Posts Tagged ‘Training’

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This covers the last of my Raleigh 70.3 training.  I am pleased with how these last 4 months have gone.  I feel prepared for race day and know that I was committed to my training and gave it my all.  Headed into another race, that is where I like to be.  I never want to have regrets that I did not do enough or feel under prepared.  That is just me and how I like to approach things.  Whatever race day has in store for me will be what it will be but I will give it all I have to give.

Monday:
PM: My focus lately had been on longer sets, whether in the pool or the lake, so I figured I would throw in some variety and mix things up a bit with some shorter sets.  Completed 2500 feeling ok…after a very active weekend, my body was still catching up.

Tuesday:
Since it was Tuesday, it was another group ride with TriLife.  This ride never disappoints and that night was no different.  We had some bad weather move through late in the afternoon, but luckily, the rain was gone by ride time.  We delayed the start by a bit, to allow the roads to dry some.  We hit some wet areas, but overall not too bad.  The weather was SOOOOOO muggy, but we knocked out 25 miles and another fun ride was in the books.

Wednesday:
After fighting commute traffic, I barely made it on time to join in with the group at Falls Lake for the open water swim.  SINCE I did have a frustrating drive, the swim was exactly was I needed.  This swim really showed how important it is put a bad session behind you and just focus on the here and now.  After Sunday’s less than stellar poor OWS, this one was good for the psyche.  I enjoyed being in the lake and it felt good.

Thursday:
AM:  I had another go at my current tempo pace.  I have been working hard to “break through” with this pace and I just keep giving it my best.  This run ended up being very similar to my last few.  I was able to hold the pace for 22 minutes and then had to slow the pace a coupe of times to maintain my heart rate range.  I competed 35 minutes of tempo.  I will continue to work at this as I know that, with time, I can get my goal of an hour at this challenging pace.

PM: There was a very small turn out for the group ride.  Typically, Thursday nights are a smaller crowd, but there were only three of us riding.  I was actually surprised because the temperature was gorgeous.  Upper 60s….what a treat!  One of the guys riding was one I typically pair up with anyway, so the smaller group was not an issue at all.  I was feeling heavy legs on the ride, but none the less, I enjoyed the 22 miles on a beautiful night!

Friday:

Rest Day

Saturday:
41 mile ride.  Two words can describe it…TOUGH DAY!  I can’t remember when I have had such a difficult ride.  My legs never got the memo that they were being summoned to ride well.  I have been riding so well lately and loving every minute of it.  I guess it takes a day like this to keep everything in perspective and despite having gains and making progress, the days that you have to overcome can pop up anytime.  As Tony commented…”better today than race day”…I could not agree more!!

Sunday:  
The last long run of my training plan.  To be completely honest (and that is why I have this blog), I was not excited about this run at all.  I think the ride from Saturday had me doubting that I would have a solid run on Sunday.  The plan was not to push hard, but really go on how I was feeling.  Tony suggested we run in the surrounding neighborhoods which meant a fairly challenging course.   I tried to mentally just push my doubts aside and give it my best.  To sum up this run, I will say that the body can really throw you curve balls.  I had a stellar run and felt on top of the world when I finished.  To add to that, my first mile and last last were my two fastest!  YES!

last long run

Total training time:  8 hours 30 minutes
Swim:  4,665 yards
Bike:  88.3 miles
Run:  13.5 miles

This current week, May 25, is my taper week headed into Sunday’s race.

Monday: 
Since it was Memorial Day, I was able to take advantage of hitting the pool in the afternoon.  After a warm-up, I completed one 1500-yard set, followed by a cool down.  I felt good and smooth in the water.

Tuesday:
40-minute spin on the trainer.  I used the Spinervals DVD called “No Slackers” and it is always a good, solid workout.

On a side note, we have a house guest for the week that is in town for the race.  She is so generous that she offered the use of her recovery boots while she was here.  I have tried these before and they are so awesome that I just HAD to take her up on the offer.  So cool!

boots1

Wednesday:  
I planned to take my 5-mile run outside, but incoming storms prompted me to move to the treadmill.  Once again, I was to run based on how how I felt, which ended up being pretty good.  This was my last run prior to race day!

boots

A second evening in the boots!

Thursday:
AM: 30 minute spin on the trainer.  5 minute warm-up, 20 minute steady, 5 minute cool down.  This was a good last training spin of the week!

PM: 1500-yard swim.  Mixed up some 200, 100 and 25 sets at varying paces.  This was my final workout of my Raleigh 70.3 training plan!!

So, today is Friday and race weekend has begun.

Slide1

Today and tomorrow will consist of packet pick up, getting gear organized and packed, prepping the bike (for Saturday check-in), eating well, HYDRATING and staying off my feet as much as possible.  Overall, I feel ready for my third 70.3/half iron distance race. While I have some solid goals going into race day, ultimately, I want to give it my best, race smart and have fun!  The weather may be one of the biggest challenges of the day, but one that everyone will have to contend with.  At the end of it all, the key is this…

Test Ourselves

 

 

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Monday:
AM: 60 minutes yoga. I somehow convinced Tony to join me for an early morning yoga session. It was nice to have company, but I think he did not actually realize what time the alarm would be going off in order to get up for an hour of yoga! It does us all good so I am glad he followed through!

PM: I would normally swim on Monday evening, but I had a schedule conflict, so the swim did not happen.

Tuesday:
30 mile ride with TriLife. Once again, there was a good turnout for the ride. Three groups were roughly established and the first two groups headed out for warm-up together. Sometimes the “warm-up” disappears and it is “all out” from the beginning. I really prefer at least a bit of time to get the legs moving before kicking it up a big notch. We had a good warm-up this time before really getting the legs going.

After the warm-up, the “A” group gradually separated themselves from us in the “B”. Unfortunately, it did not take long, before the B group broke up due to stop signs and traffic. The one thing about this Tuesday route that I don’t prefer is that there are a lot of left turns. This fact, along with the increased traffic due to it being after work (it seemed even heavier than normal), resulted in a break of the group. I was in the side that got left behind, but luckily, I was with two other guys that I have ridden with numerous times that are strong riders.

After finally rolling again after a very long stop, the three of us got in a really great rhythm and made up a good amount of time that we had lost. We eventually caught back up, which was cool. While I was really working hard, I was having a blast. I noticed numerous times the scent of honeysuckle in the air.  That is something that I always enjoy!

This ended up being an awesome ride with an average speed of 20.5mph.  Excited can not say enough about that!

I rounded out my workout with a 2-mile brick.

Happy Bike

Wednesday:
AM: Tempo run first thing in the morning. I have been working at the current tempo for a couple of weeks and it has been tough. After a very solid bike the previous evening, I was not sure what was in the tank, but as I do, I gave it my best. Unfortunately, I was not able to do as well with this run as I have in the past couple tempos. My heart rate started out fine and remained fine for a while. However, I felt my heavy legs early on. While my stretch goal was 45 minutes, I wanted to hit at least 35 at tempo, since that I what I was able to hit the week before. Unfortunately, at around 20 minutes, I knew that I had to reduce my speed, if there was anyway to make it to the 35-minute mark. I reduced my speed by .2 and was able to maintain for an additional 5 minutes. Then at the 25-minute mark I had to knock it down again by .2 for the remaining 10 minutes. My legs just DID NOT have it that morning. I was able to keep my heart rate within the desired zone, but only because I had reduced my speed. After the 35 minutes, I did not even want to run the 5 minute cool down, but I knew I needed it. While I thought I had emptied the tank last week, this run really did the job!

PM: First open water swim of the season! If memory serves me correctly, I have not swum open water since being in Mirror Lake for IMLP! I was ready to pull on the wet suit, get in the lake and swim somewhere other than the pool! The main goal for this swim, was just to feel the open water again, get comfortable/relaxed and incorporate my sighting again. It went well and it was almost as if it had NOT been 9 months since my last open water!

Once area that I struggle with is swimming straight. While I was sighting, there are really no landmarks or trees to sight to when we swim the direction we did in the lake that evening. I knew I was kind of all over the place (especially on the way back), but with the buoys during a race, I do straighten a bit:).

I completed 1.27 miles at 1:56 avg/yard pace.  I was happy with this swim!!

Thursday:
With a race planned for Saturday, we decided that I would add another easy day to my normal rest day of Friday, to give my legs a bit more rest. Especially, since I had a couple of hard efforts already in the week. I did an hour stretch video and felt really great and loose afterward!

Friday:
Normal rest day

Saturday:
Cary Long Course Duathlon (Race Report)

Sunday:
Today was a planned swim day.  I knew it would be good to meet up with the open water swim group to get in another session.  My opportunities are becoming few before race day!  That morning into the afternoon, Tony and I spent time doing chores.  First we did some work in the yard and then tackled some things around the house.  When we finally finished up around 3:00, I was tired and I totally did not feel like the swim meet up at 5:00.  I relaxed for a bit and felt a smidge better.  I decided to go for it and get in the swim even though my energy level was low.

Just DO It

This swim ended up being less than stellar.  I got in .93 miles and just about every stroke was a struggle.  I was as slow as I have been in forever.   Still, I got it done and sometimes that is enough of a take away for training.

Lake

It was a warm, but a beautiful day to be out at Falls Lake.

Total training time:  9 hours 21 minutes
Swim:  2.2 miles
Bike:  65.84 miles
Run:  17.48 miles

For a second week in a row, I spent a good amount of time on the foam roller.  I focused on the legs, but especially on my right glute where I experience a lot of achiness.  I feel this increased focus with more frequent foam rolling has helped!

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This week ended up being the biggest volume week for me in quite some time.  In hindsight, it was a great week with lots of positive take aways!

Monday:
PM: Another swim to start the week.  With the long sets from last week, I decided on some speed sets for this session.  It was a workout from my Ironman plan that I have used numerous times because it is good.  It is also easy to adjust to go longer or shorter in total yards, so I will share this workout with you all.

2200 Swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (1500 yds): 10x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals  [THE NUMBER OF SETS CAN EASILY BE MODIFIED TO FEWER (8) OR MORE 10, 12, ETC]
C/D: 200 easy

As I got into my warm-up, I was starting to feel a little unsure if my good pool feelings from last week would carry over.  Usually, I am very consistent in the pool.  If I am having a “good day” it is generally like that for the entire workout…the same is true for the less than stellar days.  This day was a bit unusual for me.  It started out tough for about half of the main set, but then it kind of turned around with some decent momentum.  The later splits were definitely more of what I expected to see.   It ended on a high note for sure!

So one random note to share about the pool.  Apparently there is a life guard “shortage” in Raleigh, which seems odd to me for this time of year.  Regardless, the net effect is that starting May 4 (which was this day), the pool would start closing to the public at 7pm, instead of 8pm, an hour early, for the month of May.  That means a HUGE time crunch for me!  I typically leave work at 5pm and the drive to the pool with typical commute varies…can be up to 45 minutes.  So on Monday, I flew out the door from work and had my fingers crossed that traffic would cooperate (not typical) and I ended up lucky on this first day of the new schedule.  We shall see what happens as we go forward.  There will be less dilly dallying for me and I will be on a mission to change and get in the pool as soon as I can!  I will start open water swimming one day during the work week, probably next week, so that will help some.  It is frustrating though!

Tuesday:
AM:  One hour yoga…oh so good!

PM: 25 mile ride with the TriLife group.  There was another good turnout for this ride and we were divided three groups…21-22+ pace, 18-20 pace and @16 pace.  I jumped on group #2 and there were 8 of us total (until we somehow picked up two late arrivers, about half way in the ride).  I was fortunate to be able to ride with some strong riders with a few of the guys routinely taking the pull.  It was an awesome ride.  The evening was gorgeous and while I was working hard, it was so enjoyable.  I ended up with an average of 20mph, so I was PUMPED at the end of the ride.  I topped it off with a 2 mile brick.

Has anyone tried Picky Bars?  I had one for the first time before the ride and I enjoyed this flavor.  I really like that they all natural and made by athletes!  Just a random share…

picky bar

Wednesday:
AM: Tempo run at my new pace, established last week.  30 minutes was the total main set time for last week and I had hopes to push the total time with this run.  After the 5 minute warm-up, I pretty quickly realized I was in for a challenge.  I was working hard, but keeping my heart rate reasonable for these tempos.  At the 15 minute mark, I actually jumped to the sides to take a quick breather.  I felt like I was trying to keep up with the pace, if that makes sense at all.  While my heart rate was still yet not a factor as I neared 30 minutes, I knew I did not have much left in the tank.  Instead of option #1 of lowering the pace a bit to get more time, I decided to just empty the tank at the current pace.  I ran an additional 5 minutes by mentally agreeing the the “hurdles” of 2 more minutes, 1 more minute, 2 more minutes, until I had the 5.  My heart rate was up to around the highest I wanted, so I knew I had given what I had.   Five minute cool down and that was a wrap!

PM: I had the pleasure task of repeating my super long set swim from last week.  This session consisted of a 500 warm-up, main set of 1 x 1500, 1 x 1000 and 200 cool down.  To be honest with you, my mind was not in the game for this.  I was fine with swimming, but the idea of those looooog sets again, really numbed my mind.  So, what’s a girl to do?

Suck it up

So, that’s what I did.  I did a good job of hanging in.  All the same thoughts as when I swam the session the prior week of “is this ever going to end…??”, but I knocked it out.  I had to cut out 100 yards of my cool down since the clock was ticking toward the (now earlier) closing time of 7:00pm, so I completed 3100 yards total.  I was again fortunate to have cooperation from traffic on my drive to the pool, so I was able to get in my full working set, which is the most important.

Thursday:
PM: Another group ride from the TriLife shop.  There is always a smaller turn out for the later in the week ride and the route is a bit shorter, but none the less, it was still a great outing!

Friday:

Rest

The weather for the weekend was not originally forecasted to be ideal, but it was not going to be a wash out either. It required trying to figure out the best time to train and work around the rain.

Get in long run

Saturday we decided to roll out around 8:30. We figured this should give us plenty of time to get in the ride and stay dry. We figured it would be overcast and grey the entire ride, but no drops.

Bike Pic

My cycling peeps…Susanne and the hubbie, Tony

60 miles was the plan and we decided to mix things up a bit. While the routes were ones we regularly ride, we switched up the order and direction a bit, to keep some variety. We revisited the newly paved highway (still not fully open to traffic), from our ride a few weeks ago, to take advantage of smoooooth road.

The morning ended up being fairly nice because the sun broke. A few times we had a VERY stiff head wind, but it was one of those days when it was only a head wind at times we were headed in the “wrong” direction. (Not one of those days where it seems like no matter the direction, the wind is against you…).  Overall the ride was good and my legs felt decent at the end.

Sunday: Once again, we were planning our start time based on what it seemed the weather was going to do. We had originally decided to start at 9:30am, but once we were up in the morning and checking the latest forecast, we thought it was wise to move it up 30 minutes. Our friend Tim had committed to join us for the run and he suggested that we take to the Raleigh IM 70.3 course.

Run Pic

Tim and Tony in for the 13.1 with me!

While Tony and Tim are both faster runners than me, they were both ran with me. While this is something Tony does regularly, Tim had just completed a marathon the weekend before, so a run at a slower pace, was a good idea for him. While, I ran this course in 2013, the course changed in 2014. While the changes made it easier overall I was still interested in refreshing my memory of what the run would be like. The changes from the 2013 inaugural year essentially took out the back end of the course that included running on the greenway and around the NC Museum of Art. These sections were hilly and the most challenging. So, with the elimination of this section, it became a 2-loop course. The existing route has some rollers, but not too bad for downtown Raleigh. The biggest challenge with this run course comes with what has historically been very warm temperatures and essentially no shade on the course.

While the temperature was not bad, we quickly noticed within the first couple of miles, how incredible HUMID it was. It was completely overcast, but I was dripping with sweat before we had made it too far along on the course.  We had a bit of a quick rain shower while we were headed back in on the first loop, which felt good, but did not last too long (not long enough…).

If I can pull out this same run on race day, I will be more than thrilled!

Run Garmin

Total training time:  11 hours 34 minutes
Swim:  5,300 yards
Bike:  102.16 miles
Run:  20.57 miles

I took a different focus during this training week and instead of the PT exercises I have been doing regularly, I have spent a good amount of time on the foam roller.  I focused on the legs, but especially on my right glute where I experience a lot of achiness.  I have the “rumble roller” and the various little stubs allows me to really hone in on the knots and very specific areas.  I think this has really helped and now I need to find the balance of the roller and the PT exercises that works for me!

rumble roller

The Rumble Roller!!!

 

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After a much needed recovery week, I was ready for another challenging week. I made some choices this week that involved some shifting of scheduled workouts, but it all seemed to fall into place just fine!

Monday:
PM: Here we go. This was the first of two long set sessions in the pool planned for the week.  I had some “good pool feelings” coming off the prior day’s end of the training week session, so I knew I could make this a good one.  I had not swum 1000 sets in a long time, but I was ready.  My session consisted of a 500 warm-up, main set of 2 x 1000 and 200 cool down.  I was not overly concerned with time.  I just wanted to get in a couple of solid long sets where I felt good and strong.  I was able to do just that.   My “good pool feelings” were still in play after my swim.  Score!!

me and pool

One of the themes for the week

Tuesday:
We had a last minute dinner invitation come up Monday evening for Tuesday and it was with some friends that we don’t see too often, so I told Tony that I would rearrange my training to make it work.  My original plan was to ride with the TriLife group in the evening, so it was an easy adjustment to plan for the trainer in the morning.  60 minutes on the trainer (5 w/u; 3×15 minutes at an effort to “hang onto the draft”, 5 min recovery between).  Tony thought up this session so it was he who told me to maintain an effort as if I were trying to hold onto a pace line.  This obviously equates to a hard effort, but still being able hold the full 15-minute block.  I had a 5-minute recovery between sets.  After the bike, I jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile brick.  All was good.

Wednesday:
AM: A tempo run was on the plan.  Since my last week prior to recovery I hit the hour mark with the set pace for tempo, it was time to push the pace up again.  I had the same rules to try the new pace…maintain a desired heart rate zone.  Honestly, I was not sure what this would bring.  I was running at a pace on the treadmill that I have not run for tempo efforts.  Therefore, in the end, I was pleased to hit the 30 minute main set goal at this new pace (started with 5 minute warm-up and ended with 5 minute cool down).  It was a challenge, but I was thrilled!

PM:  After Monday’s swim, I was still feeling positive, even though I had another long set planned.  This session consisted of a 500 warm-up, main set of 1 x 1500, 1 x 1000 and 200 cool down.  I knew the 1500 would be tough without wanting to go crazy due to the sheer number of non-stop laps, but I would give it my best.  I remember getting to lap #13 and thinking that I was not even to the halfway mark!!!  This set will never end!  UGH!  But once again, I simply focused on solid efforts where I felt in control of my breathing and form.  After the 1500, I was pleased when my Garmin showed my pace and it was better than the 1000 efforts from Monday.  YES!!  The following 1000 set did not feel too bad in length, considering the comparison.  It was a great swim for me and in hindsight, these two longs sets were really needed.

Thursday:
AM: With another evening of plans, I got my workout completed in the morning.  My plan had me to complete the Spinervals 3.0 DVD (also known as “Suffer-o-Rama”), which includes a bunch of high intensity intervals.  It had been a while since I used this workout, so I did not remember exactly how tough (but GOOD) it was.  This is an old school DVD, but it is 50 minutes of bang for my buck!  No wasted time or effort here.

Friday:

Rest Day

The weekend plans for Saturday and Sunday kept getting shifted back and forth up until late Friday evening. It was a matter of taking advantage of timing and training partners!

Saturday:
14 mile run on the greenway with Tony. We had a beautiful morning as we started around 8:45. The high for the day was forecasted to be in the low 70s, so when we got going, we started with upper 50s.

Long Run

The first part of the run I think I felt better in comparison to my most recent long runs. I was really concentrating on my cadence and trying to maintain as close to 90 as possible. I would allow myself to check my cadence reading on my Garmin, but would try to not look at mileage in between mile splits (when the notification sounds). As we progressed, I started to feel like we would never make it to the turn around point. Then after hitting the half way mark, it was just a matter of ticking the miles off. I would have moments that felt tough and then they would ease up and I felt better. It went back and forth like that for a large part of the second half. The last few miles were just of matter of keeping my head in the game and finishing as strong as possible. Overall, I was pleased with my performance. Ideally, I would have loved a sub 9:00/minute average pace, but 9:02 for 14 miles is solid for me. It keeps me completely on track for the pace I would like to hit come race day.

Long Run Time

I had an early afternoon family activity and then the remainder of the day/evening, we spent relaxing on the couch, taking a couple of cat naps, watching the Derby, cooking dinner and then watching a movie later on. I also spent a good amount of time on the foam roller and stretching, since I knew that would be important for trying to have a productive training session on Sunday!

Sunday:
I met my riding buddy Susanne early afternoon and we planned to ride part of the Raleigh 70.3 course. The bike route is point to point, so the logistics of riding the course are not easy to maneuver. The route has changed this year so I was especially interested in riding the “new” sections of the route. Since I raced in 2013, I know what to expect as far as the majority of the bike route, but certainly did not know anything about the new section. Once I looked closely at the route map, I was surprised at how much has changed. Initially, when I heard about the change, I was expecting more of a minor adjustment, but much of the middle has a new route. I really wanted to take advantage of the course being local and ride it in training.

We did an out and back at a total of 52 miles. Therefore, 26 of the actual course was covered. I am mixed about the new section. Susanne mentioned that she thought it made the overall route easier, but initially I was thinking just the opposite. She seems to have a better memory than me on a lot of other things, so maybe she is right, Regardless, it contains some rollers, which is the tone of the majority of the original course. Nothing too difficult, but smartly working your gears is important. We had a beautiful day to ride and it ended up being probably the warmest day I have ridden this year, but still not hot. My legs held up better than I really thought they would after Saturday’s long run, so bonus there!

Total training time:  9 hours 57 minutes
Swim: 5,900 yards
Bike: 76.66 miles
Run: 20.8 miles

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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This week marked another recovery week and I think the timing was perfect. Time to scale back a bit after three solid weeks of quality training.

fatigue

That’s why we have recovery weeks!!!

Monday:
PM: 2700-yard swim was planned. I got through my warm-up and a little over half of the main set, when the lifeguards notified the swimmers that thunder had been heard and the pool would be closing for a minimum of 30 minutes. I thought I was in the clear when I arrived at the pool. We had thunderstorms move through the area a bit earlier.  I called the pool after I left work and the pool was closed to swimming at the time but planned to re-open in 10 minutes. Since it seemed like the main line of storms had already moved through, I thought all would be good to get in my full swim. I was ready to get through this workout so I was bummed that I had to end early.  I was able to complete 1825 yards.

Tuesday:
AM: 1 hour yoga: This session felt especially great this morning. I knew I still had plenty of tightness from the weekend’s training sessions, so my body definitely needed it.

PM: 30 mile ride with the TriLife group. It was a rain and thunderstorm free evening, so I was happy! The weather was beautiful with the temperatures in the low 70s when we clipped in. This group ride had a good turn out and lots of variety in pacing. There was a group tagged to ride 20+, a group to ride under 20 and then a third group to ride around 16. The first two groups rode off together to get in the warm up and would further break up after we got going. It was a quick paced warm-up, but we all hung together. After about 10-15 minutes into the ride, the 20+ small group took off and then the rest of us in the second group were rolling. As we settled in, you see others that are naturally hanging together. I ended up riding with two others and we worked together and alternated taking the lead. As is typical, this was a good, challenging ride and I pushed myself. We ended up with an average pace of 19.1. I will take it!!!

Unfortunately, my right glute and hip were feeling pretty achy that evening afterward. Tony rubbed it out which helped, but I was sore.

Wednesday:
I had planned to run in the morning, but due to my soreness, I decided to pass on the run. I had a PT appointment that evening, so this ended up being a training free day. My PT gave me a couple new drills to work on and he also watched me run on the treadmill. His main feedback for me was that he wants me to work on increasing my cadence. He suggested that if I have “quicker” feet, there would be a lessened impact to my body. I have never really been able to maintain a 90 cadence consistently, usually mid to upper 80s, so this is something I will definitely be focusing on.

Thursday:
PM: 22.5 mile ride from the TriLife store.  There was a smaller turn out for this ride, as compared to Tuesday, but still decent.   The first 3o minutes or so as we headed out were very quick. The pace eased up cosiderably in the miiddle and then back up a bit toward the end.  Tony rode this ride too, so I stuck with him and two other guys for most of the ride.  It was awesome that we had better weather this week and I was able to ride outside twice with the group!

Friday:

Jovi Rest2

Saturday:
8-mile run outside.  The weather for the entire weekend looked gloomy and chilly, so we got out mid-morning with the plan to complete the run before showers moved in.  Tony and I ran from the house throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.  This is a tough route with lots of hills. The exact route we had run a few weeks ago, but just added on an additional mile. I felt pretty good on this run, but did not seem to have an extra gear for my pace, especially early on. I was not really trying to push it too much, but my effort should have dictated a quicker pace. No concerns though, as it was recovery week.  We made it home before the chilly rain, so great timing!

Sunday:
3100-yard swim:  This was a good swim for me. I had not swum anything over 500 yards (in a continuous set) in quite some time and the first set of 600 felt very smooth in the water and my balance and timing were good.  My 300s were very consistent with one another. The 200s were pretty much in line with the fast/moderate/slow efforts I used. The 100s were not as the pace I would have liked, but I was definitely feeling some fatigue and as a result I felt my form compromise a bit, but overall, a lot of good stuff to take away!

I will share this workout with you since I don’t think I have before. I think it is a good one and I encourage you to give it a try!

W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (2400 yds):
-600 easy-to-moderate, 1min rest
-2×300 easy/moderate, :30sec rest between intervals
-3×200 easy/moderate/fast, :30sec rest between intervals
-6×100 build each 100, :30sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

Later that day…..

MASSAGE!!!!!

…….just what I needed.  It had been entirely too long since my last massage and I am a big proponent of them, especially during training.  I finally got one scheduled and it was awesome!

Total training time:  6 hours 48 minutes
Swim: 4,925 yards
Bike: 52.4 miles
Run: 8 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:
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!

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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!