Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nike Speed Week Starts Today #sofast

Even though I am currently at an altitude training camp in Livigno, I am closely watching what's going on back home in Prague. And you know what? Nike Speed Week is going on! From today Wednesday August 26 up to Sunday Aug 30, you can find many events happening mainly at Náměstí Republiky. You can run timed mile (1 600 m) or sprint 50 m, you can join many of the Nike Running Club trainings - check out the full list of training events. Registeration link for the speed week is go.nike.com/zoomprg.


I will join the speed week by running a fast mile here during my training, the 1 800 meters of altitude above sea level might make it little more challenging, but that is life. My dear friends let's run #sofast <3 And you know what? Don't over think it, #JUSTDOIT! Coming from a person, who is total endurance monster and pushing my speed limits is my biggest challenge in order to improve my times :D :D :D

More on training in Livigno coming soon!


Sweet memories of speed workouts in Portugal...

Friday, August 14, 2015

Gigathlon Jablonec 2015

In July, I had the great opportunity to participate in Gigathlon race in Switzerland, as covered in previous Gigathlon posts. And as we prepare to the first ever Gigathlon outside of Switzerland at Lipno in September 2016, a mini Gigathlon tour takes place in different locations of the Czech Republic this year. That brought me to Jablonec. And as all my potential team mates were somewhere on vacation abroad, I decided to sign up for the whole thing given the fact the distances are sort of "sprint": 500 m swim - 2.3 km run - 5 km inline skating - 10 km mountain bike - 2.3 km run.

We went for a test ride through the mountain bike loop - the race was two times 5 km loop. I was glad I did it even though I thought of switching to couples for a moment. I am just really afraid of downhills on the MTB, I am not used to it, we had made a switch for the two weekend with Kačka so she has the pleasure to ride my beautiful road bike :) Thank you for the bike!

Swim
Since I somehow did not put in too much swim training sessions I realised I will go with the breast stroke as it tires me less and is probably faster for me. I came out of water among the last ones, but not with huge gap (not counting the top leaders :D). It was interesting experience as I never swam in a race before. On the other hand, I did not want to feel exhausted having 3 more disciplines to go ... Well I should definitely work on swimming more. It might be real fun to be able to swim little faster and do short triathlon from time to time :(

Run 1
First run was pretty challenging, not long, but mostly uphill. You know what? I was afraid of falling on the mountain bike and I fell running uphill??? I wanted to shift gears from power walk on steep uphill to running and I slipped on the trail and fell :D Nothing serious just dirty leg and butt :)

Inline skating
Inline skating was done on a part of training loop for cross country skiers so it was nothing flat, but not too dangerous, though some people were afraid of going fast on downhills. I really liked it. 


Bike
For me trouble on the bike are the downhills, the guys I overtook on the run and/or inline skates flew by me on the downhills. There were two 5 km loops, in the first one I stepped off the bike for two downhills, in the second rounds I only did that once. I like my legs too much and I do not want to ruin my running by falling on bike in fun event...

Run 2
And finally there was the run back down. I was happy to be able to get some leg turnover even though it felt really strange after the inline skates and bike, but still I am runner, so running feels the most natural :) By this time we were quite on our own, I wanted to overtake at least one guy ahead of me and I did, so I was really happy. Little sorry that I did not manage to overtake one more. But I was pretty much maxed out as I realised after the finish... It took me quite long to put myself back together. I somehow did not realise, that it got really hot until the 11:35 am when I finished. Overall time 1:35:21 including transitions. Finished 36th overall, 3rd female :)

Here is the full Garmin activity: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/858521684 

Happy finishing 3rd even tough the girls ahead were pretty far from my reach. 
Need to work on swimming!

Beautiful local made trophy!

Interested in trying Gigathlon? You can do another mini race in Plzeň on August 29th - check out the official Gigathlon website for more information on Plzeň and on the big race next year at Lipno! Also follow Gigathlon Czech Republic on Facebook.

Healthy lunch to go ... there were also eggs involved to get the protein :)


And perfect recovery treat back home - ice bath while watching Ladies European Tour and eating Vietnamese Pho beef broth ... great way to refill on minerals and carbs (rice noodles).

And that was it for me, totally dead afterwards but happy to have done the singles option :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

City Night Run Berlin 2015

Saturday July 25th was kind of exciting! We (Evča & me) ran the City Night Run Berlin - the 10 km race in Berlin on pretty fast course. Exciting was the whole weekend as we are putting our partnership together BE On The Run ... meaning Barborka & Evča On The Run. You know, partnering up with an olympic athlete is "kind of" exciting!!! YAY!

The plan was to drive to Trutnov where Evča lives, train together, do a local 3 000 m race on the track and talk about our plans. I arrived on Thursday evening and we were looking forward to run the race on Saturday afternoon in a city nearby. Unfortunately, Saturday morning before we went for our AM training session, we got the news that the race was cancelled due to few entrants. We did our training session and went to the gym in the afternoon. After destroying my biceps, triceps and abs in the gym (God the tiny girl has some crazy strength in her and I have a lot to work on!), we came home to the news that there actually is 10 km race in Berlin Saturday night (in little more than 24 hrs) and that it is only about 3.5 - 4 hrs drive so we could probably do it? :D

Nothing beats unexpected 10 km race tomorrow night after 2 hard sessions right? :D :D :D 

Saturday morning - ready to rock the race: racing gear - Nike, Garmin, Moxy monitor, Generation UCAN & Matcha Tea.

On the way to enter the race ... we were not even signed in online, on spot sign up for late entries :D

Managed to get elite entry for Evča due to her current best time of 33:40 for road 10 km.

Ready to rock :D

As it wasn't "A" race that I was tuning up for etc. I ran with Moxy monitor on my quad to monitor oxygen saturation and haemoglobin availability in my muscle.

And you know what happened??? Evča won the race in her new personal best of 33:22!
I was really excited seeing her leading the women's race little more than 1 km before finish <3 It is exciting to have team mate!

Prize giving ceremony - Evča outran the winner of Vienna marathon 2015 (with marathon time of 2:30:06).

Neither Evča neither me drink beer, so Martin (Evča's husband and coach) got to finish it, luckily Erdinger is non-alcoholic beer :D

Our star <3

And how did my race go? As said, my biceps, triceps and abs were truly sore after the gym session we did :D No big expectations, also little heavier than I would want to be for an "A" 10 km or marathon race... about 60 s before the start someone grabbed me from behind. Guess what? Nick Anderson from Running with us, the coach who leads the coaching on training camps in Portugal I have attended in March 2014 & 2015. He didn't know how fast he would go - being definitely faster runner than me. We exchanged few sentences and here was the start!

Few hundred meters in the race Nick offered to pace me for sub 43 minutes (would have been my new personal best). Unfortunately, I went out little too fast (as happens quite often), I would have scaled down a little, but Nick told me to follow him and I did not want to explain that this was pretty dangerous for me ... 2nd kilometre just bellow 4 minutes was simply too fast I think. Then after 3rd km the mental battle began. There was one round of 5 km followed by going once gain up the same street and back to the finish on the opposite side. I was so decided to give up at 5th km :D Those mental battles always come - 5th km at 4:28, my slowest from the race...

But then I told myself that I have this great opportunity to have my very own private pacer. And the pacer is nobody else than one of the best coaches I have met so far, so told myself it would have been really stupid to let it go. Did I mention it was really windy? And I had trouble staying right on Nick's heels, so unfortunately I was not using that much of the advantage of having him there. On the other hand the mental advantage was huge! Around 6th km I knew I should see Evča soon coming in the opposite direction. First the car, then the leading men and then with each next group or solo runner I prayed for it to be a guy or Evča. I did't want to see any other girl running ahead of her obviously :) 

And there she was flying down the street! I screamed really loud and cheered for her. Immediately after doing so I knew Nick would not be happy with it. I think he shouted at me something like "If you can scream that loud, you can run as well." At least I would scream that at myself anyway :D So I tried to give it my best, but managed "only" to hang on. On the other hand the wind gusts were coming on us pretty hard on the cross streets. Finally there was the turnaround, then 8 km mark, the 9th km seemed never-ending, but as usual, the mind was playing tricks. Because I managed to run the last kilometre in 4:08, almost 20 seconds faster than the previous one :D On the other hand, I seriously did not have much more in me that day. Official chip time: 43:13, which is 12 seconds shy of my personal best. I will take it given the phase of my training and my current state. Hard work lies ahead! I need to learn to switch off the head and dig deep.

Concerning the results, I finished 38th female and 11th in over 30 age group - perks of being "old" :D

The spike at the beginning was not real, that was my Mio Link acting crazy - went totally OK as I tightened the bracelet.

Moxy monitor record - it includes the pre race warm up and some time after the race. 

Shortly about Moxy Monitor - it is a small black box that you can attach to almost any muscle on your body. For running workouts I attach it on the side muscle on my quad as seen on the photo above. The two values it gives you: SmO2 meaning percentage of oxygen saturation in your muscle and THb = haemoglobin. So far I understand more the SmO2 reading and that is what I use in my training. Here you can see how the oxygen starts being used up at the beginning of the race, then becomes somewhat stable when I slowed down a little after the 2nd km and finally you can see that I squeezed a lot of myself ending slightly above 25 %. That is what I have been training now once a week - as I am not lifetime athlete and only started running few years ago, my muscles need to learn how to max out themselves :) But more about Moxy training in another post.

On the technical part - I use Moxy with Garmin Forerunner 920xt, the transfer is done through ANT+ protocol which is same as for your heart rate monitor or cadence meter. It needs a watch with Garmin ConnectIQ so you can download the Moxy app, so far that means Forerunner 920xt, fénix 3 or vívoactive (interested in ordering any of these? just email me: barborka(at)ontherun.cz).

And on Sunday we were back in action - what a perfect day for leg day at Fitness Olymp <3
Powered on Generation UCAN & Matcha Tea as usual :)

I was amazed about the testing facilities they have available at the clinic next to the gym!

We were busy driving to an appointment after the gym session, so we had delicious lunch on the go. HUUUUUGE salad with goat cheese :) Yummy!