Today was a decent training day…not too hard…not too easy. It helped that it was 75 degrees outside. I swam 2000 this morning as:
2 x 250
5 x 100
2 x 250
After my swim I spent some much needed time stretching. I stretched for around 30 minutes. Felt great.
During lunch I ran up “The Mountain” with Bruce. The mountain is a 9% grade for 1 mile – pretty tough. The entire run took 35 minutes with an average HR of 170. My hr pegged out at 188. I probably could have pushed it to 190 or more, but chose not to try. Not a bad effort for our first trip up the mountain of the season. We’ll do it every other week as a way to build strength and earn some “free speed”. Hill training is a great way to build the muscles that allow you to run fast without actually having to run fast during training (although we do alot of that too).
Here’s a pic of me and my lifelong friend Moebes (we’ve known each other since we were 10 – 25 years!) last week after Dave Ramsey’s certified counselor training. I have a pic from ’92 of us that looks identical to this one except we’re wearing our wrestling team warmups instead.
This has been a great, but looong week. We do Dave Ramsey Certified Counselor Training (I promote and fill it up) every 6 weeks. We have 55 people in town this week including my buddy Moebes. We go about 12 hours a day from Tuesday-Saturday; lots of stuff to teach people who are going to have the chance to change lives. I’ve tried to squeeze training in where I could this week. I knocked out 4000 yards in the pool between Monday and Tuesday. I’ve also gotten a couple of runs in. I did my first “mile repeats” of the season in today. I kept it conservative and did just 2 of them.
I did a warm up mile at 7:50. The first true “mile repeat” of the season clocked in at 6:15 into a pretty vicious headwind (in one direction at least). Not bad, but not where it will be by late spring. That wasn’t wide up, but rather the pace I think I could sustain for 5k or so. The second mile ended up being 6:35. My pacing isn’t great yet obviously. I should have done that first one in 6:20 or so and then the same for the second one. One thing is for sure….OUCH!!!!
Seems I’m spending alot of time apologizing for the lag between posts lately, but . . . sorry, I’ve been busy.
Chugging away at my training. I’m still swim focused right now and will likely shift over to a cycling focus in the next week or two before shifting to some run focus as summer approaches. I’m going to try to periodize my trianing by sport this year. This winter I’m training like a swimmer and cross training with some time on the bike and some run time. I’ll shift and start training like a cyclist with some cross training in the pool and on the run…and so forth until I shift to a more balanced training plan in the heat of the summer.
Here are some cute new pics of the kids:
Mama said knock you out!
the little Cherub looking as angelic as ever
Izzy enjoying the first and probably last snow fall of the year
I’m still taking it easy, trying to fend off a cold. I swam 1500 this morning as:
2 x 250
5 x 100
10 x 50
I ran for 30 minutes during lunch at 158 average heart rate. I think I’m gonna take tomorrow off. I’m feeling crummy and I need some rest before a big week at work next week.
I’ve become addicted to TWITTER since getting my new iphone.
I’m sure I’ll be twittering all sorts of instant updates from my bike rides in the coming months, complete with pictures. Very cool technology.
Sorry, no new posts lately. Busy Busy.
Here’s what the last few days have looked like on the training front:
Sat: 2 hour ride at 149 average HR
Mon: Run 30 minutes (30/30/60 x4) workout with fast portions at 6:15 pace / ez portions at 8:30 pace.
Tues: Swim 2000 (1500 straight time trial in 22:03)
I love that 30/30/60 workout. This time I warmed up for 5 minutes then went into 4 repeats of that sequence. Do it like this:
30 sec FAST
30 sec Easy
60 sec FAST
repeat the sequence as many time as appropriate for the time of year. Right now that was 4 times for me.
I was pretty pleased with that 22:03 considering its only February. I wasn’t sure if I could even make it 1500 without stopping so I went at a very moderate pace. I probably could have taken :30-1:00 off of that time. My goal by June is to swim 1500 in 20:00 or less.
I finalized a new sponsorship for the season yesterday with a cool product called “Stuffitts“. I’ve been using them for about 6 months now and am a big believer in the product. Here’s a blurb from the stuffitts site:
Moisture is your shoes’ worst enemy – making them wet and smelly. Simply place these soft, foot-shaped forms in your shoes after work or work-outs to eliminate wetness. The pure cedar filling starts absorbing moisture in minutes and renews your shoes. Use them every day to keep your shoes in work-ready, race-ready, every day life-ready condition!
Here I am on their “sponsored athletes page (you might have to click on “sponsored athletes). That’s some pretty fast company there so I’m very honored to be a part of that team.
Stuffitts joins my long term sponsors!
Cambell Station Chiropractic
Franklin/Nashville Bicycle Co.
I’m enjoying a nice reduced training week. I’m chomping at the bit to start training hard again next week though. That’s the way an easy week is supposed to make you feel.
I had a nice comfortable 45 minute run on the treadmill out in the garage this morning. Average HR was 157 (low zone 2). I averaged a 7:45 which is still slow, but it felt very comfortable (ala zone 2 the whole way). The goal is to get back a 6:15 pace for 5k and a 6:45 for 10k by summer. It’ll happen; I can feel it already. I’m training with a chip on my shoulder these days, so I’m trying to restrain that energy until I’m fit enough to unleash my anger on my own training schedule and eventually in races.
I had a great shuffle going this morning on my old school nano. Among the highlights were: Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi, Satin in a Coffin by Modest Mouse, New Year’s Day by u2, and If You Fear Dying (Then You’re Already Dead) by One Day as a Lion.
While reading tonight I came across a passage I like, and I can identify with these days, in “Every Second Counts” by Lance Armstrong. Enjoy:
“Suffering, I was beginning to think, was essential to a good life, and as inextricable from such a life as bliss. It’s a great enhancer. It might last a minute, or a month, but eventually it subsides, and when it does, something else takes its place, and maybe that thing is a greater space. For happiness. Each time I encountered suffering, I believed that I grew, and further defined my capacities – not just my physical ones, but my interior ones as well, for contentment, friendship, or any other human experience. The real reward for pain is this: self knowledge”
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Bon Jovi, Chad Nikazy, cycling, exercise, Fitness, Lance Armstrong, Modest Mouse, running, swimming, triathlon, U2
Sorry for the delay in posting last weekends ride pics. These are from a 2:30 long ride through Theta and Leipers Fork.
The base of the Les Robinson climb into Theta
a little less than half way up the same climb
following Brett down one of the slower descents out of Theta
As for today; I ran 45 minutes this morning at 159 average HR. I’m getting stir crazy doing all of this easy base training. I’m ready to RUN and stop jogging!
Bonus picture! Spidergirl at the kitchen table apparently working on her pre-K workbook. She sat this way for about an hour.
Sorry no new posts lately. Max was in the hospital again last weekend, so things have been crazy. Izzy went to Columbia to stay and Kate went to Hendersonville. Karen and spent days (and nights) at Vanderbilt with Max. He’s okay now and we’ll soon have both of our girls home as well. I did manage to train some, but that’s inconsiquential.
Here’s an old post from my other blog that I came across. I like it, so I’ll share it again (is it weird to quote yourself?):
“You gotta have confidence. The question is, what are you putting your confidence in: your own ability? And what do you believe about your ability? Do you believe you’ve done something to deserve it? Or is it a gift? I believe I have a gift from God. But then I also have to train really, really hard. So I see it as being a good steward of the gift God’s given me…it’s my obligation to God to develop this talent the best I can. So, I try and make that my focus rather than wanting to beat people. Not that it’s not fun to win, because it is…I think part of it too is just being content with whatever the Lord has for my life.”
-Ryan Hall as told to Runners World magazine
Good stuff, Ryan. I agree 100%. Although I’m not personally anywhere close to Ryan’s ability I feel the same way when I don’t want to get out of bed at 5:00 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings to ride or run. That little voice in my head telling me to get up is my gift. All of us have our own gift. Make sure you’re true to yours.
I’m a little under the weather from the stress we’ve been through lately – and I probably have whatever put Max in Vanderbilt. I’m motivated by reading my old training blog though. I’m capable of kicking some butt when I train. If you’re interested in those old blogs you can find them on Topstepfitness.com under “TS Blog” and “TS Blog Archive”.
I run for 30 minutes this morning at a 145 average HR then swam 1500 as 500 swim / 5 x 100 swim / 10 x 50 swim. I cut back my distances this week because I realize that external stress and a building training schedule don’t mix. I’m hoping to ditch the stress and the illness soon so I can “train like a madman” soon.
Thursday morning I cranked out another 2500 yards. I’m logging more yardage in the pool these days than I have since the summer of 2006. I used to overtrain my swim. Once I realized that I went the opposite direction and started only logging 1000-3000 yards in an entire month! I put 13,000+ yards in the pool in January and will exceed that this month. Swimming is the single sport of the three that I’m the most “naturally talented” in. I still don’t feel like I need to log endless yards in order to be among the top 5% swimmers at most races, but I do feel like it’s a good way to rebuild a base early in the season.
Now, for the story of the tortoise (weird word). I stopped training by heart rate a few years ago and decided to keep it old school by training by “feel” instead. Awhile back I had my VO2 max tested and my training zones set for me by my late friend Jon and his business partner Barry. This season I decided I would get back to letting science dictate my training. The early base building season is best suited for easy zone 1 and 2 training. For me, that means keeping my heart rate under 155 beats per minute on the run (and 142 on the bike). When I first started wearing the monitor again I soon realized that most of my running is done in the mid to high 160s…often in the 170s. Those heart rates don’t feel that difficult, but the simple truth is that for the early season it’s just too fast. You have to build an aerobic base to build your speed upon later. Today I had a 60 minute run to get in. I decided I would keep my heart rate in zone 2. Unfortunately that meant running a 9:25 pace the entire way. Trust me, it wasn’t easy. I would have rather run a 7:00 pace the entire. It’s just tough to run that slow when you’re not used to it. My race pace is still 6:15 or so, but for now on my “long” runs I’ll be a slave to my monitor and keep it slow…real slow…like a turtle…or a tortoise.
I was scheduled to only lift weights today, but I woke up a bit too early this morning. Since I was up I decided to go ahead and knock out tomorrow’s scheduled 30 minute run, so that I can focus on a good quality swim tomorrow.
I decided to go and run on Bill’s treadmill. I’m paying more attention to my heart rate zones this season as I’m hoping to have a good year. Here’s what I did (all at 1% incline):
10 minutes at 8:30 pace
5 minutes at 7:00 pace
5 minutes at 8:30 pace
5 minutes at 7:00 pace
5 minutes at 9:00 pace
During that second 5 minutes at 7:00 I hit 186 heart rate. That’s zone 4 (of 5) for me while running. I reached zone 4 while doing a bike time trial a couple of weeks ago, but this marks my first time this season in zone 4 while running. Honestly, it’s a little too soon for zone 4 and 5 training, so I need to back it down a bit. I was a little disappointed that I hit 186 while running what used to be an easy 7:00 pace. I should be running 6:00 pace in high zone 4 by late spring.
Tomorrow I’m scheduled for 2500 in the pool. Friday I’ll run 1:00-1:15. My plan is to stay zone 2 throughout (146-155bpm).
Off of the training subject, I’ve been listening the song “Isabelle” repeatedly lately. Great song by a great Charleston, SC band – The Blue Dogs. Check ‘um out.
I love the Silversun Pickups. They remind of everything that used to be pure and innocent about the Smashing Pumpkins in the beginning. Their latest critically acclaimed album Carnavas is everywhere and deservedly so. It rocks.
My buddy BT forwarded this article to me today though. I gotta be honest, at first I thought “yes! a new album!”, but then I thought more about what the article had to say. It sounds like the gang are planning to go big and try some new things – things that sound like the downfall of the Smashing Pumpkins. For a follow up album I’d rather they opt for the safe route and record some more songs that sound like Carnavas. Let’s hope the new one doesn’t “jump the shark”.
For now, here’s one of the early gems to enjoy:
CLICK HERE for their hit single.
I cranked out 2500 yards in the pool this morning with no ill effects. I’m rounding back into swim shape nicely.
Sunrise in Spring Hill prior to a cold Saturday ride
It was a nice weekend for being on the bike – 60 degrees temps in February. Brett and I took advantage of the temps on Saturday by riding mid-day. We went just shy of 2 hours at a 15mph average. My average HR was 142. It’s funny how the body can forgot what going 2 plus hours feels like. I’ve done plenty of 4-8 hour rides, but this time of year your body feels like it’s been 4-8 when it’s only been 2. I’ll get there eventually.
Sunday we went at sunrise so we didn’t get to enjoy the 65 degree weather. Instead it was 34. We only went for an hour though. Later in the day I was able to sneak out for a 30 minute run in the nice weather. I pushed a little on this run and averaged 169 on the heart rate monitor. That’s still below lactate threshold.
It’s been a trying few months. As most of you know Karen, Max, and Kate spent months in the hospital. I also buried a friend a few weeks ago – much too young. Yesterday we attended the funeral of a 6 year old girl. Somehow I’ve managed not to shed a single tear through everything we’ve been through. I’ve bit my lip and managed. When Karen and I walked into the funeral on Sunday afternoon I looked at all of the pictures of the little girl and lost it. I ran outside and around the building so that no one would see me “coming apart.” For some reason, that was the moment when I finally broke down. It didn’t last long. This little girl was very sick and is much better off in heaven where she has a new body and can be with God.
I gave my kids a big hug when we got home. Here are some new pics!
Izzy in a new outfit
Max watching the superbowl
Kate’s version of “enjoying the superbowl”
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This morning was one of those workouts when I wished I had just rolled over and stayed in bed. I was running a little behind schedule so I decided to shorten my run from 7.5 miles down to 4.8. That particular route normally takes me about 36 minutes to cover. This morning? 44 minutes! I haven’t been feeling great and didn’t eat much yesterday.
Average HR was 167 even at that slow pace. Somethings not right.
“you’re not getting sick. you’re not getting sick. you’re not getting sick.”
It wasn’t a great morning. To remedy that I blasted Uncle Tupelo’s “No Depression” (thanks CT) on my way in to work.
I started the day with a 30 minute treadmill run at a very moderate pace. I’m trying to get back to training by heart rate, so I stayed well below my lactate threshold throughout since I’m still 5 months away from my race season.
I ran 30 minutes at an average HR of 157. Somewhere in there I peaked at 182 (still below LT).
I followed my run with a little lifting: 1 set of flat bench press with 50lb dumbbells x 15 reps, seated cable rows with rope handle x 15 w/ 130lbs, 10 pull ups, 10 commando pullups, 10 burpees.
I ate a Hammer Gel (rasberry) and hit the pool. I only had time for 1500 this morning.
8 x 50 on 1:00
2 x 100 pull on :20 rest
8 x 50 on 1:00
2 x 250
On my way to work I heard Zephry Song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. RHCP always makes me think of L.A. and summertime. It was immediately followed by a Doors song that I’ve forgotten the title to. It was one of those were Jim recites poetry instead of singing “I wanna tell you about Texas radio and the big beat…”. The song reminded me of the giant wall size poster that adorned the front wall in my last college apartment. My roommates and I would “ask Jim” when we were confused about something or deciding upon something by taping hand written questions on the poster. It was eventually nearly covered with notes. They were always funny to read the next day and most of them didn’t quite make sense. I can’t imagine why.
Here’s that poster:
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Chad Nikazy, cycling, exercise, Fitness, Jim Morrison, Red Hot Chili Peppers, running, swimming, The Doors, training, triathlon
Last night I decided to shave my head. It’s been a year or so since I’ve buzzed it all the way down to a 2 guard all over. That’s usually my summer look and has normally signified a “flipping of the switch” when I’m ready to start training hard again. I’m pretty focused on this triathlon season for the first time in years. I’ll share reasons another time.
After I cut my hair last night Karen walked in and said “have you gone more grey?” Not exactly what I wanted to hear considering I thought cutting my hair shorter would show less grey. Truth is, it was a tough 2008 and I have gone more grey. It’s also thinned more on top. I leaned down and saw the truth; there is a visible “George Jefferson” hairline just below the surface. Crap! Izzy then walked in and saw me. Her eyes said it all. She was horrified. I asked her if she liked it. Her response with a chuckle was simply “No.” Later she backed off a little and said it was “a little wild and crazy, but she wants it to be longer like a prince’s again.” The good news is that it’ll grow.
It also dawned on me this morning how stubborn I can be when it comes to training. I was up last night with Max from 3-4am because he was wide awake. For an hour I just sat in the dark with my son on my knee until he finally started yawning. While I sat there I thought the smart thing to do would be to skip my morning swim and run combo. At 5:30am I was giving Max and Kate a bottle thinking the same thing. Karen gets up with the babies 95% of the time, so when it’s my time I should just committ to that and not worry about what my training plan says.
Here’s the stubborn/stupid part: at 7:00am I was in the pool cranking out 2000 yards a little upset that I wasn’t going to get my run in before work. The truth is though, I’m not a triathlete; I’m a competitive triathlete. I do it to win so I push forward when I should pull back sometimes. At any rate, here are todays swim details:
||8 x 50yd Freestyle Swim (even pace), rest 0:15 / 50yd
||1 x 25yd Single Arm (arm by side) 6 x left, 6 x right, 6 x full stroke, rest 0:10 / 25yd
||1 x 25yd Streamline Kicking, rest 0:10 / 25yd
||6 x 200yd Freestyle Pull with a pull buoy, rest 0:30 / 200yd
||1 x 50yd Freestyle Push & Glide, rest 0:15 / 50yd
||1 x 50yd Freestyle Easy, rest 0:15 / 50yd
This weekend was a pretty typical January training weekend – cold, grey, and fairly easy (other than the hard part of dragging myself out into the cold).
Saturday – I ran 45 minutes nice and easy early in the a.m. This was a step back week. Next week I ramp back up to a 1:00 long run and continue building.
Sunday – Brett and I planned a 4.3 mile bike time trial on Thompson Station road. It’s a winding and rolling road, but is very lightly traveled, so it’s perfect to a TT. The weather was cold and the wind was blowing a bit. Brett started 2 minutes in front of me so that we couldn’t use each other as pacers or as motivation. I realized early in the TT that my fitness isn’t quite there yet. I was breathing hard. I glanced at my HR monitor and saw 180 which is about equivalent to 190 while running (running HR tends to be about 10 beats per minute faster than cycling HR).
My final results were:
19.25 mph average
179 average heart rate (approx lactate thresold).
I did the same time trail a year ago January and it looked like this:
21.79 mph average
174 average Heart rate
Last January I think I was still reaping the benefits of the hard mountain training and riding I did the in fall of 2007. Total ride time for Sunday was 1:30 including warm up, TT, and cool down.
I’ll get back there eventually.
I attended the visitation for a good friend last night. Today I’ll attend the funeral. Several of us will follow on the funeral processional on our bikes. He would have loved that. He was a father, husband, and friend. He’s gone way too soon. See you on the other side, Jon. Here’s your M-dot; you earned it Ironman.
I train in 4 week increments, going hard/building for 3 weeks and then taking a 1 week break during which I scale my workouts back to about half the normal duration. This week is my scale back week. Good timing as I have alot going on this week.
I did get a short swim in this morning. Here you go:
||2 x 100yd Any Stroke (even pace), rest 0:15 / 100yd
||8 x 50yd Single Arm with fins (arm out front) 6 x left, 6 x right, 6 x full stroke, rest 0:15 / 50yd
||4 x 50yd Freestyle Swim, target time 00:36 / 50yd, rest 0:15 / 50yd
||4 x 100yd Freestyle Swim, target time 01:10 / 100yd, rest 0:20 / 100yd
||2 x 200yd Freestyle Swim, target time 02:20 / 200yd, rest 0:30 / 200yd
I did my normal run focus / swim this morning. I couldn’t help thinking about my friend Jon throughout. More on that as it becomes appropriate. Here’s what I did:
15 minutes at 8:34 pace
3 minutes at 6:40 pace
3 minutes at 8:34 pace
2 minutes at 6:40
2 minutes at 8:34
1 minute at 6:40
4 minutes at 8:34
30 minutes total
(250 swim / 100 kick / 100 pull / 50 back-breast) x 2
5 x 100
I was supposed to get up early and run 11 miles with Bo, but the cold and the sleep deprevation of being up all night with the twins caused that not to happen on Saturday. I eventually set out for a run at about 3:00, but needed to be home by 4:00 so Karen could go get Izzy from a birthday party. It was lightly drizzling rain and the wind was gusting. Here’s what I settled for:
7 miles – 55 minutes
This morning I met Brett at 6:30am for a short ride. It wasn’t nearly as cold this morning as it was yesterday. Brett’s fancy bike computer said it was 34 degrees. I took a decent picture of a nice red/orange sunrise before we set out. I’ll post that here when the batteries charge. Here’s what we did:
1 hour 20 minutes at just under 15mph average.
Pretty lame effort, but we’re being cogniscent that this is January and not April or May. We’re still just riding a “chatting” pace. We’re planning a time trial for next weekend to establish a base line for our cycling fitness for the season. That should be interesting.
This blogging thing is tricky. I often find myself really “reaching” for things to blog about. I’ve decided that I’ll just talk about what I know on most days. That said, I’ve decided to blog my daily workouts here as I lead up to the 2009 triathlon season. I’ve been training pretty consistantly for about a month now.
Tuesdays and Thursdays at this point are swim/run combo days. I usually make Tuesday a run focus with an easy swim and Thursday is a swim focus with an easy run. Whichever workout is the “focus” that day comes first. I’m still in the “Prep” (preparing to train to train hard later) phase of my plan, so there is very little really fast training happening.
Here’s todays workout – started at 6:15am at the Brentwood Indoor Sports Complex (best swim facility I’ve ever trained in):
||8 x 50yd Any Stroke (even pace), rest 0:15 / 50yd
||1 x 50yd Freestyle Kick with fins (25yd Easy, 25yd Effort), rest 0:15 / 50yd
||1 x 50yd Freestyle Breathe and Kick with fins, rest 0:15 / 50yd
||8 x 50yd Freestyle Swim, leave on 00:50 / 50yd
||2 x 100yd Freestyle Pull with a pull buoy, rest 0:20 / 100yd
||8 x 50yd Freestyle Swim, leave on 00:46 / 50yd
||1 x 200yd Freestyle Swim, rest 0:30 / 200yd
||1 x 100yd Freestyle Push & Glide, rest 0:20 / 100yd
||1 x 100yd Freestyle Easy, rest 0:20 / 100yd
I changed clothes, ate a Hammer Gel (Vanilla), filled my water bottle back up and hit the treadmill for an easy workout:
10 minutes at 8:30 pace
15 minutes at 8:00 pace
* Music: forgot my ipod today, but the last things I heard before starting the workout was Interpol’s “Our Love to Admire” album.
I’ve had a wild 4 months. It put things back into perspective for me and helped me realize that I’m not the exercise addict that I often wonder if I am. I can, when necessary, just let it go. After 3 really down volume months I’m ready to start training hard again for the running, cycling, and tri season – who knows – I might continue to feel this MMA bug digging at me too. I stayed pretty active in the weight room through it all, but the tri training really suffered. Here’s what my 2008 has looked like so far. The hours trained in all three sports are down from 2007. The most alarming are probably the swim yardage. I used to overtrain my swim, but this year I’ve gone the other direction I’m afraid by not training enough. Column one represent cycling hour by month, column two is running hours, column three is swim yardage. Despite this weak effort I still won my “A” race at Old Hickory Lake. Here’s to a stronger 2009!
I love Pearl Izumi’s current ad campaign. I came across this ad last night in Runners World:
IF YOU RAN WITHOUT SACRIFICE, CONGRATULATIONS. YOU JUST JOGGED. Running hurts. It always has. Woolly mammoths didn’t just roll over onto a plate and serve themselves up to prehistoric man with fries and a shake. They had to be caught – and running down woolly mammoths was a bitch. Guess what? Running is still a bitch. But one with a purpose. It teaches us that good things do not come easy. It teaches us that hard work will be rewarded and laziness will be punished. Don’t expect to learn those life lessons from running’s shiftless stepchild; jogging. Next time you suffer on the roads or trails, suffer proudly. It means you run like an animal.