Monday, May 23, 2016

Muskoka 70.3 specialization plan: week 1

Why am I so startled every week by how little time is left before the race? Yikes. 7 weeks to go.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: FTP test
Wednesday: 10k interval run; 2000m open water swim
Thursday: TR Gibraltar (1:45 tempo); 2000m pool swim
Friday: EZ run, TR Townsend (90 min aerobic)
Saturday: 2000m swim; 16k long run
Sunday: 85k bike

Really, really great week this week, on multiple fronts.

Tuesday night I did the FTP test to set the difficulty of the next 8 weeks of trainer rides.

I believe my exact words were 'oh shit'. I was expecting an increase (the tempo rides in particular were feeling far too easy by the end of the build plan), but I wasn't expecting a 19 watt increase. That left me a little worried about how the Thursday night tempo would go at my new target power, but it was good! It was challenging in exactly the right way.

Running by the bay
Wednesday I ran with Christina at lunch - or rather, chased her for a bit while she did speed work. The good news is my hamstring was cool with some 400m repeats. The bad news is that leaves me no more excuses not to do speedwork. Damn. I will likely do some 1k repeats or something on the easier weeks of the trainer plan (lulz hahahah none of the weeks are really easy, although some could be described as easier...)

Wednesday night we had the first tri club swim of the year at Gullivers! The water was a balmy 16C!

One of my teammates braving the cold
Really, once my feet went numb, it was actually fine. HA. Seriously, though, I actually enjoyed it! No panic, and the wetsuit still fits (whew). Getting it over my cycling thighs was a bit of a production (yay new muscles).

I did two loops of the lake for about 2k, in under 40 minutes - this is really awesome because last year to do two loops in 40 minutes I had to really focus and be trying to swim fast. I wasn't trying for any speed this week, just stayed relaxed and easy. And was faster than last year already. That put me in a fantastic mood! I'm so glad I went, because now I know even if I can't do many open water swims before the races start, I'll be fine. I'm going to keep swimming at the pool at least twice a week to work on technique and such, and likely limit the open water swims to once a week at the most. At this point I think I'll get more overall benefit from the pool, even if open water is a lot more fun!

The other two runs this week were alright. Running at noon is getting a little more uncomfortable but is probably better for me at this time of year to try and get used to it. Ugh. Stupid sun.

The long run didn't feel great. Also I forgot to put on sunscreen like a giant idiot. Getting started on the weird tanlines for the summer.

Great turn out for the pre-ride for the charity ride next weekend!
Sunday a ride with the tri club, which was great. We tackled the 50 road hill, which features a short but steep initial climb, a tiny little break where the the grade levels a bit, and then a longer final climb to top the escarpment. It's a leg and lung buster for sure.

I was both excited and nervous about tackling it - I've climbed lots of hills on Bad Wolf this spring, but I've been avoiding all the really steep ones. I almost chickened out and took the road bike instead, but I'm glad I didn't because:

Hell yeah. 46 seconds faster going up that beast this year, even though it felt a lot harder on the tri bike than it did on the road bike last year.

Group ride not long after climbing 50 road. I'm in the purple. Photo via John.
I didn't have time for a brick run (one of the club members broke 6 spokes early in the ride, so the delay while we waited for the sag wagon to pick him up ate up some time), but I'm overall really, really happy with the week. A little light on the run mileage, but the bike was awesome and swimming was great. I'll take 2 out of three!

Another big week coming up. Holiday Monday here and my husband is traveling for work later in the week, so I'm rearranging my schedule a bit to make sure I can get in three swims. And since I'm pretty sure I won't be able to do a brick this weekend, I'm going to add a short transition run after Tuesday's interval ride.

Monday: swim, easy run
Tuesday: TR Washington -2 (60 min threshold intervals) + 15 minute brick run
Wednesday: interval run; open water swim
Thursday: TR White +2 (90 min tempo/sweetspot); swim
Friday: TR Townsend (90 min aerobic)
Saturday: Sulphur Springs trail run (25k)
Sunday: Brian Smith ride (20k there + 80k ride + 20k home). tempo run later in the day if I have time

My mantra for this training cycle. Need to make a new bracelet, though, this one is getting a little icky.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Muskoka 70.3 build week 8 - recovery

Lovely cut back in hours this week to absorb some training stress and gear up for the final 8 week push to Muskoka. eeeeeeeeeeeee how is it only 8 weeks away already?!

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 1900m swim; TR Mills (1 hour VO2 max)
Wednesday: EZ 9k run; 2100m swim
Thursday: TR Fang Mountain (1:15 over/unders); 1900m coached swim
Friday: EZ 7k run; TR Dans (30 minutes easy)
Saturday: TR Gibraltar +1 (1:45 tempo) + 14k brick run
Sunday: 2000m swim; 9k road/trail run

Can't complain about any of it, even if I do maintain that Trainerroad has a funny idea of 'recovery'. Although since the plan seems to be working nicely I should stop questioning it, really.

A few thoughts on each sport -

Swim: Coach Lara told me this week I'm starting to look like a real swimmer. Yay! Best compliment ever for an adult onset swimmer to hear! I still kind of have to pinch myself when I see my swim paces - I was not expecting to improve as much as I have over this winter. Consistent pool time and lots of intervals have paid off - although it remains to be seen how any of this translates to open water. Which may be as soon as this week, as it looks like Gullivers is now swimmable. That said, I'm not putting too much pressure on that first open water swim. The water is still going to be cold, I may get panicky again, plus swimming in the wetsuit is different. So that first OWS may be a mess.

Bike: No outside ride this week.

But it was a good Saturday workout to do on the trainer anyway. It's hard to do those tempo rides outside when you don't have a power meter to keep you on track.

The rides were good and it was kind of fun to have some extra free time! Which was mostly used for laundry, because ALWAYS WITH THE LAUNDRY.

My cat isn't this helpful.
Run: Kept things mostly pretty easy. It's nice to feel good running again, since it felt pretty garbage for a while there after ATB.

Plus when you run you can easily stop and take pretty pictures!

Princess Falls

I'm always fascinated by how plants can find a way to grow in the most inhospitable places.

Hey how'd that ice cream sundae get in here? #recoveryweeknutrition

A few km of trail 'running' on Sunday.

Nice to get a little muddy again. And thus begins and ends the entirety of my Sulphur Springs training.
So, time to get back to the hardfun stuff.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: FTP test
Wednesday: run; evening swim (tentatively planning OWS at Gullivers with the club)
Thursday: TR Gibraltar (1:45 tempo); swim
Friday: run; TR Townsend (90 minutes aerobic)
Saturday: long run + swim
Sunday: Brian Smith course pre-ride + brick run if I can manage it

Dropping the Tuesday swim this week to be totally rested for that little FTP test thingy. And I will swap around my days on the weekend to hit up the club ride for the week. I'll probably also ride to the meet up point and back - the club ride will be 80k flat or so, but I can add another 20k there and 20k back (or catch a ride back after I don't feel up to it). But that will make for a bit of a long morning so I'm not sure how it's all going to work out at this stage. At any rate, there will be a long ride of some sort!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Muskoka 70.3 build: week 7 - peak week!

Another peak week done.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 1900m swim; TR Mist +1 (1:15 VO2 max)
Wednesday: 10k run; 2000m swim
Thursday: TR Gibraltar (1:45 tempo)
Friday: 10k run; 33k easy ride (outside)
Saturday: 108k ride; 7k tempo run
Sunday: 1800m swim + 16k long run

Wow that was a lot. Most kms/hours I've done in a week since some of my peak weeks before Barrelman.

Tuesday's swim was uneventful. Just getting in the distance, really, and counting down until we get that first open water swim.

Nothing to do with anything, I just like daffodils.
Tuesday night, the workout with the highest intensity factor rating in the whole plan. There's another one in the specialization plan with the same rating, but that's weeks away so I don't have to worry about it yet. I've pretty much blocked the whole thing out of my memory now, like childbirth. VO2 max intervals are brutal!

Yeah that's about how I feel about those.

Wednesday I was having a delightful run at lunch, almost back to campus, when I tripped over a curb and went ass over teakettle. My knees took the brunt of the fall which has been just SUPER FUN ever since. Scraping off a layer of skin is a little bit uncomfortable as it heals.

Even the bandaid box is like 'congrats on giving yourself an injury usually reserved for children'.
Overall, though, it could have been a lot worse! So I did the smart thing and signed up for a trail race in a couple of weeks because there's absolutely no way that could end badly.

Seriously, I'm super excited to run Sulphur again with Sam and Nicole. (Why have half the pictures disappeared from that post? grrrrrr). This will be for fun and the fact I'll get in a long run is just bonus. Plus Sulphur doesn't have THAT many rocks and tree roots for me to trip over. Right? RIGHT?!!

Here are some tulips, just because. I didn't take a lot of pictures during my workouts this week.
Friday my computer was being upgraded at work so I wrapped things up at home early and was able to take my neglected road bike out for an easy ride. Way more fun that 60 minutes on the trainer. And it was nice to be reunited again - I love my tri bike, but I'm still getting to know her. The road bike and I have spent so many miles together than I don't have to think about shifting gears, I just do it. And I feel a lot more secure cornering and such. So that was a lot of fun!

Too busy riding these lovely empty roads to take pictures
Saturday my alarm didn't go off (gah! technology fail!) so I was late getting out the door. Still got in a metric century, though, at a pretty decent overall average speed. Then I took a break before doing a 'not a brick' run. Did 7k at tempo (5:22/km ish) and felt really good. My hamstring isn't bothering me at all anymore, so it's definitely time to start adding a little speed back into the run workouts. Just in time for recovery week, so maybe that will wait a bit. OH DARN.

Sunday I celebrated Mother's Day by heading off to the pool for an ok swim (ugh, lane sharing issues. Let's just say sharing with a slow-moving breaststroker is the worst), then met Nicole for an excellent, hilly 16k. I should really apologize to her, I thought I'd be pretty dead after the Saturday of fun and was expecting that to be a slow run. Which was fine with her, what with the whole 'having just run a marathon' thing.

Oops. That was about 20 seconds per km faster than planned. What can I say, I was feeling surprisingly good! Pretty great way to end off the week!

Now, a little recovery before moving into the final 8 weeks of race prep. eeeeeeee this thing is suddenly feeling VERY close...

Monday: rest
Tuesday: swim; TR VO2 max
Wednesday: run hopefully without tripping over anything
Thursday: TR over/unders; swim
Friday: run; TR easy
Saturday: 2 hour ride + brick run
Sunday: swim, long run

Doesn't look all that different from prior weeks but there will be a big drop in the # of hours on the bike and the intensity will be way down. Yay for recovery!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Muskoka 70.3 build: week 6

Some pretty intense workouts in the build plan this week.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 1850m swim; TR Shortoff +2 (1:15 VO2s)
Wednesday: 10k easy run; 2200m swim
Thursday: TR Picket Guard (90 min over/unders); 1850m swim
Friday: 8k easy run; TR Pettit (60 min aerobic)
Saturday: 73k outdoor ride + 6k brick run
Sunday: 15k long run; 2000m swim

Damn that's a lot of workouts. Well, it is the second hardest week of the current plan, so that seems about right.

Tuesday morning's swim was pretty solid, but my day was mostly consumed with wondering what the hell I was thinking regarding that night's trainer workout. Four minute long VO2s? WHY, TRAINERROAD, WHY?

Don't judge my trainer music. You do what you got to do to survive the tough ones, even when it involves an alarming amount of Limp Bizkit.
But I had a rockin' playlist, put on my best game face, and got that shit DONE, yo. BOOM.

Inscrutable Trainerroad graph. Trust me, it's good.
Wednesday I got in a run with Christina at lunch. She had to do some speedwork, so I joined her for the first 2 minute segment at 5:15/km to see how it would feel. A little tugging in the hamstring so I shut it down from there, sent her off to do her workout, and ran the rest easy. Just staying on the safe side. Wednesday night another solid swim.

Bonus of late night swimming: the awful goggle marks are gone by morning. 
Thursday was a flat out STUPID trainerroad workout. Over unders, oh my god. If VO2s might someday kill me, over/unders are what waits in hell. But hey. I survived.

Thursday night, a swim with Coach Lara, which was great. She paired me up with another club member who swims about the same speed, and that makes a surprisingly large difference in how hard I can push on an interval. Just knowing someone is chasing you (or chasing someone) is super motivating. Although she did introduce us to the 3/5/7 drill and I think I almost drowned. I really see the appeal now of something like a master's swim club. If only I had more time...

OMG it might finally really be spring!
Friday, another run with Christina, this time keeping it easy. Although I felt pretty sluggish and blah and like I hadn't eaten enough that day. Friday night the usual easy spin.

Saturday, long ride, outside, yay, etc, etc. My toes weren't quite as cold, so it's warming up a bit! And I followed it up with a brick run; first time I've done one of those in a while. It felt pretty good, but maybe that was just the new shoes.

Pretty new shoes. Way different colourway than my usual. It's nice to change things up.
Sunday out for a long run in the rain. This was honestly the first run since ATB that felt good. Like, really, really good. I kept it easy and it just flowed beautifully (well, other than one emergency stop at a Tim Horton's. Bless them for being everywhere with their nicely accessible and clean bathrooms).

soaked from the rain, fought the wind through half the run, but feeling fantastic!
Then a really solid swim. I initially was planning to just do a super lazy easy swim, but after I warmed up and did some of my paddle drills I started feeling better and better. Eventually, I decided to accept Zindine's challenge to swim a 48 second 50m.

I really wasn't expecting to actually do it! Yay for friends who push you out of your comfort zone.
What a great way to end off a great week of training.

It's crazy how much I've grown to love this place.
The plan. Peak week of the build plan!

Monday: rest
Tuesday: swim; TR VO2s (OMG this one is HARDER than last week? WTF!)
Wednesday: easy run
Thursday: swim; TR tempo
Friday: easy run, TR aerobic*
Saturday: Long outside ride + brick run
Sunday: Long run, swim

*may have to move to Sunday, not sure yet. It's all tentative anyway, really.