Archive for March 2015 | Monthly archive page

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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