Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 27: Review

As predicted, this week was incredibly hot and gave me my first real taste of running/cycling under sustained high temperatures this season. While I was doing a good deal of running last summer, I was only training for a half marathon at the time so I wasn't doing the volume or intensity that I am now. As such, I was burning through Gatorade and water to fight my way through all of the planned sessions.

Cycling isn't too bad in this weather, as at the speeds one travels there is a pretty healthy wind to evaporate the sweat and help cool down the body. The only caveat is that on the really hot days (such as the 34C/60% humidity we had on Wednesday), when you inevitably come up to segments where you have to stop (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.) the heat can really hit you. It's kind of a weird feeling to dread the breaks in an exercise session, but on days like this that 30km/h headwind is the only thing keeping you going ;)

Either way, I did end up making some adjustments this week due to the conditions. The group had to do a little over 12K (~8mi) on Wednesday, so I ended up doing that rather than the 10K recovery run I was looking at. With the humidity, however, the thick air made it much more difficult than it would normally be - while we were running at a general aerobic pace (~5:00/km), my heart rate reached tempo levels in the last few kilometers. We took a couple of brief walking breaks as well, as one of our group members was having a lot more trouble than the rest of us.

I was scheduled to do a 10 miler on Thursday, but as the 8 miles done the day before were extra (Wednesday was supposed to be a rest day in Pftizinger's schedule) and it was still pretty brutal out there I figured I'd just make up the difference. As such, I took a five mile course and split it up into 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles at GA, 1 mile cooldown and then walked the final mile. The net result was to put me a little ahead of scheduled mileage for the week and I didn't have to burn myself out once again ;)

Saturday's long ride went quite well, as some rain had come through on Friday night and knocked the temperature and humidity down a bit. It was still well into the 30s with the humidity taken into account, but that was a lot better than we'd had earlier in the week. At about the 25K mark, I popped into a convenience store to resupply my fluids before it became a problem - drinking a bottle of Gatorade and refilling my depleted water bottle. Other than various traffic stops along the way, I managed to complete the entire 70K ride without any further breaks. As I took care to avoid the urban areas that have slowed me down on the last few rides, I was able to comfortably maintain a 30km/h average speed even with some pretty significant hills (cumulative ascent was over 3000 feet). This was a bit of a shorter ride than I've been doing on Saturdays, but with the first of the Marathon Pace runs the next day I didn't want to push it too hard this weekend.

As for Sunday's long run, I was dreading it a bit for most of the week. This would be the first time since Around the Bay that I've run a significant distance at this particular pace (4:45/km), so I was concerned that it would be difficult. They were also calling for significant quantities of rain, so I was concerned that that would just add to the difficulty. Fortunately, while it was pouring when I originally planned to go out the radar showed an opening that would hit at around 4pm so I elected to push it back. This worked out well, as when I headed out the rain was mostly gone (a little drizzle, but nothing significant) the sky was overcast and the temperature was a comfortable 21C.

I programmed the watch to give me a 6km warm up, which would just get me past the big hill prior to launching into the 8 mile marathon pace segment. I'd have to do that hill at pace on the way back, but hopefully by that point I'd be well into my rythum and able to push through. I kept my pace under control during this segment, and was especially careful on the climb to keep my heart rate under control. At the top of the hill I ended up hitting a stop light which gave me a bit of time to recover prior to doing the last 600 meters at recovery pace.

When the watch beeped to signal the start of the marathon pace segment, I accelerated and still felt quite good. I looked down at the readout and saw I was going at a 4:20 pace so I put on the brakes a bit and pulled myself back to the 4:45 pace I was targeting. This continued to proove difficult, and I spent a good deal of the first couple kilometers looking down at my wrist to keep myself at the right pace. Despite the yoyo pacing for the first 3K or so, however, I managed to keep my average pace in the right ballpark - averaging 4:41, 4:43 and 4:42 respectively. I was still feeling good and was partially relieved that my problem was the body wanting to go too fast rather than having to fight to speed up ;)

After that point, however, I got into a residential area where I had to pay more attention to my suroundings and couldn't monitor the watch as closely as I would have liked. The end result was that my pace continued to slip into the high 4:30s, although it stayed pretty stable there. As my heart rate was comfortably within zone 3 I didn't worry too much about it and played it by ear. I was still feeling quite good even with the faster pace, which did a lot to boost my confidence. I continued this for the next little bit until I got back to the hill.

Going down, I was careful to monitor my heart rate to make sure that I'd be able to power myself back up without having to slow down. My pace was still a bit fast, however that was more down to gravity than it was to effort ;) Once the incline started switching it became difficult to maintain pace so I decided to punch it. While it was difficult at the start, once I got up to speed it actually ended up getting a lot easier and I managed to push past the apex of the hill at a healthy 4:13 pace. Suprisingly, even with that push my HR only peaked at 176bpm (~81%) and I was still feeling pretty good. Fortunately, at this point I ran into another stop light that gave me a chance to recover a bit before finishing the last 4K of the marathon pace segment.

Once I got going I was back into the yoyo routine of trying to keep my pace where it was supposed to be. Unfortunately at this point the clouds were breaking up and the sun started shining through, so the temperature and humidity were climbing fast. Thanks to this, the last 3K of the MP segment was probably the hardest part of the run - however I managed to fight through (although it was quite a relief when the watch beeped to signal that it was over). With the hard part done, I did the last 2K of the run at a recovery pace and added a brief 400m walk at the end to help cool off.

Either way, it felt quite good to get such a strong effort in this time around and has shored up confidence in my ability to maintain the pace required for a 3:20 marathon. I have a lot of work to do in getting a feel for this particular pace, as the extra speed isn't a huge deal for an 8 mile segment but would be catastrophic for a marathon distance. That will just be a matter of more practice with it, however, as my gravity toward the 4:30 pace is likely simply because of the tempo runs that I've done over the last few weeks.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 59.2km (36.8mi)
Walking: 3.9km (2.4mi)
Cycling: 176.3km (109.5mi)
Swimming: 1.6km (1.0mi)
Total: 241.0km (149.8mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,407.3km (874.5mi)
Walking: 172.6km (107.2mi)
Cycling: 2,162.1km (1,343.5mi)
Swimming: 5.4km (3.4mi)
Total: 3,747.4km (2,328.5mi)

This upcomming week is going to be a bit tricky, as the rain is back for a good portion of the week which will mess things up a bit. Given the weather today I elected to skip the cycling session (although in retrospect I likely could have pulled it off in the morning). Wednesday is Canada day so I'll be busy with family for most of the day, so regardless of the weather there's no way I'll have time for a bike ride (and I'm not even confident I'll be able to fit in the scheduled run). Fortunately, the weekend looks like it will be good at this point so I'm going to try to load a lot of the cycling mileage at the back end of the week.

Upcoming Week:
Mon Rest
Tue 10mi (16.1K) GA
Wed 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Thurs 8mi (12.9K) GA w/4mi LT, 1.6km swim
Fri 50K Ride
Sat 100K Group Ride, 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Sun 14mi (22.5K) LSD

The other thing that I'm going to have to start looking into is getting a good pair of sunglasses for use on the bike. I've ridden through a few swarms of bugs in the last week or so, and regardless of how small they may be they make quite an impact at 30-40km/h ;) The tricky part is that cycling glasses are difficult to do right as they have a lot of constraints to deal with - they have to be small and light so they're comfortable and don't obstruct your field of vision, but they also have to be strong enough to take high-speed impacts from debris kicked up by cars/trucks. Doing a bit of digging it appears that Oakley's glasses are the best balance, however they're a bit pricey for what they are so I'm still looking around at alternatives as well. With that said, I don't mind paying a bit of a premium if they are genuinely better as it's the type of thing that could last me for a while.

In other areas, I've elected to just push on with my own training for the Triathlon. The clinic would have been helpful, but the scheduling conflict with my group rides was a big problem. Going beyond 100km is extremely difficult to do on one's own, for both safety and logistical reasons (rides of this length generally benefit from a lunch stop at the apex, and without someone to watch the bikes that's difficult to pull off). I would have liked to get some experience with simulated transitions and mass start swimming, but as I'm not really aiming to be competitive in Orillia I can work around those shortcommings.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 26: Review

This week was my first one back into the marathon training schedule, and while the individual runs were longer the total mileage was actually a bit less than last week. Naturally, there were more aggressive sessions in there as well (including my first LT run since the marathon) and it felt good to get back into the routine. Unfortunately, the weather added a bit of complexity as there was a lot of rain, so I had to move things around a bit.

While the schedule called for a rest day on Wednesday, I didn't want to miss the group session so I went out anyway. We ended up doing almost exactly 7 miles and while it was raining pretty heavily the whole time, it was actually surprisingly pleasant as the rain helped to cool things down a bit. The group was pretty fast this week, averaging a little under 5min/km with a fast spurt at around 4:20/km near the end. I had originally intended this to be a recovery run, but this worked out just as well ;)

Looking at the weather reports, however, Saturday was looking worse and worse so I was a bit worried about fitting in my cycling sessions. I had naturally missed the Wednesday session, and was likely to miss Friday as well so I really needed to get the long ride in somehow. As such, I decided to move things around a bit so that I could do the ride on Sunday when it was supposed to be clear (albeit hot). Had I simply moved the sessions back, however, that would mean five days of back-to-back running so I needed to make some more complex adjustments. Given the 7 extra GA miles I banked on Wednesday, I elected to simply add 2 GA miles to the 4 mile recovery run (moved from Saturday to Friday) and then doing my 12 mile run on Saturday morning.

Fortunately, that panned out and I was able to squeeze everything in as planned. I did do a lot of running in the rain this week, but unlike biking it doesn't really pose a safety hazard so that's not too much of a sacrifice. Naturally, this means that I hit my running target for the week but my cycling mileage was way down (120km done vs 185km planned).

Sunday's long ride went quite well, although the heat and humidity certainly upped the difficulty factor. I was busy in the morning, so I couldn't go out until nearly 3:00 - as such, the sun was shining at full bore, the temperatures were approaching 30C and the 75% humidity wasn't helping either. Fortunately, on the bike you get a built-in 30km/h wind to cool you down so other than going through a lot of water it wasn't too bad. I did hold back a bit to avoid any trouble (averaging only 29km/h vs. the 30-32km/h I usually do for this distance) which probably wasn't necessary, but I didn't want to risk anything.

While I was at it, however, I took the opportunity to check out the Aurora Running Room and ask a few questions about the Triathlon program I was looking at. I already got some great information from another blogger (who is already a participant), however I wanted to get an idea of exactly where the store was located (it ended up being about 35km), as well as getting some more detail about the schedule and how it would overlay with my existing plan. It certainly looks pretty good, but the main caveat is that the seminars are on Saturday mornings which clash with my existing group rides. I was hoping that possibly the rides in the session could replace those, however it doesn't look like they'll be hitting my current mileage any time soon. Still have to think about it a bit, as the swimming sessions would be quite useful but I also don't want to mess up my cycling training either.

The other upside to this was that I was able to top off my water bottles while I was there, so I left with an ample supply to help deal with the heat. After that, I headed south a bit for a ride around Wilcox lake and then took a bit of a circuitous route back home. I managed to get a good 50 miles (~80.5K) in this time around, and it felt quite good despite the heat and humidity I had to deal with. It's looking like the group rides will be back up and running next Saturday, and hopefully we'll be getting in some decent mileage on some new routes ;)

Weekly Totals:
Running: 53.1km (33.0mi)
Walking: 1.1km (0.7mi)
Cycling: 119.9km (74.5mi)
Swimming: 1.4km (0.9mi)
Total: 175.5km (109.1mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,348.1km (837.7mi)
Walking: 168.7km (104.8mi)
Cycling: 1,985.8km (1,233.9mi)
Swimming: 3.8km (2.4mi)
Total: 3,506.4km (2,178.8mi)

The upcoming week is looking like it will be pretty decent. While it's going to be quite hot, there isn't a lot of rain forecast so I'll likely be able to stick to the plan pretty well. I will have to make sure that I drink enough fluids, but other than that it will hopefully do a lot to get my body used to this kind of weather so that I can fight my way through the summer ;)

Upcoming Week:
Mon 50K Ride
Tue 8mi (12.9K) GA w/10x100m, 1hr Swim
Wed 30K Ride, 10K Recovery (Group)
Thurs 10mi (16.1K) GA
Fri 30K Ride
Sat 80K Group Ride, 5mi (8K) Recovery
Sun 13mi (20.9K) LSD w/8mi (12.9K) at Marathon Pace

Longer term, I also have to work on selecting some intermediate races this season to act as tune-ups for the bigger ones. The Midsummer Night's 30K in August is likely to be one of them, but I'm hoping to fit in a 10K and at least one more 5K along the way. I'm also flirting with running the half marathon again at the Scotiabank waterfront marathon, however I'll have to see how everything lines up with my training. The triathlon stuff will make these races a little more complicated, but I'll have to see what I can do ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 25: Review & New Targets

Was a pretty good week this time around, and while the weather again interfered with a few of my rides I did manage to get my first 100K ride in yesterday. As expected, it was certainly a long way and the route that I selected had a few nasty hills to make it that much more difficult. Either way, despite the fact that it took almost 3.5 hours to complete (3:29:09 to be precise, about 6 seconds longer than my marathon) it was an enjoyable ride with some pretty nice scenery. With that said, I ended up doing this ride solo (the group didn't materialize this week) and it was a bit of a concern going that far out on my own.

One thing I do have to remember for future attempts, however, is to bring some gels with me on rides like this. Fortunately I didn't have any problems this time, but my records show a consumption of over 2100kcal which is dangerously close to the limits. I saw the numbers getting up there at about the 80K mark, and as I was running low on fluids as well I made a quick stop into a convenience store and grabbed a Gatorade and a couple of cookies to help refill the tank a bit. Finding an appropriate store was a little difficult, however, as one has to worry about where to put the bike when you go in (another thing that's much easier with a group).

Due to the energy consumption of yesterday's ride, I elected to push today's 11 mile run back to the afternoon as I wanted to squeeze in another meal to make sure that my stores were sufficiently refilled. Unfortunately, today was a pretty hot day so running later in the day didn't help with that. When I set out, the thermostat was reading 29.4C with 60% humidity and as my body's still not really used to running in the heat yet that made things pretty difficult. I brought along 16oz of Gatorade, and unfortunately with the heat I ended up running out after 13K. As I approached the 10 mile mark, I elected to just cut the run short to avoid running into any problems. I did some additional mileage on Wednesday, so I'd still have more than enough to cover my weekly target.

I also managed to squeeze in my second swimming session this week which went a good deal better than last week. I'm still horribly slow, but I think I've got most of the kinks worked out so it's just a matter of building some upper body strength and a little more endurance in the pool. I'm still a long way away from being able to race in the water, but I've still got some time to work on that one ;)

Weekly Totals:
Running: 56.7km (35.2mi)
Walking: 3.2km (2.0mi)
Cycling: 142.7km (88.7mi)
Swimming: 1.3km (0.8mi)
Total: 203.9km (126.7mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,295.0km (804.7mi)
Walking: 167.6km (104.1mi)
Cycling: 1,882.9km (1,170.0mi)
Swimming: 2.4km (1.5mi)
Total: 3,347.9km (2,080.3mi)

Last week marked the end of the recovery phase of my marathon training program, so I'll be restarting the Pfitzinger 55mi/18wk program again this week. Working the rest of my activities into the schedule is going to be a bit challenging going forward, but with the mileage still relatively low that won't be a huge problem for the time being. Tentatively, my schedule will be as follows however I may need to make some adjustments depending on the weather and other logistical details.

Upcoming Week:
Mon 50K Ride
Tue 8mi (12.9K) LT w/4mi (6.4km) @15K Race Pace, 1hr Swim
Wed 30K Ride, 10K Recovery (Group)
Thurs 9mi (14.5K) GA
Fri 30K Ride
Sat 75K Group Ride, 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Sun 12mi (19.3K) LSD

When I ran my first marathon back in May, I managed to chew through my long term goal (finishing a marathon before my 30th birthday) so for the last few weeks I've been trying to figure out what goalpost to set up for the next little while. When I went into marathon training, my intention was more to get that notch into my belt and be done with it. The sheer ammount of work required to train for one of these races is daunting for someone who has never done it before (4.5 months of nearly continous training), and the thought of doing it over and over again is almost unimaginable ;)

As my training progressed, however, I found myself enjoying it and, while it was undeniably a lot of work, once you got into the routine of it it wasn't all that bad. The few short distance races that I did during my training showed marked improvements as well, so hitting all of those little mini-goals along the way helped to make it more enjoyable. When I actually ran the race and crossed that finish line below my target, however, I found myself focusing on what I could do better the next time around and wanting to give it another shot.

At the same time, after working cycling into my routine I've been tempted by the idea of playing around with giving Triathlons a shot. Over the last year and a half, I've steadily increased my targets and aimed for longer and longer distances. The marathon is about as far as I realistically want to run at this point, so aiming for bigger targets means going in a bit of a different direction. A few months ago the idea of an Ironman was pretty much insane, but at this point the concept is kind of floating around in the back of my head in much the same way that the marathon did a year ago.

Either way, after a bit of playing around with various ideas I'm likely going to split my attention a bit between achieving two different goals. In the short term, I'd like to work my way into qualifying for the Boston Marathon and I've got to shave 18:04 off of my time to get there. As such, I'm looking at targeting 3:20 at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon this fall and then, hopefully, working my way down to 3:10:59 at Mississauga next spring. Those are both pretty aggressive goals, so if I have to scale back my plans I don't mind doing that - but getting to 3:10 is not an easy goal, and one has to push pretty hard to get there.

The longer term goal is to work my way into doing some Triathlons. I'd like to attempt a short distance race later this summer to get a feel for the sport - not so much to run it competitively, but to get some experience with the transitions and see how well my body takes to it. Tentatively, I'm aiming at the try-a-tri (375m swim, 10K ride, 3K run) in Orillia in late August as the date and location work well for me. The bike and run legs are short enough that they shouldn't pose too much of a problem (even with tired legs), but the swim will require significant improvement and the transitions will likely be pretty messy the first time out.

Ultimately, I'd like to work my way up to an Ironman but thats a long ways off and will depend critically on how well the shorter races work out for me. Either way, I likely won't begin to really ramp up the triathlon side of things until the Boston goal is achieved. I hope to pull off a few short to medium distance Tris next summer to further my experience, but I won't even begin to think about the longer distance ones until I'm clear to focus 100% on them.

The tricky part at this point is to figure out how to integrate my training to accomodate both of these goals. While my running is strictly regimented by a formal training program, my cycling and swimming have simply been done by feel. If I do want to get serious about this, I'm going to have to find some sort of formal program that is flexible enough to deal with the running requirements that my primary goal will require.

The one idea that I've been flirting with is giving the Running Room's Triathlon program a shot. Their Aurora store has a clinic that started last weekend targetting the Orillia race, and their running programs did do a lot to help me when I first started out. The caveat, however, is that (a) that store is a good distance away from here and (b) I havn't really been able to find much information about how their program is structured. It has to deal with athletes with a wide range of backgrounds, and whether it can be sufficiently flexible to deal with my requirements (ie weak swimmer, relatively strong runner/cyclist).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cycling Computers: Revisited

About three months ago I was looking at various options for replacing my bike's basic cyclocomputer with something more capable. Unfortunately, things got busy after that point and I never got a chance to do much more research. After getting back on the road for a while, however, the limitations that weren't so big of an issue on the trainer re-asserted themselves and brought this consideration back to the forefront. As such, over the last few weeks I've been doing a little more digging and re-examining my options.

Shortly after the last post, I was strongly gravitating towards the Polar CS600X but it wasn't available at the time. Thanks to some pro-active assistance from Chris at Polar USA, I was able to get confirmation that the CS600X with power is available in this country so it's just a matter of finding a retailer at this point. In the meantime, however, I've heard a lot of good things about the Garmin Edge 705 from local bike shops and riders that I've met out on the road so I'm reconsidering that option as well.

The other unit that I've heard good things about and didn't consider last time around is the Velocomp iBike series (specifically their Pro and Aero units). In addition to the basic cyclocomputer features, these units provide power readings using a relatively novel solution that measures opposing forces rather than measuring the drivetrain itself. Using an air speed sensor and a multi-axis accelerometer array within the head unit, it measures the various forces resisting movement (primarily aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance) and backsolves the amount of power necessary to maintain the speed the bike is traveling at.

Naturally, the power readings do make some assumptions that more direct measurements don't have to deal with. Primarily, when one changes positions during a ride their drag coefficient will change but the system has no way to know that this is happening. As such, when going down on the drops power will be overestimated and when sitting up to drink, power will be underestimated.

With that said, most people that I've talked to that have actually used the system appear to be impressed with it's accuracy. Part of that is likely down to the fact that one typically spends most of their time in one position so the impact of this is likely less significant than it would seem at first glance. Either way, Polar's measurement mechanism has significant sources of potential error as well and as the other power options aren't really realistic at this point this may be somewhat moot ;)

The one thing that has me intrigued by these devices, however, is their ability to record both the air and ground speeds of the bike. This provides a detailed log of the intensity of head and tailwinds, as well as a way to quantify the effects of drafting positions during group rides. This information can be extrapolated to an extent from heart rate and power data, but as other things can influence those values the air speed readings can be quite instructive (especially for a relatively new rider such as myself).

Further, their iAero head unit can actually provide estimates of your aerodynamic drag coefficient each time you coast (with the addition of an aftermarket ANT+ power meter, it can even provide a continuous readout). If accurate, this would allow me to experiment with different positions on the bike in order to determine exactly how efficient each of them are. At common cycling speeds, aerodynamic drag becomes the dominant force the rider is fighting against so the ability to fine tune one's position is potentially a huge feature.

The problem with the iBike products, however, is that their user interface is pretty crude compared to Polar and Garmin's products. Velocomp elected to use a simple three-line fixed element LCD, which is fine for the numeric information readouts but has severe limitations for the on-device menus. This is likely due to the fact that they appear to use the same hardware for their various models and differentiate based on firmware. As such, their design had to be profitable for their $199 Sport model and compromises had to be made to reach that price point. As a user, however, justifying paying $799 for this type of user experience is a bit frustrating. The biggest annoyance with their implementation, however, is that the user cannot select which pieces of telemetry are shown on each of their pages - one is stuck with the groupings that Velocomp offers.

Either way, I'll continue to do a bit more digging but wanted to get my thought process down here. Like anything, there are significant pros and cons for all three choices here and it's just a matter of figuring out which compromises are the least significant for my needs. Naturally, if anyone has any experience with these products I'd welcome any input on the topic!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week 24: Review

Managed to get a good deal of work in this week, although I did miss my Monday cycling session due to weather concerns. Rather than take the day off, however, I elected to go out for an 11K power walk (~8:17/km pace) so that the day wouldn't be a total loss. Walking used to be the mainstay of my schedule, and I kept it up in the earlier stages of my running but with the miles that the marathon training schedules require I havn't had the time to mix them in alongside the running and cycling. When time permits, however, it's a good way to squeeze in a few extra miles without the training load that running would impose.

Aside from that, I also got around to doing my first proper swimming session in a long time after my run on Tuesday. The last time I did any significant number of lengths was nearly 18 years ago, so naturally my technique was pretty rusty. I've certainly done some swimming since, but most of that was recreational in nature with little in the way of sustained efforts required for lengths. Breathing was naturally my biggest issue, and loosing track of that meant that I had to take rests frequently to let it catch up. I had no problem breathing over my right shoulder, but for some reason I was having a lot of trouble taking in air over my left. While I likely could have had a better session just sticking to the one side, I didn't want to reinforce bad habits so I forced myself to alternate.

Regardless, I managed to put down a little under 1100m in around 1h15m (including breaks as I had no way to time and record individual lap times), which is pretty slow but not too bad for my first time back. It did take a good deal out of me, however, as the cycling and running sessions on the next day were pretty difficult. That's somewhat to be expected, however, as swimming involves very different muscle groups than the other sports and I have a lot of work to do before I get my fitness up in those areas. I do have to find a proper training program to get myself to where I need to be, however for the time being I'll just go out on a regular basis and log as many miles as possible to iron out the wrinkles ;)

The one thing that is a bit frustrating is that I don't currently have any mechanism to record my telemetry from these sessions. I've used my heart rate monitor for walking, running and cycling and it was an invaluable tool when getting started in those sports as I could gauge the proper effort when I had no experience in figuring that out by feel. Unfortunately the 2.4GHz band that Polar uses for communication between the heart rate strap and the wrist unit can't penetrate water, so it won't function in this environment (both parts are submersion rated, but they don't do much good when they can't talk to one another).

I was looking at the Suunto Memory Belt (which stores HR data in the heart rate strap itself) a few months back, however from what I've seen it appears to be difficult to keep in place unless you are wearing a wetsuit. Swimovate's Pool-Mate device looks interesting, however without a way to upload the data to a computer its utility is limited (as it can only provide averages, and not detailed plots). Will probably have to wing it for the time being, but I'll keep my eyes open for electronic aides that may simplify this sort of thing ;)

Aside from that, I managed to do all of the runs as scheduled. We did an 11K group run on Wednesday rather than the 8K scheduled as the others needed a bit more distance, so there's an extra 3K on my weekly totals this time around (makes up for the 2K I missed last week). Either way, it was apparently national running day in the US on Wednesday so I'll chalk it up to celebrating alongside our southern neighbours ;)

I was playing with the idea of trying out a 100K ride on Saturday, however time constraints limited me to the 75K route that I did last week. Upped the pace a little versus last time (30.5km/h vs. 30.1km/h), although a lot of that was again gated by the traffic on Rutherford so I'll have to find a better return route. The group ride didn't materialize again this time around, so it was a solo ride once again. Either way, I'm hoping to give a 100K ride a shot this upcoming Saturday as the 75K rides have worked well so far ;) Just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather lines up to permit that!

Weekly Totals:
Running: 51.2km (31.8mi)
Walking: 11.9km (7.4mi)
Cycling: 137.4km (85.4mi)
Swimming: 1.1km (0.7mi)
Total: 201.6km (125.3mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,238.3km (769.4mi)
Walking: 164.4km (102.2mi)
Cycling: 1,740.2km (1,081.3mi)
Swimming: 1.1km (0.7mi)
Total: 3,144.0km (1,953.6mi)

The upcoming week is the last of my recovery program, so I'm going to have to solidify the details of my next training cycle in the next few days. If I do elect to go with the Toronto Goodlife Marathon (which I'm pretty sure will be the case), the 18 week program will begin as soon as this one ends. I'm roughly flirting with aiming to do the tri-a-tri race (375m swim, 10K ride, 2.5K run) in Orillia at the end of August, as it should give enough time to get a decent swimming base in so that I can get some experience with the transitions prior to (hopefully) racing some proper triathlons sometime next summer. Either way, I'll likely have another post tomorow or the day after with details on what I'm aiming on doing with the summer and fall seasons ;)

Upcoming Week:
Mon 50K Ride (probably not going to happen)
Tue 7mi (11.3K) GA
Wed 30K Ride, 5mi (8K) Recovery
Thurs 1hr Swim, 30K Ride
Fri 8mi (12.9K) GA w/8x100m
Sat 100K Group Ride, 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Sun 11mi (17.7K) LSD