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What It Takes To Be Race Ready

What It Takes To Be Race Ready

Time to talk about being race ready.  We spend a good portion of our time dedicated to triathlon training, often with a plan to race.  We all have different reasons for racing, but regardless of level of expertise everyone has goals of some sort.  What steps you take during training; both physically and mentally will determine the outcome, for the most part.  There are always some unknowns going in; water conditions, terrain, temperature, how well you sleep the night before.  So let’s take into account some of those uncertainties and really plan for a race that supports your goals. 

Paris Marathon- Week 1 or 3 Taper

This is my first week of tapering for Paris.  I'm 3 weeks out and am reducing mileage by about 1/4, from 53 miles a week to 44.  Longest run is 16 miles.  Really glad to have new sneakers. MONDAY- between morning clients I had half an hour to do some weight training. Until race is over i'm focusing on moderate to light weights, 8-12 reps, supersets of strength and stability. Less total body work and more focus on short workouts more frequently so everything gets trained at least 2x a week. Thursday this week will be the last of my leg weight training (i think), so lots of upper body work. Did 4 exercises for back and 2 for shoulders. Both shoulders are cold and my flexibility is poor this early in the am so kept everything pretty easy and focused on short rest.

Right after clients I ate a pear and got dressed for a run. It's dreary out, threatening rain but just looks damp right now and temps in low 50s. Going over the brooklyn bridge and up the west side for 10 miles. Should be a good combination of hills and flat. As I started running could feel some IT band pain which went away once warmed up. My tempo for 10 miles should be 9:20 but i'm feeling light and quick today so going to keep an eye on my HR and go with whatever pace  feels easy. Had to stop for a bathroom around 4 miles and took a gel at 5 miles and turned around. Feeling really good and pace is averaging 8:50. My energy and HR remained low so I was able to keep this pace working a little harder than planned up and down the hills. Final numbers for the main set of 8.34 miles was 8:53 pace and a nice low HR of only 150bpm.

TUESDAY- my only training for today is to swim so I'm taking advantage of the low work load and doing a cleanse/fast day until just before leaving for the pool.  I't been way too long and I need a break from food. Would like to cleanse all day, but know I won't be motivated to go to pool, nor will I have a good workout unless I have an Isalean shake before. Got to the pool early and had a nice easy workout. That was the plan for the day and I was happy to follow it. Did lots of drills. Sets were interesting. Combined freestyle and backstroke. Sets of 200 free then 100 back, 100 free/100back x3 more. Including drills and cooldown covered 2300 yards but didn't feel like it. My back stroke is getting a bit better, less water up my nose at least, and kicking takes less effort. Think my kick has improved a bit since last time I did backstroke. Found that the 100 yards following a set of back stroke really good, not effortless, but better than continuous sets of freestlye. Not a great day, took lots of concentration and i'm just not focused on swimming today. Didn't get as much work done as I wanted to and have more to do when I get home at 9:30.

WEDNESDAY Right after clients I went for a run. Did not have my customary shake, instead I ate mostly carbs. Had a hard boiled egg around 6, and apple around 8 and some energy beans right before the run. Wearing a new pair of shoes today. New brand (Mizuno) and model than before. Warmed up the 2 miles going to prospect park. The plan is to run the rest of the 6 miles at race effort. Since it is hilly and about 40 mph winds I'm not focusing on pace as much as HR and perceived effort. I set my Garmin at 1 mile intervals. The interval paces varied from 7:38 to 8:21 and the AV hr for the intervals was between 163 and 173. The total average pace was 8:00, juts 5 sec short per mile of my race goal, but feel considering the terrain and wind that this was a good race effort. Felt really good in the new shoes. Did not have any gels, just want more energy in my water. IT band was quite a bit better than my run on Monday, not unnoticeable, but much better. Good run. Will follow up with stretches, a mini shake and then weights.

After my run I went to my basement gym for a shoulder workout. Since my shoulder is nicely warmed up from the run I'm going for high volume, but still not too much weight. Did supersets of strength and stability. Rep range from 10-12 and all were 3 sets. Did 6 exercises, so 18 sets total. Everything felt good. Finished with upper body stretches and 10 min of bosu abs. Still have one more run today. Running with TNT in the evening. a 4 mile "tempo" run, which will be at 9:30 pace at the most. Think it's not a problem at all, but need to be conscious of the schedule moving forward in my taper.  It was a super easy run with TNT. Decided to add these runs, although they are short and very slow including walking as well as easy jogging I need to be aware of all mileage. Walk/jog 3.63 miles av pace 11mm.

THURSDAY- I had two clients in the morning and no time to eat so had a plum before my run. Felt good going into this easy 6 mile run but felt a bit low energy around 4 mile mark. Ran from John street, down chambers, up the west side and back up chanbers. So, mostly flat, but some hills. This easy 6 mile should be at a 9mm pace and HR in mid 150's. Legs feel good, but overall the run did feel a little harder than a typical easy run.  Should have eaten more.  Averages including warm up and cool down was HR 153 and pace 8:50.
This will be my last weight training for legs for about 4 weeks. Paris marathon is 18 days away now, and for at least a week after I will not be doing any weights. Did squats 4x10 reps, deadlifts 20x3 very light, leg extensions pretty light 3x10, cable lateral lunges with spinal rotation, finished with 3x8 single leg squats. All this in 30 minutes. Could have done at least 2 more reps for all exercises, so although it was a lot of volume the weights were pretty light.  Before my last client of the afternoon did abs and some foam rolling.
SATURDAY- This mornings run was fantastic. I got up and spent some time on the computer and prepping dinner to go into a crock pot so didn't get out the door until about 11. Had my typical long run breakfast which was a chcoloate isalean shake with banana, isagreens and Isacalcium. Added new insoles to the new sneakers and headed out. It's quite cold today. A bit of a shock to the system. Only 34 degrees and at least 15 mph wind. Going for 16 miles flat today. My last so called long run is next Saturday and it's a drop to 10 miles, so today is just get out there, have fun, go easy but push it a bit if you are feeling good. By the 3rd mile I was well warmed up and really enjoying the run. Shoes feel great, IT band pain on left leg is almost gone, gait is smooth, posture feels good, shoulder feels good. Pace going up the hudson river path was a little slower than the return because of the wind, but for most part was about 9:10mm with HR steady around 156bpm. Had a gel at 4 mile and 8 mile then turned around. Had last gel at 12 and a bathroom stop. Took the last 2 miles from top of the bridge home pretty hard. Added some speed pick ups. This run was supposed to be at a 9:30 pace and average pace for all but the warm up and short cool down was 8:58 and HR 157bpm.
SUNDAY- Had a good indoor trainer session today. Got a new book "workouts in a binder for indoor cycling". Been looking for more focused indoor trainer workouts and I think this book will help me through pre-season and give me options that are more demanding for race season as well. Picked a speed workout that focused on high cadence. Worklout SS4 Aero Position. 15 min warm up consisting of 5 min easy at 90 rpm then another 10 min at 90rpm but focus on pulling back on the up stroke. Main set is in zone 3 which was not a problem today. Most of them were at the top range and found by rep 5 I had to reduce the resistance to maintain the reps. Not used to working at such high reps but legs felt pretty good. Entire workout was in aero and took breaks to sit up during rest interval. did 8x3:00 in zone 3 with RPM averaging 93 followed by 3 min rest in zone 2 again high RMP about 85. Finished with 5 min cool down. Not a particularly hard workout but was a lot of sets. Thought it fit well into my race taper schedule.
Week totals: 9  hrs 45min;  44 miles running; 1:15 swmi; 1:05 bike; 1:30 weights over 3 days.  Feel good going into week 2 of taper, not lethargic, glad the real work is over.
Had dinner with a friend on Friday who ran Paris Marathon last year and clued me into some things that made me more confident.  First they hand out water bottles, very nice.  And the croud is a bit rough which I prefer because I hate being polite everytime I want to pass someone.

Paris Marathon- week 9 of Sharpening Phase

MONDAY- I had a super easy run today, combining training wieh business.  Lots of  stop and go as I ran around brooklyn visiting businesses sharing information about Isagenix.  4.75 miles total.

Later in the day I wanted to put in more time for weights and yoga  but ran out of time. In my gym basement before my last client I got in 40 min of weights and 10 min of abs. Since i'm running tempo tomorrow and swimming i'm focusing just back and shoulder. Did sets of 4. Sometimes first set was light, but in anycase worked on increasing weights or shortening rest for each set. Did straight sets alternating between back and chest exercises. Lat Pd supinated, BB OHP, BB bent over Row, DB cg shoulder press, Ca bent over rev fly (light 4x10), Ca sa should horiz extension (light), DB lateral raises. Left shoulder was a little problematic on the reverse fly. Noticing shoulder work is much better after running.

TUESDAY- it's marathon pace day. I'm increasing the mileage at marathon pace from 6.5 from 2 weeks ago to 10. I'm fortunate to be in the city already so have the advantage of avoiding hills and traffic lights for a good chunk of the run. Did a two mile warm up over to the Hudson River Park and ran north. Had no problam hitting 7:54 pace and at first my HR was quite low.  Monitoring both my pace and HR with goal of running 10 out of 14 miles at 7:54 and HR 173. Today is the warmest day of the year so far. about 50 degrees by time time i was in the middle of the run. Wore shorts and tee shirt and felt great to not be wearing a lot. Had eaten a bran muffin, banana, and hard boiled egg about 2 hours before the run and stomach and energy was great. Also very little wind. A bit more wind the first half then the second. Had a gel 3 miles into the MP set and another 4 miles later. No stops for bathroom or water. Jogged briefly for gels and water and picked up the pace again with no problem. I ended up running the 10 miles at 7:52 pace and HR ave 175. I feel I could hold this HR during a marathon as long as I get the fluids and gels frequently enough. Average pace including warm up and cool down was 8:04! Great day for running. Best day of the year so far and this was my last mid distance marathon pace run so I'm really pleased.

I  intended to get in a leg workout but was dependant on how I was feeling and after my fantastic run.  After the run I just wanted to ea, so I had an apple then did Squats and leg extensions and thats it. 3x12. Will adjust my workout schedule so I can do a more thorough leg workout on Thursday.

It's been a real busy day. My kitchen is being demolished for renovation today so trying to stay away from home and it's not a problem with all the clients, calls, and errands I have today. Around 4:00 I felt a drop in my energy and wasn't looking forward to going to the pool. Made a dish of yogurt mixed with isa pro pure protein and that did the trick. Went to Roosevelt pool to swim with tritons. Today is tempo day but I'm not going to take it too hard. Focusing on form, flutter kick, glide, and putting just enough energy in to not sink basically. Did warm up and drills for 15 minutes. The rest is supposed to be at time trial pace which for me is 2:00 for 100yards. The test was from a few weeks back and I know I should be able to do under 2:00 but i'm just working at that level for today considering all the running and weight training i've done. Did 5x100@T with 15 sec rest followed by 5 sets of 150@T (30sec) 50 easy. 100's went well pretty much. Time was good but stroke rate not great. First 150 didn't feel great but time was OK. Feel like i'm working too hard so started to focus in on just being quiet in the water and a real een flutter kick. This did the trick, felt like a lot less effort and although my time wa off by 5-10 sec I was happy that I was able to make the adjustment. Not happy with stroke rate today. Most were between 22 and 25. Really want to get down to 20 soon. Will start to reduce running training soon and hope to see improvements in my swimming at that time. Did about 2300 yards total over 1:10.  Considering all the volume I did today, happy with the results of the day overall.

THURSDAY- Yesterday I did not train at all, except for 40 min jog/walk with TNT, and yet my legs are a little sore. Have not had time for Yoga much this week and I think that is one of the reasons i'm feeling tight. Had a good breakfast about 1.5 hours before my 10 mile run. I ran from John street along battery park city up to the Intrepid and turned around. There was some wind against me on the way up and quite a bit easier on the way back. Focused on HR instead of pace, although pace for this run was suppposed to be 9:20mm. I didn't take any gels and drank pure water. Wanted to see how my muscles would feel if I kept my HR below 80% most of the time. Really didn't feel the need for gels even at the end. The main set was 8.5 miles at HR of 152bpm and pace 9:07. This is a pretty good HR for me for this pace, so the bit of fatigue i'm feeling is not due to over use or inadequate recovery. My legs feel fine when i'm running, just a bit tired when standing and left ITband is still tight.

Following my run I had an apple right away to restore some carbs, stretched and showered. Then I did 30 minutes of weights focusing on shoulders. 5 shoulder exercises, 2 triceps, and light (180#) leg presses. No pain or discomfort in my left shoulder. Seems to be significantly better after running as the joint and surrounding muscles are warmed up and relaxed. Will continue working shoulders after my runs and not before them.

FRIDAY- in the basement gym between clients I put in a quick workout focusing on back and biceps. Not feeling energetic today. It's not so much physical as emotionally drained. Did 5 for back and 2 for biceps. Rps 8-12 and 3 sets each. Supersets of strength and stability. Also did some ab work. Will get on bike later today.

I'm not really into this ride.  I'm annoyed and distracted from getting my work done by the kitchen renovation but will do my best to get in a decent ride. Going to try something new today. 5 minute intervals at about the intensity i would ride a half ironman. My last race HR was average 161, but i dont't hink i'll be hitting that today. Just focusing on 75 or so cadence and moderately hard resistance for 5 min, then 5 min easy pace. Repeat 4 times. Found that a hr of about 142-148 was all I could sustain at the appropriate intensity. A bit disappointed as I don't know if that is more an indicator of fatigue from all the running i'm doing or if I have a lot of work ahead of me on the bike. Rode for 1 hour, did 4 ot those intervals, was fairly bored. Average cadenct for the work sets was between 74 and 80 for the most part.

SUNDAY- I was supposed to run a long 22 miles yesterday but it rained to flood levels and I didn't even run the 6 miles to finish off my week. So yesterday I took the whole day off. Went to bed late, was working on putting items back into kitchen now that the cabinets are installed. Plus clocks were set forward last night, so I got up late, still feeling lazy because it's still raining. Eventually set out for 22 miles flat in the city. Warmed up 1 mile to brooklyn bridge, went down fulton street and around battery pack city up the west side. Was not raining hard at first and run was quite pleasant except for the wind. Around mile 5 it started to rain hard, against the wind, skin soaked and cold...not fun. Rain slowed a bit and the return run was much more enjoyable. My long run pace is supposed to be 9:48 but that's never the case once I get out there, and today was no exception. In general used HR instead of pace for the run. Kept HR average at about 154 bpm, and took some of the hills on the way home a bit hard, but otherwise kept HR no higher than 83% max. Legs felt good, everything felt good, except my skin. Took a gel at 4 mile, 8, 12 and 16 and that worked fine. Walked briefly for each gel and had a bathroom/water stop around 13 mile mark. Aside from the rain I'm happy with the run. One of my better average paces, considering conditions, and my breathing and HR were totally under control. Think it helped to have two easy days prior (friday was bike and Saturday was off). Cooled down completely for a mile. Average pace for the 20 mile main set was 9:11 and AV hr was 154. Of all my long runs this was the fastest at the lowest HR.

Week totals wer 11 hrs 45 in with 50 miles of running.  1 hout on indoor trainer.  1:15 mi swim and 2 hours of weights over 4 workouts.  Good week.  Ordered new shoes after realizing i had run 750 mies in these.  OOPS>

Paris Marathon- Week 8- Sharpening

My week started out a bit slow.  Feeling a bit overworked and taking extra vitamin C just to make sure I don't get sick.  Feeling my mood, energy, and general lethargic body is partially due to my difficult 24 mile progressive run from Saturday.  With that said, I modified the beginning of my weeks training to be really light on running and leg training. MONDAY- I'm still feeling a bit battered. Mostly tired, a little sore, just know I'm not recovered from the 24 mile run on Saturday so am taking it easy today. I also plan on running again this evening with a client, but will be at a real leisurely pace. Today I went over the Brooklyn Bridge and back. Quite a bit of wind but the air temp was nice. Didn't really pay attention to pace or HR, just took the hills easy and picked up the pace a bit on the down side. Average pace was 9:20 and AV hr was 156. Was also planning on doing weights this morning, but I skipped it. Wasn't feeling like doing legs and shoulders as planned.

TUESDAY- Today is pretty high volume but low intensity in all 3 activities.  Started with weights in the am.  Between clients I had time for breakfast and weight training. I wanted to train legs today, but still a bit sore. Also adapted my running to this as today was supposed to be speed work. At John Street I focused mostly on back, some shoulders (keeping in mind im swimming tonight) and some chest. Back was all strength, 8-10 reps, followed by either shoulder or chest stabilization work. Also did some internal and external shoulder rotation band work. Felt like a good session even though it wasn't well planned. Later today I will do abs and some yoga before going to the pool.

I switched my Tuesday and Thursday run workouts because my legs are not feeling up to a 12 mile run including sprints and tempo work, so will go moderate length of 12 miles at goal pace 9:20. Went from John street to Battery Park and up the west side, so all of it was flat. Warmed up 1 mile easy. There is some wind, but temps are in the low 40s and it feels really warm so I took off my fleece and ran in long sleeve shirt. My HR monitor battery died at mile 6.5 and at that point my average speed was 9:04 and HR 149 (a really low HR for this pace). I know when I turned around to go back, now the wind is against my back, that I picked up the pace 10-20 seconds per mile, but I think I slowed down for the last 3 miles. I'm guessing my average pace was 9:00 and average HR 151. Run felt pretty good, especially my breathing, considering my legs felt tired just standing. Will be sure to stretch well today as well as eat well.

I swam in the evening at Roosevelt pool with the tritons. I'ts a big group today and we are using 4 lanes, so well spread out. Only 2 other people in my lane. Started with a warm up and drills for about 20 minutes. For drills on my side I need to work on my flutter kick and keeping my hand real high in the water. Today's workout was set up as a ladder. Each set to be swum at Moderate Easy pace so that the first 100 and last 100 are at equal speed. 100-200-300-400-300-200-100 yards with rest of 20-25-30-40-30-25-20. I was leading the pace for my lane and felt I was taking it a bit too hard so slowed down a little when we hit the 300s. My stroke rate was really consistent 23-25 per lap. The first 100 and last 100 were at 1:05, so I managed to not fall apart at the end. Felt the rest periods were short,  guess that was the point. Talked to Claudia about my goals and she wants me to focus on getting stroke rate to 21-23 by end of April. Good goal. Noticed during cool down that my first lap was only 21, so I know if i relax more and don't use my strength so much and I can succeed in my goal. Good session.

WEDNESDAY- Today is my Off day. I'm glad it's in the middle of the week, i really need it. Unforniutately I do have to run with team in training tonight, but that won't be more than three miles. I did some weight training and abs in the basement between clients. Need to get in a good shoulder workout, and since the swimming is over for the week, today is the day. Did 35 minutes of just shoulders and triceps. Supersets of strength followed by stability. Strength sets were 3x8-10 reps and stability was 3x10-12reps. Everything felt good!. Did one superset for triceps and didn't go very heavy. Finished with abs on the bosu for 10 minutes, exercises I had not done in a while.

THURSDAY- after clients i did weight training followed by a run. Feeling pretty good today, but still not 100%. At john street I did back and chest work. Supersets for strength followed by stability, effort moderate/hard, reps 10-12 for most. Order was back, back, chest, back. Followed with good stretching so I'm not all tight for my run. Did 35 minutes total.

I had breakfast, high in carbs, about hour and a half before the run. Felt good going into the run, but a bit of cramping the last few miles. Seems I do better with my Isalean shake than higher carbs prior to a heavy run. Doing 12 miles including intervals and MP training. Start from John street and across Chambers to the Hudson River Parkway which is just over a mile for the warm up. Did 4x100 in 26-28 sec (goal 27) then 4x200 in 50-55 sec (goal 54) followed by easy jog and some walking for 10 minutes and included a bathroom stop. I'm running into the wind and it's a steady 10mph at least with higher gusts. Next step is 7 miles at MP goal pace 7:56 and the first few are tough because I"m going into the wind for 2.5 miles. Then I turn around and feels great until about mile 5 where I'm running out of steam. Should have taken a gel then but kept going. Finished the 7 miles at 7:53 pace at 177 average HR. This was feeling really good. Data very similar to last time but this was a mile longer with virtually no stopping. I took a gel about 3.5 mile before starting the MP portion and should have taken another about 3.5 miles into the MP portion. Will remember that for my next attempt, which will be my last attempt with my taper right around the corner. Would like to see my HR at 173 instead of 177.

FRIDAY- I had a half hour between clients and spent that working on shoulders. Super sets of strength and stability. 6 exercises total. Kept it light to moderate in weight, but short rests. Left shoulder feels good, even with the overhead movements. That's it for the day. I had planned a bike ride today but want to get in two full days off  this week since I was feeling a bit overworked earlier this week. Also did yoga and ab work today.

SATURDAY- woke up tired today.  Went to see Muse last night and got home late. Had 6 1/2 hours sleep and could have used more. Have a lot to do today, so got going pretty quickly after having a shake and set out for my 20 mile long run which i'm doing on hilly terrain in Prospect Park. I've been running flat a lot, so this will feel more challenging but i'm going to take it real easy. Not feeling as recovered as I usually do before a long run, so will focus in on HR and not speed. Goal is to keep my HR average in low 150 range (abt 80% max). Warmed up 1 mile then continued to the park and went clockwise for 10 miles, turn around and go counter-clockwise. Had honey stinger gels at 4,8,12, and 15 miles, also bathroom and water stop at 12. Paused my Garmin and walked briefly for each gel. Felt really good until around 11 mile. Don't know if i'm just board of going around in circles or what. My HR is staying really low, mostly in mid 150's and into mid 160s on the hills. Seems I do better energetically when I use honey stinger and power gels, also when I'm more focused on pace instead of taking it easy. The 18 mile main set was at 9:30 pace and ave HR was 159 which is probably the lowest average for all my long runs. Temperature was really nice in the mid 40's but was a bit windy. Almost warm enough for shorts and short sleeve shirt if not for the wind.

SUNDAY- Today I was planning to get on my bike as it's the last day of my training week to do so, but I can't stand to be inside. Doing a lot of work around the apartment this weekend and it's sunny and 45 degrees outside, so i'm running! Did an easy run over the brooklyn bridge and back. Pace 9:05 and Ave HR 160. Left ITband feel a bit tight and will do some foam rolling over te next few days to correct that.

Week totals:  13 hours.  Run 61 miles (over my plan by 5 miles), 9 hrs 30 min; 2:15 mi weights over 4 days; 1:15 min swim.

Paris Marathon- Week 6- Sharpening phase

This was a really good week training wise and weather wise.  I have two mid distanct runs each week and I worked those pretty hard.  My weekend run was a bit shorter (compared to last week) at 20 miles, and I changed the days of the week that I did particular workouts but made sure all hard workouts were followed by easy or off.  As well I got in a number of days at the gym on weights, one speed workout at the pool and a solid interval session on the indoor trainer.  My body feels great, recovering well, a little tight in my left piriformis, but that's my only complaint. MONDAY- I had about 2 hours between clients this morning so got in a workout in my basement gym. Spent 45 minutes on legs and shouders. Legs were power and stability and shoulders were mostly strength exercises. Start with light shoulder internal and external rotation, then KB swings superset with box jump, Shouder PNF, Single leg squat with 10# bi curls, Arnold shoulder press super set with Bosu Transverse lunge, shoulder flexion super set with shoulder extension. Followed up with about 5 minutes of abs. Then did 30 minutes of mat yoga work and meditation. Good way to start my day. Went to bed a bit late but slept really well. For my morning just had 4 oz of cleanse for life for the first 3 hours of the day.

After my morning clients and the weight sesion I had a quick pick me up drink. I mixed 1 scoop of chocolate isalean shake with hot water and a little almond milk and a spot of peppermint extract for a hot chocolate drink before my run (only about 90 calories). Easy run today, 6 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge and back. Temps are about 22 degress but felt much warmer and had to take off a layer. Almost no wind today and it's pleasantly sunny. Enjoyed the easy run. Took the hills up at moderate effort, and down hill a little faster than normal. If this were a flat run would have aimed for 9mm, never know how an easy run is going to actually turn out when going over the bridge so I just focus on my breathing and keep my HR fairly low. Average pace wasw 9:09 and HR 157. Felt light and easy. Nice to not wear a lot of clothing or carry water.

TUESDAY at John street after clients I got in a farily intense back and chest workout. Did 2 back exercises followed by 1 chest. All were 3 sets, reps 8-12. Chest work was lighter than back. Think I did 9 exercises total.  It's raining in the city, but snowing in Brooklyn, so i'm heading home for my run after clients.

It was nice fluffy snow. I had eaten about 2 hours previous and feel energised and ready to go. Warmed up 2 miles to Prospect Park and took the park loop clockwise. I'm feeling really strong today. Normally a 13 mile run would be at 9:20 pace but I worked it a little harder, and focused in on my breathing and watched my HR to average around 160. I stopped at 6.5 miles, stop for bathroom and a gel and took a little video on my ipod of the beautiful winter scenery. Changed directions and kept the same pace no problem. Snow isn't sticking much so surface was totally fine. Over the 10 miles of the main set I ran 8:54 pace at av HR 161. I worked the hills farily hard getting to 170bpm or about 90% max HR.

Wait, I'm not done for the day yet.  I still have a swim this evening.  I Had a great swim at Roosevelt Pool with the Tritons. Again swam with 2 other guys who pushed me quite a bit. Had 20 minutes of warm up and drills and about 10 minutes of cool down including a little work on flip turns. The main set was 45 minutes. Did 5x100, 5x150, 5x50, All sets included a combination of moderate/hard/easy 25-50 yard portions. Interesting way to test strength and was difficult to keep form by the end. Last 50 was moderate 25/hard 25. The last 50 I was starting to loose it. Worked on full follow through and high elbow for much of the workout. Kept all sets at between 24 and 25 strokes per length. Did my 50's in 50s! Quite happy with that considering this time last year I was swimming 50's in 60 seconds, even in the beginning of a workout. Did 2500 yards or so total.  Day is over and I feel good!

WEDNESDAY-Extremely boring easy run. The slushy snow from yeasterday froze overnight and much of the sidewalk and street is very slippery. Glad I'm not doing a tempo run today. Just wandered around Brooklyn searching for surfaces that were not slippery. Pace was very slow 9:50mm pace HR 150.

THURSDAY- today is feeling like a great day for my intervals and MP workout. Had a farily large breakfast ate 1.5 hours before my run. I was in the city so get to run intervals up Hudson River park instead of the track which is a nice change. The temperature is great, about 35 degrees but a heavy wind at least 10mph as I'm running north from battery park up the west side. Started with 2 mile warm up and then did 4x100 with 100m walk. Goal was 27 sec and I completed them in 23-29 sec (Last time did 23-26sec). Immediately followed by 4x200 with 200 jog. Goal was 54 sec and I completed them in 47-55 sec at 172 av hr, last time was 50-52 sec. So far soo god, especially considering i'm running into the wind. Walked a bit, had a gel then jogged for half mile. Next 6 miles will be at MP 7:56 or better. The first 2 miles were still against the wind and was able to maintain a great pace. Every 2 miles I would walk briefly to drink a little then pick up the pace again. Planning on haveing to do this on race day, so want to keep monitor going and push myself to pick my pace up again immediately following a break. The last 4 miles felt just as hard as the first 2 yet I had the advantage of the wind at my back. Was really happy with results of the 6 miles in that I kept the average pace at 7:48 (faster than my goal) and HR was same as last weeks 5 mile MP at 176 Av HR. Jogged the rest of the run to complete 12 miles total.

After my run I had a quick shower and half an Isalen bar then hit the gym floor for a quick 35 minute workout. Did legs and shoulders in supersets, giving plenty of time to rest between. Had I not just finished a really tough run I would have done straight sets. Did BB squats and lateral raises, BB deadlift and military press with rotation, S/L extensions (a little light) and cable shoulder extension. Reps were between 8 and 12 for 3 sets. Feeling a little pain on the inside of my left knee. Felt it during the cool down of my run too. Will keep an eye on that. Had a half a bar after the workout and then went home for a big lunch. I stretched immediately following the run, but will also do yoga later today.

FRIDAY- Today is a day off running.  In the morning I did some light weights. Don't feel any training stress from yesterday's hard run or leg weights so that's a good sign. Work only back and chest today. Weight was light, intensity moderate and rest periods very short. Only trained for 30 minutes and finished with 10 minutes of core work and about 20 minutes of yoga.

SATURDAY- Woke up a bit tired and maybe should have had one less drink last night. Had an Isalean chocolate shake with a whole banana in it, got dressed, did some light stretching and set out for a 20 mile flat run. Ran over the Brooklyn Bridge up the Hudson River park path for 10 miles and then return. Started with easy 1 mile jog. The sun is out, the temps are nice (maybe high 30"s) but it's windy. Running up the west side had a stiff wind, about 20mph, but at least its not cold and the ground is dry. Goal is to run slow an steady, take short breaks for gels, pick up the pace briefly after the break and enjoy the run with a goal of 9:30 pace. Even though I wsas running into the wind it wasn't too bothersome, but was a bit slow, 9:38 pace with 154 av hr. The run was pretty boring but I had a lot of business ideas to sort out in my mind, so made good use of the three hours for that. Turned around at 10 mile mark and then was able to pick up the pace quite a bit on the way back. The second half of the run was a 9:09 pace and same av HR of 154, so about 30sec faster per minute than when running against the wind. I liked my timing on the gels today. had first at 4mile, then 8, 12 (bathroom stop here) and 15. Took the last couple of miles a little harder starting with the hill going up the brooklyn bridge. Ran into a crowd of Health care reform protestors. I dont' understand why they like to walk across the Brooklyn bridge. There's not much of an audience, most everyone else on the bridge are tourists, half of which are foreign tourists. Why don't they walk around city hall, or times square, or somethwere more visible, and most improtantly somewhere other than where I'm trying to run. Finished the last 1/2 mile at MP and it felt really good. Took the last mile real easy for my cool down.

SUNDAY- Today is indoor bike trainer day. Feel strangely good today aside from feeling a bit bloated and fat. Guess thats what and extra dose of nutrient dense caliroes after a long run will do for you. Thought since I felt tired yesterday after my long run I would not feel up to a decent workout on the bike today. Am doing an hour session of intervals at fairly heavy resistance; call it a strength interval session. I warmed up for 15 minutes then did 4 sets of 6 minutes at a cadence and effort just below race (sub threshold- HR goal 153-162) followed by 4 minutes recovery. Was feeling so good that I didn't take the recovery very easy. Each recovery was a fast cadence, farily low resistance but HR averages were 155bpm and cabence in the mid to upper 80s. During the work intervals Ave HR around 158 and cadence 72. Pleased that I didn't need a full recovery between sets. Was a beautiful day outside, perfect for an easy run but glad I got this strength workout in.

Totals:  13 hrs 20 minutes of training.  56.6 miles running; 1:15 min swimming; 2:25min weight training; 1:00 indoor trainer.

Paris Marathon- Week 5- Sharpening Phase

MONDAY- Between clients I did some weight training in my basement gym in the morning. I've had some tea, ionix supreme, cleanse for life and had an Isadelight right before training. Today will be a light workout. Need to still recover from Saturday's long run but will do leg work, but pretty much body weight. Did a lot of stability work like S/L squats with Stability ball, step up to balance plus shoulders, Lateral lunges, S/L deadlift to overhead reach. Incorporated a lot of shoulder work with the leg movements. When I felt a need to rest my legs I focused for 3 sets of some shoulder exercise. All shoulder work was light as well. After clients I dressed for my run. Had half a isalean shake and put want more energy in my water pack. Went to Prospect Park for a moderate 10 mile run. Warmed up real easy for 2 miles to the park, stopped at a new gym to check it out, but they were not open. Once in the park I set my goal of a 9:20 average pace, but kept in mind that it should feel easy. For the most part the whole run did feel easy. Am getting tired of the cold and the wind though. Also the hills. This is my third day in a row with hills. After 5 miles I turned around, stopped briefly for the bathroom and had a Honey Stinger Gel. They taste so much better than all the other brands. Continued out of the park and down hill all the way home. Main set was 8 miles at 9:20 and Av hr of 155. Even on the hills I kept my HR under control and rarely did it go over 160bpm. Once home I dropped off my water pack and picked up my glasses that need repair and jogged to the glasses shop on Smith street and back. So I added on about another 1.25 miles to the 10 mile run and called that my cool down.

TUESDAY- between clients I got in a very easy 6 mile run in lower Manhattan. Have not eaten yet, but I feel energetic, light, and not hungry so will eat right after my run. Went down Chambers and up the Hudson River park. Feel really good and light. Not carrying any water and that helps, but feel fresh, and enjoyed running flat with virtually no wind. Turned around at 3 miles and returned to John street for a stretch. Average pace including warm up and cool down was my target 9mm, HR was a little low, which is a good sign, at 153bpm.

Tuesday evening I had my main meal of the day and then went to the pool to swim with the Tritons. Today I'm in a lane with 3 other guys. We start with out typical easy swim and drills then go into the main set. First is 5x100 with 30s rest at moderate/hard which should be a little below T time (my t from test last week is 2:00). I was last in line and felt like I was working moderately hard, but maybe a little harder than that as I was falling behind the group and had to push a bit to keep up. I did all 5 at T time (2:00) except one which was about 5sec short. Feel like I should have been swimming all of them about 5-10 sec short. Next set was 5x150 with 45 sec rest starting at same effort as the 100s and progressively getting harder. Goal is for the last set to be not much slower than the first. The guys were all going faster than what I wanted but to keep from falling behind and screwing up their laps I had to push it harder. Really focused on keeping the same number or strokes per length (typically 24 or 25), so not speeding up my stroke, but pushing more water with each set. For Sets 1 & 2 I was still swimming my T time finishing each in 3:00 or slightly better. The 4th one was about 10 seconds slow. The 5th one was in 2:50! I was shocked. I worked it really hard and felt it a bit in my left shoulder, but didn't lose my stroke length. We did about 300 yards more for a cool down and practiced some flip turns at the deep end. I pushed off the wall funny one time and strained my calf a bit. Other than that little mishap I had a fantastic session. Would like to see my stroke rate get below 20. There were 2 other lanes being used and the coaches were mostly helping those swimmers so didn't get any feedback from them today at all. Hope next week to make improvements in my stroke length with some attention from the coaches.

WEDNESDAY- It snowed overnight, but not as much as I expected, and we are expecting 12 inches total today.  So I'm sticking to my plan of running over the bridge and up the Hudson River Park for a Tempo/ Race Pace flat run of 12 miles total. I had an isalean shake with banana and cherries about 20minutes before I left. Wish I had more time to digest that but didn't want to waste any time. I wore my yaktrax and they were totally necessary. Sidewalks and Brooklyn bridge were snowy but had been plowed. Took it real easy for the first 3 miles until I got the Hudson River. There is a bit of wind today, the snow is a mix of wet/fluffy and sleet. For the flat path portions had about 1 inch of wet snow, so like running in wet sand, some was completely dry because of salt, but most was plowed but crunchy, not slippery though. I wanted to do 6 miles here at race pace 7:54 or so. Considering the conditions I'm happy with just planning on a HR of mid 170 range and work at a 90% effort with no stopping. I broke the work interval into two parts; up the river against the wind and down river with the wind. Against the wind was quite uncomfortable at points with the sleet and found it much harder than the return. Going up I ran 8:21 Av HR 173 max 181 and going back I ran 8:12 AV hr 175 max 179. Total for the 5.75 miles was 8:17 pace. Last time I ran this route I did same total mileage, but 6.84 miles (about mile was down hill) at 7:54, av HR 168 and Max 181 but had to stop multiple times for gel, water, bathroom. A little disappointed with my pace, but really did work in the target HR and stopped only once briefly for gel and water. I noticed that even in the areas that were free of snow, i was not running much faster than 8mm. Other observations is that my right calf hurt from the strain in the pool yesterday, I did not sleep well, and i feel heavy, weighed down from my meal and all the clothing. My legs felt OK though. Hamstrings felt a bit tight. Goal for next time is to run total flat part at 7:50 for 6.5 miles, 13 miles total and hope for good weather.

I had to drag myself down to the gym for weight training later in the afternoon. Feel like I have a lot of work yet to do today but will take the time to get in 30 minutes of weights. Focused on Back, some chest and 1 exercise isolated biceps. All were super sets. Used cables, free weights and TRX. Chest focus was on stability. Performed 9 exercises total over 30 minutes. Weight was light to moderate, Reps 8-12, and rest periods were short. Finished with a short ab session using the TRX.

THURSDAY- it snowed all day yesterday and much of the night. My city morning clients cancelled so I slept in. When I awoke I had some cleanse for life and Ionix, read a few emails and dressed carefully for my run. The snowy mix is now frozen, and most sidewalks are in bad shape. It's well below freezing and quite windy, so with these conditions I'm taking this easy 5 mile run extremely slow. I would find a good path, then it would turn bad and I would change my course, so just sort of wandered through Brooklyn Heights. I decided to spend some time on the Brooklyn bridge, because I figured that at least would be plowed. And it was. Average pace for 5 miles was 10:00, ave HR 153.

Went to the basement gym to get in a workout before my last client. A phone call interrupted my workout so only got in 30 minutes of weights and about 10 minutes of abs. Wanted to do heavy legs today but didn't make it into the city so changing the plan to high volume, low weight for legs combined with light weight moderate volume for shoulders. Front Squats, lateral lunges, SA suitcase squats, for shoulders did some ohp with DB but light, scaption, shoulder extension with cables and some internal and external rotation work.

FRIDAY- usually Fridays are an easy day on the indoor trainer but I'm pressed for time and figured it would be good to change things up a little. I have my long run (24 miles) tomorrow, my longest to date so feel today would be a good day to take off and will cycle on Sunday if I'm feeling up to it. I do want to do some weights though so went to my basement gym for a short 35 minute session. Warmed up with the TRX, SA DB rows heavy, supersets of bicep curls including light shoulder presses, BB OHP moderate weight 4x8 (feeling some discomfort in left shoulder today), Supersets for triceps, Kneeling lat pulldown WG (again feeling something in left shoulder) and light seated DB lateral raises 4x8 with only 10#. That's what I call a day off. Will do some yoga later and maybe abs.

SATURDAY- Today is my longest run to date, 24 miles. Got a good 7 hours of sleep, feel rested, had an isalean shake, did some light stretching and left around 8am. Taking a very different route and approach to my long run today. So far I either run mostly flat up Hudson River Park, or all hills in Prospect Park. Today i'm starting first 4 miles with hills by running to prospect park, but then exit the park and take Ocean Avenue all the way to Coney Island which is totally flat. Turn around at 12 mile mark and go back. Want some variety in my long run, but also want to experiment with slowing down and/or stopping (like for a water station) and then picking up the pace about 15-30sec faster than average, then working back down to average pace. Thought my average pace for this run was going to be 9:30 or slower. As I approached Ocean Avenue I saw that my average was 9:20 and my HR was only 151BPM (really low) so I kept that pace as my goal. Slowed or stopped briefly at least 6 times going out Ocean ave. I like the idea of teaching my legs to start quickly after a stop for about 30-60 seconds (basically making up the time I was slow or stopped) and then slowing back down to 9:20 pace. I made it to Coney Island. I've never been there in the winter. Was dreary and dirty like in the summer, but toally empty, and no smells. Kinda creepy. Took a breather for about 2 minutes and soaked it all in while I ate half of a energy bar. Had a moment of reflection and appreciated all that I've accomplished in the years.  About 7 years ago David and I rode our bikes out here for the first time following this same route.  I was not a runner then and I remember the day being tiresom.  Can't believe 7 years later I'm running (not biking) the same distance without a second thought.  I made it all the way to the stadium and the parachute drop and headed back after enjoying the moment.  When I turned around I realized that I had a little wind helping me on the way out there (thus the low HR and a 9:20 pace that felt easy) so I slowed my pace a bit, but kept with the same stop/start fast routine. By about 16 miles I was feeling pretty tired. Had a honey gel at 5,10, 15 and 19 mile mark. Also had half of a bar at 12. Really didn't stop to rest except when I turned around at Coney Island for about 2 minutes. I slowed for taking gels and drinking water (generally as I was approaching a red light) but didn't stop for any rest periods except the 2 minutes to turn around. If I hit a light I would jog in a little circle or in place. So for a long run, this is the first one where I really didn't stop multiple times to refill water, bathroom etc. The lack of rest periods, along with the 12-15 accelerations after traffic lights I think made this a more difficult workout. Cooled down for a good mile. My warm up was 2 miles up hill to prospect park. My main set was 22 miles at 9:24 pace AV hr 152, max HR only 166. This was a good idea, but not executed exactly as I would like. Continuing with other long runs will try to stop less to drink water, have gels etc, and if I do have down time, be conscious of picking up the pace a bit to make up for down time and keep my legs from feeling sluggish from running the same pace for extended periods.

SUNDAY- today is an easy recovery day and I've logged plenty of miles so am getting on my indoor trainer. Definitely not feeling like an intervals session. Just listened to my tunes and changed the resistance and or pace after every song. Yes, quite boring, but not needing anything more strenuous. In terms of HR rode at the low range of my long distance ride HR. Got cadence sensor working again. Average cadence was 76rpm.

Week Totals: 13 hours 32 min in training.  Run: 58 miles, Swim 1:20 min, Bike 45 min, Wts 4days 2:20 total.

Physical note:  Had pain in my right calf after the flip turns from Tuesday.  By friday was not feeling that pain anymore. Sometimes feel a bit of tightness in my left hip only when running.  Will work on foam rolling that area next week.  Snow was definitely an inhibitor in my training this week and hope for clear weather next week.

Paris Marathon- Week 4 Sharpening Phase

Monday- Ideally the day following a long run I should run an easy 6 miles or so, but my schedule is off because my 22 miner was on Sunday instead of Saturday. I'm sticking with my mileage plan of 10 miles but going to go slower than typical 9:20 or better pace. I warmed up 2 miles mostly up hill to prospect park. Took it real slow. I'm feeling real sluggish, but nothing is sore, tight or bothering me. Took the loop counter-clockwise, had a gel at 5 miles when i turned around and continued my easy pace. My HR never got higher than 165bpm which means I took the hills real slow as well. Cooled down 1 mile easy. The main set was for 7 miles. Average pace was 9:38 and average HR was 153bpm. Shows I took it about as easy as i could. Will take the planned 6 miler tomorrow real easy because I have a real tough workout planned for Wednesday. Right before my last client I fit in a workout in the basement gym for 30 minutes. Worked mostly combination movements of upper and lower body with light weights. Leg volume was high, but not much weight. Focused on stability. Finished with 10 min on bosu for abs and a little yoga to finish off.

Tuesday- I have a chunk of time today between clients in the city and have an easy run and weights planned. My easy run was 6 miles down chambers street and up the Hudson river parkway, so mostly flat. My easy pace is 9:00 but today I just used heart rate as a gauge. Really want it to feel easy so i'm for the hard run I have planned for tomorrow. My average pace including the warm up and cool down was 9:09 and average HR was 148bpm. Really low, much lower than I expected it to be. Usually and easy run is about 153bpm. There was almost no wind today and think that was a bit of a factor, but mostly think I played it right yesterday by keeping my mid length run very easy. I have not had anything to eat either accept tea, ionix supreme and 2 ounces of cleanse. Last food was about 10 hours ago. Think the combo of no food, no water being carried on my body and light layers made me feel lighter for the run.

Right after the run I did 30 minutes of weights. Only did back and shoulders but pretty heavy. For back I did NG lat pull down, seated military press, machine delt row, DB shoulder scaption, DB bent over reverse fly, Cable straight arm pull down, and SA cable shoulder extension. For the multi joint exercises I did a warm up of 12-15 reps then continued with 3x8. For the single joint I went a little lighter and did mostly 3-4 sets x10 reps. Felt good to go heavy today. Left shoulder feels great. Did all this in 30 minutes, so rest periods were short as well.

Tuesday evening I went to Roosevelt pool a bit early. I'm swimming with the team but last week they did a threshold test and I want to do that today. Don't know how long it will take, but want to do the test and then jump in to the workout for the day. The test was really hard, and I was pretty spent by the end of the test. First was a warm up 6x50. Then 3 different drills, so another 300 yards total. Then before the time trial you swim 4x50 and count your strokes per 50. The goal is to swim strong and long. Each 50 was 47 or 48 strokes. Then the time trial. 3x100 with 30sec rest. 1:55, 2:00, 2:05 were my times. Average was 2:00. Then 1x200 to see if you are able to maintain the 2:00 average over 200 yards. I finished the 1x200 in 4:05. Les felt It was a good trial. Shows consistency. After that we did 6x100 at T time minus 5-10 sec. By the last one I was short 15 seconds. Felt my left shoulder pulling during the trial, not painful, just not normal.

Wednesday- It snowed overnight and didn't look too bad from my window, but once I got out there I felt it was going to be a difficult speed workout. My goal is to improve over last week in terms of pace and time at MP. I warmed up 2 miles to the track and did 4x100 with 100 walk as rest. Goal was 27 sec and completed them in 23-26 seconds. Happy with that considering the snow covered track. Immediately following I did 4x200 with 200 jog for rest. Goal was 54 sec and completed them in 50-52 seconds. jogged about 2 minutes then set to the streets for 5-6 miles at MP 7:52. I stayed in the streets, wove around red hook on streets with little traffic or need to stop. At 4 miles I was tired and just told myself you can always do one more mile. Pretty pleased that my pace was  consistent. I did 5 miles at 7:50 pace 176bpm HR. Last week I was only able to do 4 miles at 8:05 pace and HR was only a little lower. So quite happy with this improvement. Cooled down, easy jog home for about 1.5 miles, cutting my goal of 11 miles short by about .5 miles. In two weeks will do this again. Want to go over the bridge though. Warm up 3 miles then do intervals along the parkway and then do the tempo work there as well for 6 miles. May have to plan for a longer run (12-13 miles would be a good estimate).

Thursday- Only training on my agenda today is weights. Legs feel fine from hard run yesterday so going to stick with my plan for heavy strength training today. Did supersets for Legs and shoulders. Legs did 4x10 for the most part. Some exercises I increased weight and reduced reps as I progressed. For shoulders mostly 3x10. Did squats, deadlifts, s/l extensions, and BB front squat to cg OHP. For shoulders did DB scaption, seated military press, cable shoulder extension and BB front squat to OHP. Made good progress with the squats today. Finished 4th set with 115#. Shoulder felt good until I worked with the BB for the last exercise.

Friday- Between clients in the morning I had a really good weight training session. My legs are quite sore from yesterday, as are my shoulders. Focusing on Back today, some chest, biceps and triceps. For back I did 6 exercises, all supersets of stability and strength. Was quite tired by the end of the 45 minutes. Did SB push ups and supersets for biceps and triceps as well.

Later in the afternoon I did my indoor trainer workout.  Since my  legs feel real sore I'm not going to do intervals today. I would actually take the day off, had i not taken yesterday off. Yesterdays leg training is killing me. I want to be recovered as much as possible for 20 mile run tomorrow so took the indoor trainer ride real easy. Though I was going to stay on for an hour, but cut it to 40 minutes. My HR never got above 154 and I kept the cadence fairly high, around 80rpm. Worked at about the same effort that I would put in for a long endurance ride, minus the hills.

Saturday- Woke up feeling rested and legs feel recovered. Yesterday's easy bike ride was a good choice. It snowed over night and is still snowing. Only a couple inches on the ground, but its quite windy, about 15mph winds. and temps are in the low 20s. Running mixed terrain of hills in prospect park, since I did flat last week. Objective is to warm up 2 miles to the park. Miles 2-9 easy 9:30 or slower pace, then next 3 miles 9:00, next 3 8:30 and last 2-3 8:00 then cool down at least 2 miles. Got to the park and the snow is really coming down. Not a pleasant snow either. Stings my face. Start clockwise and footing is good at first. About 1/3 of the loop has really poor footing because the wind causes drift, therefore the plowing and salting isn't helping in the areas where you also happen to have the wind in your face. Wish I had worn my yaktrax, really would have helped a lot. The first 9 miles were really easy, not including warm up the pace was 9:29 and HR 155 average. I was happy with my energy throughout this run. I planned for gels every 4 miles and that plan worked well. Every time I had a gel I walked, drank (hose froze again) and in many cases had a change of pace after the break. At the 10 mile mark I turned around and went counter-clockwise.  Miles 9-12 were at 8:53 pace HR 164. Miles 12-15 were 8:29 pace HR 170bpm. Last progression was to 7:58 (slightly slower than MP) for 2 miles and HR was 171. I wanted to do 3 miles but the last two were against the wind, in snow and I was having trouble keeping the pace, and a big .4 mile hill was in front of me. So I stopped the work set because I wanted to feel good about this accomplishment, and didn't want to push 100% up that last hill. Took the last mile before my cool down at about the same effort, HR was 169 bpm and pace was 8:45. Did an easy 2 mile cool down.  This was a really hard progressive run.  Will be interesting to see how my body feels tomorrow.  Stretched very lightly after the run, fueled up and did some yoga about an hour later.

SUNDAY- feel totally fine after the long run yesterday. Had a half of an isalean shake and braved the cold again. Weather is much like yesterday. Temps in low 20s, heavy winds, but today it's sunny. Had planned on going flat for a 7 mile easy run, but red hook would be the best choice for that and I already spent  time there ton Wednesday, so will go over the brooklyn bridge and take the hills real easy. I just thought about doing an easy run, not about the typical 9mm pace associated with it. Wind is against me going over the bridge and I'm not pushing it at all. My av HR was about 154 and I don't think I went any faster than 8mm briefly on the down hill side of the bridge. Really happy that nothing hurts today, no twinges anywhere, tightness, all is good.

Week Totals: 13 hours of training.  Run 54 miles, Swim 1hr 20min, Bike indoors 40 min, Weight train 1 hr 45 over 3 days.  Also did Abdominal work and yoga almost daily

Paris Marathon- Week 3 of sharpening phase

Monday- Todays 12 mile run was interesting. It's raining quite hard and we also have 40mph winds. Fortunately it's about 55 degrees out so I wore shorts, shirt and rain jacket with hood and a cap. I stayed comfortably warm and wasn't miserable except at a few points in the run. Warm up was 2 miles to prospect park. Once at the park I went counter clockwise until I hit the 6 mile mark. Pace is not as important (gaol was 9:20) but wanting to keep my HR average under 160. Had a gel at turnaround and walked briefly, also had to stop for the bathroom one other time. The second half of the run felt better than the first. Really enjoyed my ipod genius metal mix. Perfect for this run, gloomy and upbeat. Only saw 3 other runners in the park. The last mile I was able to pick up the pace as it was all down hill and wind was working with me. The main set of 9 miles was 9:23 pace AV HR 158. Cooled down real easy for the last mile. My doorman Ralph gave me tons of credit for taking on this task today. Tuesday- Between clients I had time for breakfast (isalean pudding and a banana) along with a short workout. Having some cramps today and not feeling great so I went fairly light. Did 3 exercises for back, two for shoulders and 1 for chest. No machines. All free weight or cables. Reps 10-15, three sets.

After clients I went for my run. Feeling a bit better than when doing weights. This will be an easy 6 miler with goal pace of 9:00. Found it to be quite windy and worked harder than I planned, but legs feel great and HR is not too high, so sticking with my plan for 9:00 pace. Ran all lower Manhattan around battery park, so really flat, but seemed no matter what my direction I was running against the wind. Not including a short warm up and cool down, my work set of 5.72 miles was at 8:44 pace and ave HR 164.

It evening now and time to join the Tritons at Roosevelt pool. Todays swim session is a recovery workout. We did a long warm up and drills for about 25 minutes. The main set was 5x50, 5x100, 2x100. Each distance increase also involved putting more energy into the stroke but focusing on the glide and keeping the number of strokes per length short. Les was coaching me today and had me work on my extension when entering the water. This was a totally new concept for me. I typically reach right in front of my head and don't really extend my arm until my hand is in the water. Working on just this for the whole session was eye opening. I was able to swim the 50s in 50 seconds. I was able to swim the 100s in 1:50, and after a long rest (at least a minute) was able to swim the 200s in 3:55. This is such a huge improvement for me. I'm elated!

Wednesday- I finished with clients and then went for a 12 mile run. I did this same run two weeks ago and improved in both distance and speed at MP. I warmed up 2 miles to the Brooklyn bridge and then planned for 7:50 pace for 6-7 miles. The first mile was all down hill with lots of stopping for traffic. Used this time to pick up my cadence. Then I ran flat along the Hudson River Park and continued with my MP of 7:55 in mind. I had to stop a number of times during the 6.84 miles at MP. Once for the bathroom, once to have a gel and turn around and once to drink water. Found at this intensity I couldn't drink and run at the same time. The temperature was good, about 32 and the wind was pretty light. I stopped the Tempo pace when I hit chambers street and paused my Garmin and forgot to turn it back on. But the results of the MP pace portion was 6.84 miles at 7:54 pace AV HR 168 and Max 181. I did this same workout two weeks ago, but only 6 miles (it excluded the downhill warm up) and for that one my pace was 8:16 and HR 171 BPM ave. So i'm quite happy with the improvement. Moving forward I want to keep the goal 6 miles but eliminate the rest periods. Once i've succeeded in that will increase the miles at Race Pace. The rest of the run I took really easy. Noticed that climbing hills was very difficult, HR wise and my legs were simply tired. So, I feel I did push the work set as hard as I could.

Thursday- between clients I had a little time for lower body strength training. Ideal because I have an easy run today, biking tomorrow, no training on Saturday and a long 22 miler on Sunday. Plenty of time to recover. Did Squats, same weight each set but increased reps. Same with leg extensions. Did Dead Lifts with same protocol but the weight was only 55# so was higher reps. Finished off with lateral lunges loaded to one side with a KB and made it a compound movement with over head presses. This was at about 8:15 and I had nothing to eat going into this. Had a Isalean Shake pudding and a banana following the workout.

By 10:30 I was done with clients and went for my easy 6 mile run. It's been snowing the last 2 hours and just stopped. Perfect, calm, moist, quiet and not windy. Left John Street gym for a flat run. Noticed the Garmin was not working properly. Said my HR was 223bpm during warm up, the surface was snow covered, I was enjoying the tranquility and just went for an easy run with no training thoughts in mind.

Friday- after morning clients and an Isalean Bar I went back down to the basement for an uper body workout. I had a plan and it was just the intensity of workout I was looking for. Have not worked upper body intensely this week and this was a great 45 minute program. Did supersets of stability followed by strength. Three sets of chest, followed by back, shoulders, then two sets of biceps and triceps. Also 10 min of abs with the TRX.

Immediately following the weight training I got on my indoor trainer for an hour. Doing intervals again today. Legs feel fine from yesterday's weight training, hamstrings a little tight though. I'm off completely tomorrow and have my long 22 mile on Sunday so will put some effort into this one and work at a higher resistance. Each work interval was executed as planned at sub threshold HR of between 153 and 162 bpm. The work intervals were at 65-72rpm and each was followed by 2 min recovery at 90rpm but HR stayed in the 140+ range, so not complete recovery. Intervals were 8-6-4-2-8-6 min. Started with 10 min warm up and had a 5 minute cool down. Thought I worked quite hard, more so than last time I did this program. Will be good to have a full day off and hopefully a fantastic long run on Sunday.

Sunday- Yesterday was a complete off day. have not done that in ages. Had an Isagenix conference and then a party following so no time for anything else which I of course planned into my training schedule. At the party I definitely ate more than I would at home, particularly fat, sugar and carbs, but was ok with that considering I had the 22 mile run planned for today. Had 7 1/2 hours of sleep last night, woke up, had an isalean shake with banana, piece of sprouted bread with humus and did some stretching, mostly for my back, before heading out. It's about 28 degrees out and wind is about 11mph. Headed over the Brooklyn bridge and up the Hudson River parkway for a nice flat run. Building this week to 22 miles, from 20 last week and my goal pace is 9:48. The first 11 miles were nice and easy although was going against the wind and decided to take the first half slower, and pick up the pace for the second half. First 11 were at 9:32 av pace and HR ave 159. I didn't stop at all until the turn around at 11miles. Made it all the way to Fairway in Harlem. Took a break there because my hose to the water pack had frozen. For the rest of the run I had to stop briefly to drink when I wanted a gel. I'm using want more energy in my water and the Honey stinger gels. Had one at 6 mile, at 11mile, at 15 mile, short bathroom stop, last one at 19 mile. Finding these gels not as effective in providing me with energy as the power gels, but they are all natural and taste great, so I think I just need to take them more often. Will try every 4 miles on my next long run. The last half of the run was faster, ended up running 9:16 pace and hr 158bpm. Going over the brooklyn bridge was not hard at all at a 10mm pace so I picked up the pace the last 2 miles. Overall really happy with my longest run to date. Average pace was 9:24 and AV hr 158bpm.

Totals for the week: 58.7 miles over 9:05;  Swim 1:15; Bike 1:00; Weight train 1:45.

Paris Marathon- Week 2 of Sharpening Phase

Monday- Wow do my legs hurt today from the weight training yesterday.  I'm running 12 miles today and decided to go flat by running over the bridge and up the west side.  Well,more flat than going to prospect park.  Trouble is that it's very windy today so the first half I was running against the wind and on the way back I simply reduced my effort and brought my HR down but didn't run faster.  Average pace for the 10 miles (didn't include the 1 mile warm up and cool down) was 9:30mm about 10 sec per mile slower than I intended and my HR was about 5bpm faster than I wanted.So I'm having a little bit of an off day, but the wind didn't help either.  Was going to do legs again tomorrow at the gym but will hold off until Thursday so I get some good recovery and don't screw up my planned speed work at the track on Wednesday.

Tuesday- After morning clients downtown I want for an easy 6 mile run. Mild, damp and not very windy. This is a totally flat run through battery park and up the west side briefly. Did not eat yet today, just cleanse for life and ionix about 2 hours earlier and had a isadelight chocolate right before the run. I like running these easy runs without food or extra water to weigh me down. Warm up and cool down was for 1/2 mile each. Ran the main set at 8:51 and av hr 162 ( a little high). Goal pace was 9:00.  Right after running I did 40 minutes of weights at John Street. No lower body. Did 9 exercises for back, chest and shoulders. Rep range was 8-12 and did 4 sets of all. Weight was not too heavy. Slow, controlled motions with short rest in-between. Shoulder felt good for most part but I did keep the weight low which is think is key now.

Wednesday- After morning clients I had half a shake and left for a 9 mile run. Today is intervals at the track followed by Race pace for 4-5 miles. Warmed up 2 plus miles to the track. Did 4x100m recovering with 100 m walk. My goal was 27 sec and I completed all at 25-26 seconds. Immediately following did 4x200m recovering with 200m jog. My goal was 54 seconds and I completed all between 46-56 sec. I spent about 5 minutes grabbing my equipment, adjusting my Garmin and jogging easily. Then picked up the pace for a few miles. Intended to run at 7:55 MP for 4-5 miles. Found that the wind at the track was working with me, but during the MP portion I was running against some wind about 80% of the time. HR was pretty high, in the mid 170's and needed to take a 3min walk break at 2 miles and then picked up the pace again. Ended up completing 4 miles a little slower than MP at 8:05. Not at all disappointed. Want to continue this training. Get my average pace up and then increase the time spent at MP. The track work felt pretty easy but the 4 miles at MP were pretty tough.

MOD REP 8-12 0

Thursday- Today is my off day. Not entirely, because I want to do weights and swim, but at least no running. After clients at John street I did a heavy session for 45 minutes of legs, back and shoulders. 3 exercises legs, followed by 3 for shoulders, followed by 3 for back. Rep range was 8-12 x 3 sets. Legs felt completely recovered and the 95# squats felt easy. As usually, shoulder work felt the hardest. Wont do abs today because i've done them 2 days in a row, but will do yoga before swimming tonight.  Swam with the tri team in the evening at Roosevelt pool. Energy is good going into it. Had a light dinner before I left. Crowded pool today. Warm up was followed by drills. Did lots of 50m sprints. Variations of out easy, hard back and rest after 50. Also did 100 repeats with the same guidelines. Felt really good to be able to keep my form on these faster intervals. My best 50 was 50 sec, and worst was 1:03 (i think). Not bad. Until the very end of the workout was able to keep long swim strokes finishing most laps between 25 and 27 strokes.

Intervals 0

Friday- Today I'm replacing an easy run with an indoor cycling session as I've done over the last two weeks.  Feel like I need a mental break from running, plus it's the only way I can get in a bike ride without compromising my running program.. Feel good after having yesterday off from running. Weight training from yesterday is not noticable, but mid back is a little sore from swimming. Doing a fun interval set today. Warm up 15 minutes then at a low resistance and goal to reach HR of 163 did 20s(40s rest), 40s(20s), 60(60), 40(20), 20(40). Followed by recovery into mid 140hr range at same resistance for 5 minutes. Did this twice. Next set is 2 minutes hard (about 80 rpm) and HR between 153-163 followed by 4 min rest at same resistance HR again in mid 140 range. Did this set 3 times. That was a 55 min workout. Could have done another set easily. Cool down for another 5 min. Felt really good. Like the second set over the first.

Saturday- Woke up and relaxed for about an hour then had an isalean shake with banana and got ready for my long run. Went to prospect park for an 18 mile progressive run. It's a nice sunny day, not too much wind, wore light layers. Body feels pretty good, quads are a little sore but otherwise feel recovered from 2 days off running. Once at the park I ran clockwise for 9 miles then turned around. I have not run this pattern in a while and prefer it to starting counter-clockwise. Warm up 2 miles up to prospect park at 10:24 pace HR 146 Miles 2-8 pace goal 9:30, actual 9:24 HR 153 Miles 8-12 pace goal 9:00, actual 8:57 HR 160 Miles 12-16 pace goal 8:30, actual 8:31 HR 170 Miles 16-18 cool down at 9:17 pace HR 156. Loved this run! Could have run another 2 miles or so at 8:30 pace. Had to work hard those 4 miles as there were two big hills to climb and I did take them hard getting HR up to 182bpm. Cool down felt good as well, not fatigued. Had 3 short breaks to take gels. Experimenting with different brands and liked this combo. At 5 mile hammer gel, at 9 mile honey stinger, at 13 mile power gel. Also drank want more energy in my water. Didn't drink a lot, just when I took the gels. Average pace for whole run was 9:12. Next progressive I will plan for the west side. Will also plan to run a a bit at 8:00. Maybe progress pace every 3 miles instead of every 4. Think a long warm up and cool down are critical.

Sunday- Woke up felling well rested. Nothing hurts, is tight or sore. Legs felt heavy during warm up and decided will take todays easy 6 mile run super easy. I would prefer to go flat, but there just are not any good routes without stop n go traffic. So, I'll do my typical Brooklyn bridge run but just take it really easy. Usually my 6 mile recovery run is done at about 155bpm and 9:00 pace. Today my AV HR was only 149 and pace during 5.5 miles was 9:24. Even on the hills my HR only got up to 163, I stuck to my plan.  Later in the afternoon I got in my 3rd weight training session for the week. Went down to the basement and did a lot of leg work. Some stability and some power but not too many reps. Each leg exercise was followed by an upper body stabilization exercise. Good total body workout but still fairly light. Have not done power work in a couple of weeks and may be feeling that tomorrow.

Totals for the week:  Run 51 miles for 7:51 min, bike 1 hr, swim 1:20, weight train 2:10.

Paris Marathon- Week 1 of Sharpening Phase

Now that Base training is over i am adding some changes to the program to increase intensity and improve recovery.  My Long runs will be between 18 and 24 miles throughout.  I will incorporate an easy day of indoor cycling instead of running.  I'm continuing to swim one night a week which I will try to plan for my so-called "off day".  Weight training for strength, stability and some power will remain for 2-3 hours per week.  To improve on speed I will incorporate one of two workouts. Tempo runs of mid length (10-12 miles total) where 6-10 miles of the run are at or just below MP 7:56.

Intervals on a mid length run (8-11 miles total) where I warm up 1-2 miles and then complete repeats of 100 meters and 200 meters.  After the intervals I will finish the rest of the run at or just below MP 7:56.

Monday- I'm starting my week out well.  I'm organized and have been on the Isagenix cleanse program for a week now so my energy is good.  Feel pretty rested too.  Between clients in my basement I worked on shoulders, back and chest.  Fairly light weights, free weights and cables, working in tri sets.  Exhausted my shoulders, back was light and chest was moderate.  Had a shake as well and some stretching.  After clients i prepared for my 12 mile tempo run.  It's brisk but not very windy.  New program for this week which includes one day at moderate length with the middle miles at Marathon Pace.  I took the first three miles real easy over the brooklyn bridge to the west side.  Once I hit the flat hudson river park I picked up my pace and planned for a 7:55mm for 6 miles.  I didn't expect to hit that pace, simply wanted to get my HR into threshold and hold it for the 6 miles.  Holding my HR above 171bpm was not a problem, but my legs were a bit slow.  After 3 miles I needed a gel, so walked 2 minutes and turned around.  Was able to pick up my pace by about 10 sec per mile for the last 3 miles.  Once i hit Chambers I stopped the set, slowed down, took the hills back home easy for the last 3 miles.  The MP set of 6 miles was Av HR 174 and Av pace 8:16.  Not bad for my first tempo run in months, but expect to improve with distance and pace on my next one, probably in 2 weeks.

Tuesday.  I had a bit of time today between clients so will run and weight train a bit.  The run is an easy 6 mile recovery run.  I didn't need to carry water and wore less clothing today and that felt really good.  Enjoyed the freedom of movement.  Was a nice flat run from John street around battery park and up the hudson river park a bit. Felt easy, although I found myself running a bit fast at times, so slowed it down.  Average pace, not including .5 mile warm up was 9:05 and AV HR 164.  After the run I had my first meal of the day and did 30 minutes of leg training.  BB deadlift, BB squat, Leg extensions, and cable rotation with lateral lunge.  Reps 10-15.  sets 3-4.  l like doing weights right after a run.

Wednesday. I have been so good this week about stretching and fitting in yoga and i can feel the difference. After my morning clients I had a shake and then went out for a run in prospect park. Ran up side streets for some variety and warmed up for one mile. I just want to run an easy 9:20 pace average and have an average hr below 160. During my run I thought about a lot of work tasks and not so much about the run which was nice. Turned around at 4.5 mile mark and returned home again through park slope side streets. Average pace was 9:16 and AV Hr 158 for the 6 mile set. I jogged easy for the last mile and did some yoga after my shower. Didn't have any gels during the run, just a little want more energy in my water pack.

Thursday- I really wanted to weight train again today bu had absolutely no time and its my day off from running. Only plan is to go to the pool and swim with my tri team. I ate just before I left and felt really good and energized getting into the pool, which is rare for me for an evening training session. We had a thorough warm up followed by drills. Then we did work sets of 200 and 100 yards set at threshold pace. Don't really know my threshold pace, but will be testing that in two weeks. Today my best 200 was just under 4 min which is pretty good for me. Les wants me to work on the finish of my stroke. I tend to have good pull all the way past my hip, but need to work on exiting the water with my elbow, not my hand. We also worked on back stroke a bit. Nice 1 1/2 hour workout. Next morning noticed my left shoulder was sore. Don't know if it was the stress of swimming, not enough weight training this week or what, but i'm disappointed that it is bothering me.

Friday- today was a light day for clients and I had hoped to do some weight training but other things got in the way of that. Have not done weights since Tuesday and that's not good. I set up my indoor trainer and decided I was recovered enough since I didn't run yesterday to do and interval set. The set was only a little over 30 minutes but was done on the large ring at a slow cadence. I warmed up for 15 minutes and then did 4 sets of 5 min low cadencee (about 55-65rpm) with goal to be just below my race HR (sub-threshold), followed by 4 min at a higher cadence recovery of about 10-15 beats perm minute slower than the work set. So not full recovery. The sets were an average of 153-155bpm (low end of my range) and recovery was betw 141-144bpm. Felt good, not easy but could have done another set but don't want to push it considering my 20 mile run for tomorrow.

Saturday- Woke up feeling really good. Rested, but a little tight in my back. Had a shake about 1/2 hour before heading out to prospect park for 20 mile run. Warmed up the first mile and feeling really good. The sun is out and I'm over dressed. Ended up taking my fleece off and just wore a long sleeve shirt. Took the park loop counter clockwise for 10 miles and then turned around. My pace was really fast for along run, just felt really good and my HR was averaging 157 so I kept a faster pace than the planned 9:48. I'm using a new gel today (honey stinger) and had one at 5,10,15 miles. Walked only to take the gels and had a bathroom stop, otherwise kept a pretty consistent effort throughout. Took the hills harder than I normally would for a long run, got HR up to 170 or higher on numerous occasions. Even with this my legs did not feel fatigued and energy was really good. By the end of the run I felt like i had only run about 14-16 miles, not 20 which is a really good sign. Think i'm really recovered because Friday i rode my bike instead of running, and Thursday was off day from running but did swim, so I had 2 days of no running before this long 20 miler. Will keep this in mind as i move forward with my training schedule. Main set of 18 mile was 9:11 pace (about 45 sec faster per mile than planned) and HR 156, WOOHOO.

Sunday. Started my day with a hot blend of ionix and cleanse for life and then went for my easy 6 mile run. Warmed up 1 mile to the brooklyn bridge and feeling pretty good. Did my Brookly bridge to city hall route at 8:52 pace (goal was 9:00) and ave HR of 158. That was a good HR average considering I took the hills pretty hard getting up to HR 174bpm. I'm happy with all of that. Good way to finish off the weeks training. About 2 hours following my run I went to my basement gym and did legs and shoulders strength workout. I did supersets for legs and shoulder for 35 minutes. progressed with either weight or reps for each set. Shoulder feels about 85%. It was a good program so made note to use with clients. Finished with 10 min abs on the bosu and stretching.

Totals for the Week:  12 hrs 18 minutes.  Bike: 1hr, Swim 1:30, Weight train 1:40, Run 8:08 for 53 miles.  Aside from my Race Pace run on monday I was really happy with my training for the week.