07 October 2010

07 OCT 2010 workout

Interval spin on indoor trainer.

Warmup: 5' easy spin
Workout: 12 x RPE 10 (max effort) intervals (30" with 2' 30" rest between intervals) (36' total) (Max HR 180 AVG HR 155)
Warmdown: 5' easy spin

Today was the planned hard day after two recovery days post-"race" ... and, it was hard. This is the same RPE 10 interval workout I'd gotten from Bicycling magazine but never could do the whole workout. Now, however, I have ... and yes, it rocked. Each interval was a full-out effort for 30 seconds, with 2 1/2 minutes of RPE 2-3 recovery. That one stays in the inventory as an occasional, quick-hit hard workout.

Sleep: 4/10 (not a lot of sleep on-shift, but did get a short nap in during the late morning)
Fatigue: 3/10 (see "sleep" above)
Stress: 0/10 (no stress)
Soreness: 0/10 (not sore)

No workout tomorrow (shift), or Saturday (going straight to the football game standby after shift).

05 October 2010

Motivation and self-reflection

It's been now ninety days since I started my current weight loss project, and I can report several useful things about my latest experience.

First, the good news. I have lost 22 pounds (down to 230 from 252), and can fit into shorts that I haven't been able to wear in several years. My uniforms are not stretched to their limits anymore; in fact, the pants are pretty well bunched up in the back now because they're a little bit too big in the waist. I feel better. I feel fitter. I have more energy most of the time, and I have been sleeping better at night.

Second, the bad news. As always happens, there's a lull. The most basic issue right now is the fact that I don't have a road bike, so I am stuck either running (with the concomitant knee problems that entails) or getting on the trainer, which is not a really good idea for long stretches of time, and is boring as heck most of the time. Good DVDs can alleviate that, and I do intend to pick up a couple more, but I do not have them right now. I have gotten into a lull also partly because of my working at the football games; where during a "normal" week I only work the two 24-hour shifts per week (which wipe out Wed and Fri completely), when I pick up the football game standbys it makes Saturday and Sunday workouts very tough to get done, sometimes wiping them both out completely as well, which is really just an excuse. So, I need to just get it done!

Between the two, I've only been getting in about two or three workouts per week, though the ones I am getting are high-quality interval workouts. How to fix? One: get over the boredom of the trainer, however that needs to be done. Two: get a bike, and start riding on the roads. Three: Consider reverting to the Wii Fit for days like Sat/Sun during game weeks, to at least get in some aerobic activity and not let both of those days become wiped out totally.

Third, the rest of the story. Food in particular has not yet been a focus, though I have been subtly changing my eating habits without regard to specific intake goals. I don't do fast food hardly at all anymore, I do occasionally allow myself to grab In-N-Out or Sonic, and a Bruegger's bagel here and again. I eat whole-grain food at nearly every meal all week. I take fish oil supplements, which was recommended by my PCP a couple of years ago (I finally found a supplement that I can tolerate). I've increased my daily vegetable intake from near-zero to three-to-four servings a day (still room to improve), my water intake is about 100 oz daily (more during workouts), and I rarely snack. I rarely eat candy, and most of my caffeine intake now is a cup of coffee or two in the morning, though I do occasionally quaff a monster here and there.

After three months, I feel successful with room for improvement. I can certainly do better in terms of weekly workout minutes and type (I do still need to add some kind of resistance training). My food plan can be improved, and I need to start tracking daily calories. Creating a weekly food menu, with daily calories and a week-long overview of micro- and macronutrients, is a good place to start. I am in the process of reading Endurance Sports Nutrition and will have both a review of this book and a workable menu plan afterward.

So. I have more work to do, but am pleased with my performance so far.

03 October 2010

I finished the 2006 US National Criterium Championship

Of course, I did it on my trainer. And had I really been racing, would probably have been lapped and DQ'd at some point ... but, I did manage to actually blast the whole race this time, though I did not do exactly the intervals listed (nor did I match Robbie Ventura pedal stroke for pedal stroke). I did what I was capable of doing, and finished, and I'm happy. And exhausted.

For a refresher, this is the RealRides Race Day Indoor Training Cycling DVD.

Warmup: 10' easy spin with occasional RPE 6-7 intervals to open the capillaries
Workout: 38' 15" simulated race (AVG HR 159 [98% of LT], Max HR 185 [102% of calculated MHR])
Warmdown: 8' easy spin

Man, I can dig the criterium races. They're way faster than the regular road races (because they're much shorter) and are a freaking awesome workout. The thing that would probably suck about them would be keeping track of where you are in the pack, and where you are in the race.

As a short primer, a criterium race is a relatively short distance race, sometimes only a few miles long, but the course is a loop. You start at the Start/Finish line and ride the entire distance of the course as a single lap. The race itself consists of several laps of the course, and usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes total. First person to complete the prescribed number of laps wins. If you are on the course and the lead rider "laps" you, then you are disqualified (DQ'd) and pulled off the race (this keeps the race moving).

So, anyway, I finished the race. I think I am off to pass out until the end of time, or my next shift, whichever comes first.

Sleep: 9/10 (excellent sleep)
Fatigue: 0/10 (not fatigued)
Stress: 0/10 (no stress)
Soreness: 0/10 (not sore)