Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Of Key Workouts, Speed Recovery and Weddings

1st Run Leg @
Escape the Cape
Elle: So we took a little break after some big weeks of almost back-to-back races. The season is in full swing, folks!
And I just got my pics from 'Escape the Capes' so I threw this one in here. I like it because I'm not touching the ground. Just floatin' along...

Webb: By "a little break" she means we abandoned our plan to train for 12.5 hours last week. Pretty early into the week it was clear that was not going to happen. We were both feeling a little bit too fatigued. Throw in our friend's wedding and we decided to focus on key workouts.

Bike: Roads to Glory/The Long Scream
Webb:  I did this one solo. I was at the office late and by the time I arrived home I really wasn't feeling like doing anything other than shutting down in front of the TV. Which I did. We've all had those days. At some point though I was struck with the idea to do "The Roads to Glory" video followed by's "Extra Shot: The Long Scream." That motivated me to get the turbo out, set the bike up and get my arse in the saddle.

"Roads to Glory" is a great workout to do as an hour base session, if you are disciplined. It is better as a hill interval session to do some Zone 3 and maybe even some Zone 4 work. My plan was to keep the intervals in Zone 3 to work on my muscular endurance and not kill myself. (That would be's job.) For some reason I can absolutely settle into these hill intervals, slogging away at a lower RPM, and the time just scoots along.

As soon as the video was over, I switched over to "The Long Scream." We have not done this video yet - and Elle still hasn't. It is a 30-minute time trial session designed to be done as an add-on to any Sufferfest workout of your choice. Of course like all Sufferfest workouts there is official UCI footage of you following/chasing some of the world's best time trialists. Were you thinking of Tony Martin? How about Cancellara? Yep they are there. And so is Taylor Phinney and JackyBobby. You are schooled in the lessons of time trials with a final test at the end, when you have to dig deep, very deep. At the 20-minute mark I wondered if I had enough to finish. At 25-minutes, I thought, "What the hell, I've made it this far." At 28-minutes, it was the ol' standby motivator, "Anyone can do anything for 2-minutes!" As much as I suffered, I was never going to quit. Why? The Dictator of Sufferlandria knows my thoughts and pain before I do and knows what I can take. And he knows I will obey no matter what he puts on the screen.

Run: Long run
Elle: The old standby, a nice, long run (7.68 miles) along the Charles River. Probably a little too fast (8:15 average pace-per-mile), but sometimes you just gotta let it out.

Swim: Pool Swim
A nice, chill swim workout, especially good for when you don't feel like going to the pool.
W/U: 200m
Drills: 2 x [4 x 50m as 25drill/25swim]
Main Set #1: 6 x 50m DPS (on 1:30)
Main Set #2: 4 x 200m pull buoy (:20)
C/D: 300m
total: 2000m

Elle: I really feel like I'm getting better every time I get in the pool. My swim was soooooo bad, that I really only had one direction to go - it was pretty frustrating on race day when I'd come in top 3 on the run, top 3 on the bike, and the back half on the swim. So I've really been working on it. This is a good workout, especially the DPS set. On the video that Webb took I saw that I had zero glide - being able to see myself swim and what I'm doing wrong really helped. So now I'm focusing on that, and I think it's made a difference. Now if only I could figure out how to maintain a high elbow...

Webb: You might think the real main set of this swim workout was the pull set. Wrong! The cornerstone has to be the distance-per-stroke (DPS) intervals. It is one part drill and one part hypoxic hell. By trying to keep your stroke count low, you learn how to be more balanced in the water to lengthen your glide. Well guess what? Part of finding balance (and improving your hydrodynamic profile) is to breathe less than you normally would. This leaves you breathing like a late night prank caller. We'll be doing this drill ... <erm> set more often.

Run: SEAC speed work @ the track
W/U: 1.5 mile run (to the track)
Set #1: 2x 300m (one 100m walking recovery)
Set #2: 2x 200m (one 200m jogging recovery)
Set #3: 2x150m (one 150m walking recovery)
Drills: The usual: lunges, lower-leg drive, bounding, etc.
Set #2: 600m of jog the turns, stride the straight-aways
C/D: 1.5 mile run (back to the store)

Webb: Once we arrived at the track Dan previewed the evening's effort as a "true speed workout." I raised an eyebrow. Once I heard "for recovery, walk ..." after the 300m, I knew it was going to be tough. I don't know what was harder, the efforts followed by walking or the middle 200s with jog recoveries. What I reeaallyy liked about this workout, is that there was nowhere to hide. Since you get to walk the recoveries, you know you have to give it hell, even the 300s. Plus the 150s are so short and you are almost done, there is no reason not to leave everything on the track. Gawd I loved it.

Elle: So I had trouble 'leaving everything on the track'. I worked hard, but not as hard as I should have. Dammit. That's it, I really have to make a change here and stop saving myself on these speed workouts. I want to look like Webb when I'm done (about to die). That is what I'm going to work on this summer.

The good news is that SEAC was having a huge sale, so after the workout there was a full-on shopping frenzy. Runners buying up apparel and shoes left and right. It was all very exciting. One of my purchases, CW-X compression shorts, I got for over 50% off. Yeehaw.

Webb: After hanging out at the store with everyone, we went to the Parish Cafe to grab a bite and some pints with Dan, where we proceeded, in his words, to "argue about how we agree on everything." Well put! (Teaser for next week: A workout was born out of just such a ... dispute? ... agreement? ... conversation!)

Elle: The people at USA1 XX2i sunglasses sent us their combo pack to test and review. The combo pack comes with 2 sunglasses, one black frame, one tortoise frame, 3 additional sets of lenses and a case. Sweet! Webb went for the tortoise/brown frames, and I tried the black ones, but they both look good. Since they are unisex, we can share them. Out of the box they work well for both running and cycling - the big test for me is whether they will fit when I have my bike helmet on, which is key. I did have trouble swapping out the lenses, so I had to have Webb do that. More testing of the new glasses and a full review to come.

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