Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weeks 49 & 50: Review

With Christmas coming the last few weeks have been extremely busy, so I've fallen behind a bit here. Combined with the weather, this has also resulted in a few missed sessions as well since it's difficult to move things around to make up for adverse conditions. Regardless, it's thankfully still the off season so a bit of missed mileage is probably good for my recovery ahead of the proper training coming up.

Fortunately, I did manage to get the bike into the shop to get the rear tire switched over. In previous years, I've just had them put on an old tire for the trainer, but I got a good deal on a trainer-specific tire at a bike show so elected to go that way. Unfortunately, I think I overtightened the resistance unit a bit as after a couple of short rides the tube ended up blowing so I had to bring it back down to get that addressed. The Continental Trainer tire is a good deal firmer than the Vittoria it replaces, so it's likely going to need a bit of a learning curve to figure out exactly how tight to go.

I'm still psychologically working my way back up to proper distances on the trainer, as it's a lot harder to keep going indoors. As such, I've kept most of my rides at or below 20K (a pitiful distance if done outside) and am going to slowly add more as I get used to it. Finding watchable stuff on TV this time of year is difficult, so that adds to the complexity of the equation. I'm still flirting with dragging a computer or XBox down there so that I can stream video to the bike, but have to figure out what the best solution is for that.

The upside, however, is that being back on the trainer means that I can again work with power readings on the bike. While I'd love to get a proper power meter, that's not really in the cards at this point. Fortunately, thanks to the resistance formula that Kurt provides for their fluid trainers I can roughly figure out my power output while riding indoors. It doesn't do a heck of a lot for the long static rides, but when doing interval sessions (which are much easier to do on a trainer than on the road) it can be quite informative of my progress through the year.

As for running, I'm starting to get used to the winter conditions again. Aside from the more restrictive clothing, it takes a bit of time for the stabilizer muscles in the legs to build up strength after being idle for most of the summer. Running down bumpy snow covered sidewalks is a lot different than when on nice flat concrete, so it always gets a bit sore for the first little while.

I had a great run through a few inches of snow last Wednesday, as one of the other runners wanted to go a bit longer than normal. Rather than the usual ~10K we usually do for the group runs, we ended up doing a little over 17K. While I wasn't planning on going that long, I had missed the run the night before as the visibility was pretty much nill thanks to a heavy snowstorm. As most of the sidewalks hadn't been cleared yet, many parts of the route took a lot more work to run/trot through as the thick snow added a good deal of resistance ;) With that said, other than the snow the conditions were perfect as was the scenery, so despite all of that it was a great session.

Week 49 Totals:
Running: 41.1km (25.5mi)
Walking: 0.6km (0.4mi)
Cycling: 15.0km (9.3mi)
Swimming: 8.8km (5.4mi)
Total: 65.5km (40.7mi)

Week 50 Totals:
Running: 46.4km (28.8mi)
Walking: 1.4km (0.9mi)
Cycling: 40.0km (24.9mi)
Swimming: 8.8km (5.4mi)
Total: 65.5km (40.7mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 2165.6km (1345.6mi)
Walking: 96.1km (59.7mi)
Cycling: 4467.4km (2775.9mi)
Swimming: 331.8km (206.2mi)
Total: 7060.9km (4387.4mi)

A couple more weeks to go this year and I've done reasonably well with the totals. My running mileage isn't going to make it up to the 2700K/1700mi that I did last year, but that's largely a symptom of switching my focus from running to cycling. As such, both my cycling and swimming mileage are considerably higher than last year (~409km/151km extra respectively). While I didn't get to do everything I wanted to this year, it's been a good learning experience and should help me to better manage the upcoming season.

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