Coeur Focus

My friend Steve asked me what my resting heart rate was. I guessed it was in the high 40s, but didn't know for sure. So I strapped on my heart rate monitor. What I found was that my resting heart rate—the number it settled at after I sat down quietly for a couple of minutes—was 46. But of course, that's a one-time sample, and the whole exercise reminded me that for a long time I'd be thinking I should get in the habit of recording my heart rate each morning. By many accounts, that's a good way to check for overtraining and, more generally, to track the state of your body vis-à-vis training.

Later, the talk of heart rate inspired me to do today's ride on the trainer, down in the now radon-free basement. Using heart rate more extensively on the trainer was one of the many vows I made during the Six Months that I didn't do such a good job following through on. (Remember "Learning from Lon"?) In my defense, I will say that I always incorporated the broad concepts pretty well, and over time I think that has contributed to better, smarter training.

Anyway, today I rode for an hour determined to spike the ol' ticker for short periods. You can see what I did in the graph above. If it weren't two and a half weeks before IMCDA, I surely would have done three more sprints to make it 10, maybe even eight more to make it 15. But this is supposed to be a taper/recovery week, and anyway, it still felt like a good workout.

Later, I hit the pool. After three excellent 500s concentrating on form at a moderate-to-strong effort, a third guy jumped in our lane. Man, I hate swimming circle in a 25-yard pool. I was outta there.


  1. If you have not yet seen it, it might be worth your time to read the latest post by Chuckie V where he provides an eight part series on tapering.

    It is at

  2. Hey, thanks for the pointer, Al! Great reading. I'm deviating here or there from some of Chuckie V's ideas, but find my own program pretty well in line with what he recommends. On the swim, I'm really not tapering until a few days before the race. On the bike, I'm really not tapering until about a week before the race (this current week is a recovery week, and then next week I will get in some good volume on the bike). It's really only on the run that I'm doing any kind of extended taper.

    One process I typically have athletes look into is to taper the run volume/intensity first, then the bike's, and finally the swim's, as shown in the elaborate graph above. This is quite common at the highest levels of our sport and favorable evidence is piling up as for its merit.