Monday, August 15, 2011

Marathon Monday - 12 weeks and counting

Suddenly the NYC Marathon seems like it's right around the corner. It's 12 weeks away.

My training is going well. Lots of running. Not so much swimming and biking but I can live with that for the moment. It's a little bit of a cop out but truthfully it is more of a challenge to find time to train with the kids out of camp and school. What makes that okay is that I always want to put family first so I'm okay with skipping a few workouts to play with my kids. Not the runs at the moment.

Last week's recap and Training Peaks
The training program I got from Runners World is in Training Peaks. I had heard of training peaks from reading race reports and blogs online. I was pretty excited to try something new.

Perhaps I have ridiculous expectations for software. They are: it should work as advertised, it should make sense to the user, and finally it should not annoy me.

First annoying thing was that I could not print out the program to review on say - one concise piece of paper or even a calendar print out.

Since the start of the training program (16 weeks so four weeks ago) I have been manually inputing my training data because I wasn't able to figure out how to upload the data from my watch.

Here's one annoying thing. It has a spot for actual trainning time HH:MM:SS (hours, minutes, seconds) but if you highlight the space and just type in 34:26 guess what - it interprets that as 34 hours: 26 minutes. it's not intuitive to know that it would be minutes not hours. Silly silly. This to me is a sign that the developers are just engineers and don't actually use the product. Also it says that they probably don't do much quality assurance testing because I found this bug pretty quickly. I suspect this bug might be related to my choice of operating system and browser (mac:firefox) still annoying.

I did finally figure out how to upload the Garmin data direct to the program. Interestingly when you click this button shown below it doesn't clue you in to what should happen. You have to find your own way to the help files and decode the cryptic instructions. It required the download of a third-party app. Honestly, what percentage of their atheletes use Garmin - it's gotta be a lot, maybe 50 percent maybe more? Shouldn't it be incorporated?  I'm only using the free version but my instinct tells me that the pay for version wouldn't be a whole not more intuitive.


Last annoying tidbit - Training Peaks only summarizes my data into total hours. I cannot find how to get it to display total miles by activity. This seems very bizarre. So bizarre in fact that I assume this is something I just don't have set up correctly. Even though I assume this is my own user error it is annoying.


Rant over.  But - in summary: Training Peaks = fail in my opinion. I will not at this point continue to use it after this training program ends.

Nonetheless according to Training Peaks I trained for 5:46:15 this week. That's a lot of time, right? That breaks down into 26 miles. 10 of those were the long run. During the long run I got new chaffing. Ouch. It was surprising because it was a shorter run and it was  new places where I had previously not chaffed before. And I do not want to chaffe there again.  1 of those was a one mile time trial. I did the one mile time trial in the neighborhood not at a track. That was fun. 8:13 if anybody is interested. I did not swim this week and my biking was limited to 10 minutes on the trainer.

Proof of Trainer
Speaking of the trainer - that was a goal this week. Here's proof that I set it up.


I was on the trainer for almost exactly 10 minutes. Those would be 10 of the longest and most boring minutes strung together consecutively that I've experienced recently. And that includes the time I've spent watching the Smurfs with my kids. To be honest, I tend to nap through the Smurfs so that might make it more tolerable.
I wasn't sure she'd taken the picture. That should explain the lunatic looking face. Ignore my cotton shirt and the "garage mess" surrounding me.

My daughter took this picture of me on the trainer. She also expressed that what I was doing, "looked boring." She was right.

Self portrait on the trainer
I was so bored I took a photo of myself. I did plan entertainment - see my little ear buds? I'm listening to a podcast to occupy my mind. Shortly after this my son came in and was inspired by my being on the trainer so that he wanted to ride his bike. Okay, workout over. Didn't take me much convincing to be honest. But I'll give it a more honest effort later this week.

Now for the upcoming week. This week has 32 scheduled miles with a 13 mile long run. Also for fun this week we have strides for the first time and a run with a portion at marathon pace. This means it's goal setting time. I will, of course, have several goals. A likely easy finish time, a more aggressive target time and a super secret hopeful if I'm lucky time. Also this week I will do my strength training and also one session on the trainer and one group ride Sunday. Busy week but I should sleep well at night.

Later - A

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