Monday, February 08, 2010

In the Depths of Testing Hell

Triathletes are peculiar lot.  I say that with the utmost affection.  I am, after all a triathlete, but we do have our peculiarities.  Some that quickly come to mind are "active" recovery and race tapers involving 60% of normal volume. I have managed to wrap my mind around most of these things over the last three years, but the one I am struggling with is this concept of the physical tests during recovery week.


Say what?


I said RECOVERY WEEK...  You know.  When you're supposed to freakin recover.


Evidently, my idea of recovering still hasn't caught up to standards.  During the base phase (and perhaps build), its a good idea to do the physical tests to see how your training is coming along.  Since I'm working on my HTFU, I decided to follow this advice and just do the dayum tests.


Saturday, I got up early and ran with the running group at Boling Park.  Most of those guys are training for the marathon.  Me, not so much.  I did 4.6 miles before calling it a day.  That afternoon, I wandered to the pool to do my swim test.  One of the things I am really enjoying about these tests is that I am giving it my all.  I am committed.  I did 3x300 all out with thirty seconds rest.  My times came in at 4:30 (ouch!), 4:44, and 4:45.  That gives me a T-pace of 1:33, one second better than my last test.  It's not much, but I'll take it.  That's slightly better than my last swim test before Augusta last year.


Sunday morning, I actually slept in a little bit.  I had breakfast and some coffee while I watched Chelsea dismantle Arsenal in the Premier League.  After the game was over, I set my bike up on the trainer and downloaded the workout for the 6 mile time trial from Training Center to my Garmin XT.  Well, it was the 5 mile TT workout, but I modified it to make it longer.  The workout starts out with a build up:  5 minutes in Zone 1, 5 minutes in Zone 2, 5 minutes in Zone 3, then some kind of 2 minute recovery followed by the time trial.  I wasn't expecting those 5 minutes in Zone 3, so it caught me by surprise, but I did what I was supposed to do and sucked it up.


When the Garmin beeped at me to start the time trial, I took off.  Evidently, I have issues with pacing here as well.  I started out at 25+ mph, only to watch my speed gradually decrease.  Those were the longest six miles of my life.  I had forgotten how much these things hurt.  Again, I was so proud of myself.  I did not look at my heart rate one time. It was just time and distance on the Garmin, and I was silently cheering and applauding as the miles ticked off.  When it was over, I was drenched in sweat, and my eyes were blood shot.  My time came in at 15:59, 22.5 mph average.  After a 10 minute cool down, I hopped over the laptop and downloaded my data.  I was very pleased to see a max HR of 169 and an average HR of 165, right where my numbers were for last year.


Tomorrow, I'm going to conduct an "EP" test.  This basically involves setting the Garmin up in a 3 heart beat range around 80% of my aerobic threshold and seeing how far I can run in a certain amount of time.  As my fitness improves, I should be able to run further during the same amount of time.  I might work myself up to another running lactate hell test, but I doubt it.


I'm not THAT HTFU :-)


Wes

16 comments:

Julie said...

Hi Wes,
Welcome back!! So you say recovery weeks are when you are supposed to freakin recover:) You are so funny!! Well, it looks like you are still getting things done and doning a pretty good job of it. I sometimes cheer for myself after each mile too:) Good luck tomorrow on your EP test!! Have a fantastic week Wes:)

Stuart said...

Look at you go! It's just your own private hell week!

LBTEPA said...

oh you are so that HTFU :P

My Life and Running said...

Oh I think you're plenty HTFU. (Especially since I came out of the wind and put my bike back on the trainer yesterdy after only 12 miles!) :)

Renee said...

Triathletes are peculiar? I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you sure it is not just you? :) Have a great week Wes!

Makita said...

Triathletes are peculiar... seemingly so wrapped up in tests and numbers. Good for you, though! I wish I had more of that peculiarity!

Firefly's Running said...

Awesome!!

Runner Leana said...

I have no idea what you mean when you say that triathletes are peculiar...

Great job on your test!!

Darrell said...

Triathletes are a peculiar lot....I didn't need to read any further (I did, though).

Yeah, active recovery ain't the recovery you think it should be. Good on you for sticking to it. HTFU! ;-)

Kim said...

so i'm in my test week - and i have no idea how you got your bike up to 22 mph ON A TRAINER! WTF, are you lance armstrong? holy mackerel, you are super speedy!!!!!!! way to HTFU!

Kevin said...

Yes, we are a peculiar lot. Great job on the testing. I really need to sit down and investigate all those nifty features I never use on the 310

Carolina John said...

dude, 22.5 mph? that's hella fast. rock on.

i still haven't really gotten the metrics down to test during recovery weeks yet. it's hard enough to take recovery weeks, much less to stress about them.

Andy said...

Well,

At least you are doing the tests!!! I have not done any LT/AT/Bike/Swim tests yet this year... I am keeping a daily log though, so I have seen some improvements, especially in the Avg HR area. I am down about 8-10 points already in the past few weeks.... Good to see that you are fully implementing it in your training phases.

teacherwoman said...

Okaaaaay... what does HTFU mean? I am slow! :)

Karen said...

WAhhhhhh I love your swim time...so jealous... you are such a FISHY!

... and thanks for the nod on the "how to do a TT on the turbo" as I was just sitting here figuring out weather to find myself a 5-6mile straight and flat bit of road to go out into (but it's like minus 2 at the mo, with a high of 2 and sleet on the forecast)... so the turbo TT seems a brilliant alternative :O)... Run test for Friday then... oh the pain....

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I agree with you...this sounds nothing like a recovery week.

I also hear you on the Garmin. You want to throw the extra cash my way so I can get the 310XT? Now that one is SWEETTT!