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

  1. Anne Boone says:

    Steve, I really do love this blog. You’re younger and stronger than I am, but most of this IM training is similar for both of us. So are the worries and doubts.

    Since 2/13/11 I have only had 11 days when I did nothing training-wise, with the exception of the day before each race that I’ve done since then. I always take the day before off.

    I trained for the half IM April 30 (13 hrs/week?), and now my weekly volume is 15 1/2 hours. In another couple of weeks I increase biking to a 100 mile ride and 16 mile run once a week, Making the weekly training at least 18 hours.

    I have been through a psychological slump the last few days…the unrelenting training has been getting to me. Tuesday I went to the lake to swim 2 miles and quit after 1/2. It was dark and windy and lonely and I couldn’t stand it. Yesterday I ran 10 miles, then went to the pool to swim a mile but the pool was closed. I could have driven to the MLK pool, but I came home. At that point I was starving and didn’t want to put in another 45 minutes of driving to get to and from another pool.

    Then, of course, dieting off 17,000 calories over the last 3 months and not losing an ounce has been getting me down.

    But I’m determined to suck it up and get through this last 2 months. Hoo-ahhh! I’ve been giving myself pep talks and yesterday’s run was in the 60’s and actually felt good. I was actually looking forward to going to the pool…well, almost…and was disappointed it was closed.

    So much of this is psychological. It takes a huge amount of mental toughness to get through 8 months of training, every damned day, as you know. Plus, I do all my training by myself which is normally what I prefer, but can get a little lonely.

    This AM I do a 75 mile ride. Now, that’s something I actually like. I put new tires and tubes on my bike and replaced my aerobars with sturdier ones, so I feel a little safer on the bike, too.

    Sept 18 I’ve got the Kiawah Olympic Tri. That will be a fun break. I just hope a hurricane doesn’t mess it up.

    Keep the blogs coming! And I’m really glad that you actually took a day off. Hey, you’re almost human!

    • Dad says:

      Anne, thanks for your commentary…always a bright spot in my day

      …sometimes the greatest joy that I get from a workout is downloading and looking at the ‘numbers’ from my power meter or heart rate monitor or ‘Swimsense’…at least some feeling of accomplishment along the way

      …8 weeks is a pretty short time…will be great to see you this year in Florida and get it done 🙂

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