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Tinman's Training

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:10 pm
by Tinman
Some of our community members ask me what I am doing for training. I'll share what I've been doing lately. First, I have to tell you that my hips are shot. Yep, they are bad. I have big bone spurs that grew at the end of my femurs and project into the joint space. There's also some cartilage and ligament damage from injuries in there too. I had to give up running until I can get my hips replaced. I don't have much money now, so the surgeries will have to wait quite a while. Yet, I am not crying about the situation. I've taken up cycling. Since my time is incredibly limited due to business and family commitments, I have about 30 to 60 minutes to exercise per day. I've been stationary cycling the last few months, about 3-4 times per week. Mostly I cycle 30 minutes. I have a power meter on my bike, so that makes it fun for me to see what my training is doing for me. I see the actual improvements right in front of me: the numbers tell the stories, just like the race-time for running told my story to some extent.

I cycled in the 1990s and ran at the same time. I had an interest in duathlons, which is running-cycling-running in the same race. I did several 5k runs, 40k bikes ,and 5k runs. Normally I was a 16:30-17:00 5k run on both ends of the event and 60-64 minutes for the 40k bike in the middle. I didn't have a fancy bike and only had clip on bars to get into a lower time-trial position. My Trek bike was about 21.6 lbs, and most of the guys who I competed against had 17-18 lbs bikes with a seat post angle tailored for time-trialing, while mine was more reclined and suited to long distance cycling. I think maybe a better bike would have given me 2-4 minutes lower time. Anyway, the skills I learned from cycling in the 1990s have not been lost. I know how to push the pedals to make a fairly smooth circle, which helps create more power and efficiency. I know that the fatigue sensations in my legs are different than they were when I was just running. Cycling requires a lot more leg power (unless you are runing uphill), so doing squats or lunges or step ups become hugely important for generating cycling power/speed.  I know the I can hydrate often while cycling, which is really a big deal for me since I sweat a lot. In running it's hard to drink often, and that always hurt me. I know how to stretch for cycling, just like I do for running, so my legs, glutes, and lower back don't get so jacked up with muscle tightness like they did before I learned how to stretch properly. Yet, I didn't cycle from the late 1990s forward for 10 years. I started some small amount of cycling about 3 or 4 years ago, which was good for getting some neural memory for pedalling to come back to me. Now, I am fairly smooth, though there's some room for improvement.

In mid-December, I tested myself for 7 minutes @ 100% power. I scored a 384 watt average. That's okay I thought, considering how little I've been cycling. For those of you who need to understand that number in terms of running pace, that's about equivalent to 49.25 for a VO2 max at my weight, which is equivalent to 6:35 per mile pace. Not great, but not bad for a Joe who is overweight. Take away the extra pounds I'm carrying and my VO2 max was quite good for someone age 46. My VO2 equivalent is 4,816 mL of oxygen (if I were 70 kg, like I was in the old days while running in college, that would be a VO2 max of 68.8, which is oddly the same number I scored when I did a VO2 max test on a bike when I was a junior at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. In March of that year, during spring break, I had surgery on both of my lower legs (calf muscles). I had very bad compartment syndrome, which is swelling in the compartments surrounding muscles. The on-campus doctors misdiagnosed the problem for a year, so by time they figured it out I was way beyond a point where simple therapy would rectify the problem. Following surgery, I was in casts for both legs at the same time for 6 weeks. It was really hard to get around campus in casts, I can tell you! I was late for nearly all my classes.

About 3 weeks post-surgery, I started riding a stationary bike in the athletic training room where the other athletes were getting treatment(s). It was really hard to bike with casts on, but I did it anyway because I had a hope of getting back into a couple of races before the outdoor track season was over. The trainer thought I was nuts/crazy for trying. My legs got really itchey with the sweat that built up between the casts and the cotton liner inside of them, covering my legs. A week after I got the casts off, I ran my first mile in 9:53 and laid on the grass exhausted. I couldn't believe how tough it was. That was on a Friday. I ran 1.5 and 2 miles over the weekend and improved. My legs were returning (two weeks later I ran a 4:23 for 1500m and a week later I ran 4:17).

A few days after I started running again, I volunteered to do a VO2 max test, which was on a Monarch bike (it is stationary, and the technician puts on a resistance weight for the flywheel according to the subjects (my) body weight and then adds more resistance as the test goes on. I was hooked up to a mask with a hose that was connected to a Siemen's gas analyzer. The analayzer measured my air volume (ventilation), the amount of oxygen I was inhaling through the one-way valve and how much oxygen was in my exhalations. Hence, the fraction of oxygen absorbed was multiplied by the total ventilation volume of air and subtracted from the original value to figure out how much O2 my body was absorbing while exercising. I did well on the test and scored a 68 and change (I think it was 68.8 or 68.6, one of the two). The odd thing is that my cycling VO2 max was higher than my previous running VO2 max. According to Mr. Tesch, the brilliant lab director, I was on par with some top cyclists he had measured in the lab, though certainly not elite. I imagined that had I trained in cycling my VO2 max might have reach 15% higher. Maybe!

Anyway, yesterday, when I retested my number, I was glad to see a some improvement and VO2 equivalent values that would put me at a good competitive level. I first did a 90-second test to see what my anaerobic capacity was, and I rode 550 watts. But, I really had no idea what I could do, so I underestimated what I could do the first minute. I was about 510 watts thorugh the 60 seconds mark, and then I rode in the 600s after that. I soft pedaled (this was yesterday) for 6 minutes to get rid of fatigue, but I really recovered quickly - say 3 or 4 minutes, and so the 7-minute test that followed went well. Again, however, I underestimated what I could do. I averaged 462 Watts, though my first 3 minutes were a 444.44 watts average and the last 4 minutes were a 475 watts average. My equivalent VO2 in milliliters is 5,683.6. If I were 70kg, that would be sweet, and my relative VO2 max would be 81.19. That would make me world class. I'm way overweight, so I am just 58.17 mls.kg.min. In truth, I just dont think I could possible get down to my college weight, even if I was 100% disciplined about eating and I increased my exercise rate from about 2 hours of training per week to 10 hours per week. I think maybe 77 kg is about as low as I could go, which would put me at 73.8 for relative VO2 max. I wish I could knock 30 years off my body and start over as a teenager in cycling and live somewhere warm - like California - where I could train year-round. Who knows what could have happened for me?

At a 73.8 relative VO2 max (milliliters per kilogram per minute of work) would equate to a velocity at VO2 max of 351.43 meters per minute, which is 2:50.73 per kilometer or 4:34.76 per mile. That's the pace I could hold for 7 minutes. If I could convert the potential for cycling (if my weight were in-check) to running, my equivalent 5k time would be 14:49.64.  However, presently my weight is too high, so the equivalent is 18:31.69 for 5,000m (at 58.13 mls.kg.min.).

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:05 am
by Tinman
03/02/2014: 60 minutes, including a 90 seconds time-trial and a 7 minute time trial. 550 and 462 watts averages.

03/03/2014: 30 minutes easy @ 263 watts (about 20 mph)

03/04/2014: 18 minutes (very short on time), including 5 x 20 seconds sprints @ 500-600 watts with 40 seconds easy between reps. Average watts 275 for the workout.

03/05/2014: 42 minute @ 309 watts average (~22 mph). Easy to Moderate effort (heart rate was 132-140, so about 75.8% to 80.5% of maximum. Legs felt good!

03/06/2014: 30 minutes, including 5 x 20 seconds sprints with good resistance (40 seconds easy between reps). Sprints were 500-650 watts. Otherwise, I rod at 260-280 watts, which is not hard.

03/07/2014: 5 minutes warm up (short on time). Then, 21 minutes hard (tempo-ish the first 4 minutes at 374 watts) at an average of 421 watts. Pushed hard the last 3-4 minutes (mid to upper 400s). 5 minutes cool down at 223 watts average.

03/08/2014: 30 minutes easy at 263 watts

03/09/2014: 100 minutes @ 286 watts average (Easy to the high end of easy during the ride: I started at 256 watts and progressive to about 303 watts). This is the longest ride I've had in two years. My bum was sore at the end, but I wasn't tired.

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:34 pm
by Tinman
The week before last was spring break, so my wife is home. That gave me a lot more time to cycle. I cycled 6 1/2 hours that week, and I had a tempo session and a CV session. Last week was back to normal and I didn't have much time. I cycled a total of three hours for the week. I did a fartek session and a long tempo at 4% grade.

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:02 pm
by Tinman
April 7-13.

I stationary cycled 5 hours last week. Two key workouts: (1) 10 x 2 minutes @ CV intensity (415 watts) (1 minute easy between reps) and a 30-minute tempo ride (380 watts). I felt fine most of my rides. My easy riding intensity has risen to the low 300s (305-310 watts). My heart rate is 128-133 for that intensity (my max is in the 170s).

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:30 pm
by Tinman
Monday, April 14. I cycled 65 minutes today's on stationary bike that has a power meter. The first 30 minutes were ridden at 300 to 315 W. Felt ridiculously easy! Heartrate around 128. Then I cycled 30 minutes at 371 to 405 watts, which put my heart rate at 150 out of 174. Very controlled breathing, although my legs felt the pressure if a good tempo workout. Five minutes cool down at 256 W. U burned 1302 cal during the first 60 minutes and 87 Cals during the five minute cool down. Average watts for the first was 361.

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:09 pm
by Tinman
I did a good tempo work out on Monday including 30 minutes at 381. Yesterday I did a 90 minute ride. The first 45 minutes I rode at 350 watts and burned 983 Calories, which is 945 kJ. Heart rate was in the low 130 and I was barely breathing. Then I rode 45 minutes at 380 W and burned 1056 Calories, which is 1026 kJ.  Heart rate was in the one 140-150 range , so it was a true tempo effort. Converting this to
running, given my bodyweight now, I would've run at six minutes and 23 seconds a mile for 90 minutes. Very solid effort!

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:56 pm
by Tinman
Friday, April 18, I cycled 70 minutes, including 2 x 6 minutes at 437 and 454 watts, which was basically at CV effort, easy 2.5 minutes between reps. Legs were tired from the long tempo two days ago, but I expected that. It's okay to have tired legs when you do a workout, but do less training at a high quality pace or slow down the pace/power output!

Saturday was a 45 minute easy ride (about 320 watts). Sunday, Easter, was a rest day.

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:49 am
by Tinman
4/23/2013

Just an update about the post above. Tonight, I did the 20 minutes solid tempo-effort (which to me is near CV pace/effort). I warmed up with 30 minutes of steady riding at 338 watts average (started at 308 and ended at near 380). Felt like that was something I could ride for 3-4 hours, if I had enough carbohydrates to drink/consume. Then, I rode 20 minutes @ CV effort (something I could ride for 30-35 minutes if I had to or wanted to). I averaged 422 watts (started at 408 and ended around 437 watts, with heart rate at the end about 160 out of 174 max). I think I could have ridden 5-10 watts higher, but my stomach was full from eating barbecue 45 minutes earlier and I had a tough time with the belly ache). I rode a cool down at 302 watts average for 10 minutes - barely breathing!

Total Calories burned as 1343 and total Joules (work energy) was 1236 for 60 minutes.

4/24/2013 - Rested because I thought I was getting a respiratory infection (my wife has one). Coughing, so I laid low today!

4/25/2014  35 minutes ride at 346 watts - a moderate effort for me, no laboring at all!  About 70% of V-O2 max, no more, probably less. I could ride at this intensity for hours, if I had a bum that could take the abuse. Ha!

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:40 pm
by Tinman
Hopefully this weekend I'll have a chance to update my log here.

However, I'll share that today I have a good breakthrough. I set a lifetime best for a 7-minute time-trial. I rode an average of 506 watts. Honestly, I underestimated my warm up needs and wasn't as ready as I needed to me. The first 3 minutes of the time-trial I wasn't smooth, and the last 4 minutes I was in the 506 to 577 range, yet still did not feel wiped out tired. I think my average could have been 515 watts today. My equivalent V-O2 max, given that I am 97 kilograms heavy, is 65.6 mls/kg/minute. That's a good result, and I am happy. If I were running 5,000 meters, my equivalent would be 16:01, which would make me a good, not elite masters runner at age 47 (years).

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:57 pm
by Tinman
For the last two weeks, I road 10.5 hours. I road 6 quality sessions. Only one of them was hard (the 7-minute test of my maximum aerobic power, in which I average 506 watts).  I road 2 tempos, 1 short interval session at 90-110% of Max Aerobic power, ascending the scale by about 2% per rep), 1 maximum aerobic power test, and 2 CV workouts (3 and 4 minute intervals each). It's important to say it again, during 2 weeks, I rode hard just once. When I am on a roll, I ride hard once every 10-14 days, no more often than that. I discovered long ago that training "hard" is something that provides great short-term results but it cannot be sustained. And, furthermore, quality workouts of moderate duration leave me feeling a lot better from day to day. I don't go into the "pit of despair" where fatigue envelopes my body and mind day after day. I don't like being exhausted, and I tend to get sick easily when I am exhausted from training. I would rather limit hard training so that I can avoid exhaustion, and stay healthy. For me, and for many of the runners (triathletes, and cyclists) that I coach, staying healthy and injury free takes precedent over doing impressive workouts.

Today, the 7th of May, I rode just 2 x 6.5 minutes at 437 and 450 watts, both of which are not that hard for me (85-90% of my 7-minute average power). My breathing was not remotely labored. My legs felt pressure, but I wasn't going anaerobic. I took just a 2.5 minute spin @235 watts to recover, though I felt awesome at 75 seconds after the first rep - feeling super good. For a cool down, I road at 290 watts. That feels so easy to me! I think I can ride 290 watts for 6 hours or more, if my bum wouldn't get so sore. I barely breathe at 300 watts now, and my heart rate, for those of you who pay attention to heart rate, is in the mid to upper 120s at 300 watts. I was only 152 beats per minute at 450 watts, with a maximum of about 174 for evening riding. I am sure I can ride 430-440 watts for an hour or more, and 450 watts for 30-40 minutes is my guess. As I recall, the 506 watts I rode was 30.4 miles per hour. That's on top of the hoods, so probably over 32 miles per hour in aero position.

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:26 pm
by Tinman
I am about 3-4 weeks behind posting, and I can't spend much time now either, since I have to write workouts for the runners (and coaches) that I coach (advise). Long story short, I kept my training volume in the 4-5 hours per week range through the middle of last week. Then, I took a working vacation to Oregon. I did zero aerobic exercise, no purpose, while gone. I like to give myself a week off, twice a year. Unfortunately, I had some hip issues and had to delay getting back into cycling until tomorrow, so it will be 12 days off. I did plenty of leg strengthening, and twice I did some extensive weight training with my wife's uncle, who is a former trainer for pro football teams (by a trainer, I mean he designed their weight training programs, and he was amazingly strong himself).

Before I left for Oregon, I hit a new all-time best of 536 watts average for a 7-minute test. That's really high mark, and I am very proud of it. For any runner who wants to know what that means, go down the fitness center in your area and find a bike that has wattage values on it; ride a warm up and then see how much wattage you can push for 7 minutes. The average 18 minute 5k runners, who doesn't cycle, tend to be around 200 watts because their legs are simply not strong enough to push more wattage, even if their heart is strong enough to handle the load. There is a lot of strength required in cycling, along with cardiovascular (respiratory) fitness. 

Now that I am back home, I'll reboot my aerobic system and get used to cycling again. I know I've lost some fitness, but there's no sense in rushing back into it and causing an injury. Because I did lunges and squats while in Oregon, I will not have such a big problem returning to a high level of cycling fitness. We'll see, but I estimate that in 6 weeks I'll be back to the same level.

Regarding my workouts, leading up to the new personal best (536 watts for 7 minutes), I did a blend of stamina workouts (tempo, threshold, and CV), some short interval workouts (30-60 seconds reps with 1/2 easy recoveries) and a anaerobic capacity workout 4 days before my time-trial, to tune/prime my system).

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:58 pm
by Tinman
It's been almost 2 weeks that I've trained again, after a 12 day rest break while on a working vacation (more work than vacation, sadly!).

I built up my fitness fairly quickly by progressing in a systematic way and not overdoing, the mistake I used to make in my younger years. Anyway, two days ago I did a solid workout of 20 seconds faster, 10 seconds slower for 7 minutes, averaging 494 watts, which surprised me (quite good for me).  I rode 2 minutes easy and then a 20 minute progression ride, starting at 380 watts and moving up to the mid 400s over the several minutes. I averaged 434 watts, again a good value. I think I am about 3% below my best now, and making rapid progress. I really enjoy riding my bike because I am learning even more about how to train runners. The numbers that I get, the systematic method I used to acquire data, and the opportunity to be stimulated intellectually about the process is paying off. I know I am learning a lot that I can use for training runners, triathletes, or cyclists. I will train anyone who really wants to improve.

Tinman
www.RunningPRS.com

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:21 pm
by roadracebc
It is really impressive on how your training has progressed.  I have a question on how to incorporate bike training into my running program.  I have averaged 50 miles per week over the last 16 weeks with a high of 58 miles this past week.  I ran my best 5K last November @ 20:46 and ran a 10 miler @ 7:35 pace on May 10th on a very hilly course.  If it was on a flat course like the 5K it would have been around 7:10-7:15 pace.  My mileage this year is at 45.6/week which is more than my previous week high last September.  I do a long run between 11-14 miles.  My weekly pace averages between 8:55-9:05 when all workouts are averaged.  I have a sprint tri at the end of August and an olympic on 9/13.  I haven't biked yet this year and will start to incorporate it into my workouts this week.  My question is that I do not want my running fitness to suffer but want to improve my bike leg also.  Maybe I am asking too much?  Thanks for all of your advice and I am waiting for the release of your book.  I ordered it over two months ago and can't wait to read it. 
Thanks,
Bob

Re: Tinman's Training

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:37 pm
by Tinman
It takes a couple weeks before you can get your legs used to the cycling motion. So you need to use high revolutions or cadence with low resistance for about two weeks before you begin doing tempos or any interval training on the bike. In the short term you will become a little bit tired, which will affect your running, so be sure to get extra sleep, focus on nutrition and hydration, and live with the fact that your running pace might be compromised for a little while. It is my experience that cycling can enhance running performance once you adapt, which takes 4 to 6 weeks.