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Monday:
AM: 1 hour of yoga.  This is not a bad way to start the new week when the last workout was a long run.  Good energy for a Monday!

PM: 2400-yard swim
I was all over the place. I started feeling like the workout would be fine, but it ended up being a day where I felt I was battling with myself. My form was way off, I felt out of balance and like my feet were dragging the bottom of the pool. The more I tried to correct it, the more I felt like I was flailing all over the place. Geez…was this a repeat from last week?

Tuesday:
PM: I packed my bike in case the weather cooperated to ride with the TriLife group. The forecast did not look promising, but my thought was that if I didn’t take my bike, the weather would cooperate and if I did…rain. Before I left work the radar showed an upcoming band of storms, so it was home I went with my (once again) unridden bike (happened twice last week). On my way home, I decided to flip flop my planned bike for my Wednesday morning scheduled run.

The run was a 60 minute (5 min warm-up/5-min cool down) main set tempo at my current pace (recall that I finally hit the 45 minute mark last week at this speed).  Well, I am happy to report that I knocked the 60 minutes out of the park!  I was happy to meet this milestone.  I have been working at this speed for six weeks, so it is awesome to have gotten stronger and check off the full hour maintaining goal pace without needing to slow to maintain heart rate zone.

Wednesday:
AM: 55-minute trainer ride with high intensity intervals. This one is always a treat…..

PM: 2500-yard swim
The swim was pretty good. After Monday’s session where I left feeling frustrated, I was able to re-focus and feel better about my performance. Before I swam, I watched a couple of videos to remind myself of some good, basic balance drills. I did a couple of these during warm-up and really took my time to reset mentally and physically. For my main set, I decided to just focus on the shorter sets to try to get my mojo back.  I left the pool feeling better than I had in some time.

Thursday:
PM:  Another day to “hopefully” ride outside…well, we can hope.  AGAIN, the weather looked like storms were approaching (you would think we were already in the middle of summer with all these afternoon storms in the area), so I drove home after work and did another reliable trainer ride.

65-minutes on the bike for a lactate threshold focused session that looked like this:
Warmup:
– 10min spinning easy  with 2-3 30-sec accelerations toward end of warmup.
Main Set:
– 4x10min at resistance that raises HR to (or just below lactate threshold). Intensity should be uncomfortable but if breathing is heavy (huffing/puffing) back off intensity to get breathing under control.
– Alternate cadence between 80 RPM and 90 RPM every 2min (in the 10min set)
– 5min recovery between sets.

Session was solid.  I skipped the normal 10 minute cool down to run a short 1.58 mile brick.  Trying to keep the legs honest…

Friday:

Rest

Saturday:
Tony and I headed out late morning (after some lingering showers cleared up) to ride one of our regular routes.  We have tackled this one frequently over the past several weeks as it has some decent rollers and flexibility for distance.  The day was beautiful, but unfortunately, Tony nor I were having the strongest of days.  I did not have the power I generally have, but just kept working.

Pretty close to the point where we would be hitting the halfway point in the planned mileage, we came to an intersection where they are constructing a bypass.  We had not gotten to that point in mileage on that route yet this season, so we were surprised to see this road work.  Well, what was awesome, is that the highway is almost done; it is not open yet, but for our purposes, we had miles of fresh pavement closed to traffic.  Easy choice…we took advantage!  In exchange, we were able to regain some of the speed we lost on the earlier hills, because this stretch of road was fast.  It was fun!!!!

We ended the ride with 52 miles in about 2 hours 52 minutes.  Despite the way we were feeling, we ended up having a good ride!

open road

Sunday:
Rain was in the forecast for the day, so I decided that I would be out to the greenway late morning in hopes of getting in my total miles before the rain moved in.  Once again I had company as Tony tackled the 12 miles with me at my pace.  The weather cooperated…we even had a few peaks of sunshine, which was unexpected.

I was happy with my hydration, nutrition and overall with my run.  I ran with four bottles on my hydration belt (two with Gatorade Endurance, which will be the Raleigh 70.3 course, and two with water) and took in some strawberry shot blocks during the run.  Tony and I shared a Honey Stinger Caramel Waffle in the car in the way to the park.  #HSHIVE

The last three miles were especially a challenge as my body was ready to be done.  At those points, I just bear down as I know that those miles in the bank are so important when it comes to race day.  I was happy that I was able to finish up with good consistency in my splits.

Run Splits

run

fortunate

Total training time:  10 hours 55 minutes
Swim:  4,900 yards
Bike:  77.4 miles
Run:  21.6 miles
Other:  1 hour

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

I struggled a bit this week with my right glute and the achiness that I felt at times.  I have been very diligent with my therapy exercises, but parts of my body was not happy with me over the weekend.  I think the upcoming recovery week has timed out well (along with my scheduled PT appointment).

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After a very busy weekend and some lingering soreness from my training sessions, a new week began. It is absolutely crazy how quickly weekends pass. Just not fair…

Monday morning started with a core workout. I definitely was not feeling too energized, but I got my one-hour session knocked out. The evening included a PT appointment, so core was the goal for the day.

Tuesday PM:
2500-yard swim. Unfortunately, I have to say that this swim was terrible. Truth. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way about a swim. I have been so focused and have seen some improvements over the last few weeks, but there were no signs of this during the swim. On my way home from the pool, I called Tony, as I always do. He asked me how my swim was and I reported the same to him. I then said that there was no point in discussing it (which is a good thing for me because I have a tendency to over analyze things) and I was just over it already. I believe that it is good to reflect on what may have not gone well and what I should work on for next time, but this was just one of those workouts that I just pushed aside and did not spend time trying to wrap my head around it. Done.

The good news for Tuesday was that a package was waiting for me when I arrived home. These Honey Stinger Waffles are absolutely one of my favorite choices for sports nutrition. I have been completely hooked on the honey flavor for quite some time. When I read that they debuted a new caramel flavor, I had to try it! I am absolutely not surprised, but I like it! I believe this is the only product I would “risk” buying a full box before ever trying the flavor. The Honey Stinger products taste so natural and I knew I could not go wrong with adding caramel to my shopping cart!  #HSHIVE

Honey Stinger

Wednesday AM:
After a slow start to  the training week, next up on the plan was a tempo run.  I was still working on the same tempo pace from the past few weeks.  I have been gradually working up the time that I am able to sustain the pace in the targeted heart rate zone. I was hoping to get in the 45 minutes for the main set (with 5 minute warm-up/5 minute cool down) that I had not been able to total quite yet (before needing to slow the speed for heart rate). Would today be the day??? YEP! It felt good to get this run done and meet this goal.

Wednesday PM:
Back to the pool…with only 24 hours since my “session to forget”, I had another swim workout on the plan. This 2500-yard swim was ok.  Better than Tuesday’s swim. One thing that I was not on track with was with a series of 3x200s.  These 200s were supposed to be performed at slow, moderate and then fast paces.  A couple of weeks ago when I had this series in my workout, I was able to really nail it.  (Historically, I have not had enough differential in the three different speeds.)  Today, I did not have enough variance between moderate and fast.  I just need to keep at it to gain the consistency!

Thursday PM:
The plan was to ride with the TriLife store group ride. This was actually the plan for Tuesday, originally, but the threat of rain forced me to change the plans. I was holding out hope that Thursday would cooperate, but the threat of severe weather, drove me home to the trainer. I got in a great 80-minute trainer ride and watched out the window as the storms moved in.

Friday:

rest-day-big-deal-1

Saturday:
I met my ride buddy, Susanne, in her neighborhood as a friend of hers had planned a 50 mile ride and that was the distance I needed as well. The morning was actually a little cool and I will mention that we have been COVERED in pollen. This time of year we typically get inundated with the yellow stuff coating everything in sight! Luckily, I don’t really have allergies to the stuff, so I just continue my outdoor activities. We had a good 53 mile ride, in just a bit over 3 hours, and it ended up being a terrifically beautiful day to be out on the bike. I definitely had a covering of pollen on my skin afterwards, but that just made for an even more enjoyable shower!

Sunday:
With another beautiful day forecasted, I wanted to get out on the greenway late morning to get started.  I had my fingers crossed for a solid run. I just want to see my efforts with the tempo runs pay off on my long runs. While the run was not easy, I felt better than I did last week and my pace was more in the range of what I was hoping….8:53 average for the 10 miles. Tony ran my pace with me and having a partner always is a great addition to a long run!

Sweaty Selfie

Sweaty Selfie!!!

After we got home and cleaned up, Tony and I tried something that I have heard about/read about before, but just have never tried for recovery. “Legs up the wall”.

Legs up the wall

Legs up the wall!

We stayed in this position for a decent amount of time (I didn’t time it) and I thought it was a very interesting feeling while my legs were elevated (sensations through my legs). Towards the end, my feet felt a little tingly. Overall, I am glad we remembered to give this a try. Later on in the afternoon, I commented to Tony that my legs felt pretty decent…I thought better than they generally do after a long run.  I think “legs up the wall” may have been beneficial!

Do you put your legs up the wall?

Total training time: 9 hours 59 minutes
Swim: 5,000 yards
Bike: 71.72 miles
Run: 16.29 miles
Other: 1 hour

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

This ‘n That

Apr
2015
13

posted by on This 'n That

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This 'n That

I decided to share “this ‘n that” which is random stuff that I have found useful/insightful/interesting/funny/etc from various sources.  I think I will pull together these type posts from time to time as I enjoy reading and learning new things.

—-

Chrissie Wellington on…Beating body confidence issues

One of the Queens of Kona shares some insightful and poignant words in this article that will ring true to many.  I especially liked this excerpt…”We must celebrate our individuality, and be grateful for the opportunity to do this sport, to be healthy, to race, to be with friends, visit new places and challenge ourselves. ”

SONY DSC

Flashback to when I met Chrissie Wellington in Kona in 2013

—-

Don’t give up until you cross the finish line!

I saw this video for the first time a few weeks ago and I did not realize that this happened ten years ago until I was searching for it again to share here.  This video captures an unbelievably exciting sprint finish that you won’t forget!  Check it out!

 —-

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs have been a big part of my training plan for the past several weeks.  Since one of my goals for Raleigh 70.3 is to better my time in all three disciples, I have been incorporating the weekly tempo run as a means for improvement.  There are many different perspectives on tempo running, but I found this article as one that describes the tempo run in a way that I have learned over the past several years.  This quote sums it up well…”It’s what I call ‘comfortably hard,'” says Pierce. “You know you’re working, but you’re not racing. At the same time, you’d be happy if you could slow down.”

—-

Glute Strength

I have been seeing a Physical Therapist for a few months now.  I think I have been a challenge to him since initially he thought some basic stretching and strengthening exercises would improve the achiness I felt in my right glute and hip.  So, over the course of time, he has me try several different exercises.  While my issue has not (YET) been fully resolved, I feel he has a real good idea of what is really the issue and and has prescribed the therapy that will make me stronger.  I am keeping my fingers crossed as I continue to perform my exercises routinely.

I had been asked to share some of these exercises and I had planned to.  However, I have learned (from my PT) and lots of reading/research online, that many basic exercises can be slightly modified and the intent changes greatly.  My therpaist has tweaked the way I perform several of the prescribed exercises, so I am following his direction.  I did not really feel comfortable sharing the exact exercise since they are targeted at MY specific weaknesses/issues.  However, I did find a couple of resources that I think are great and are very related to what I am experiencing and trying to do to improve.  It seems they give good general advice which can be used by many.

This article on glute strength talks about a potential issue of “glutes aren’t as active as other running muscles during routine activities, which can make your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves disproportionately stronger. Another issue is that most strength-training routines don’t isolate the glutes. If an exercise requires several muscles to perform the movement, the majority of the work will be done by the strongest of those muscles. Also, tight muscles, specifically the hip flexors, can inhibit the glutes and prevent their muscle fibers from firing.”

This second article on glute strength talks about “the muscular imbalances most common among runners: weak glutes, tight hip flexors and hamstrings, sub-par posture.”  It provides four variations on the bridge exercise.  I currently include a version that my therapist recommends for me and it has made me realize how weak my glutes are and therefore how much I need to perform this exercise!

—-

I will end on a funny…I laughed out loud when I read this one…

Competing

Have a great week!!!

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This week marked a new three-week build period in my preparation for Raleigh 70,3 (three weeks of build/one week recovery). However, it did not start the best way. Sunday night/Monday morning, I slept horribly and not long enough. I have no idea why I had such difficulty sleeping (no caffeine late in the evening or anything else I can guess). I was struggling so much through the night that I ended up changing my Monday morning alarm that would allow me to skip my planned early yoga session. The additional time sleeping was completely necessary. However, I woke up about 15 minutes before that yoga alarm would have gone off. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t (ugh!!). So I got up and proceeded to get in yoga.

Monday AM:
30 minutes (sleepy) yoga

After a very sluggish start to the day, I was feeling ok after I got to the office and settled in. Then around 2:00, I started dragging. It made for a long afternoon, but we all have days like this.

Monday PM:
2000-yard swim. I had a speed set planed, so I went in with the idea that I would just give it my best (that’s pretty much my philosophy all the time). My session was not bad, it just was not quite to the level that I has worked up to the last couple of weeks. I would guess that the fatigue level played a small part, but I got it done.

Excuses

Tuesday PM:
One hour run outside. Tony and I ran from our house throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.  This ended up being a tough run with lots of hills.  I worked really hard (and I felt like it) Overall, relatively happy with the average pace, but my heart rate was tracking a little higher than it should for a good amount of the run. We ended with a bit over 7 miles at just under 1:03. The weather was nice, so that was a bonus.

Wednesday AM:
55-minute trainer ride with focus on big gear and low cadence. Good start to a Wednesday.

Wednesday PM:
2200-yard swim with focus on speed (again). I felt much better in the pool than I had on Monday which resulted in a better (mentally and physically) workout.

Thursday PM:
Outdoor ride from a local Tri Shop called TriLife. The store conducts group rides twice a week and they have started back for the season! I rode with them frequently last summer after IMLP training was over and I had lots of flexibility. These rides typically end up being great for me because there are faster cyclists riding and I try to hold on to faster pace than I normally would be able to hold solo. This pushes me and it is a great way to continue to become stronger on the bike. I put in just under 23 miles in 1:12 at an average pace of 18.8. After the ride, I ran an easy mile with another rider to flush out the legs a bit. Great workout on a pretty evening.

Friday:

 Rest Day

Saturday:
The weather forecast for Saturday looked pretty sketchy most of the week. It looked to be relatively warm, but possibly rain early in the day, and that was the timeframe in which I would be doing my training. Luckily, the weather cooperated and it was rain free, so I was able to head out to the greenway to get in my long run. It had been a while since I ran on the greenway, but it is really an excellent place to run and definitely my preference for long runs. Why I like it so much is that you don’t have to think. You just jump on (after driving a short distance) and run an out and back. No course to map out or turns to remember. Also, there are generally other people out and about running or cycling.

greenway2

My Saturday run

 

greenway3

Views along our greenway

My run was planned for 1 hour 20 mins. This was to be my longest run in quite some time, but I felt ready. The first couple of miles did not feel the best. However, this is not unusual for me. I typically feel like I fall into pace and a groove after my body has had the chance to really get warmed up and clued in that it is time to run! I felt like that just never really happened. While I was able to maintain a fairly consistent pace, I felt like I was struggling most of the run. I was aiming for a quicker pace than I was able to pull out, but at least I was able to find consistency and hold that throughout. With the tempo runs I have had in my plan, I should definitely be able to push the pace more, but today was not the day. I finished out with 8.88 miles in the prescribed time. I was more achy when I finished and felt that way through the day.  I suspect that I was probably dehydrated before the run even started, which did not set me up to meet my expectations. I ran with hydration and consumed it all, but I think my starting point was low. Rookie mistake,,,

Sunday:
Easter! This would be a full day, so planning was key. We were up to attend Easter Mass on a beautiful morning. After church, we headed home, had a light bite of lunch (oatmeal, actually) and Tony and I headed out from our house for a bike ride. The first hour I was definitely dragging a bit…residual from Saturday, I believe, but soon after we crossed the one hour mark, I hit more of my groove. We ended up just under 43 miles in 2:23. For this hilly route, which is a frequent one for us, I was very pleased with the ride. It was a beautiful day, a bit of wind, but that is typical for spring.  We then had late afternoon and evening activities, so there was no rest after the ride. The remainder of the day was enjoyable and I hated for another weekend to end.  Glad we could have this pretty day for Easter and afternoon ride!

Total training time: 9 hours 13 minutes
Swim: 4,200 yards
Bike: 76.5 miles
Run: 17.07 miles
Other: 30 minutes

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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Recovery week. In my opinion, these are always good. I see it as an end to the prior build and a chance to get re-charged for the next 3-week build. It is like an end and a beginning all at once. The timing of this was actually ideal as I had alot of things on the calendar (mostly fun stuff) to work around.Getting closer

Monday AM:
Started the week with a one hour stretch session. We have a video that is pure stretching for the entire body so it is a great way to start a recovery week!

Tuesday AM:
2500-yard swim with varying focus.

W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (1800 yds):
-3×300 easy-to-moderate :30sec rest between intervals
-3×200 easy/moderate/FAST, :30 sec rest between intervals
-12×25 evens EASY, odds FAST :20sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

This session was good for me. I especially like the 200s where the first is easy, second is moderate and the third is fast. I used to not have great differential between my slow and fast paces. This is something I have worked on over time and I was able to get really good differential between the the three different paces this time. Very pleased with that!

Wednesday AM:
Treadmill Run:  I was once again going for my most recent tempo pace established two weeks ago. The most I have been able to run at this pace before slowing it down (to keep my heart rate in the desired zone) has been 30 minutes. This run was scheduled to be a 40-minute main set (a bit shorter due to recovery week plan) with 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool down. I was able to knock out 35 minutes this time before slowing the pace a bit to keep my heart rate down. The 40 minutes was definitely tough and I was pretty wiped after this run.  

Thursday PM:
50 minutes on the trainer with the focus on big gear and low RPMs. I really do prefer the big gear workouts…I definitely prefer them to the high cadence work. All the various workouts have their place and all are challenging in their own way, but that is more my first choice!

Friday:
Rest day!

On this note of rest day…I was just reading a post/question on the “Women for Tri” Facebook page where someone asked about her 70.3 training and never having a rest day. There were a bunch of comments and I was surprised at some of the feedback I read. I know everyone has a different training philosophy, but I honestly don’t understand the philosophy of NOT having a day off. One of the comments that really surprised me was from someone training for an IM…she commented that “you can’t fit it all in if you take a rest day”. From the very first training plan I ever followed for a sprint tri to the IM plan I followed last year for Placid, rest has always been incorporated. I think it is an element that should not be overlooked at any level. It can almost take more importance as you train for longer distances…you are asking more and more of your body and it NEEDS some time to recover. Obviously, this is just my opinion, and I would be interested to hear other opinions on the subject as well!

Saturday:
2700-yard endurance swim

W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (2000 yds):
-1×500 moderate :60sec rest
-5×100 moderate, :20 sec rest between intervals
-1×500 moderate :60sec rest
-5×100 moderate, :20 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I last performed this same workout on March 13, so I was able to do a time comparison. My times improved, most notably, the times for the 500 sets. I was able to see significant gains there, so I was especially pleased with this swim!

Sunday:
The weather for this weekend was not the spring-like temperatures we had been experiencing in recent weekends. It was a cold weekend to get out on the bike…I could have bundled up and done just that, but since we have had some good bike riding weather, the cold was not desirable. I jumped on the trainer Sunday morning around 8:30 before the day got too hectic. It was a good 1 hour 20 minute session that went by relatively quickly because it involved frequent cadence changes.

Overall, this was a good recovery week.  I feel I am at a good place.  I know the next three-week build session will be important as we really get through the halfway mark of the plan working toward Raleigh 70.3.

Total training time: 5 hours 57 minutes
Swim:  5,200 yards
Bike: 26.5 miles (all trainer)
Run: 5.63 miles
Other: 1 hour

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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Monday PM:
Started out a new week with an evening swim. This was a 1800-yard session with the focus on speed. I last swam this same workout two weeks ago. I am happy to report that I was able to better my average speed of the main set by a couple of seconds. This is certainly not monumental, but this represents progress and that makes me happy!

Little by Little

This seemed to be the theme of the week for my swim!!

Tuesday AM:
5:30am start on the treadmill for a tempo run. My goal was the run for 50 minutes at the new pace I set for 30 minutes last week. After a solid warm-up, I feel into my pace. I could feel fairly quickly that my body was fighting it a bit. I felt like my heart rate started off a bit higher than normal. The plan remained the same as with all my tempo runs…as long as my heart rate was within the desired zone, I would push on. Well, at the 30 minute mark, it had crept up to the top of the zone. I backed off my pace a bit for the next 10 minutes and then again for the last 10 minutes. I followed up with a cool down. This was definitely a tougher run, but I followed the plan even though I was not able to meet the initial goal. Hopefully, my next tempo run I will be able to do just that.

Wednesday AM:
55 minutes on the bike trainer doing my regular session with short, high intensity intervals. This workout has been repeated weekly during this 3-week training block.  It does not disappoint!

Wednesday PM:
2800-yard endurance swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2100):
100/200/300/400/500 easy to moderate with :15 sec rest between intervals
2×300 easy/moderate/fast, :30 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

Could not hold tight to the rest intervals prescribed in the workout, but I did my best. This ended up being only an “ok” workout, but got the time and yardage in and that is always a good thing!

Thursday PM:
37-minute bike trainer workout with the focus on hill repeats followed by a 30-minute treadmill run. Both these workouts were good…since I was working in a high gear/low cadence to finish up the main set on the bike, I did a 2-minute high cadence spin to flush out my legs before getting off the bike.

Ready for the brick

My view from the bike…running shoes ready for the brick!

I then transitioned well to start my run on the mill. I felt pretty good…the more I do these bricks the better prepared I will be come race day!

Friday:

Rest

Saturday:
I still like being able to type this…another outdoor ride! Tony and I were joined by a fellow triathlete that had posted on Facebook to one of local tri group pages that was looking for company on her ride. I think it is fun to meet new people that share the same interests, so we invited her to ride with us. We did a 40 miler and the weather was nice. The wind was not as bad as the fast few weekends. I felt great on the ride and ready to jump on another brick afterward.

I had 2 miles to run off the bike and I was feeling good, so I opted for the flat loops, just to see what I could do if I pushed my pace. My first mile was 8:31 which I was satisfied with. However, I continued hard and was surprised when I finished mile 2 with a 7:45 pace. YIKES! I did not know I had that in me. I finished the run with an 8:08 average…I will take it!! All those tempo runs I have been doing are paying off I guess!

Sunday:
1900-yard swim with focus on speed:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (1200):  8x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I have shared this swim workout before, but I decided to post it again, only because I was reminded what a solid session it is. If you are looking for a good workout that focuses on speed, give it a try. This was from my IM plan and it is a good one and I am sure you will agree if you give it a go!

This ended up being a great swim for me. One of my best since last summer. I have continued to focus on my hip position but also this session, I focused on my pull position. I think that focus was extremely helpful. I was able to swim at paces that we regular for me last summer during IM training. It makes me happy. I last swam this workout on March 8 and in comparing my times, it makes me even happier that I shaved some solid time off my average speed for the main working set. Progress…..woo hoo!

Total training time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Swim: 6,500 yards
Bike: 60.12 miles
Run: 12.73 miles
Other: 0 (oops!)

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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I knew this would be a challenging week. Not necessarily tougher than expected workouts, but trying to balance out training will all the stuff that I had going on during the week. I had more extracurricular/post work activities than normal, so that meant extra careful planning to maximize my time. This was also the first full week after the time change and we all know those first few days can play havoc with our internal clock!

I Workout For

Before I get to my training recap, I wanted to share the above.  I thought this poster sums up a lot.  Sure, I may miss a workout when the things outside of my control get in the way or I may choose to take an unplanned rest day because my body needs it, but I need my training in my life (even if that means getting up at 5:00am)…otherwise, I would not be me!!

Monday AM:
I had a PT appointment scheduled for 6:00pm, so that left Monday morning to start off my week with a run! This was another tempo run (they have been frequent in my plan) and since I was able to hit my 60-minute goal last week in my tempo run, that meant an increase in my speed for this session. I would work with this challenge and go for 30-minute main set run after a 5-minute warm up and followed by 5-minute cool down. I was hopeful that I would be able to get the full 30 minutes in at the new speed, but I knew I had to keep an eye on my heart rate and as long as it was in the desired zone, I would keep working. I am happy to say that I was able to knock it out! Great way to start the week!

Tuesday AM:
We attended a Carolina Hurricanes game that evening, so I started the day with another morning workout. This was the 55-minute trainer workout that focuses on short, high intensity intervals…same session from last week. No matter how frequently I perform this workout, it will always be a good, solid challenge!

Wednesday PM:
40 minutes on the bike trainer followed by a (planned) 30-minute run. The trainer session focused on big gears and low cadence. I finished up the last working interval and skipped what would normally be a cool down and jumped on the trainer for what ended up being 26 minutes. I had to stop before completing the total 30 minutes and my cool down because the treadmill belt was rubbing and Tony thought it was a good (safe) idea for me to go ahead and get off so he could adjust it. I just kind of walked around the house for a quasi-cool down. I did feel decent on the 26 minute run though. Good to get these bricks under my belt!

Thursday:
We had another hockey game on the calendar, so I changed up my rest day. I truly love to take Friday as my rest day, but with the need to get in another swim (which I don’t try to get done in the mornings), I opted to take Thursday off and train Friday. Sometimes with the crazy schedule called life, we all know that you have to be willing to make changes when needed!

Friday:
AM: 50 minutes of yoga. I sometimes use videos on YouTube to maintain variety. I have done this one multiple times and it is good, so I thought I would share it.

PM: When I mentioned that I really love to have Fridays as my rest day, I was reminded AGAIN of why! After a full week, all I really want to do after I leave work is whatever I want…meet friends for dinner, hang out at home…you get the idea…but it usually does not involve the desire to go for a swim!! Oh well, I made the choice to schedule for Friday, because that is what fit life, so I had to stick with my commitment.

In trying to get my mind ready for a swim, I watched a couple of swim drill videos earlier in the day. Then, during my swim, something popped into my mind from one of the videos. It was relating to the hip position when using the pull buoy versus when you aren’t. I use the pull buoy pretty much at some point during every warm-up, so I decided that I would really try to focus on my hip position during my swim.

2700-yard swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2000):  1×500; 5×100; 1×500; 5×100, :60 sec rest between 500s/:30 sec rest between 100s
C/D: 200 easy

I felt pretty good with this swim and that my focus on hip position was a very positive focus since I saw better than expected times on my 500s. This is something that I will continue to work with. I am thrilled with any improvement I can gain!

Saturday:
We ended up having a busy day, but planned a swim mid-day. I even had company which ALWAYS makes things better…Tony joined me at the pool.

During warm-up, I quickly realized that my arms/shoulders were definitely feeling some fatigue from the previous evening’s swim. It had been quite a while since I swam on back to back days.

1600-yard swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (900):  6×25 w/10 sec rest; 5×50 w/20 sec rest; 5×100 w/30 sec rest; all intervals for speed
C/D: 200 easy

Even though I felt like I was working harder than I should, due to how I was feeling, I continued to focus on my hip position and overall was pleased with my swim.

Sunday:
Another outside ride!!!! The temperatures were once again favorable to ride outside, so we certainly took advantage. Once again, my riding buddy Susanne and I planned for an early afternoon ride. Plus, Tony decided to join us as well. The more the merrier! As the case was last Sunday, it was fairly windy with lots of strong gusts! Despite that, it was great to be outside enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. BLISS! My ride was good and I felt strong. We rode 39 miles and then I had a 2-mile brick waiting! Unlike last weekend’s brick, I chose the hilly route for an out and back. The street I live on is a steady incline as you leave the neighborhood, so that is always a “fun” (snicker) way to start a run. The good thing about a hill though it that you get to take advantage of the downhill on the way back. So, my first mile was 9:17 and second was 8:03 for a 8:40 average pace. I really pushed it coming back in. Overall, I felt like this was my best brick yet, especially in the way my legs felt strong as I started the run.

Total training time: 7 hours 52 minutes
Swim: 4,300 yards
Bike: 58.79 miles
Run: 10.28 miles
Other: 1 hour
I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

Just the share a random side note that happened during the week…check out this cutie pie!

pup1

Lil’ Pup

Tony found her as abandoned last Thursday. This lil’ pup was only several weeks old and was completely homeless. He brought her home and she stayed with us for a couple of nights until we found her a furever home. A friend of mine adopted her and I was thrilled that this little girl is the newest member of their fun family. They named her Rosie and I know that thanks to my hubbie, that little girl is going to have a wonderful life!
Our girl, Jovi, was so kind and gentle with her. It was really adorable!

pup2

Cutie Pie!

Jovi and pup

Jovi and Pup

 

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Since last week was recovery, this was the beginning of a another 3-week build. I felt “ready to go” with a good solid month back to a training plan behind me.

Monday PM:
A swim was on the plan for Monday after work. A bit before lunch, I found out that I needed to attend at 6:00pm meeting at work. Boo! If I had known that I had a late meeting, I would have done a morning training session…not swim, but would have planned otherwise. Oh well. That’s life! I got out of the meeting around 7:15, so that put me home a bit before 8:00, which is also the time the pool closes. So, it was dinner, a bit of down time, and then bed for an early training session on Tuesday. Luckily, I had three swims on the schedule for the week, so I would still have two good swim sessions to work through.

Tuesday AM:
I had a (non-work) meeting Tuesday evening, which had been on my calendar for a while, so I knew my morning session would be my training time for the day. I had 50-minute main set tempo run on the treadmill (plus 5 min w/u and 5 min c/d). The planned pace was the same as the 30-minute run pace from the week prior. I would hold that pace as long as my heart rate did not exceed the desired zone. Well, I got it done and was able to maintain the pace for the full 50 minutes. YAY!

Wednesday:
AM: 55 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on shorter, high intensity intervals. This session is also a hold over from last years’ Ironman plan and since it was always a tough challenge, I decided to bring it into this plan.

W/U: 10-minute easy spin at 90+ RPM; 3x30sec accelerations to full sprint for last 15seconds (RPMs >110) w/ 1min recovery between intervals
Main Set: 4×2-minute at max effort attainable with goal of maintaining effort for the full 2 minutes and maintaining equal effort through all 4 intervals.
Rest interval: 3 minutes
Extra 5 minutes of recovery by spinning at 100-105rpms
4×1-minute at max effort attainable with goal of maintaining effort for the full 1 minute and maintaining equal effort through all 4 intervals.
Rest interval: 1 minutes
3x30sec ALL OUT effort with 1-minute recovery between intervals.
C/D: Remaining time to meet 55 minutes total

Yep, this was definitely as hard as I remember it!  Those intervals are quad burners for sure!

PM: 1800-yard swim with focus on speed
W/U (500):500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (1100):
2×200 moderate pace, :30sec rest between intervals
5×100 build each 100 to FAST for last 25 yards, :30 sec rest between intervals
8×25 evens EASY, odds FAST :20sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

Not too much to report on the swim.  Just trying to get in some solid speed sets to work my times back to what I was able to get last season.  Still workin’…….

Thursday:
AM: 30 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of abs
PM: Another tempo run. Same deal as Tuesday’s run, but main set was 10 minutes longer to total one hour. Once again, I was able to hold my desired pace for the full hour while maintaining my heart rate in the desired zone. Double YAY!! My legs were toasty toast, but I had a smile on my face!

Friday:

Rest

One fun thing to report is that during lunch on Friday, I did a quick trip to TJ Maxx.  I was happy that I stumbled upon a table that had numerous pairs of my Mizuno Wave Inspire!  I am currently wearing the generation 10 and the 11s have been released.  Of course, TJ Maxx had the 10s so I could not pass up the $49 price tag since they had them in my size.  It was the electric blue color (which I have with only low miles and the gray ones which are close to retiring), but  I didn’t mind another pair in the same color.  This girl loves a good deal!

Mizuno

Saturday:
The weekend presented warmer weather (smile) and I wanted to take advantage. Sunday was forecasted to be around 67 degrees and Saturday around 58, but Saturday’s schedule was much more flexible as far as getting in a ride outside! So, it happened. My riding buddy Susanne and I rolled out around 12:15 for a 35-mile ride. It was sunny and 48 so it felt a little chilly and windy at times, but it was SO NICE to be outside riding! It was good for my soul!

Bike

After the ride, I had a 2-mile brick. So, it was on with my running shoes and hopes for a good, quick run! As the case was from last week, my legs needed an extra few minutes to get engaged for running. I purposely did a some short loops so I could maintain a flat course. There are lots of rollers running from my house, but there is one small section that is pretty much flat, so I repeated it to get the two miles. I just wanted to feel how my legs would respond to my first (outside) brick this season on flat terrain. My miles were 9:02 and 8:38.

Sunday:
We had a full afternoon planned and I HAD to get in a swim, so I went to the pool early to get in knocked it. One City of Raleigh pool opens for 2.5 hours early on Sunday. It then closes and re-opens (along the the others) at 1:00. I arrived by 8:00am. With the time change just happening, I was moving slowly.

1900-yard swim with focus on speed:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (1200):  8x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I was hoping that after I got warmed up, that I would feel more awake and ready to put in a solid effort. I tried, but I felt like I was having to work really hard each interval and my interval times were not reflective of the effort I put in. I just hung in there and did the best I could.

Total training time: 7 hours 40 minutes
Swim: 3,700 yards
Bike: 45.67 miles
Run: 17 miles
Other: 1 hour

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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The weather wrecked havoc on the week, yet again. Flexibility can be key when following a training plan. Stuff comes up that is out of your control and you have to do you best to stick to the plan as much as possible. This was also the fourth week in the plan, so that means recovery week. My plans are structured to have a week of recovery (a reduction in volume and intensity) every fourth week. This structure has always worked well for me.

Monday PM:
Recovery week allows me to incorporate a bit more variety.  I completed one hour of core work to start the week.

Tuesday:  
AM: I was up early and got in one hour of yoga.

We had plans to attend the Carolina Hurricanes game that evening, so the morning was my training time for the day.  After I completed my one hour of yoga, I showered and proceeded to start getting ready for work. During this time, I checked the local news app on my phone and realized that schools were delayed. While I don’t have kids, this alerted me that something more that the (last I had heard) predication of “a few flurries in the morning” was happening/supposed to happen. So, long story short….it snowed all day! It was a pretty snow and being the true NC girl that I am, I stayed off the roads and worked from home. Since it snowed all day and temperatures were well below freezing, we opted to reschedule our tickets to the hockey game and stay in for the evening. This allowed me the flexibility to get in another workout and I figured it was a good idea since more winter winter was expected during the week and I was uncertain what impact that would have.

2015-02-24 15.57.27

PM: 50 minutes on the bike trainer
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles
Main set: 4×3 minutes in big gear with low RPMs (55-65 RPMs)
5 minute recovery between intervals but maintaining 90 RPMs
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning

Wednesday:
With the threat of additional snow in the forecast (up to 7 inches) that evening/throughout the night, I decided to push off my swim because the original prediction was for the precipitation to start in the time frame I would have been at the pool.  I stopped by the grocery store on the way home (after making it into the office late morning after a bit of thawing took place) to pick up a few items to cover my planned recipes for the next few day’s cooking. You would have thought I had pulled into the best mall in town on Black Friday! It was total craziness in the parking lot! I was able to find a parking spot only because someone pulled out of one. I got in and out and then home to do my substituted workout.

PM: 1 hour upper body/core work. This is a regular workout I do during the off season and it is a good sweaty session!

Thursday:
We did not get as much as predicted, but we had more snow.  It was a heavy, wet snow, so that meant another day working from home.

2015-02-26 07.31.49

PM:  30-minute main set tempo run on the treadmill ( plus 5 min w/u and 5 min c/d)
I was able to knock out 3.54 miles on the main set of this run.  I started at a little faster pace and maintained it for the first 10 minutes.  I backed off one tenth and the last 20 minutes I was still able to finish out with a faster pace than I thought.  Good run and I felt great about it!

Friday:

Rest Day

Saturday:
This was the day to get in the swim that I rescheduled from earlier in the week.  The pool was relatively quiet when I arrived around 2:00pm…this is always a bonus!

2800-yard endurance swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2100):
100/200/300/400/500 easy to moderate (most of mine were a solid moderate pace) with :15 sec rest between intervals
2×300 easy/moderate/fast, :30 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I tried to hold true to the rest intervals, but needed a little more a few times.  I finished the 2100-yard main set with an average pace of 1:59, which is a better average pace for varying distances than I have been able to pull out over the last few weeks.  Still lots of room to get back to my norms I set last season, but this made me feel pretty good.

Sunday:
77 minutes on the bike trainer
W/U: 10-minute easy spin with 3x30sec accelerations toward end of warmup.
Main set: 10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible. 2-minute easy spin to recover.
3x10minutes riding at lactate threshold (hard effort but breathing is still controlled-no huffing/puffing).  5-minute recovery between intervals.
10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible.

After I completed the last interval in the main set (no cool down), I got off the bike, put on my running shoes and jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run.  This was the first brick workout I have done in a very long time.  It took me about 1/4 mile for my legs to remember the whole idea of a brick workout, but after that initial time, I fell into pace and the run was good.

Total training time: 7 hours 5 minutes

Swim: 2,800 yards

Bike: 27.63 (all on trainer)

Run: 6.54 miles

Other: 3 hours

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

Flexible

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This week ended up being interesting with winter precipitation and very cold temperatures in play.  Monday evening into Tuesday morning, we received a bit of snow and then lots of sleet.  Needless to say, life was affected!  I ended up working from home on Tuesday and Wednesday and did not leave the house at all.  This southern girl does not drive on ice!  Training wise, I can do alot of things at home, but swimming is not one of them!

Monday PM:
1 hour core workout

Tuesday PM:  
1 hour tempo run on the treadmill
I was able to knock out 6.75 miles on this run.  With one of my goals focused on a faster run, these tempo sessions are going to really gain extra importance.  This was a smart session in that I had a good solid effort.  Maybe even a bit better than what I thought I could do at this point.

Wednesday AM:
65 minutes on the bike trainer:
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles.
Main set: 2×10 minutes beginning at 60 RPM and increasing RPM by 5 every 1 minute to max out at 105.  No rest between sets.
4×5 minutes with cadence for odd intervals being 95 and even is 70.  2-minute rest between intervals.
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning.

This will be a regular workout in my plan.  It was a staple from my IM training plan and I find it very effective.  It is easy to increase the total time by throwing in an additional 10 minute working set in the main set.  I especially like it because the time seems to pass quickly during this workout.

Thursday AM:
30 minute yoga and 15 minutes abs

Thursday PM:
Here in Raleigh, the HIGH temperature was in the teens.  I know for some of  you throughout the country, that is not too bad.  But for us here in NC, that is COLD!  I knew I had to get in a swim though, since I had been home bound earlier in the week.  Generally, I hate swimming during the winter because I don’t like the cold.  But, I just do it because I need to.  So, getting to pool when it was roughly 17 degrees outside (and was getting colder and colder) was harder than normal. After I changed and got to the pool deck, ugh!!!!!!!!  Man, it was cold.  I could not believe I was standing here in a bathing suit ready to get in the water.  Well, the first 25 yards was much faster than normal.  I just had to start getting warm!

pool in winter

Luckily, I had planned a speed workout for the day.  That ended up being perfect since I was able to keep my body warm and had very short rest intervals at the wall.

1900-yard swim with speed intervals:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set: 8x (100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30 sec rest between intervals.
C/D: 200 easy

I was so glad to get this workout done and get in the HOT shower.  I was proud of myself that I did not succumb to the extreme desire to go home and not go to the pool on this cold evening.  However, I unfortunately have not made any improvement in my times over the past two weeks, as this was a repeat session.

FRIDAY:

Rest

SATURDAY AM:
4.5 mile run on the treadmill with the focus on speed intervals.
W/U: 1/2 mile easy run
MAIN SET: 5x (1/2 mile at speed pace; 1/4 mile at recovery pace)
C/D: 1/2 mile easy run

This workout was definitely a tough one.  I had to keep  my focus to get through all 5 speed sets at the pace I wanted to maintain.  I was glad that I was able to do just that!

SATURDAY PM:
1 hour focused stretching and foam rolling

SUNDAY PM:
1 hour on the bike trainer – For this workout, I wanted to mix it up a bit.  I knew I needed something with a good amount of intensity, so the plan was to follow a trainer DVD.  We have a pretty good collection of various spin workout DVDs and I decided to follow the “CTS Train Right Time Trial” DVD.  This session focuses on lots of high cadence work.  It gives a BIG bang for the buck!  I worked hard and it was great!  It was always a great feeling when you get done with a workout and you know you didn’t hold back!

pretty sweat

SUNDAY PM:
2500-yard endurance swim
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
MAIN SET: 3×100 easy with :15sec rest; 3×100 moderate with :15sec rest
3×200 easy with :20 sec rest; 3×200 moderate with :20sec rest
C/D: 200 easy

The pool was fairly quiet this Sunday afternoon as I worked in a swim that I missed due to rearranging my schedule because of the inclement weather.

Total training time: 8 hours 13 minutes

Swim: 4,400 yards

Bike: 27.13 (all on trainer)

Run: 11.25 miles

Other: 2 hour45 minutes

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!