Workout Wednesday – 242 Days to Go

Workout WednesdayThis has been a week of experimentation with my heart rate monitor and some different workouts, and the beat goes on…

Here are this week’s workouts:


Bike Speedwork on the Trainer

This was a frustrating workout. It was based on hitting and maintaining a heart rate goal over a series of intervals.  I was in the hardest gear in the range for this workout, at the highest revolutions per minute, I was dripping sweat, and my legs were totally exhausted by the end – but I was still 10-15 beats per minute under the goal.  I thought that maybe I was slowing down when I wasn’t counting my rpms so I even turned on my metronome to make sure that I wasn’t cheating the rpms, but I was dead on for each of the intervals.


Rest Day Woot Woot!


This was a frustrating workout.  We switched it to intervals that require me to hold specific paces for specific times.  So I can tell you that one of three things is happening:

  1. I don’t know the difference between slower and faster
  2. My Garmin is possessed or otherwise compromised
  3. The pace function doesn’t work like I think it does

I would get faster, the Garmin would say I was getting slower.  I would slow down, it would say I sped up. At one point I had to take a bathroom break (more on this in a minute) it said I was holding between 13 and 14 minute miles, suggesting I would have been better off had I spent the entire workout in the restroom.

Seasoned runners have told me that, as someone who does a lot of my training at night in urban areas, there would come a time when a bathroom was desperately needed but not available.  Tonight was that night.  I was about 17 minutes from the nearest bathroom, in full view of a bunch incredibly expensive ocean side condo when the gastrointestinal distress started.  I made it to the bathroom, so there’s a major victory right there. The rest of it went well pretty well.

Once this IRONMAN is done, I don’t know what my next challenge will be, but I know it will:

  • have clothes in my size readily available
  • be indoors with air conditioning
  • Have constant bathroom access


Hard Ass Ride

Fucking finally, I’ve been getting faster and this ride I finally did the whole thing another mile per hour above my starting pace!  This was an interesting ride.  My legs felt pretty trashed from my speedwalk last night so I was a little worried, but I had already decided that since the goal of this is to work hard (and not efficiently) I wanted to push a harder gear than I would doing a normal race pace ride, so I pushed a much harder gear.

This ride is actually the most comfortable I’ve ever felt on the bike, and I was able to maintain a relatively high cadence, even in the harder gear.  My legs felt great but it definitely taxed everything else in my body more than usual (core, arms, even my butt was more tired/sore than normal.) My legs factually felt better at the end than the beginning.  Then I got off the bike and they were definitely trashed.

My pace was pretty consistent, my only slowdowns happened when I passed some skateboarders who told me they were making a documentary (and using GoPros and selfie sticks to do it.)  They were doing amazing tricks and if they didn’t kill themselves the movie is going to be awesome.


Swim Long Sets

This went fine.  This week it felt super slow (which was a bit of a shock because last week it went by so fast!) But it went fine, nothing exciting to say. Just keep swimming…

Strength Workout

I would like more strength workouts and less running please!


Bike Speed Workout on the Trainer

I cannot get my heart rate up on the trainer, it was even lower than last week and when I went to my easy spin it was dropping through the floor.  It’s interesting, my legs are burning and when I get off the bike they are definitely tired but it’s not that much of a challenge cardiovascularly. (I continue to be concerned with my Garmin’s accuracy since it says that I traveled .3 miles during this workout when, in fact, I was sitting on what is literally referred to as a stationary bike, but that’s a whole other thing.)


Running Speedwork – Treadmill

Wow, did this ever suck.  The idea was to do 4 miles alternating 2 minutes at 3mph slower than my current mile goal time, and then 2 minutes at 2mph faster than my goal mile time.  Last week’s attempt at this (on the road and not the treadmill) was made difficult by the fact that I had trouble pacing using my Garmin (I think because it’s possessed but whatever.)

Using the treadmill was supposed to help me keep the pace without dealing with the Garmin problems.  It wasn’t long before I wanted my Garmin, possessed or not.  The slow speed is usually an easy walk for me, but not on the treadmill.  I had to change my stride length and seriously increase my cadence. It was all but impossible to keep up during the faster intervals without running.  Irritatingly, my heart rate wasn’t up where we wanted it to be. Also while my little legs were moving fast, there weren’t nearly as tired as they normally are (and they never cramped up which was nice.) But my knees and hips were killing me.  I almost never have joint pain and if I do it’s always directly related to something else being tight and goes away with a little foam rolling or tiger tail rolling. In this case it’s hours later and I’m still hurting.  I am not a fan of the treadmill experiment.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

IRONMAN Sale:  I’m having an ongoing sale on my books,  DVDs and downloads to help pay for my IM – you get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! To check it out, you can go to No money?  No problem!  If you feel like it, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail ( saying something encouraging, that’s incredibly helpful as well!

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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9 Responses to Workout Wednesday – 242 Days to Go

  1. gsantollo says:

    What garmin do you have?


  2. gsantollo says:

    Are you ok garmin connect or strAva. Find me on there


  3. nosnikrapzil says:

    Hi Ragen, I think you are doing awesomely! Regarding the treadmill, I no longer do that because I have a mobility issue. However, I can work on the The Curve, it is a new machine in my gym, and as you walk you are moving the track, so it goes at your speed – my balance is poor, and my gait isn’t steady, but Curve deals with that. It is now very popular with the runners and walkers in the gym.


  4. lsstrout says:

    Good luck sorting out your Garmin. It seems like an important tool.


  5. Lisa says:

    Not sure what garmin you have, but most of them have an accelerometer in them which it uses to give you the cadence info (while running), and to estimate pace/distance traveled if you’re running without GPS on a treadmill (it’s usually off a little for me, and you are probably better off getting your pace info from the treadmill display, not your garmin). If you are using a garmin that is not specifically made for multi sport activities (like the 220, which is what I have and use for everything) it always assumes you’re running, even if you’re on the bike trainer. Every time you shift your hand position or something, you move the accelerometer (which is on your wrist) so it returns some spurious distance data.


  6. Hey Ragen! I don’t know which Garmin you are using, but here is what I have found with mine: It calculates pace based on the average for the interval (in the case of my Garmin settings, one mile). I believe that, therefore, the pace shown is not the actual pace I am running in that moment, but the average of the pace I have done since the mile interval started. So, for example, if the mile interval starts and I am running fast in that moment, it will show a very fast pace. But if I slow down for, let’s say, the first half of a mile interval, even if I start running really fast the second half of the mile, the pace will still show something slower because it is averaging in the slower first half of the mile. Does that make sense? It might explain why the pace calculator doesn’t seem to accurately reflect how fast you are moving right at that moment. I don’t know if there is a way to change the display to show a real-time pace, but if not you could shorten the interval distance and it would have less to average, so it might be slightly closer to your actual pace. Good luck!!


  7. Fyrehaar says:

    GPS is a bit notorious for not being spot on when we want it to be. There are places I regularly run that I know it’s going to be off and tell me I’m either suddenly going hell fast or hella slow.


  8. Margaret says:

    I bought a pair of colorful tights from a company called Running Funky ( it’s the most comfortable workout gear I own and much better quality than anything else I have. They custom make all of their stuff, have larger sizes available and if they don’t have what you want, they encourage you to contact them.
    Good luck with the Ironman.


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