Sunday, July 3, 2011

Prague, week 2, o the hills

I didn't really have any chances to post while I was in Prague (I am back in USA now), but plenty happened last week.

First off of course the riding. I rode a lot. It was absolutely perfect weather for the first 4 days of the week and I took advantage of each day. An 80k on Monday, a tempo 38.2k on Tuesday, a solid brick on Wednesday and a recovery ride Thursday. The 80k was pretty hilly, with a 5mile climb thrown in... the scenery was majestic, as I rode along a glistening river with houses and churches placed atop hills on the other side. It was sunny and the sky was blue and it was quite pretty. I am not a scenery person when I train, but I really enjoyed it on this ride. The tempo ride was solid, totally unplanned but 15 seconds into the ride I felt really good, so I just rode hard, hitting around 22mph average, which I feel is pretty decent for a rolling course on road bike and no aerobars. There was a neat cobblestone section in the middle I had to go over twice which slowed things down but most importantly it jarred my water bottle loose before the halfway point and I had to ride in thirst. I think that actually made me ride faster as I really wanted something to drink.

The brick is a segue into running for the week. As I touched on last post I had been running a little more than planned and that carried over into this week. I ran an hour after the Tuesday tempo ride and Wednesday had a brick run, a fast run right off the bike. The ride wasn't hard, a 200w effort over 75min, but the run was tough. 2mi at a hard effort, final 20min settle and build pace. I ran the first two miles in 5:30, 5:19, and settled into the 20min build, going 7:09, 6:26, 5:50. It felt great! Especially the first two hard miles. My goal for Nation's is to run a 34:30 10k off the bike, and being able to comfortably hit 5:30 right off the bike and then get faster will go a long way toward helping me realize that goal.

I had a bit of a failed tempo run on Thursday, but I chalk that up to 5 hard workouts in 3 days... I suppose I was due to have a bad one. I put in several tempo miles but 2 less than I wanted. Still put in 7.5mi for the workout. A 70min run Friday to shake out the legs ended my training in Prague. Total for the week including today will end up being around 40mi, which is the most for me in a while. Best part is I feel like I am getting into really good running shape, which I didn't expect so early into the summer. The 2 weeks of training at 1100 feet and all those hills and hitting nearly 40mi both weeks really boosted my run fitness.

Swimming of course was not great as I only got in two swims this week. It is just tough to get motivated to swim so many laps in a tiny pool. Only notable swim was the end of Tuesday's workout, when I swam 800m in 11:16, which is just slightly slower than I was at Columbia. I made sure to make my wall turns slow and gentle, so it couldn't have added much of anything to my time. It is an encouraging time as it shows that I can swim a little less and still maintain my fitness. My goal for the summer is to maintain my swim speed, I will try to advance after the Fall season.

Well, that was a great 2 weeks of training. I ride 6 times next week, so I look forward to that. I also decided to add a couple running races to my schedule, the twilight races (8k and 5k) in July, but not as goals, but workouts after cycling races the same day. It worked for the 10k last week so these should also be good workouts.

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