MAF Experiment ideas this week: Workout highlight: My favorite bike interval ladder. Nutrition highlight: Make your own bubbly. Words of Wisdom highlight: Be consistently good.
It is the second week of the new “build” training block. I am adding more intensity each month as I build into race season. Tuesday and Wednesday, I am not worrying about the heart rate monitor because those are my intensity workouts for the week. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the monitor comes back for the “easy” workouts. The “intense” workouts did not take as big a toll on my body this week. It helped that I did not go downhill skiing, either. I tried to go slower early in order to be more consistent for the entire six sets of speed. That did not work! I ended up slower than the first week.
It was colder this week, which might not have helped. We will see going forward if I can manage more consistency as I get used to this running thing again. I am excited to see the warmer temperatures in the forecast. Hopefully my Saturday training will be the last time I have to manage the cold toes and fingers. Sunday was pretty nice, so I was even able to ditch the winter hat. The MAF run pace was about ten seconds slower than it was in November, but this was my first long run. I look forward to seeing that drop in the coming weeks.
This week’s work:
Tuesday- Bike Ladder Intervals (See Workout of the Day)
Wednesday- 30-minute tempo run (4 minutes at pace, 1 minute recovery)
Friday- 30-minute MAF big gear ride for 15.6 virtual miles
(4 minutes in big gear, 1 minute easy spin)
Saturday- 60-minute MAF ride for 28.15 virtual miles. THEN 15-minute easy run at 7:45 pace
Sunday- 45-minute MAF run for 5.32 miles at 8:28 pace
Swim on Friday: “40x25s”
(16×25, with every 4th fast, 12×25 with every 3rd fast, 8×25 with every other fast, 4×25 fast)
My wife likes to make fun of the fact that I am “all in” or “all out.” I really have no in between with some things. Years ago, I gave up my morning pop fix for Lent. Once I got through a couple caffeine headaches, I decided that I would just stop with pop altogether. Since then, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have had pop. (Yes, I am from Minnesota so I call it pop and not soda.) It is just too sweet for me, and I am a stubborn old mule. I have found a great replacement for pop, and all of the not-so-great chemicals/sugar it possesses. Well, actually my wife found this for me as a present.
If you have not heard of the Soda Stream, where have you been? I wrote a blog post about the Soda Stream with its many great benefits. You can check that out, but I will just say that it is wonderful. It is so wonderful, in fact, that I got my father going on it. I plop in 15 drops of my favorite stevia flavoring and I am good to go.
My favorite interval ladder bike ride has me feeling good in this block of training. I am starting with my 5-minute warm-up, which includes single-leg drills. Then I do two sets of 15 second descending intervals starting with 2:00 intervals. The intervals are done “hard,” which is at a level above conversation effort. The time in between intervals is done at conversation effort. I do the “rest” efforts for 1:00 for the first half and then match the interval time when I am under a minute. I use my watch with speed to make sure I am keeping the “hard” intervals hard and the “rest” time not too easy.
My problem in the past was that I would go by how I was feeling without having data to hold me accountable. I would definitely make the “rest” times too easy and not go as hard during the intense parts. The idea of this workout is an “over/under” workout. The goal is to improve my ability to sustain, and just tolerate, hard intervals while recovering at a pace that is still challenging. This workout is challenging, but the “under” intervals allow for enough recovery that it does not seem as daunting.
Wisdom of the Week:
“It is better to be consistently good than occasionally great.”
In the past, I was really good at showing up for some epic workouts. For an example of that, just read about my MURPH workout. The problem with the big workouts is that the other workouts for the week suffer. I would have one really good workout and then four sub-par workouts each week. I feel like I was not putting in enough good work to continue to see improvement.
With my new training plan, I am continuously putting in good work. I am not wrecking myself with one workout and sacrificing the rest of the week. Each workout can now be done better because I am recovered. I am hoping that being consistently good will help lead to better results at the races.
That’s just a bit of my experience. Have a great week.