So, I’m still doing this triathlon thing. My training just went from “what’s free time?” to “haha, get back on the bike” in about a day. My coach had me in a three-week build, and I honestly felt like I didn’t have time for anything outside of training. It was, however, the first time that I truly felt like I was Ironman training, rather than just marathon training with some heavy cross-training. Here’s how the last two weeks shaped up:
Short, hard intervals on the bike. 1 minute all out followed by 3 minutes off, times 10. I really enjoy this workout. It’s enough of a challenge during the interval to get my heart rate up, sweat rolling, and really force me to tough it out, but there is plenty of recovery in between sets. 13.7 miles on the trainer.
5 mile run on the track with strides. Strides are 30 seconds of fast turnover. The goal here is fast feet, not necessarily fast pace. These are thrown in at random.
2400-yard swim with an emphasis on pacing. This included long sets of 50-100-150-200 all done at the same pace, but with pace building through repeats of the set. Of course, I didn’t wake up in the morning to swim, so I had to force my tired legs through a swim after the 5-mile run.
10 climbs on the bike trainer. This is a tough workout. 2 minutes of simulated seated climbs times 10 leaves me absolutely dripping with sweat.
A rainy and cold night forced me to rearrange my schedule. I was not going to run 8 miles of hills in that! Instead, I switched out my hill run for a bike/run brick workout. On the bike, I had three repeats of 8-minute steady state spins. Down in the aero bars, focused on a steady pace to simulate race day. Immediately after the bike, I ventured into the rain for a quick 2-mile run with the puppy, but she was not having it. After 1.5 miles I was urging her along. As we rounded the last turn, though, she leaped and started happily trotting toward home. Faker.
Missing my morning workouts meant pushing things back until there was no farther to push. Friday morning I had to squeeze in my hill repeats. If there is one thing I don’t like for breakfast, it’s hills. My pace was down to 11:00/mile, even on the recovery sections! Still, 6.3 miles before is nothing to scoff at.
Morning hill repeats
Friday afternoon I headed straight to the Y to get 2800 yards in.
When I am marathon training, and our last taper run is 10 miles, it feels awesome. When 10 miles is my long run though, it feels awful! This run just dragged, but I was happy for company. Despite feeling sluggish, my pace was good throughout.
Saturday afternoon I met with physical therapist Dr. Mark Kane for a functional movement screen and dry-needling. The end result was finding out that I am not capable of moving in a way that would avoid injuring myself. Uh oh. Dr. Kane gave me a series of exercises to work on 4 times per week to strengthen my potential injury-causing weaknesses, and he use dry-needling to alleviate some knots in both my left calf and right lat.
My first real long ride of training – 61 miles! My coach has me training for time on the bike, not necessarily mileage, so I met with some friends for an easy 4 hours on a rolling course. I am ashamed to say this was an awful ride for me. Everything about my bike was uncomfortable, and I just couldn’t get settled. I felt completely powerless on the climbs, but I will say that the ride got better as it went along. After the ride, I ran 3 miles solo. After being out of my element on the bike, it was actually nice to get back to running.
26.26 miles of running, 103 miles of biking, 5,200 yards of swimming for 13 hours, 30 minutes total.
Another short, hard interval session, this time with longer intervals – 90 seconds all out with 3.5 minutes recovery. This never ceases to be a butt-kicker!
Thanks to a planned later evening run, I went straight to the pool after work to do my 2600-yard swim with Gray. We rushed from the Y to Selwyn Avenue to meet some other Omega runners for a 4-mile loop, but I arrived a few minutes early to get in the extra mile I needed. It felt great to tag onto the heels of the faster runners and knock out a great run now that spring has finally moved in. Unfortunately, the combined swim and strong run effort came back to haunt me during our strength and core session hosted by Jen, manager at Metro Fitness and fellow Charlotte blogger. Jen led us through a complete core and strength circuit, and by the end of the night I was completely exhausted!
I didn’t even attempt a morning workout after the hard Tuesday schedule. Wednesday night I did an hour of seated climbs on the trainer, with 10 repeats of 90 seconds climbs increasing in intensity every 30 seconds. OUCH.
I met Gray and Amy early in the afternoon to start our hill repeat workout before Janice joined us a bit later. Amazingly, the five hill repeats got easier as we went along. This was a fantastic workout. I planned to swim afterword, but when I pulled into the parking lot at the Y and the first two lots were full, I got very frustrated and turned around to go home. It’s amazing how I can run 7 miles yet not want to walk across the parking lot, but the weeks of build were catching up with me. I was beyond tired in general, and the allure of coming home to relax was stronger than the pull of the pool.
Thursday relaxation would kick me on Friday. I woke up at 5am to do a one-hour trainer ride before a 2-mile run. The ride was fine, but I needed a couple of walk breaks even on the short run. After work, it was straight to the pool again for 2800 yards. My coach had given me some timed sets to do, and I could not make the times. Let that be a lesson – do not push everything back until Friday!
The upside to Friday afternoon swims – a nearly empty pool!
Thankfully, this weekend’s 11-mile run was much better than the prior week. I chatted with Sara for 8 miles before heading back out on the greenway for some additional miles, luckily running into Rashawn, who joined me for the final 2. Friends can make all the difference!
I led an early 15-mile bike ride for the aspiring triathletes in Omega Nation. It was a slow, easy loop but great for helping beginners get used to the road. After finishing the first loop, Gray, Gerald and I set out for a longer loop, before dropping Gerald off and continuing on for my total 5-hour ride. I couldn’t talk Gray into a 3-mile run afterword, so I went solo. This was a fantastic run, except for the thousands of inch worms dangling from the trees and landing all over me. Apparently at some point along the bike ride, I had their silk streaming off of me. Spring is beautiful, but it has its downsides!
29 miles of running, 112 miles of cycling, 5400 yards of swimming for 14 hours, 35 minutes total.
Thankfully, Sunday was the end of a long build session, and knowing that this would would be a recovery week really helped me to push through the latter end of last week. It was very physically demanding, and by the end I was completely exhausted. However, the overall toughness of the weeks boosted my confidence as crunch-time approaches for the Ironman. I’m getting stronger!
What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the first weeks of spring? I love the first few runs in tank tops, but I could live without the blanket of insects!