Chasing the Easter Bunny

Good Friday was all about some good intervals.  I spent a couple of hours over in Fallowfield training with Dan again.   Instead of distance work though, we buckled down and did our first 10/30 workout for the season.  This workout is an interval pattern.  Its particularly effective because it essentially is a simulation of race.

Being our first interval session we didn’t hammer it out at max, we kept the recovery easy, 20kph and the “on” part of the intervals were sprints up to 30-32kph.   The core structure of this workout is a 10sec sprint (maximum effort) followed by 30sec of recovery…rinse and repeat.  Its a little bit of a puzzle, but the structure of the overall workout is this:

The 10/30 Workout Structure

The 10/30 Workout Structure

Some quick napkin math will show that your are buying into 36 sprints spread over about 40 minutes.  For me personally I usually do a 4X repeat on the inner most circuit, so I end up with 48 sprints.

This was my core workout through the winter on the spin bike.  I can say without doubt that it is responsible for bringing my cardio way up, compared to last year.

This year my cardio feels so good in fact that a couple of weeks ago I did my first 10K run…ever!  No prior jogging, nothing. It took me 56 minutes, but I did it!  Something that I would have never thought I could do before.  I’ll be doing some more cross training with running this year for sure.  Runnig is hard, but it feels like a great calorie burner.

But, lets return to our regularly scheduled pain.   The 10/30 workout is also great for skating.  I used it near the end of my season last year, and it is by far one of the better workouts for building tolerance for racing.

As Joey Mantia told us at the Mexico skating clinic, your workout is only as hard as you make it.  This is something I learned first hand last year while doing this workout.   If you skate “lazy” in the recovery parts of the interval, then the challenge level drops off.  But if you keep the pace fairly high, you end up going from moderate to high, or from high to higher, which is very much like the conditions in a race.    I found that by keeping the tempo challenging in the recovery parts, I could basically simulate a race, the “on” parts of the intervals being attacks.

This workout is definitely challenging, and you can make it as hard as you dare.   The first couple of times I did it my cookies had an urge to do some site seeing, but after a couple of workouts your body adjusts and its just a hard workout.

It should not be the case that you want to toss your cookies every time.  If it is, you need to crank it back a little.  Many athletes, including skaters, and even myself, have fallen prey to over training.   Over training once in a while, is a valuable tool.  But when it becomes systematic; you will systematically get worse, not better.

The problem is that once your body enters a state of over training, it takes months and sometimes even years to return to a state where your body can train properly again.   If you are not sure when this is happening, some easy indicators:

  • Normal heart rate jumps up by 10 or more beats per minute (and your not sick), and stays at that higher rate.
  • You start making old mistakes again.
  • You feel unmotivated about your training.
  • You get sick or infections very easily.

Two years ago, I actually went into an over training state near the end of my season.   It was a hard lesson to learn, you just get slower and slower, and no amount of hard work will fix it.   The only thing you can do is recover.

Once in a while pushing yourself is a good thing, your body needs challenging stimulus to condition itself further.  Know when to draw the line though.

You might think that grinding out 36 sprints is just too long and too boring, but because of the structure of the workout, it passes quickly.  You’ll be too busy focusing on the next sprint or where you are in the pattern.  If you can find a training partner (I highly recommend this), then it goes even faster, and its fun!  Your “on” intervals become attacks with your partner and during the recovery you can practice pack skating or other lower intensity stuff.  Before you know it the fun will be over and you be looking forward to the next session. :)

This was in fact the scenario that played out today.  Dan and I used each other as the chase bunny, and the attacks were always a full charge to see who could deliver the smack down :)   er, friendly competition :)   All good, after all, the whole idea is to simulate a race!

Our venue was a loop in the burbs, so we had to dodge some kids and the occasional car, but nothing serious. The roads were well swept and the corners were fast and furious.

When the dust had settled, Dan went into overdrive and dragged me out for another 3 laps on Golf Links road, another 8-10Km I think.   We took it easy on that part and just did some pack skating.  At the end of the last lap though, we were both hungry for the line, and got some final racing action in.  Woo-hoo!

If equipment is your thing; I’ve been training with the Atom One 84A road wheel.  I’m very happy with it, it feels good, and seems to be equally good at indoor and outdoor.  I’ve used it on smooth concrete (Did Metrodome in 1:18 with it)  and the grip pretty good, not ideal but usable.  Outside, it feels good too, I had no problems with high speed cornering in the burbs today.

The Texas Road Rash race is now only a week away.  The training I do between now and then can’t possibly prepare me, but I’m hoping to build a little on all the work I did through the winter on the spin bike, weight lifting, plyos and indoor skating.  This year I’m actually mixing weights and plyos together to do complex training.  Its  definitely a challenging workout!  More on that later…


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3 Responses to Chasing the Easter Bunny

  1. Pingback: Mike Garvin- Live Breathe Skate- Chasing The Easter Bunny « Speed Skate World- By Peter Doucet- Online Since 1999

  2. Hi Mike,

    well I’ve tried your intercal scheme this morning.
    While skating I was like ‘oh that is easy, somehow should change it the next time’.


    2 hours passed since I finished, here I sit and cannot stand up. Killer. Bravo _o_


    Gabor Kmetyko

  3. admin says:

    :) he, he, its a tough workout…but its supposed to be :)

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