only taken recovery ‘days’ and seems to be working out well…so far

…fitting in maximal testing is a bit of a challenge therefore, although doable…as I plan to do this week coming up after a few days of ‘extra’ rest and recovery.

Since I’ve dropped 15 pounds over the past 2 months and planning to drop a few more, I’ve had this nagging thing in my head about whether it’s affected my power on the bike in particular, so decided to run my heart up the max and see where it’s at…may as well check out the run while I’m at it, if I can get them in…my workouts have been going well…I ‘think’ that my power and speed are at least the same if not better…although I haven’t been hitting the high-end power numbers in the bike, although the race level power has been very solid…

…sadly, the heat and humidity won’t really allow me a comparative test with my earlier-in-the-season results in cooler weather…so whatever the results are, will logically be understated…that is to say…my ‘actual’ cool air fitness ‘numbers’ will actually be higher than the test results this week, since on a hot/humid day, a certain amount of energy/blood-flow will be pulled from my leg muscles and allocated to ‘skin blood flow’ in trying to keep my body cool…particularly with a maximum test

However, it will at least give me an idea of where I’m at…and hopefully quiet the demons in my head…the only reason not to do the testing, would be to skip the associated pain involved in maximal testing…in the case of the bike, 42 minutes of lung heaving riding…the run 24 minutes of nowhere-to-escape-burning pain

…or dealing with final ‘numbers’ that may be below what I’d like to see…in part for the conditions…hopefully not because my leg muscles have shriveled…in either event, the tests themselves are killer workouts, and I’ve been feeling the ‘need for speed’ again recently

My primary final testing before Ironman is on the schedule for the week of October 7 or 14th, depending on how things are going, and seeing if I can find testing conditions closer to Ironman Florida conditions…of course, who knows what those will be, so testing in different conditions isn’t a bad overall idea…I’ll use those early October results to largely determine my fitness levels, and my Ironman race goals.

I just hope that the ‘numbers’ this week aren’t too ugly by doing the tests in relatively hot/humid conditions…okay…I’ll stop trying to wimp out and get it done

…from experience, the demons will be at full volume during those tests, overheating my skin…telling me that I’m fried…that my legs are cooked…to pull back on the power and speed…and all the reasons why…you can hear them in this post today as I read back through it…

…to offset the bad guys, I’ll be using my 2 demon-killing testing mantra’s…running them through my head at even louder volume 🙂

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