Birthday Soccer in the Heat

Day Twelve – Saturday the 11th of February 2012.

My session today was totally different from the one that I had done yesterday. My Brother in Law, John, had decided to celebrate his 17th birthday with a game of soccer with his family and friends down at the local park, Butler’s Reserve in Wembley Downes, WA. The game was to start at 10:00am and then after playing for a few hours we were to head down to City Beach for a swim and some lunch.

I ended up thinking I would be a few minutes late due to my teaching at my music studio, I managed however to arrive right on 10:00am to find that only a handful had managed to get there by the set time. I was feeling a little stiff and sore from yesterday’s bike session still so i went for a decent run and did a series of stretches as the numbers continued to increase.

We finally got started around the 10:30am with teams picked and everyone feeling fairly pumped for a big day, it had turned out we had probably close to a full sided game of 11 on each team which was a great turnout. Normally when we play we don’t worry about centre kickoffs but for john’s birthday we decided we were going to have kickoffs as well as keep score (normally we just play golden goal).

The game was a fantastic workout, the amount of short sprint work I ended up doing really got my heart rate up. The temperature also continued to climb making it really important to keep up the intake of water to prevent dehydration. After about an hour we stopped for half time, I drank another 2 litres of water during this break and ate another banana before the second half. The score at half time was 4-5 with the other team in front.

The start of the second half saw my team go on a quick burst and score to level up the scores at 5-5. The second half ended up being fought at as a higher intensity as the first half with both teams throwing everything at their opposition trying to score a goal and get on top. When the game looked like it was drawing to a close we called last goal to finish off the game. The other team scored this very quickly and John decided we needed to keep playing, we extended the play only to have our team score almost straight away as well, this levelled up scores at 7-7.

Knowing we couldn’t settle for a draw we continued on for one more goal, this came about five minutes later when the team I was on put the ball past the goal keeper to claim victory in John’s birthday soccer match.

This workout today was a great change for me, I haven’t been doing any sprint training at all since starting back in to the routine. I have been trying to build up a base fitness first before hitting sprinting. Whilst I am going to continue with my current plan of a good three to four weeks of endurance work before mixing things up I am happy to have had a change for one session. Tomorrow is my rest day…I can’t wait for a day off!

Dedication Leads to Results

Day Eleven – Friday the 10th of February 2012

This morning I hit a potential hurdle to my training, I slept in through my alarm. I woke at 6:05am and tried to get ready to get to the gym, my lack of preparation the night before lead to me not leaving the house until 6:25am. I realised whilst driving to the gym that I wasn’t going to get there in time to do the full 30 minute ride, do a good a stretch and have a enough time to wash and be out at Mater Dei College in Edgewater to start teaching by 7:50am. I was really disappointed with myself for not cutting the grade for my morning session, I knew that come the afternoon I wouldn’t feel like doing a session but that to keep to the regime I really did need to push through and be dedicated to the tasks. My hope from yesterday’s session was to see if I could reach the 15km in 30 minutes and I was determined not to miss the opportunity to give that a go.

Come the afternoon i didn’t feel like going to the gym however after a swim at the beach and Melissa heading off to her Eucharistic Adoration hour I left for the gym to complete my daily training.

I got to the gym by 6:55pm and was on the bikes just after 7:00pm. I had a good feeling as I started that today was going to be the night I broke the 15km mark, I had no idea at this point in time what I was going to have achieved by the end of the 30 minute mark. The first five minutes started well, my intensity was good with me having the rpm sitting comfortably over 100 and an average power output of 168W. I was happy with the distance I had covered, at 2.6km I was on track to make the 15km mark with me moving at the same sort of speed that I was doing my 10 minute ride for. I was wondering at this point in time as to whether I cold keep this intensity up for a full half an hour or if my body would die.

At 10 minutes into my ride I had managed to keep the intensity just over 100rpm and a similar power output to at the 5 minute mark. I had ridden 5.4km n the time meaning my average speed would have been 32.4km/h. I was now heading into new territory and I knew that it would take a serious effort to keep the work rate up as the tiredness started to set in, to counter the fatigue that I was starting to feel I lifted my work rate to being between 103 and 105 rpm. I started trying to concentrate more on my breathing, the movement of my legs both pushing and pulling as well as racing against the clock. By the 15 minute mark I found myself in position of having ridden closer to 8.5km than the required 7.5km to make the 15km mark, my thoughts turned to maybe it being possible to not only make the magic 15km but pass the 16km mark…if only I could push on.

One of the tactics I always do when training is continuously reassess my progress as I am training, I believe that this helps me get more out of the sessions and stretches me to achieve more than I have before. At this point in the ride I set myself the target to have passed the 10 km mark by the 18 minute mark, I figured that if I could reach this then maybe the 16km would be in my grasp. By the 18 minute mark I was just short of the 10 km mark having ridden 9.8km, it was time to increase the intensity again to really go for it. My rpm reached sitting at 110 for the next 7 minutes (until the 25 minute mark), during this time my pulse was up at 180bpm but I was feeling really good. I passed some milestones in this 7 minute period passing my previous best PB for the 30 minute ride of 13.8km in the 23rd minute. I did miss riding the 15 km in 25 minutes but the 15km mark came up at 26 minutes and 17 seconds.

Now the real challenge started – I had a taste of success and I wanted more!

I raised the work rate again to 122rpm on the bike which I kept up for the remainder of the ride. The 16km mark was passed just before  hit 29 minutes, now it was a matter of far could I get in the last minute? I kept pushing, desperately hoping to get the 16.5km as this would mean travelling at 33km/h on average which I would be very happy with. As the clock passed over the 30 minute mark and I pushed stop on the timer I had ridder a total of 16.28km. My average rpm was 109rpm and my average speed was 32.56km/h. My average heart rate was 162bpm.

During my cool down over the next minute and a half minutes I kept a track on on  my pulse and it had returned down to rest inside this time.

My legs felt very tight when I got off the bike so I did my 20 minute stretch through all the muscles holding each stretch for a good 30 seconds.

Today’s session yet again has proven to me the importance in not only setting goals and reassessing and resetting as I train but more importantly the rewards that come from being dedicated to the tasks that you set yourself. Basically for me it seems that the more dedicated I am to anything the greater the results I end up seeing and I continue to surprise myself with how far they get surpassed by.

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