Monday, February 23, 2015

Training update Monday

Warning: This one is braggy.

(Yes a running triathlon* blog is sort of inherently braggy, but I had one hell of a training week last week, so this one is even more insufferably naval-gazing and self satisfied than usual).

*since I am in fact doing a triathlon on Saturday I guess I should get used to being more a triathlete than a runner now...

Run: 48k in 4 hours, 38 minutes
Bike: 4 hours on the trainer; brand new FTP
Swim: 2 swims, ~2800m

Total time: 9 hours, 52 minutes

Monday: Resty Mcresterson.

It was also Family Day. I did not win Scrabble Jr.

Tuesday: Usually I swim at lunch on Tuesdays, but I skipped it because I wanted to be totally rested and ready to go for my FTP test in the evening. The cyclists are nodding along. For the non-cyclists, an FTP test involves a long warm up and then riding as hard as you can maintain for a set period of time. Your results then set the difficulty of the future workouts. It's leg-burning, heart pounding, I-might-just-lose-my-dinner fun.

And how did it end?

It was an hour before my legs stopped trembling.

BOOM. 19 point increase. Thank you Trainerroad.

Wednesday: I was on a huge mental high from the successful FTP test and practically floated through a 10k run at lunch, with 8k at Around the Bay pace. Then a 30 minute very easy recovery ride on the bike after dinner, before heading out to my coached swim and doing 1400m there. Three sports in one day, why the hell not?

I didn't take many pictures this week. But I did win a free tea, so it was pretty much an awesome day all around.

Thursday: Swam at lunch, first real workout of the new bike training plan in the evening. Riding at the new FTP is certainly harder! Plus now I'm getting into VO2 max and threshold work and all sorts of other super fun stuff. I'm going to need bigger fans in the #paincave.

Friday: Interval time for the run. 2x1600m and 2x800m. It was stupidly cold so I bargained with myself to get through them (just do the first one. OK just do the second one and then we'll quit. Well might as well do the third...and now there's just one left, let's just do it). I made the target paces slightly easier than prescribed which was hugely helpful, mentally (plus did I mention it was cold and I was wearing all the clothes?). I consider those a big win.

Saturday: 90 minutes on the trainer doing threshold intervals. Set new PBs for sweatiness. Spent the rest breaks texting with Nicole to set up a run for Sunday ("OK if I survive the next 10 minutes we'll meet at 7am, ok?") and send her super classy pictures like this:

"I think Trainerroad is trying to kill me"

Sunday: Met up with Nicole, who joined me for 22k. I planned the route so that even though we started at Lasalle Park, we avoided all the Northshore hills, which kind of feels like cheating, but whatevs. Go to her blog and check out her awesome frost lashes - my hair frost game was WEAK compared to hers.

I swear, there's frost on my hair! Really! Oh nevermind. Just go admire Nicole's.
Hamilton obliged with a reasonably clear waterfront trail from Princess Point over to Bayshore. And it sure beat dodging cars on Plains and York. Even with the kind of shitty footing we kept the pace up pretty well, though, so that's a confidence boost.

I tacked on an additional 8k loop after leaving Nicole back at the cars for my first 30k run in I don't even know. Since the marathon, I guess! And I felt pretty good. Tired by the end (obviously), but feeling pretty strong.

And very happy with the week overall! Really couldn't have gone any better.

Next up, my first 'race' of the year, an indoor triathlon on Saturday. Although I'm not truly racing it, doing it more as a fun thing (I'm not tapering or resting at all for it, so I'm not going to be setting any records, that's for sure). Still, I'm looking forward to stringing the three sports together for the first time.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Around the Bay training update

Rest week! Much needed. I was glad for the lower volume this week, and I'm feeling ready to get back to the hard stuff.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 1300m swim at lunch; 1 hour easy ride on the trainer in the evening

Wednesday: Intervals. Only did four of the prescribed six 800s due to life stuff. They sucked, hard. So I'm kind of glad I didn't have time to do the last two because they probably would have been a disaster and really f'd with my head. I do not like the intervals in this training plan; it's getting kind of demoralizing to miss on them every single week.

1700m swim in the evening with the tri club - new distance record for me in the pool! I feel like my stroke is coming together pretty nicely, even if the coach is constantly telling me to relax my neck.

Swim time!
Thursday: Easy ride on the trainer, again. Boring. But necessary to let the adaptations from the hard training take place.

Friday: Supposed to be a tempo run (and one I was actually looking forward to!), but with the extreme cold and more life stuff, I didn't have clear roads to use. So I settled for an easy 8k.

Please note the crappy road conditions in the background. Ugh. I had enough of that nonsense last year.
Saturday: Long run. Did the first half with Sam & Nicole and was glad for the company, then went off on my own for the Northshore hills. Decent 20k, felt pretty good overall and the pace was on target with the plan. Can't complain about that.


Sunday: Long trainer ride. Easy. Boring.
So glad I had a trainer ride scheduled and didn't have to go out in that stupid temperature.

This week things get a LOT more exciting! Since my bike training plan is done, it's time to start the next one, which begins with an FTP test. In other words, some extreme pain is in store. Plus there's some super 'fun' running intervals and a 30k long run in store.

Back to the hard work!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Around the Bay training update #....something or other

So that was quite the training week. Right up there with some of the hardest weeks I've ever done.

On Monday I rested, although I did have to do about an hour and a half of snow shoveling, so not really that restful.

My small helper mostly took pictures and punched snowbanks. In other words, not that helpful. Why did I have kids again?

Tuesday I had a great swim at lunch, stretching out some sore upper body muscles (sore thanks to that shoveling). Then the usual hour on the trainer Tuesday evening.

Wednesday at lunch I did some ri-damn-diculus intervals. It says in the Run Less Run Faster book that some people have trouble hitting the fast paces, and some people have trouble hitting the long run paces. Well I clearly am one who finds the interval paces kind of batshit insane, while the tempo and long run paces are not really a problem (in cooperative weather, that is).

'thank god those are over' selfie

Wednesday night the usual coached swim, Thursday night the trainer. The swimming is coming along nicely.

Friday 8k at tempo (5:17/km) at lunch, which felt really good. I was thinking about cutting this short because I needed to do 28k on Saturday, and I didn't want the tempo affecting that too much, but my long runs have felt so good lately that I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. I even offered to join Sam and run her pace for her 21k, which is little bit faster than I usually would run a long run.

It was at this point that the running gods got together with Mother Nature to smack me back to reality.

The run started out well enough, but then the snow started falling. And falling. And falling.

Mid run with the other crazy people. Thanks for the pic Patty!

Running on an inch of fresh snow is slippery. Then add in the Northshore hills...

Well it kind of sucked. On the plus side, after Sam and I got pelted by a salt truck (OUCH) the road was clear of the snow, but by that point my mojo was gone and the goal was just to finish the damn run.

I also could have done without the slushy soakers every other block during the last 3k. That was fun.

But we finished. Not as fast as originally planned, but we got it done. A good lesson in maybe not being too overconfident. And a reminder that you can control a lot of things when it comes to training, but you can't control the weather!

Sunday I wasn't sure how my trainer ride was going to go. The workout was Palisade, which is the hardest ride in the sweet spot base I training plan. Given the 28k the day before, I was thinking this had the potential to be the first Trainerroad ride where I'd have to bail.

Those little ups and downs during the intervals can really bring the pain.
It took a while, but I talked myself onto the bike wasn't that bad. I actually felt pretty good through the whole ride. I mean it wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Which has me rather excited to re-test my FTP next week and see what kind of gains I've made over the last 6 weeks!

But before that, a nice rest week. Just what I need right now!

Swim: 1:07, ~2500m
Bike: 3:30 on the trainer
Run: 49.1km

Total training time: 9 hours, 27 minutes

Monday, February 2, 2015

Another snowy Monday training update

Well, another Monday, another day at home. I could get used to this! This time it's a snow day, which is WAY more fun than being home with a sick kid. Especially since Monday is usually my rest day so I don't even have to try and figure out how to cram in a workout (other than shoveling the driveway, which is totally cross training). Later we'll bake cookies!


I had to move some of my workouts around last week due to sick kids and pool foulings and such things, but it all got done.

My pictures of the actual pool were all weirdly blurry, so you get this boring one instead.

Swimming: ~2300m over 2 sessions
Cycling: 3 hours 30 minutes on the trainer
Running: 44k; 4 hours, 23 minutes

Total training time: 8 hours, 54 minutes

Some interesting developments this week. First, on the swim, the bilateral breathing is coming together - I no longer swallow half the pool when I breathe to the right, and it's starting to feel natural to switch back and forth. So yay to that.

On the bike, since I've been repeating the workouts I did 6 weeks ago, I've been able to compare my results, and it's very, very good. This training plan really works.

Bow before my epic paint skillz. But seriously, I'm really happy to see this kind of progress!
On the run, the speed work during the week was a bit of a mess due to weather and road conditions, but the 26k run I did on Sunday with Mari went extremely well. I can't get over how strong I'm feeling on my long runs lately. I'm becoming a believer in the Run Less Run Faster plan, that's for sure.

Annnnnnnnd I pulled the trigger and registered for Welland. Eep.

Crap, I need to buy a wetsuit.

This week, more of the same. Usual two swims, still working on that bilateral breathing. I may try and push the total distance up a bit on the swim this week. Or maybe not. Biking will be the peak week of the current training plan, so it's going to be tough! The long ride this week is the hardest one in the plan, and I'm simultaneously exciting to try it and a little bit scared. Running will be the usual, although since I went a little longer than planned for my long this week, I can probably shorten things up a touch this weekend if I feel tired. And running is very weather dependent (thank goodness I don't have to run until Wednesday, which gives the city lots of time to get things clear for me, since doing my runs on clear roads is clearly the most important thing they should be worrying about).

This picture has nothing to do with anything except I had a snake around my neck this week at my nieces's birthday party. AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH. 

And some solid time with the foam roller is in order, I think - my right leg is a little cranky. Nothing major, but some self massage is called for.

Fingers crossed for a good week this week!