Sunday, June 24, 2007

Training Week 3 - Sunday

Got a healthy serving of whoop-ass today.137770 We couldn't get a swimming pool, so decided to do a team bike + run. We lined up our running shoes next to a wall, got on our bikes and did a 7 mile loop. Then left our bikes next to the wall, put on our running shoes and went for a run around the track at Redwood High School. Done. Repeat.


I was able to do it 3 times.

We were able to stretch and laugh at the end of it, but man was it tough.

So that was the end of the training.

After a shower, it was off to the Gay Pride Parade on Market Street, San Francisco. Posting a Flick badge of the pictures I took below:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Training Week 3 - Thursday

I guess I am thinking too much about my running technique, which is a good thing. But it is making me a bit cautious and making me run really slowly. Today, we were supposed to have a 2 mile timed run at Kezar Stadium. I couldn't make the team run, so I went there in the morning to run on my own. I estimated how long the track was and finished my 2 miles. "Wow! I am awesome", I thought, "How fast I've built up my endurance". I had done 2 miles in about 15 minutes. Naaice!

I was walking out and thought I'd double-check my calculation with a group of hardcore athletes training there. Seems like I need a new pair of glasses, because the track distance was almost half of what I thought it was. Shit! I had done just one mile and had another to go.

The headline of this blog post is: I run a mile in 13 minutes.

That's slow. I need to improve on that. Step #1 is building endurance, and that just comes with practice.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Training Week 2 - Sunday - Tips for biking

Had a good swim and bike today. Did a few drills in the pool, and then got dressed for some biking tips and then a short bike ride (around 10 miles). Since my poor bike is a really old piece of wrought iron, I had some difficulty keeping up with the leader. But the bike pedals really help. Anyhoo, here were the tips:

  • Keep your knees on top of your feet, don't let them come out while pedaling
  • Anticipate the gear shifts, i.e. if you are going towards a hill, shift to a lower gear ratio before you hit the incline
  • When you shift, don't just think about changing one gear at a time, think of the gear ratio. This might mean shifting both the front and the back gears at once. They showed us a chart that looked like the one below
  • Let your legs tell you when you shift, if they feel heavy shift to a lower gear ratio, if you are bouncing up and down shift to a higher gear ratio
  • Keep your legs turning as much as possible, even when you are coasting. Not turning them can lead to building up waste material in your legs
  • The optimal cadence, i.e. pedals per minute is around 85 - 95. This also happens to be the same as the optimal cadence for running, i.e you should take 85 - 95 steps per minute. The goal is to be within 80 - 100 pedals per minute and over time build a sense of always being in the optimal range

So that's that. Looking forward to not doing anything tomorrow, Monday, the rest day.

Graph taken from:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Training Week 2 - Wednesday

my ipod nano

Yesterday was bike day. Had an awesome bike ride.

I was supposed to go biking for 30 - 45 minutes, with 1 - 2 periods of med-high strain. I decided to time it using my oh-so-pretty iPod Nano, in it's new Belkin sport strap. Then I used Google Earth to figure out the distances.

Below are the results:

Segment Clock time Time elapsed Distance covered (miles) Avg. Speed (miles per minute) Avg. Speed (miles per hour)
Start - Lincoln Way at 9th Ave 19:50:00        
Get to beach through Route 1 - JFK Dr at Great Hwy 20:02:00 0:12:00 3.73 0.31 18.65
Return through Route 1 20:20:00 0:18:00 3.73 0.21 12.43
Get to beach through Route 2 - Lincoln Way at Great Hwy 20:30:00 0:10:00 2.75 0.28 16.50
Return through Route 2 20:43:00 0:13:00 2.75 0.21 12.69
Get home - Lawton St at 10th Ave 20:53:00 0:10:00 0.63 0.06 3.78

So what's the pattern?

I start off with more energy maybe? Possibly, but it's more of a downhill vs. uphill story. The high speed segment are all downhill... which makes sense, since I am going from slightly above sea-level to actual sea-level.

Today is swim day. I need to practice all the drills. It's not going to be great.

ggpark for bike ride 2

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Training Week 1 - Sunday

Team swim and bike day.

Went to Redwood High School in Larkspur in the morning. They have a great pool (see us swimming on the right, or the satellite image below).

We split amongst three groups (Age, Pro, Elite) by our self-assessed swim athleticism. Age was defined as: If you haven't swam before. "Hmmm, not me" I said to myself, and moved into the Pro group. Man, was I out of my league.

Here are my problems:

  1. Bad technique
  2. Hyperventilating, i.e. breathing too much and not getting enough good air into my lungs

I need to practice their drills this coming week and hopefully be in better shape for the team swim coming next Sunday.

redwood high school larkspur

Friday, June 08, 2007

Training Week 1 - Friday - Tips for running

Went for the first run yesterday, 3 rounds around Kezar Stadium (route shown below, courtesy Google Earth).

We congregated in the parking lot/field outside at 6:30 pm, and immediately went for 2 rounds around Kezar Stadium. 0.7 miles each, so 1.4 miles. Then came and did a bunch of exercises, for balance and preventing injuries. And then went for a "cool down" run, another 0.7 miles.

In total, I ran 2.1 miles yesterday... after not having run for the last many years. My legs are shot to hell today, and I hope I recover in time for tomorrow's team run.

Tips for running from the head coach:

  • "I never want to see the soles of your shoes when you are running towards me": Basically, in your forward stride, don't have your toes pointing up and don't land on your heel. Two bad things happen:
    1. You land on your heel and it has a big impact on a small area of your foot. This can also cause other problems since you are not in a proper form to absorb that impact.
    2. The way the foot lands acts as a brake or hurdle. This hampers your momentum and your body now has to go up and over that hurdle.
  • "Let your feet naturally come up behind you, using your hamstring": Simple enough.
  • "And then just let your foot fall forward": Don't go for big lunges in running. Let your foot fall forward and have it so that it's underneath your center of gravity. This way you will have your leg right under your body, making it easier for the bady to absorb the impact.
  • "Short light steps everyone, short light steps": Okay, got it.
  • "Your arms are connected to your legs": Don't move them too much, and don't move them forward. Try and keep your elbows back. This helps your feet keep back as well (see tip #1 above).
  • "When you are tired, your shoulders come up next to your ear": Your arms are moving to aid your upper body move in sync with the legs. So you should have your shoulder wide, not up, not back, just wide, and let your arms move freely.
  • "Strong core helps fight strain and injury": Rather than having extra strong legs, focus on having a strong core, i.e. stomach and lower back muscles. This keeps your hips steady and keeps good running form.
  • "The purpose is to get from point A to point B using as little energy as possible... while actually moving": Efficiency efficiency efficiency.

I'll be practicing these tomorrow.

run around kezar stadium

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Training Week 1 - Wednesday

IMG_1536 Training officially started yesterday, with a bike ride through Golden Gate park.

Total distance: 8.6 miles

(See bike path below, from Google Earth. Click on image for big version)

Today is swimming. I still need to read up on how much I have to do. Will be heading to 24 Hour Fitness after work to get my swim on.

bike path thru golden gate park

Monday, June 04, 2007

Team in Training kick off

Had the kick off meeting for Team in Training at the Oakland Marriot. They really put a lot of effort into it. Very well organized, everything laid out. Got a packet and everything.

After the initial session, we broke into individual team rooms. Went over what's ahead, training and fundraising. I was one of the only people to have set up my website and to have recieved a donation!  I got a Powerbar gel for it :)

I have a bunch of things to read, with special attention to my training schedule. Training starts from tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5th. Here is what it looks like:

  • Mondays are rest days
  • Tuesdays are Bike days
  • Wednesdays are Swim days
  • Thursdays are Run days
  • Fridays are Swim days again
  • Saturdays are workouts with the Team Captain, Run
  • Sundays are workouts with the Coach, Swim and Bike

Gotta go figure out when/where/how to do my first bike tomorrow.


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