Over the last two weeks I have implemented some Tabata intervals into my program. I have done this workout 3 times over the last 2 weeks so far. The protocol can be found here: http://www.rosstraining.com/articles/tabataintervals.html -but the general principle is to go as hard as you can for 20 secs, rest 10 secs and repeat 8x. Pure pain at it's best. In 4 minutes, you can really get in a very tough workout. In addition to adding this workout to my schedule, I have also started swimming intervals again - the first time since last March. I took 8 months pretty much off after mid-April last year. Even looking at my paltry 8 hours a week for training, some might consider me still in the off-season. :) The swimming has been going well - I started the first week with 6x100 - 2 on 1:45, 1:40, 1:35. The next week I did 9 on the same send offs, and then I did 6 on 1:40 and 6 on 1:35 in the 3rd week. On week 4 I did 4x100 on 1:35, 4x200 (2 on on 3:20 and 3:15)) and another 4x100 on 1:35. My only goal on these workouts was to keep the pace under 1:30, which I have been able to maintain. Today's main set I decided to step it up to 8x200 (2 on 3:15, 3:10, 3:05, 3:00). I made them all, but barely! I only see upside with my swimming and fitness in general.
I do this workout on Wednesday's and follow that immediately with a super intense weight training session at Functional Fitness with this guy who owns this company. Danny is a great guy and he took a guy like me with no formal weight training experience and has made me SUPER STRONG this winter - I was struggling with 125 lbs on the dead lift before Christmas and now we are up to 235 in my max sets. Maybe this won't translate to being faster, but the numbers I am seeing on my Compu Trainer Step Test and Tabata intervals tells me otherwise.
Typically in February, my Step Test wattage maxes out around 240-250. This winter I was at 300 watts on my last 2 minute step. If that's my starting point for the season, I'll take it. :) I haven't been riding much (under 200 miles for 2008) so once I get the miles rolling I am sure the watts will go up.
Lastly, I have been working with Craig at Max Muscle Boulder. Craig has put a nutrition plan together for me and I am seeing results in only 2 weeks. We did a body fat test two weeks ago - and I am someone who doesn't do well with caliper tests - probably b/c of my thick Italian skin - so I typically score a few points higher than what I do on a hydrostatic test. Well 2 week ago Craig measured me at 15.6% BF. Lean, mean and ready to race I typically sit at 7-8%. So, I was still in 'fat boy who took 8 months off from training' mode. In two weeks, I've lowered my body fat to 13.6% and I've seen better energy for my workouts. The best sign of improvement is when I put on my 'fat boy' jeans and they are starting to fall off me!
This week's goal is keep on the training and to even try the Tabata intervals on the power cranks - with my ultimate goal being able to make it through a Coach Troy DVD on the PCs by April 15th.
Keep on trucking!