Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My New Naked

You all know me as Irondiva.  Or maybe the girl that started the naked racing craze (ha... right, I totally wish that I could take credit for it but I really just left my watch at home and my bike computer was broke.  I'm sure tons of people run without electronics, but let me have my moment).  I learned to love racing naked last year - it took some time to get used to.  I mean, I didn't have all the data telling me when I was dying and how short or long the course was (it's Ohio people... the courses are NEVER accurate).  But I loved learning about my body and what "pushing it" felt like.  I went as fast as my legs and arms took me.  Most of my races, that was fast enough for a PR or a podium spot in my age group (again, people, it's Ohio... and central Ohio at that, I'm not claiming to be really good here).

But then came training.  I literally want to know every detail.  How far did I run?  How fast did I run?  When I ran that same course 3 days ago, and the sun was shining a shade brighter and it was 3:17pm versus 5:46 pm, was I faster or slower (and if I slower this time around, I must surely be getting worse and maybe I should retire from the sport).  I logged into MapMyRun religiously after every run.  My bike computer was reset before each ride.  I counted every lap in the pool (my pool is 19 meters and I've perfected counting up to 200 laps).  I had excel charts and graphs in pretty colors and summaries of each discipline, each month, each year.

I was neurotic about it to be quite honest.  And honestly, it didn't mean anything to me.  I used it to critic myself when in fact, I knew nothing about the data that I was getting from it.

So when I started training with Coach Sharpie and we started this HR stuff (yes! another piece of data that I can meticulously dissect), I was a bit surprised when she told me to try to just wear the HR monitor and not focus on distance or pace. 

Say what crazy lady?  How am I supposed to fill in my excel chart without the time, distance, and pace of every workout?

But I've been doing it and you know what?  It's freeing...  I actually have that freeing feeling again.  I run for time (and drills).  I bike for time (and drills).  I swim for time (and drills).  And when the workout is done, I know two things - how many minutes I worked out and what my average HR was.  And that's it.  I don't obsess with how many laps I ran at the gym (remember, that track is 9 laps to a mile and I've counted up to 15 miles so you can imagine how freeing just that aspect of it could be), how many up and backs I did in the pool, or how far I didn't really go on the bike since it's stationary.  It doesn't matter right now. 

Maybe that's why I don't mind this HR training.  It may be slower than I'm used to running and biking, but my mind can just go blank.  I'm not thinking about the last workout I did and comparing it. I'm really enjoying every session. 

My new naked is just me and my HR monitor.  Not really naked in most people's eyes, but extremely naked for a girl who's been obsessed with numbers that really had very little meaning for last few years.

33 comments:

Christi said...

I want to start training by heart rate but damn I have to go real slow to get in the right zones! Hard adapting!

Matty O said...

That is how we trained last year, all time based and slow and steady.

All my winter miles are always just a HR monitor and a random time that sounds good to me. It's good stuff.

Come spring though, gotta do intervals and start mixing it up :) Can't Plateau!!!

Melissa C said...

I wonder if I could start heart rate training on just the bike. I am a bit too focused on pace for my running right now....My biking, yeah, it is a mess.

I did think of you on Saturday when my garmin battery died on mile 1 of my run here in KY. Um, how was I supposed to run out 7 and then turn around and come back when I only know where mile 4 is from my house? Thankfully, I checked all my splits at mile 1ish, 2ish, 3ish, and 4ish, used that to pick mile 5ish, ran back to 3ish, back to 5ish, and home, in a little over 2 hours, so I think that was about right! So glad I had my timex started b/c I feared that would happen, I just hoped I would be able to get further than 1 mile!

PJ said...

Out of curiosity's sake, did you "start out" as a runner, Colleen? I ask because I'm the same way with numbers and I've found a common theme between those of us who began our athletic pursuits with running: we like numbers because (since I began with a run plan of run "x" miles per day.)

My tri plans have been written in time for ages but I still find myself shooting for a certain distance. If coach says "run 40 minutes" and I happen to be running 8:10 minute miles, I will run an extra :50 to hit 5 miles. It's how I'm wired!

Jason said...

For me having a Coach is like training naked. Just put the data into training peaks and I'm done....let her analyze the info since that is what I'm paying for.

I have also perfected how to set up my watch so I only see certain items depending on the set. It is amazing what happens when you don't pay attention to that stuff and just focus on building your engine through HR training.

Good stuff....keep it up.

Colleen said...

@Matty-O - that's coming... I think I'll be begging for these days from Sharpie in the near future! :)

@Melissa - Ugh, that would have put me in a tizzy a while ago. Now I'm a bit more relaxed! Hahaha!

Colleen said...

@PJ - YEP! Must be a runner thing!

Kim said...

i am back on HR training as well, and i always peak at my pace/distance and it's been so disheartening. maybe i should set my garmin to only show time and HR that way i dont get all upset about it... these 10+ minute miles are killing me :(

Wes said...

silly girl. you download it into 3 or 4 different web sites! then it does the slicing and dicing for you :-)

Rebecca said...

This was an especially interesting post for me since that is exactly how I am training (just with HR monitoring) for the 1/2 IM. I don't really focus on how many miles, more on the time I am putting in. I don't even track on the bike trainer, just ride for 1-2-3 hours and make sure to maintain a steady HR (except for the random sprints, hills I throw in to keep it more fun). The real reason I am doing this? I HATE TRACKING (and to be honest, I dont even want to wear a HR monitor). Yep, I hate doing numbers or really following any type of plan. My challenge is to HAVE a plan... i would just rather be free. So I will lean more towards tracking some things (HR/dist) and you lean less on doing the details and we can meet somewhere in the middle, k?! Oh and maybe this has something to do with my starting out as a swimmer... ?

Steve said...

I am the same way now. Totally unplanned. I think I got just tired of logging my runs in all the time. I definitely hated if I had to log in like my last 5 runs, cause I didn't log it. I may never time anything again. I usually know my distance... sorta.

I like not worrying about it too. Also I never go back and look at anything. I used to like my yearly totals and monthly totals, but screw it. I am way too lazy now. :)

Kristin Deaton said...

And I'm free as a bird now...and that bird you cannot chaaiaiaiaiaiaian :-)

Matthew Smith said...

I'm glad to see you blogged, but that only reminds me that it's been just as long since I've posted!!! I've got to get on that!

It sounds like you've really got something good going with your new naked workouts. I don't know if I could handle it, but it may be good for me since I'm like you and love crunching the numbers...

I hope everything is going well with the transition to the south! I've got 3 months and 2 days exactly till we're done up here and ready to get back HOME!

Ironman By Thirty said...

I'd go crazy! The only way I remember to "log" my workouts is because I have them on some sort of device.

Just think, once you find a place in Atlanta, it will be warm enough that you might actually really be able to run naked! haha

PS: 19 meters? 9 laps to a mile? You have some funny length pools and tracks in Ohio ;)

Molly said...

That must be a great feeling! I don't run or ride naked, but last year I didn't write down every mile or meter I swam, I have no idea what it the total numbers were, but I know I had a great year. : )

How do you keep track of your laps in the pool?? I really have to concentrate to do it.

Jeff Irvin said...

I got nothing, except Kristin just dropped some Skynard in your comments - she wins!

B.o.B. said...

i've heard so much about the HR training and yet i still don't feel ready for it. maybe i should go to a clinic or something so it's less scary.

Jamie said...

My training has looked just like that lately too. "Run for 50 minutes. Stay under 150 bpm."

Simple, but still focuses on what matters. Plus it lets me get some good thinkin' in while I'm out there instead of neurotically counting every mile split.

Caroline said...

I am happy that this is working for you!!!

TriMOEngr said...

Great to see an update from you on the Sharpie training. How about the move and all of that? When are we going to see Tom's guest post or were all those questions for him too overwhelming with all the moving too? Interesting to see how the changes in training affect your results.

track coach and adorable wife said...

Way to go naked! I am glad you are finding it freeing. Just do it and enjoy it!

trifitmom said...

i so want to do that, but i am sooooooo addicted to stats and my garmin

Jon said...

When I was self trained I used to go by miles, because it was more quantifiable.

When I started with my coach we went by time (except for the pool) and it was SO liberating! Its funny, but sometimes when I am in a rush to fit a workout in, I think that if I run faster the 45 minutes will be over sooner and I will be ahead of time. Then I realize my mistake. 45 minutes is still 45 minutes! haha!

Carole Sharpless said...

you are a rock star, cbk!

Alisa said...

Nice! I definitely care less about my garmin for running nowadays but I feel like for the bike I NEED some stats to keep me motivated. My trainer riding is tough b/c I don't have any data points. The spin bikes at the gym have bike computers with watts, etc and I love it. My hubby has a HR monitor maybe I should try that for trainer rides. Though, I wouldn't even know what range I should be riding in.

MissFancyPants said...

Love this concept - keep us posted on how it's working for you!

Mark said...

I hear you homeslice. Sometimes it is really difficult to ignore those types of statistics, because they make you feel like you've done something.

I have a sneaking suspicion Sharpie probably knows what she's talking about.... (at least when it comes to triathlon).

Aimee said...

I think the HR training is great, but the thought of being completely naked ALL the time would drive me crazy. Although I'm not really training for anything right now, I like knowing my pace/time/distance to keep me motivated! Good luck with staying naked! :)

Michele said...

I love this idea!! I have always been addicted to the #s - and just like you, if I don't do something as well as the week before, I'm obviously deteriorating in ability.
Glad that you are just tracking your HR now - I have yet to make the jump to tracking just HR!! =)

Beth said...

That sounds SO freeing! I just started training with HR, but instead of taking it as an opportunity to stop worrying, I now focus on how fast I go at which heart rate, and what that means for this run, my training, how I'll race in 5 months... its a mess.

Also a mess? Your pool and track distances. Do they use different measuring devices in Ohio?

Kristin @ Lazy Marathoner said...

Since I'm coming back from an injury the distances mean zero right now and I'm also just focusing on either timed intervals or HR. And for the first time I don't care at all about the numbers! It's a great change.

N.D. said...

I have always wanted to track my heart rate (as of the past year or so) - what IS your average heart rate for each activity? I think I'll try to get into the heart rate when I'm not pregnant again.

Jill said...

It must be a runner thing because I have obsessed over this. In fact I stopped logging workouts and wearing my garmin if I wasn't training for anything. It's nice just being out there.

I will have to look at just doing the HR thing. Great post! Have you trained like this before our is this a new things you started doing for your next race?

There was an error in this gadget