Feb 04

Training in Style

Today was a great day for training.  I started the day off with a long swim workout at the pool and ended it with my longest trainer ride to date.

I am continuing to make my way through the Swim Workouts for Triathletes Binder.  Todays workout started with an 800 yard warmup followed by sets of 300yd, 200yd, and 100yd intervals for a total of 2900 yards.  The intervals were supposed to be descending (each one faster than the previous).  I did pretty good except for one of the 200’s that was slower than it should have been.  My arm has still been a bit tender, but swimming really helped get the blood flowing and by the time I was down it was pretty much all better.

I followed up the swim by hitting the trainer this afternoon.  The sun and blue skies outside were tempting me to go for a run, but having run the past 3 days in a row, I knew I needed a break from the pavement.  So downstairs I went.  My work recently purchase a computer projector for use at company meetings.  As the IT guy, I was in charge of ordering it.  Well, it arrived this week and I figured that I better make sure it works before our meeting next week.  I’d hate to show up and not know how to operate it.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Riding in style in front of the big screen.  Anyone up for a group trainer ride???

I hooked up a laptop to the projector and popped in the Spinervals Madison, WI Training Ride Virtual Reality DVD.  The DVD is a 3 hour ride that starts at Monona Terrace (the transition area), rides out to the loop and completes the first loop. On Monday and Wednesday, I did 1:45 ride and 1:15 rides respectively to work my way through the course.  Today, my goal was to ride the whole 3 hour first half of the course. 

The first time through the DVD, I kept the volume on, but it got boring pretty fast.  For today’s ride, I muted the DVD and listened to podcasts (Car Talk and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me) and music (DMB and O.A.R.). No offense to Coach Troy, but he has to be the most boring person in the world.  The DVD was filmed with the 3 cameras, Coach Troy Cam, the O’Connor Cam, and the Car Cam and it switches between each of them throughout.  On the bottom of the screen, there is a time countdown as well as graphic that shows the gearing you should be in.  There are 4 breaks throughout the DVD that can be used as starting/stopping points. 

There were a couple of weird/funny parts of the ride.  At the beginning of the ride, Coach Troy and the team get lost and have to turn around to correct their route.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen during the actual race.  Then, later on in the DVD, at least one (possibly two) drivers flip Coach Troy and his team the bird as they pass by.  Haha.  You’d think that the car with flashing hazards would have clued the driver off, but I guess some drivers are just douchebags. 

So how did the first half of the course go?  Wow!  What a workout.  I really felt like the gear changing and knowing when to push it made for a great workout.  I know it is totally mental, but having the course in front of me made the time go by faster.  It also made it seem more like a regular bike ride.  Even though I could technically stop whenever I wanted, it felt like there was more of defined starting point and finishing point. 

The entire DVD ended up taking me 2:52 and equated to 54.3 miles for an 18.8 mph average.  I rounded out the workout with some light spinning to end at 3 hours even.  My longest previous trainer ride was only 2:14.  Despite that, the time went by quickly and I really didn’t get bored at all.  I went through 2 water bottles, 1 Gatorade bottle, and a bunch of Strawberry Newtons which seemed to keep me fairly well hydrated and energized.

Overall, it was a great day for training.  With all my trainer riding, I may just have to sign up for the 100 Miles to Nowhere this year.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/02/04/training-in-style


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  1. Jeff Irvin

    Awesome swim and ride Kevin. That is a great idea with the LCD. I have one for work too … now if I could just figure out which wall to use ….hmmmmmm

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Finding the right wall was the hardest part. With the wall I chose, I had to have the projector on the far opposite side of the room. Even then, parts of the screen were still a little cut off.

      I’m still not sure I am comfortable with all of the projector’s features so I may have to use it for another ride or two. 🙂

  2. Jon

    Nice! Did they have you changing gears to simulate the changing terrain?

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Yeah, you could either listen for Troy’s audio cues or watch for the graphic to change in the corner. Most of the time was spent in either small ring on the front, 15 on the back of big ring and 15 and then switching to big/13 or big/12 for the climbs.

      It really felt the more like an outdoor ride than any of my other training rides. And the fact that I ended up with 54 miles to their approx 56 miles makes me think that it was a good comparison.

  3. Derek

    Nice ride!! Im going to try and do the whole LP spinerval this week. Ive only been thru the first 30minutes so far

    I am thinkin Ill prob volunteer on the bike course again in Madison this year. Last year I was in Mt Horeb…id like to change it up this year maybe closer to the end of the loop

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Good luck with the LP Spinerval! Maybe once you get bored with that DVD we can swap for a change of “scenery” 🙂

      I volunteered in Madison last year too. I worked in the men’s T2 room. Going into it, I can’t say that I was looking forward to spending hours with a bunch of sweaty naked men. In then end though it turned out to be an amazing learning experience for what to plan for this year. I met so many great people too. Definitely worthwhile.

  4. Matt Smith

    Kevin, that’s incredible to stay on the trainer for that long! Way to go!!! I have a hard time pushing passed one hour let alone three! Have a great weekend, and keep up the good work!

  5. Mandy

    Hey Kevin, that is super cool. Great job on the trainer. 3 hours is a long time on the trainer!!

  6. Mandy

    OH and I am doing the 100 miles of nowhere again. For sure. I did it last year, it was hell. Can’t wait to do it again. What is wrong wtih me??

  7. Colleen

    I loved the weird things about the video. Them getting lost is too funny. Hello… editing! 🙂

  8. Matt Oravec

    Alright, a few points. AWESOME, I saw the picture and about crapped myself hahaha.

    The fact that you caught them flipping him off is AWESOME! So many times we get that crap on our bikes, it is really irritating. Usually they are fat ass hillbillies too, sorry for trying to better my life jackass hahaha.

    Coach Troy is what I view hell as. Nope, not because they are hard workouts, but because I want to gouge my eyeballs out and rip my ears off. He is so stinking boring that I don’t do the spinervals dvds anymore. I make up my own workouts now… usually it’s punishment for dying in my video games haha.

    Nice job. Impressive ride.

    Keep up the solid work.

    My favorite swim workouts are ladders like that.

  9. Scott

    I cant just watch spinervals, your right its too boring, what I have to do is bust out the portable dvd player, set it up next to me, one ear has head phones on listening and I have the regular tv going with something on the DVR

  10. Kristin

    I am so sick of indoor training. Good for you for suffering through a long ride, I just can’t do it. Thankfully my first race isn’t until Aug so I don’t have to.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to reply to your comment about my 16 mile treadmill run. I wasn’t on the tready to avoid the cold, we simply have nowhere to run in NYC. The streets were covered in snow and ice which means the sidewalk becomes a 2ft wide path carved out with snow banks on both sides and a few million people trying to share it. Plus tons of black ice. It’s impossible so even if it’s 30 degrees I’m stuck on the dreadmill. Yuck!

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