Monday, March 27, 2006

Week 6 Progress Report

Monday: I had serious problems with my run. I ended up doing a walk run for 25 minutes (1.6 miles) and felt very discouraged, but I figured that most likely I was overtraining and was not overly concerned about a medical issue.

Tuesday: Because if the problems on Monday, I took a rest day and I think this was the best thing I could have done. I felt a lot better, and my heart rate monitor showed a dramatic drop in my resting heart rate. I think this confirmed that I really needed some recovery time. I had been thinking about whether I can afford a weekly rest day. I think this proves that I cannot afford not to have one.

Wednesday: Swam 1500 meters at an easy pace. I was hesitant to push it, seeing how my doctor still wants me to see a cardiologist, but I felt great afterwards. My confidence was slowly restored.

Thursday: Spinning for 40 minutes at an easy pace. This was at a really low heart rate so it was not much in the way of exertion. Even so it was still really uncomfortable because I didn't have my cycling shorts and I couldn't get the spin bike configured the way I like. I was also learning about all the muscles I haven't been using while running and swimming.

Friday: Swam 1500 meters, with a few sprints thrown in. I started to do some kick-flips. I am very awkward at kick-flips, but I figure the only way I will get better is to start doing them. My apologies to those in the lanes next to me.

Saturday: Easy pace run for 65 minutes, 4.3 miles. I kept my heart rate at about 85% for most of the run. It was a lot slower than I expected, but I like the fact that I could keep the pace up for an hour.

Sunday: Bike ride, moderate exertion for 1 hour, 35 minutes (15.8 miles). This was my first real bike ride in a few years. It took me a while to get my bike ready. Every inch needed some deep cleaning. The tires were flat, but in good condition. My compressor died on my while filling my front tire. I was able to fill the rear with a CO2 cartridge, but I definitely need to get a good bike pump. I really liked the electric one that I had, because it could pump up the tires for your car or an air mattress really quick, but I'm not sure that I want to buy another one if it will die just pumping a bike tire up to 120psi.

My bike chain needs degreasing, but I did not have time to do it. I think the hubs probably need to be repacked as well. I also added on the speed and cadence sensors that work with my Polar S625x heart rate monitor, but so far I have not been able to get the cadence sensor to work. I have heard that there is a fix for the cadence sensor, but it involves taking the thing apart.

Of course, all this work on my bike has made me think about the few additional things that I need to get for my bike. I really want to get some clipless pedals, but I'm not sure what kind to get. It can be a complicated proposition because you do not just buy the pedal. You also have to get a shoe that will accept the cleat for the petal. I really like the Shimano TR2 Triathlon shoe, but it only has a three hole pattern that will accept Look type cleats. I wouldn't mind getting a pair of Look pedals, but the spin bikes at my gym only have SPD pedals. On days where I cannot get out and ride, at least I could spin at the gym in the mornings before or after work. SPD petals also have the advantage of being dual sided, and you can get shoes where the cleat is recessed into the sole, which makes it easier to walk around in them. Then again, I really do not like the spin bikes at my gym. Why should I buy a shoe to match a bike I do not even like. Plus, the only shoes I like so far that will fit an SPD cleat are Sidi, but if I go that way I cannot afford the tri shoes, because they are almost two hundred dollars. SpeedPlays seem nice too, but I do not even know what kind of shoe they will fit. Do you see my problem?

I definitely could use some upgrades for comfort on my bike as well, especially with the super stiff aluminum frame that I have. I could use a new saddle. My saddle is just too hard, so I want to get one with gel in it. I also definitely need to get some new tape for my handlebars. Right now, I just have strips of vinyl on my handlebars, and it is very hard on my hands. In fact I really want to get a whole new set of handlebars, but I really do not know what to get. Bike parts are really expensive, and often you need to try them out to really know if they will work for you. I cannot afford to keep buying the same parts over again, looking for something that will work. So I keep the same old stuff that I know I do not like.

Here are my totals for the week:
Swam 3000 meters
Biked 2.25 hours
Ran 5.9 miles

Which brings me to a total of:
Running: 63.37 miles
Swimming: 9700 meters
Cycling: 2.25 hours

I have been working on a new training plan. I haven't worked out all the details, but it will give more structure to how I organize each workout within the week and allow me to have a rest day. For now it means that I train in each sport only twice each week. To compensate for the fact that I will have fewer training sessions I will try to make them longer. Here is the plan for next week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim 1700 meters
Wednesday: Spin 60 minutes (hard pace)
Thursday: Run 70 minutes (easy pace)
Friday: Swim 1700 meters
Saturday: Bike Ride 120 minutes (easy pace)
Sunday: Run 60 minutes (hard intervals)

I am continuing to lose pounds, but very slowly; too slowly, in fact. This past week I made deeper cuts in my calories, and I have had some reward for my efforts. I think cycling will help in this area, because with all the time on the bike you can really burn massive amounts of calories. Here are my current weight stats:

Weight: 253.0 lbs. (down from 264)
Body Fat: 35% (down from 39%)

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Anonymous Dan Field said...

Speakink of weekly totals, it looks like maybe you should also be tracking all the dollar$ you spend on this project! Don't get me wrong, getting into shape is a priceless investment for your health and your family. It does sound like prepping for a triathlon is requiring quite a few specialized purchases, and I'm courious how much these are all adding up to, if you care to share.

I'm relieved to hear that your stress test came out well. You didn't tell the doctor ahead of time that you wanted to get some specific information out of the stress test? Or was he afraid to be associated with giving you some peak numbers in case you had problems down the road? Maybe you can pick a cardiologist who will agree ahead of time to help you calculate these values. Interview them beforehand!

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it has the potential to be a lot of money. I have a bad habit of starting things and then not finishing, so I would hate to spend money on stuff and then not use it. For example, for my first ride I found a pair of brand new bike shorts that I had purchased the last time I was on a bike kick, but I quit before I ever had a chance to wear them.

But I already have most of the equipment that I need. So far all I have spent has been for my new heart rate monitor which was around $330 (with candence and speed sensors, carrying case and bike mount) and a set of bike rollers for $90. The bike stuff adds up fast. New pedals could be around $50-80, and new shoes will be around $100. New bars may be $100-200. And of course there are an endless number of assesories, clothing and gizmos to buy. Other stuff may wear out, like my bike tires ($90 for a set) or running shoes ($100). I'm doing my best to hold down costs and not buy what I do not need, with the glaring exception of my hr monitor. But I did get a large discount off of retail and I think over all it has been helpful to my training. So I think it is worth it.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Slow and steady wins the race. Just keep enjoying yourself, think about what you have done and not what you have yet to do. Remember that it really does get easier with time.

BTW, I agree that the pulse monitor is an essential purchase. Seeing long term improvements on your PC will help your motivation.

Best of luck.

6:35 AM  

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