Saturday, April 07, 2012
I got a late start on training this year so I'm definitely behind where I was at this time last year, but that's okay as I think I'm actually better situated to peak at the right time, namely, during The Ride Across Minnesota, a 5-day, 300-mile journey.
Yesterday I got a pretty good feel for where I'm at as I took a 17.3 mile Individual Time Trial ride on a rolling course with around 20 climbs of various percentages and lengths. The first 8 miles was straight into a 15+ mph wind so my average was pretty low, around 15.2, but then I turned around and enjoyed a cross-tail wind and then a tail wind for the remaining miles and came in at an average speed of 17.1 which on this particular course is good at this time of year.
I can see that I need to develop my climbing legs a bit more but that's okay, I've got plenty of time. I think that within 4-6 weeks I'll be able to produce an average speed of 18.0 or thereabouts on this same route. We'll see, but one way or the other I had a great time and I'm pleased with my current fitness level.
Now, I set my mind on the 9.2 mile jog/walk I'm taking tomorrow. As "The Blazing Turtle" I'm shooting for a time of 1:50 or better and feel confident that I can achieve that.
Hope you all have a wonderful Easter, God bless!
Friday, April 06, 2012
I'm new to this jogging business. I only took it up last winter (2010-11) as a way of keeping in shape for cycling season, but I actually ended up enjoying it for the first time in my life. Then cycling season hit, I was riding well--averaging 18.5-19.0 on a normal day and even higher at times--and I felt I had to let jogging go just because of time constraints.
When cycling season ended, I got very busy at work and didn't exercise regularly for 2-3 months but I had committed to doing a half-marathon in May and so around February figured I better get my butt going! It's only been four weeks since I took up this activity again, and I have deliberately started out slow. I kept telling myself, "If you'll be patient and go slow now, you'll be able to jog and even run much faster later. If you become impatient and push too hard too soon, you'll jog/run slower in the long run."
So at that time 13:00 min miles were okay with me. Then they became 12:30 miles. Then yesterday I took a 4.0 mile jog/walk (3.5/1.5 min intervals) and planned to do 12:30 miles for a total time of around 50:00 min, but without pushing hard I jogged well and at a somewhat faster pace than normal--just because I'm getting in better shape--and ended up producing the following times: 12:11/11:21/11:28/11:39, for a total of 46:41.
Those of you who are runners could put in a faster time than this hopping on one leg, I know, but for me--a genuine turtle--this is blazing fast. So you can call me "The Blazing Turtle," in fact, I'm tempted to get a shirt that says that for the big day on May 12!
More important than these details is the fact that I really enjoyed myself and the day and took joy in watching my body progress as I've patiently completed workout after workout for the last four or five weeks. Praise be to God!
Hope you have a great day, and onward fellow turtles!
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Less than six weeks to go now until the half marathon on May 12. Today I take a 4 mile jog/walk in preparation for my 9.2 mile jog/walk on Saturday or Sunday--preferably the latter but we'll see how it goes!
Then tomorrow it's time for a test. I take three specific bike rides early in the year to see where I'm at in relation to previous years. Each of them are Individual Time Trials (ITTs), if you will. The first one takes place as soon as I'm able to get on the roads in Minnesota. It's about 14 miles with eight climbs totaling about five miles of climbing and so it's a good, brief, early season test.
Then a little later, after I've developed some leg strength and put some road miles in, I take a 17.3 mile ride that includes about 20 climbs, some of which are fairly steep and a little longer than the first ride I mentioned. I live in Minnesota, so there are no long climbs where I live but I'm talking about climbs of .5 to 1.5 miles or so. It's a very good test of aerobic and muscular fitness, and it's a beautiful route to boot! So I'm scheduled to take this one tomorrow and I can't wait! Last year at this time I came in at 17.0 mph average so I'm hoping to meet or beat that. As my strength and conditioning developed last year, I was able to get the average speed as high as 18.3 which I'm sure I'll blow out of the water this year!
Finally, a little later in April I like to take a 36 mile ride that has lots of rolling hills because, again, it's a good test of aerobic and muscular fitness, and again, it's a beautiful route. But I'll set my mind on that later. For now, I'm off to eat, read the Bible and be with the Lord, and then jog to the glory of God!
Hope you all have a great day!
Friday, March 30, 2012
Yesterday I was scheduled to complete a 4.1 mile jog/walk. Tuesday I completed a series of 4 or 5 8-min/2-min intervals and planned to do the same yesterday. But after putting in a hard workout on the bike the day before I was just too tired and my body was begging for more of a recovery day. So I completed two 8/2 intervals followed by a little longer walk and then a series of 3/2 intervals, finishing it off with 5 min of jogging. Came in pretty slow but my body was very appreciative! I've learned over the years that sometimes too much is too much, and the body really needs to recover. This is a bit of a mystery to me as there have been times I was sure my body needed more recovery time when in fact it performed at a high level, and there have been times--like yesterday--when I didn't think I needed recovery but did. One way or the other, the lesson is this: learn to listen to your body, it's wise!
As for today, a scheduled day of rest in prep for my 8.2 mile jog/walk tomorrow. I plan to begin with 30 minutes of 3/2 intervals and see how I feel, after which I plan to do 8/2 intervals the rest of the way home if I feel up to it. I sure hope I do, but I will listen to this 45-year-old body of mine!
God bless you all, hope you have a great day!
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