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Day 19 – An Intense Saturday

155 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

Functional Running

Saturdays are always good days for training. Even though it was raining this morning, it was a good day for a run threshold test. Fortunately, the rain let up just before I walked out the door with my new Wahoo TICKR X heart rate monitor snuggly wrapped around my body holding up the man-boobs.

That’s an image you didn’t need in your head. Sorry.

The key to the functional threshold tests is pacing. The goal of the test is to run as hard as possible for 20 minutes without dying (or slowing down) before the end. It approximates the pace and heart rate the body experiences when reaching physiological anaerobic threshold. That’s training talk for, “run, Forrest, run!”

After a 20 minute warm up and a couple of minutes for rest, I started the test at a moderate pace and increased it slightly every five minutes. By 19 minutes I was hurtin’ and that last minute seemed like an hour. I could have gone longer than 20 minutes but not much.

I’m still not sure how all the apps work together. The run was recorded on Wahoo Fitness and Samsung Health. It was automatically loaded up to TrainingPeaks where it was automatically analyzed by the proprietary algorithms and I was told that my new FTHR (functional threshold heart rate) is 166bpm. I have no bloody idea if they calculated it the way I want or if they included the warm up run in the calculation. Now I have to go to TrainingPeaks and figure all that out.

Limitless Swimming

As if running in the morning was not enough, Coach Trent had a swim clinic today to round out my diá de tortura (day of torture). But it was well worth it, because I got to swim in an endless pool and have my swim form analyzed by video.

Have you ever swum in an endless pool? It’s crazy. A jet forces a current of water across the pool which you swim against. The strength of the current is measured in minutes per 100 yards. So if you set the jets to 1:45, after one minute and 45 seconds you’ve simulated swimming 100 yards when in reality you’ve either gone nowhere or you’ve been blown to the back of the pool. At one point while I was swimming at a pace of 1:35/100y, Lori convinced Trent that it would be a good idea to increase the power to 1:15/100y. How salmon can swim upstream like that is totally beyond me. I didn’t get forced across the pool, but would have if it had gone on longer.

We took a quick look at the videos poolside. It’s very enlightening, because in my mind I have the swim form of Micheal Phelps. In reality I have the swim form of Lowell Gould who could use a bit of improvement. I’ll be interested to see what the analysis says about those differences.

Lori recorded the session on video, so hopefully I’ll get some time this weekend to edit and post a video of training in an endless pool.

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