When I trained for the marathon it was all about pace and distance. Each training session had a set distance and a pace I was supposed to maintain. For long runs it was 9:36, for 800 repeats it was 3:30, etc. etc. etc. I was constantly tied to my GPS.
So I was very wary when I finally decided on an Ironman training plan that wasn't ever about pace or miles but all about minutes and heart rate. I stalked forum after forum and heard so many success stories from people who followed this plan (Fink's Be Iron Fit.) I loved the idea of training by minutes because it made planning around my family much easier. Instead of guessing how long it will take me to bike 50 miles, I go out 90 minutes and then turn around. Or I wake up, jump on the bike trainer, and get in as many miles as I can between 5:40 and 6:40 a.m. After work I have to pick up my kids from the babysitter at 5:30 so a couple days a week I jet out the door as soon as the school buses depart and I know I'll be done on time. I keep my eye on the heart rate monitor and my pace is pretty consistent... both on the bike and the run I seem to arrive back where I started within a minute or so of the workout plan.
I think my general running pace is actually getting faster using the new plan. I did a 90 minute run today, keeping my heart rate in Zone 2 (pretty easy -- and I kept it in the lower half of Zone 2, between 140-149) and covered 10.252 miles. Last week I did a harder Zone 2 run (upper range , between 145-155) and covered 7 miles in 60 minutes while I pushed the kiddos in the stroller.
Here's a summary of the week's training:
Sunday - Easter. I did nothing except chase my daughter around at the Easter Egg hunt. Really missed my husband but I'm glad he got to spend Easter Sunday with his parents in Australia.
Monday - 45 minute run with most of it in Zone 2 but 10 minutes in Zone 4 (hardest.) I couldn't seem to get my heart rate up to the 170s. Overall pace was 8:13. Jamie's flight got in at 8pm so I picked the kids up and took them to the gym so I could get some spinning and weights in as well.
Tuesday - Up at 5:15 a.m. to do a 45 minute bike ride and 15 minute run before Jamie left for work (poor guy had to go to work after the long haul flight from Australia.... ) Bike pace was around 15mph which is pretty pathetic and I never got my heart rate above Zone 1. When I bike outside I'm more like 17-19mph and my heart rate is in the mid 140s. I don't know what it is about the trainer but I stink at it.
Wednesday - MASTERS SWIMMING!!!! Oh how I missed it. I love Masters and I hate swimming by myself. The hour flew by. When I go to the pool in the evenings every lap is torturous. I am not sure why. I got in a 30 minute run while Jamie cooked dinner -- 3.5 miles. 8:34 pace and felt pretty easy.
Thursday - 60 minutes on the bike trainer -- 15 miles. Still pathetic. Still didn't get above Zone 1. I got on Amazon and bought some Spinning DVDs. Hopefully that will help? I ran after work with a friend and got in 5 and a half miles -- stayed in Zone 1. Definitely an active recovery day.
Friday (today) - Masters Swimming in the morning. We did 300 yard time trials to determine if we were in the correct lane. My average 100 pace in the time trials was 1:50 - 1:55. So.. I'm still in Lane 7. Ugh. I may be in Lane 7 (out of 8) for the rest of my life. I am so slow in the pool. 10.25 miles running after work in perfect weather on the Accotink Stream Valley trail (from my house.) Living right by the start of that trail is a little piece of heaven.
So the only thing I have left on my list is my 2:30 bike ride. Tomorrow is going to be packed -- Susie's got swimming lessons and a birthday party in the morning and then I think we're going to a BBQ out in Leesburg -- so it looks like it will be Sunday afternoon. When it is supposed to be close to 90 degrees. I am not sure how that is possible since it snowed on Thursday... but bring it on. 'Cause Louisville is gonna be HOT.