Monday, January 26, 2015

Snowy Monday training update

I was going to title this related to how many weeks are left before Around the Bay, but I have no idea. It's in a spreadsheet somewhere and I'm too lazy to look.

But I was so enjoying have ice and snow free sidewalks and roads! Damn it!

At any rate, it's a suddenly snowy Monday morning and I'm home with a sick kid, so I thought I'd write up a brief training update before I jump back into the work from home thing.

Swim: ~2k
Bike: 3:30 on the trainer
Run: 40.7 km
8 hours 30 minute total

Last week was pretty intense. Week 3 of my cycling plan, when things really start to build towards the week 5 peak, plus some tough interval and tempo runs. Since I've never trained like this before I'm keeping an eye on my fatigue levels to make sure all is well. So far so good. I also monitor my resting heart rate as it tends to elevate when I'm getting tired and should maybe think about another rest day - all in line with what I usually see (in fact it's lower than usual by a couple of beats per minute).

Sample workout - 90 minute ride with 20 minute long intervals. Those are no joke.  Excellent mental practice for racing, though.
My right hip (the one that has been bothering ever since the marathon) finally seems to be fully better (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD EVERYWHERE). I had an entire week where I felt entirely normal, and then BAM. Early last week, sciatica acting up on the left side. It doesn't bother me at all while standing, walking, running, biking, just while sitting. Which, given that I work an office job, is like 90% of my day.

However, my charming husband brought home this bad boy foam roller, and let me tell you, 5 minutes with that thing and I found a spot in my left glute that was very angry, worked it over, and now the sciatic pain is completely gone. It's always the glutes, I swear. This roller is my new best friend and I'm greatly enjoying having no stupid hip pain. Fingers crossed that lasts.

Also it can double as an emergency pylon. ORANGE!
Now, going into this plan my worry was that I'd lose running fitness running only 3 days a week. I've always been a 5 or 6 day a week type runner, so the thought of cutting back to only 3 was a little scary! However, as I told the girls on Saturday during our long run, this cross training shit really does work. I figured with the much lower weekly run mileage runs north of 20k would be tough - but this week's 22k-er felt great. My legs were strong, and my cardio feels better than ever. I mean, it makes sense in so many ways, but I had to experience it to really believe it.

Love to hate Northshore. All those hills. Thanks to Nicole for the pic!

Oh, and this happened a couple of times. Starting to feel reasonably competent in the pool. Progress!

Almost put my swimsuit on inside out. AGAIN. I am so good at this.

This week, more of the same. Plan is for 2 swims, 3 bike, 3 run. Everything a little more intense. Fun, fun, fun!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Training update! In which I swim! More than once!

So I'm starting to feel like a real triathlete here - last week's workouts included three runs, three bikes, and for the first time ever, two swims in one week. And you know what? I enjoyed the swimming. Like, a lot. As in I was really tempted to go get in another one on Saturday or Sunday (although I didn't - I don't want to rush the swimming too much on top of everything else I'm doing and injure a shoulder or something).

Running (39k)

I'm not going to lie, the runs this week were tough ones. There was a descending ladder interval workout that took every ounce of willpower to not quit after the 3rd round kind of sucked. Then a tempo run that went really well, but tempos are always tough. And a 20k long on a bitterly cold day where I swear my butt froze solid - the heated seats in my car afterwards actually hurt while I thawed out. But the runs all got done, and done pretty much on target. A successful week!

My 'track' for the winter - an 800m loop on a quiet residential street.

Cycling (3 hours 30 minutes)

Cycling on the trainer has been amazing. I've made huge progress following the sweet spot base plan on Trainerroad - I'm now running through it a second time, with 30 points added to my FTP since the first go around. But the workouts don't really feel harder, which means I've definitely made a lot of progress. The difference in my cadence and pedalstroke is also huge. I'm getting very excited to get back out on the road this spring and see how all this work translates!

Gotta teach the kid not to cut off the top of my head when taking action shots.

Swimming! Really! (2 swims, ~2km)

I did a solo swim at the pool near work that went well, and a coached swim with my tri club which was extremely encouraging. The coach said my stroke actually looks pretty good, which is comforting, but also gave me some tweaks and drills to work on. My current plan is to continue to swim one day a week at lunch and then the coached swim, for two swims a week. Still getting comfortable with the water, but I'm feeling very good about it so far. I'll probably add a third swim to my schedule in a few weeks.

What's really fun is how much I really LIKE swimming! I've been assuming swimming would prove to be a sort of necessary evil on the road to doing a triathlon, but it just feels so good to stretch out in the water, and the whole lap swimming thing is nice and meditative.

Of course, I did manage to lose my first pair of swim goggles by leaving them in the changeroom at the YMCA. Buy stock in Aqua Sphere, y'all, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do that a lot more.

This upcoming week will be similar. 3 runs, 3 trainer workouts, and 2 swims. Can't wait!

The spring/summer race schedule is starting to come together. First up is an indoor triathlon at the end of February - 15 minutes swim, 15 minutes bike, 15 minutes run, go as far as you can in the time allotted. Then Around the Bay, of course, where I may or may not go for a PB (undecided on that). 10k at Mississauga for funsies.

And then, the outdoor triathlons start. I'm about 99% sure I'll do the sprint at Welland in mid-June as the 'let's try this out and try not to panic in the swim', then the sprint at Guelph Lake I the following week. In July, the Kincardine women's triathlon (super sprint distance), and then sprint at Niagara from the Subaru series.

Now I need to go track down some food. So very very hungry...