Marker Sets

April 11th, 2015

Marker sets are repeatable workouts that you do every six to eight weeks.  After three weeks of training, I did my first marker sets this week.

I did the run first.  Ideally, it’s a 5 K (3.1 miles) done on a track.  Unfortunately, in an attempt to increase student safety, all the local schools have fenced off their tracks.  I ended up doing my run around Contra Loma Reservoir.  It’s relatively flat and WAY more interesting than running 12 times around a track.  My time was about what expected at 33 minutes.

Next up was the bike marker.  I did this at my coach’s studio on a Computrainer which is a computer hooked up to your bike.  You get some really interesting data doing this – pedal efficiency and power.  It will also tell you how much power is going from each leg.  After warming up and calibrating the bike, I did a 20 minute flat time trial.  It was amazingly hard.  All the time you’re riding, you have all this data to look at on the screen in front of you –  average watts, current watts, speed, cadence and distance.  Funny, I really didn’t pay attention to distance at all.  At the start my average watts were up above 200, but dropped quickly in the first minute.  After about 10 minutes I decided that I’d be happy to finish with an average above 160.  Time goes extremely  slowly when you’re working really hard.  At 4 minutes to go Coach Rob told me to really dig deep and keep the watts up.  At one minute to go my average watts were 165 and I gave it everything I had, bringing my output above 200 watts for the last minute- I hit a max of 296.  For less than the time it takes to say 296 watts.  With what felt like a superhuman effort, I did bring my average back up to 166.9 watts.  I think that’s pretty good for starting my training.  I was happy I didn’t barf when I was done.

Last up was the swim marker.  I have not been in a pool since March 2013.  I wasn’t worried about swimming 1,000 yards; I knew I could get through that.  I just hoped my time would be under twenty minutes.  I don’t know why I don’t swim more,  once I’m in the water, I really enjoy it.  I can tell it’s been awhile, but the cool thing about swimming is it uses so much of your body, if one part is really hurting, you can think about something else.  Six hundred yards in, my arms felt fried, so I just started thinking about my lats.   I was pretty happy with  my time – 18:54.  It’s nothing  to write home about from a swimmer perspective, in my college days, I would have been 4- 5 minutes faster.  However, that was 30 years ago and I did swim every day then.

I’ll get to do this all again in 6 – 8 weeks.  Hopefully, there will be some improvement.  🙂

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