Friday, January 4, 2013

Some Workouts

Yesterday I had one of Dirk's staple early season bike workouts on my schedule - the infamous power pyramid.  It's kind of like climbing a big, long hill where you slowly increase intensity (HR) and power over the 50-60 minutes of the workout, all while pedaling in a big gear at 55-60 RPM.  It's not a workout where you breathe hard (my HR never gets that high) but your legs scream out in protest and beg for a minute or two of spinning at a cadence of 90.  I've always been a spinner (if left to my own devices, I would do all riding at 100 RPM) so workouts at 55-60 RPMs challenge me.

I imagine this workout is ideally done outside on a nice climb (like Mt. Lemmon or some other really awesome ride) but when you live in Pittsburgh (no hour long climbs around here) and it's January (and 9 degrees), you do this workout on the trainer.  And if you are me, you stare at the carpet and just envision climbing Lemmon instead.  It's just about the same...  ;)

Oscar was making pizza for dinner as I finished up.  It smelled really good.

The trainer ride was my evening workout.  My morning workout was at Pitt Masters.  In case you are looking for workouts, here is the main set we did:

6x25 on :30 as DPS/build/DPS/hard/DPS/all out 
6x50 as 2 on :45, 2 on :40, 2 on :35
6x75 on 1:20 as DPS/build/DPS/hard/DPS/all out
6x100 as 2 on 1:30, 2 on 1:20, 2 on 1:10 
6x125 on 2:15 as DPS/build/DPS/hard/DPS/all out

We were swimming short course yards in case you are wondering.  Also, DPS stands for distance per stroke, which is actually code for "easy".  Quote of the morning was when Fast Mark said "DPS means easy; counting strokes is for over-achievers".  Well said Mark.  Seriously though, DPS is *supposed* to be a moderate effort where you focus on getting the most distance for each stroke.  Coach Jen will often ask for stroke counts at which point you make something up if you've been slacking and not really counting strokes...  ;)

Of course you can adjust the intervals as needed.  The idea for the 50s and 100s is to swim those last 2 on a very tight interval and then the 25s, 75s and 125s have a very generous interval with a good amount of rest so you can really go hard when you are supposed to.  With warmup, cooldown and the pull set I added after the main set, I got in 4000 yds. 

In between those two workouts I spent the day at the hospital seeing sick people and writing TPN orders so those that don't have bowels (large, small or any combo there of) can still get nourishment.  I like my job.

And there you have it, a day in the life of Beth.  Quite thrilling if you ask me.  :) 


  1. Funny, my day started with a ride today and will end with a swim :) That sounds like a tough bike workout.

  2. I can't help you with the weather, but I know of some long climbs in the general area. Here's an example

  3. After our little talk I have a much better understanding of what you do at the hospital. If I could do college all over again, I would study nutritional medicine. Looks like I won't be making a career of it but I can still make it my passion.

  4. hah, yeah, I don't think that's what distance per stroke means.