Monday, January 03, 2011

Get Away: Ebbs & Flows

Sitting here today watching my kids doing various activities makes me smile. We have just come back from a walk around the lake at my Dad's farm. It has been great to be down here. We have had many friends visit over the last few days and enjoyed catching up with them. It's this time that I enjoy even more though. Sitting here I have decided to write while they are playing and I am sitting here looking out the window also just enjoying the relaxation that comes down here on the farm.

The blades of grass outside like the kids near me seems to move and sway with a rhythm. All the various rhythms of movement which are present are a great reminder of the ebb and flow which is at play around us always. A branch moves, flicks and returns to a central position. I see the kids up and dancing, jumping and throwing themselves around then as if the time just tells them it is right, they settle again. Back to their seats. It's magic to watch. It reminds me of the flow of training and recovery. The flexing, bending, swaying motions that then subside and return to that equlibrim. That state of calm and rest is the central position like for the blade of grass and the branches on the trees.

The past couple of weeks I have done a few video diary updates which I have not posted yet so thought I would get some thoughts down about training, holidays, family, friends and the World around. The linkages between all these things becomes obvious only when I slow down. Slowing to the point at which I am reminded how insignificant and significant I am, we all are at the same time. WOW, sorry I know... Deep, but it has been funny how just being away from a busy life allows some many important things to reappear.

Training has been easy here. Pretty much going on feel in terms of work loads and durations. Having lots of fun exploring. Been doing mainly threshold work. On the ergo that means 1.45 - 1.37 splits with HR from 140 - 160. Durations from 15min down to 2min efforts and mainly with fan setting 10 for load. No ergo session has totaled more than 50min including rests. Fun little session this morning was 10min 1.45, then 3 x 5min with (1st @ 1.42 rate 22 HR 152, 2nd @ 1.37 rate 24 HR 160, 3rd @ 1.40 rate 22 HR 155). Did some paddling after with lower rate and 2 lots of arms only for 2min for fun. All up it was 45min on the machine.

Yesterday was a solid day with three short sessions. First in the morning was wattbike for 50min total with 2 x 20min efforts of 428 & 422Watts with HR 150 av & 160 av. After this I went for a run for 20min which I have been enjoying doing. Considering it wasn't long ago I couldn't run due to my back. I used to love running and now to be able to do it with out pain is a wonderful thing. I ran to the back of the farm with the dog and on the way back along the dirt track I did some intervals. 30sec on pace with HR 160 and 45sec off jogging for about 6 intervals I think.

Then early afternoon I hit the road on the TT bike to do a 30min effort around tempo / threshold pace and pretty much just under TT pace. Here is the garmin link below.



Again like the morning session I was monitoring power and HR to ensure I sit in the right zone. After this session I had a break and some dinner with my family before sneaking in a short 25min wattbike session. It involved warming up for 5min on 350watts then I did 20min of intervals (20 x 15sec on & 45sec off). Need to explain this one as I started doing a few weeks ago and really enjoy the feeling during the session. I did it with fan fully open and the mag/hill climb dial turned up so that the efforts at 700w have me at a cadence of 92-94. This means that the down is on 64rpm with 350w. So for the 20min I did an average of 438w with most efforts over 700 and only a few recovery periods below 350w. In fact I struggles during the last 3-4 recoveries with 300 probably more like the number. I guess it's not a max interval but certainly very solid with HR av for the 20min session 160. Again between power and HR I am getting in the zone around threshold as much as I can.

That's to provide an understanding of the training I have been having fun doing. Add to this hanging upside down on an inversion bed for 10min each evening and I am finding I am making great gains with back and performance. The duration of sessions and efforts is relatively short which enables to with family and friends which I have found to be wonderfully calming. As I said like the grass and trees the movements and connected to the moments of stillness.

Christmas has been great, much joy and excitement. Plenty of high energy and moments rest. In fact Christmas day I had 3 snoozes at Melanie's parents place. Must have need to rest. The time between Christmas and New Years was great to see friends and make our way down to the farm here. I brought all my training equipment to make training effective and provide no excuse for not being prepared for National camp and National Time Trial on the bike post camp.

Yep that's right tomorrow I head to Canberra for camp which will be the first serious period of training with others. Two days after I return I will head to Ballarat to ride the TT. Why? Because I can. It's fun and the benchmark to last year. I am under no illusions I am doing it because I love riding my bike and the training focus has really helped over the last couple of weeks. National camp will be interesting. One to see how I go and what combination's come out of it. I will be honest I have already thought greatly about other athletes I know something about. Who and how we would all fit together. People desires and real motivations are critical and I am still not 100% clear of what I can do yet. I am training well and motivated to be better than ever before. The pathway is less clear though and who it will involve will be revealed as time goes on.

Personal preference with all this is to understand what's need to perform. How to do this is interesting as I feel like on a personal level the last 3 weeks I have had a good balance with training, family and friends. To be part of the National team is my focus but with it comes certain advantages and disadvantages. The flexibility I have found working so well will be challenged. Being part of group training can be positive but also a distraction for what really matters most and will create long term performance. The standards and competition is or can be a great stimulator. Although I feel the gains I am making are because I am listening to my body. Competition is great but over doing it can have consequences with a back like mine.

All up I have loved to last few weeks and now I look forward to the next phase. The camp and TT will be great leveling experiences. After this I will serious reassess and reflect on the steps beyond. Time now for some more moving and then rest. Love this subtle ebb and flow of life. It's a great way to train also.

2 comments:

Gavin said...

Hi Drew

Exciting times!
Looking forward to seeing your training blogs and hear how you go at the camp. I know it's a long way off but the Kiwi and British pairs may be getting a bit nervous!

schiesser said...

so perfect!
good luck for you~

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