Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finding a groove

Blew-off my 5:45am alarm for my Saturday run to sleep (resolve some of these weird dreams I'm having) and drink coffee! I'm drinking a lot of coffee these days. But to the point: I'm finding my groove.

I am LOVING the bike again. I used to put-in a few miles on the ole trusty steel KHS I bought about 7 years ago for $600. Then I got distracted. Yet, somehow, things are coming around nicely to a place in which I can see myself grooving for a long time, building, getting stronger and having a blast! This search for balance has happened without me saying, "I need to find some balance, man!" It's just happened.

Although I am still pursuing the long trail/mountain running adventures, the approach has become all the more immediate concern. Riding the bike has given me another training outlet and with HR training. . . man, does cycling fit that bill! Take yesterday's 35 miler, about 3000ft of climbing, riding from San Diego to Solana Beach, back through La Jolla, up and over Solidad Mt. and back to the car. I went nice and easy, finished in about 2:30, avg. HR 135 did a lot of climbing and did a lot of sight seeing. For sure one can cover some distance compared to running. And with varying cadences and a lot of climbing, it's a beautiful thing.

Of course, with the avg. HR, I'm feeling pretty solid after a ride like that. I didn't run afterwards, but definitely thought about doing an hour. This will definitely occur in the future on a regular basis. And that doesn't build running strength? Riiiight.

So adding this additional sport on a regular basis is keeping things fun (HR training can be a drag), building strength, endurance and burning more fat and giving me an opportunity to see a lot of my surrounding area (last Friday Escondido, this week a good stretch of SD coastline). This training diversity will encourage me to add more diversity.

Check this out: I got up at 4:45am last Thursday to hit the pool and the gym! I swam for about 20 min., hit the jacuzzi and then the gym for about 45 min. Before work. Awesome. Then I got in an hour ride on the trainer later that day (having had to put out some fires at work, which prevented me from going on a nice little spin around the point). Diversity. I'm loving it. Keep things interesting and fun, and keep the HR low. Thankfully, the little triathloning I did a few years ago left me with some gear, so diversity is just a trip to the garage away!

Keeping the HR low . . .running doesn't do a very good job of doing that unless you're really really fit. And that's the point. My goal is to build my aerobic system. That's all. I will run a 50k trail race (or 2 or 3) this year and sure those will include some "metabolic shifts" away from my aerobic system, but that's fine. I am building for the future. I am committed to the HR as a guide to help me get stronger and stronger, faster, fitter, etc.

That's my groove. And I'm building a program (run, bike, swim?, hike, weights, etc.) that will help me (and others) dig this groove. And there are others who dig this groove.

As a reading instructor, I am trained to identify certain characteristics of certain texts. Simply put, what patterns evolve to form meaning in a text? As I read around this blogosphere, in this endurance training/racing blogosphere, I am definitely seeing people think about how the aerobic/anaerobic dynamic affects their training and their life.

And yes, there is something to the saying that one sees what he wants to see. Nonetheless, the evidence is out there. Lucho is the Sensei of the aerobic sect I've been practicing. GZ is contemplating devotion as are many readers of Lucho's blog. Lucho is the Master.

Speed isn't even important to me right now. I'm not fast to begin with, so what's the sacrifice? For me, frequent, healthy, fun training is my cup of tea. Aerobic training does this although the "fun" aspect can be hard to define/defend sometimes. That's where hiking, cycling, swimming, etc., come into play, perhaps why so many people have fun doing ironman.

Mark's Daily Apple is written by a fairly smart bloke who's life has included a lot of training and racing. I think he's a sub 2:16 marathoner? Either way, he's written extensively about the aerboic approach to training. For him, and others, in fact, too much anaerobic work is unhealthy. Period.

What I get from all of this is a certain message that going "too hard" (admittedly, tough to define for all people) can be counter productive. Easier said than done. But when I see the data of someone like Lucho, the message makes more sense, carries a little more weight. From pace, to health and strength, the program based on building the aerobic system makes more sense. This post seems to focus more on the health benefits. I won't/can't get into this, but others have and do, that the benefits are seen in racing performances, as well.

Time for 1hr aerobic run!

Pics of food, light sabers and people:


  1. I still think you need to shock the system, from time to time, chase down the kill,(running from the cops) as opposed to just hunting, run Grock, run!

  2. dude, there's plenty of shock on the big ride/big climb, just enough spike to get me in flight/fight.

    let's get to work!

  3. we'll have to agree to disagree... lack of aerobic training has nothing to do with my "problems". i actually do plenty of aerobic training but don't post about those sessions as they aren't very exciting. that's all... enjoy the growler.