Flywheel spinning again

A hard week

Training plan said it was a high volume week. At the same time, I was going to spend Monday to Thursday  in Madrid, Spain, to represent my employer at a big industry trade show.


Traveled to Prague by train, then flew to Madrid. In bed at 1:30 AM. No exercise.


Not a show day, but I had to review a large number of documents. Slept in a bit, then started working in my hotel room.

In the afternoon I went to the hotel gym (3×4 meters with a few dumbbells, a threadmill and a cycling machine. I did 10 minutes running on the threadmill, 10 minutes of pedaling, then 10 minutes of running. An interesting observation. In the first 10 minutes, my average heart rate was around 140 bpm. In the final 10 minutes, with the same threadmill slope and speed, my heart rate was around 120 bpm. Quite a significant difference.

After that I did 45 minutes of strength training in the hotel room, using body weight and elastic bands. All in all a pretty good session.

I also planned out the exercise for the rest of the week so I would achieve the prescribed volume and type of training.

Late business dinner.


Alarm clock at 5:45 to go running in the park. Woke up and discovered that it is still dark in Madrid at that hour. I hesitated for about 20 minutes, then went for a short run,  not in the park but through the city center. The Madrilenos were getting into taxis or staggering home on foot. There were a few other runners. Did just 40 minutes instead of the planned 60 minutes recovery run.

A full day at the show, standing around, having meetings. Quite tiring and some adrenaline involved as well.

Late business dinner.


I had meetings planned from the opening of the show to the closing time, and then a dinner. This was the second blow to my plans. There was simply no time to exercise.

During the day the starting time of the dinner was moved to the right, and I was able to start my final meeting early, so that created a 40 minute slot for running. Took to the park and did two quick rounds. Quite far from the planned 12 km.

Red: Tuesday morning. Blue: Wednesday evening (two rounds)

We had a very nice dinner at La Cocina de Maria Luisa. An excellent restaurant with a very nice atmosphere, delicious food and excellent wines. In bed around midnight.


Alarm clock at 4am to catch the plane. Ouch. This was hard, especially after the late dinner and the excellent wine.

On top of that, Madrid Barajas Terminal 2 is an “old” and inefficient terminal,  and this Thursday there were large groups of weekend travelers, people who are not used to the airport security drill. You can’t blame them, but that in combination with super strict checks and very unfriendly and slow personnel, on top of my lack of sleep, made it a not nice experience.

Slept in the plane. Woke up to admire the Mont Blanc Massif, then fell asleep again. Sprinted through Frankfurt to catch the connection to Vienna. Train home. Arrived at three in the afternoon.

At four I sat down to do the planned 5x1500m/R5 workout. First time on the erg in almost 2 weeks.

I knew this was going to be hard. I have done this workout at a pace faster than 1:50/500m, but today I gave myself a soft target of 1:51.5 (i.e. a little slower than 6k PB pace). I managed:

1:50.7 – pretty ok – 0.8 seconds (per 500m) in the bank

1:50.8 – started to be hard – 1.5 seconds (per 500m) in the bank

1:51.5 – 1.6 seconds in the bank

1:51.5 – 1.6 seconds in the bank

1:52.7 – lost a bit.

The “seconds in the bank” is my number mind game. I basically count how many cumulative seconds (per 500m) I am under the average, so I know how much I can afford to slow down and still make the target pace. After just 4 hours of sleep, I just didn’t have the mental energy to do anything faster than the target pace that I agreed with myself. In the end the average pace for the session was 1:51.3.


I did it. That’s all I can say. Tired now.