Friday, 11 November 2011

Equipment Failure and First Run Since Shredding the Feet

I say equipment failure, but in all honesty, it's much more likely to have been user error.  I recharged my Garmin 310XT before leaving home for the week on Sunday evening, which would normally be absolutely fine for a full week of travel with a 20 hour claimed battery life. 

Due to the feet shredding episode of last Saturday and arriving at about 9:30pm, I didn't do any exercise Sunday evening, and was surprised when I turned the Garmin on on Monday evening to be presented with a Low Battery warning.  My only conclusion is that either I'd had it switched on whilst charging and not turned it off for travel or I'd accidentally knocked it in transit.  Anyway, I put it back in the bag and went to manual.

All in all, it's been another busy week, with about 9 hours of windshield time as my American colleagues say.  I drove four hours from home up to Middlesbrough in the North East UK to spend two days on an onshore gas treatment plant there, then drove another two hours down to Hull to take a flight offshore for two days on Wednesday morning. Once I got there I had to change a tyre on the hire car due a slow puncture (nail in the tyre), which meant that I could only drive at 55mph due to a restricted speed spare.  That made the journey home on Wednesday 3 hours, but I did average about 53 mpg.  So with all that away time and driving I'd planned a nice relaxing day today. 

Fat chance.

I spent the morning dropping the kids at school and then catching up on admin and planning.  I did treat myself to a lunchtime run though, my first since last week's barefoot feet shredding experience.    This afternoon I've been reading and editing reports and printing out a new European Regulation that I need to give a presentation on next week.

I did manage to get a few sessions in though during the week.  Remember no Garmin, so no HR data, which meant Maffetone went out of the window again for the second week.

Monday was a speed day anyway.  I row for the Forum Flyers in an indoor rowing league competition, and this month's challenge is a sprinty one, 4 x 200m sprints, 1 min rest in between, total active time to be entered.  The thing with sprinting on the rowing machine is that it takes a bit of preparation to transition from the aerobic to the explosive.  The sharper eyed amongst you will have noticed that the Maffetone Method is all about low heart rate, aerobic base building at the moment.  This was going to be fun!

Right, sit down, assess the quality of the gym rower, furry fan casing and grotty chain says it all.  Unloved erg with a drag factor on the highest damper setting of about 100.  My clean machine at home gets about 200.  No point complaining, warm up, 2000m should do it.

Very crude plan, pull as hard as I can on the first one.  Do the same three more times.
1) 38.9s / 40 spm/ 1:37.2 pace per 500m  
2) 38.8s / 42 spm/ 1:37.0  pace per 500m  
3) 38.9s / 43 spm/ 1:37.2  pace per 500m  
4) 39.3s / 43 spm/ 1:38.2  pace per 500m  
Total) 2:35.9 / 42 / 1:37.4 pace per 500m  

On the last one my legs started tying up in a bath of lactic pain at about 125m and no matter how much I tried I couldn't get any more out of them and the rating wouldn't go any higher.  Overall happy enough with that as I'm way out of sprinting shape.  I may have another bash at that on my own erg which I know is clean.

Tuesday, another hotel, another (slightly better condition) erg.  This time back to the steady work.  I decided to see exactly what the Garmin meant by low battery.  About 30 mins on the HR strap it turns out, so I chopped off the end of the workout.  Maffetone gives me a 148 limit for aerobic, for running, but I've always found my HR drifting higher on the erg, adn lower on the bike for steady state output of a similar power.  That meant that at a comfortable pace, my HR kept nudging low 150s.
Meters / split pace / split spm
1) 2348 / 2:07.7 / 22 
2) 2304 / 2:10.2 / 23 
3) 2275 / 2:11.8 / 23 
4) 2237 / 2:14.1 / 22
Total 9167 / 2:10.9 / 22 / 40 min 

Wednesday was a very busy day with a flight offshore, platform induction, review of environmental conditions, controls, talking to people etc, so I didn't get to the gym until about 8:30 pm, but I was delighted to find a brand new rowing machine there, absolutely clean and spotless.  Lucky old me.

So, no HR strap again, stick to a pace at which I can have an easy conversation with the one other occupant of the gym, a thai boxing rigger/crane driver about 3 inches shorter than me and about 10 lb heavier.  A chunky little fella, working hard to put weight on.  We had an intermittent chat about the values of good overall fitness with the right mix of strength and cardio training to help make sure he doesn't blow up mid fight.

1) 2309 / 2:09.9 / 22 
2) 2302 / 2:10.3 / 22
3) 2293 / 2:10.8 / 22 
4) 2295 / 2:10.7 / 22
Total) 9198m / 2:10.4 / 22

Not much different to Tuesday, just a flatter profile.

Got home early evening Thursday, and did a bit of yoga with Serena, my seven year old daughter, great fun trying to teach her Warrior's triangle and the Sun Salute.

So, to today.  First run since the feet shredding barefoot episode of last Saturday.  It hasn't been until now that I've been confident enough to try them out again.  So, decision made, no more barefooting, minimalist only. It's getting cooler here now, so huaraches on the feet, long sleeve top with a short sleeve over the top of that and thin running gloves.

Seven miles in total, trying to keep to the HR cap.  Hampered in the first three miles by a wonky HR belt giving spuriously high readings until I adjusted its fit. The effect was spikes up to HR values that I knew were just wrong for that pace, but nothing I can do about it.  After that it was reading true, but telling me that I was at about 147 plus and up to about 152 when I turned the corner into a headwind. 

1) 7:58 / A 134 / M152 
2) 8:02 / A 146 / M164
3) 8:14 / A 147 / M172 
4) 8:32 / A 148 / M152
5) 9:07 / A 147 / M151 
6) 8:18 / A 146 / M152 
7) 8:26 / A 146 / M152
8) 0.15mi / 1:16 / 8:18 / A143 / M145 
Tot) 7.15 / 59:53 / 8:22 / A145

What you see about halfway though is when I came down the back straight of the loop into a headwind.  The extra effort pushed up the HR, forcing me to slow to try and keep in the right area, then at mile 6 I turn again and the pace picks back up.

Feet absolutely fine, glad to get out there.  Same again tomorrow.

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