Friday, May 21, 2010

Why do long runs give me gas?

Does anyone have an answer? I don't get it. Well, sometimes I do get it. The lunch before a long run is crucial and I have a habit of eating bad things. But for some reason it doesnt' really seem to matter. By the time I get about an hour into a run I just get waves of gas. Usually its not painful...and since I am outside I don't have an issue letting loose. I just don't understand where it all comes from.

I figured I talked enough about training and training plans I'd throw that in there. The whole blog just seems too serious.....

So I got wko+ as training software. I really wish I had more data for it because the software is really cool and will come in very handy. It allows me to not only track all my workouts...but it shows me the impact of each on on my fitness as well as my fatigue. Once I have more date I'll be able to tell right up front if I should go for it in training, or if I should back off a touch. While in a way I know this going into and coming out of workouts, this quantifies it for me. Having the information in my face forces me to adapt to my conditioning. There have been many workouts in the past where I was supposed to recover and ended up hammering it and digging myself into a grave of exhaustion. It is no wonder I've needed rest weeks.
Training has been good the last couple weeks. I recovered from the crohns and am feeling good. I had been swimming 4 days a week to improve a bit. I wanted to drop from 1:20/100s to 1:15's as my normal pace. I've essentially done that. Its funny how it works, I swam a longer workout on Monday morning, about 3,000 yards. I was doing longer sets with my stopwatch and noticed I was holding 1:15's with no difficulty. I did it for the entire workout and followed it up on Wednesday with the same results. So the increased yardage and intensity in swimming has already yielded results. This week I will only be able to manage 3 swims. But next week I will bump back to four.

As for the rest of the week. My running is coming along nicely. Last week I ran for 1:40 as my long run and averaged 8:23 for 12 miles. I started to get tight around the 1:20. This week I ran a full 13.1 miles in 1:46 for an average of 8:09. I felt great the whole way. I could have easily gone for two hours.

Unfortunatley my biking is not going as well. Due to general fatigue I have been unable to get in what I consider quality interval rides. part of the problem is, as usual, me.
Sunday this week I went and did my long ride. I rode for 3 hours and got in almost 56 miles. Held a rough 19mph average and almost 250 watts. I guess that could be considered a quality interval ride as the effort was zone 3.

The ride was great except for the following things.
#1 it was my longest ride since Ironman by about an hour.
#2 It was warmer outside than i was used to.
#3 It was windy and a challenging course.
#4 250 watts is zone 3, not zone 2.
#5 I forgot to take an ice bath afterward.

Those things equated to my using this.....

The problem wasn't so much how I felt on Sunday. I got home, stretched, tried to nap, ate and felt fine. The problem was the impact on the next few days. And when I loaded everything into WKO+ I figured out why.

Prior to my ride I was already somewhat fatigued. I think my TSB score (indicator of overall fatigue) was a -15 or so. I don't have enough date to truly quantify that yet, but a -15 is pretty manageable based on how I felt Sunday morning.

When I loaded that long ride into the system on Monday my score dropped to a -35. I was SHOCKED. I didn't have enough knowlege or data to really equate that score to how I felt...but I do now. Plus, by forgetting to take the ice bath my core temperature was so high throughout the night I couldn't sleep at all. I had forgotten about that from last season. I can't forget the ice bath, no matter how much it sucks. It doesn't just help my legs...I am too warm without it. I feel like I'm a blast furnace throughout the day and night. I lie in bed sweating.
Monday morning I swam hard. By Monday afternoon I was a complete wreck. I did a 45 min recover run (had an hour interval run planned) and really thought wko would show some recovery...not so. I recovered to about a -30 and felt crappy for the whole 45 minutes.
Tuesday I tried to do an interval ride...I lasted about 45 minutes on the bike. I got in a couple high zone 3 efforts of 10-15 minutes before completely falling apart. I was supposed to do a recovery run...yeah right. You gotta know when to fold'em. I called it a day, went to bed early.
At that point I lost wko's free trial and had not purchased the full version. So I wasn't able to quantify my recovery. Wednesday I swam and was a bit tired but okay. But that afternoon I did my recovery run and still felt like garbage. I made it through, but barely.
That brings me to my Thursday long run. I went out knowing I wanted to try to keep it faster but figuring that was a lost cause. However I hit my first mile in 8:14 and wasn't even trying. I bumped to 8:05's and held it for a while except on uphills. It really felt great. My HR average was a 136...solid endurance zone.
Here is what surprises me. For as long as I can remember I've always felt running was the most challenging. And for me it has been. But WKO is really showing me the true impact of these workouts and the long rides take a HUGE toll on me. MUCH bigger than the long run. I can certainly understand why since my long rides are more than double the duration of my long run. But the lack of impact makes it feel much easier. While in many ways that is still the case, this increase in running i've been able to maintain has really made a big difference. I'm a completely different athlete after 5 months of consistent running.
Anyway...I have some decisions to make as I get more data into WKO. Right now I've been trying to get in 2 key bike workouts (long ride and interval ride.) That combined with 6 runs including 3 key runs is simply too much. So I need remove a run from the mixture. That leaves me with 4 key workouts every week. Beyond that I need to figure out proper placement so I can recover properly between them.
Right now I'm thinking this:
Long Ride - Sunday
Interval Ride - Tuesday
Long Run - Thursday
Interval Run - Saturday
This way I'll have a day in between every key workout except Saturday and Sunday. And those days I get much more sleep and am able to recovery better.
I'll be left with:
5 weekly runs.
4 weekly rides.
3-4 weekly swims.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The good and the bad

Things have been going reasonably well the last couple weeks.
After changing my training plan to let me get more sleep and eliminate a workout or two as needed my running has gotten much better. I'm not nearly as tired and have been able to do more interval work. All very good things.

Unfortunately on Sunday I had another crohns attack. It's been about 6 weeks since the last one, and to me, that is too close together. In fact I haven't had two that close in a long time. I think there are multiple culprits:

First, recently I have been a little lax with my medications and other supplements. I know they work and have kept me healthy. Yet I forget or get lazy. That needs to stop.

Second, diet. In this instance I had my attack on Sunday morning. It was very odd because I usually have problems at night after a meal, not prior to. However one of the issues here may have been that I ate near 1,000 calories worth of peanuts Friday night. (that may be a slight exaggeration. Anyway, I know peanuts can be rough on the gut. I almost always limit myself to an ounce or why I felt the need to fill an entire cup full Friday night is beyond me.

Third, diet in general. Frankly I have not been behaving or showing any real self control. While I might maintain a calorie defecit or break even, in many cases its crappy food.

Fourth, stress. The first attack was most likely stress induced. This last one felt more like a diet induced attack. In other words, my own stupid fault. Although stress from work could easily be a factor.

In either case the impact is the same. Sunday I was out of commission. Monday I was able to ride on the trainer in the afternoon and Tuesday I rode and did a light run. I lived on McDonald's double cheeseburger and a chocolate shake. Why on Earth the unhealthies sh*t is the sh*t I can tolerate the best is beyond me.
And get this lovely tidbit. Prior to the attack I was sitting at 200lbs. Today, despite calorie DEFECITS over the weekend, I am at 202.5.
That tells me a couple things. First, nothing is getting through my system properly, not good. But the second piece is just how CRAPPY McDonalds is. I think they are lying about caloric content or the food is just so crappy it sticks to you.
But, unless I want to live on chicken noodle soup, I'm stuck. I need solid food.

Anyway, a couple things have changed. I am looking at some coaching software to help me manage workouts. WKO+ by training peaks. I've had it for a few days and it looks to be extremely valuable now that I have the Garmin/Quarq. It can tell me how much time I'm spending in my different zones, it can graph my enery expenditure, and most importantly it can begin to graph my training load over time.
In other words on a day-to-day - month-to-month basis I can see my training loads quantified, correlate those numbers to how I am feeling and make adjustments to my plan. It gives me a chance to guage my fitness and adjust workouts to improve fitness. It will be interesting to see what I notice as I get more data into the system.

Training last week, up until the CD attack, was very good. I was well rested on Sunday and got in a 2hr ride followed by a 30min run. Monday I did a 50 minute interval run, Thursday I was fine for my long 90 minute run and then on Saturday I did another interval run and hard swim. All in all it was a solid week.
I was hoping to do a 3hr ride on Sunday, but I was sick all day.
This week I have done two days of zone 3/4 rides. I missed 2 days of running, but plan to make up the time over the course of this week.

All in all I am on track. My running is really coming around. I only have a couple irritations.
On my intreval runs, without fail, I hit a hill or climb in the middle of my interval. So I don't stay at my designated pace of 6:50ish and slow down depending on the hill. I don't have a real problem with it, it's just annoying.

And I have realized that riding near my house is no longer adequate. There is too much traffic, the roads are too crappy, and there are too many stop signs. The first 30 minutes of my ride at home has at least 7-8 stops that I can't simply roll through. They are all bigger intersections where cars are almost always around. So I have a little plan that will require some preparation.

I am going to do one or two weekly rides on the CT to make sure I hit the wattage and continue to improve on the bike. But on the weekday(s) where I do plan to ride outside, I am going to bring my bike and fluids to work as well as running shoes/shorts if necessary. I will then go from work to Southwest YMCA and leave from there. It is much easier to ride the TriWi course at higher wattages and not have to stop all the time or swerve around giant potholes. It will also allow me to do a lot more climbing like Tans hill and others.

Riding from my house will be reserved for active recovery type days.

That of course assumes the weather improves a little bit. I like running in the rain a bit, but not riding with all the traffic.