I started off my March goals well yesterday with a 2300 yard swim. I’m glad I finished despite sharing a lane with a girl who was passing me like I was standing still.
I can swim & swim but can’t get any faster. I’ve narrowed it down to the following issues to work on:
So at least I know what to work on.
My goal is to swim more than last March which was 9 miles. Strangely enough, March & July were my highest swim total for the year with 9 mile on both, which is strange. Not sure why May & June weren’t higher when I was headed into Timberman.
If I swim twice a week that’s around 2000 yards each workout. So as long as I get in more than that, I can beat last year and set a new monthly PR.
On top of that, It also looks good for me to do a 70.3 in June if I can keep that distance/time up there for April & May as well.
AKA: How I took five minutes off my 5k time in 5 weeks.
Yesterday, I had a big day planned. 1 hr swim, 4 hr bike & 1 hr run. I feel like I need to get in the long hours to be ready for Timberman.
Tried my long run again today since it didn’t work out on Sunday. Nine miles in the books! It’s my longest training run to date. The only longer distances I’ve run were a 10 mile race and a half marathon on consecutive weekends in 2009.
What I need to work on:
What went well:
I think I’m racing an Olympic distance next weekend, so that give me a lot of time to work on my ankle and knee issues before my next long run.
I’m looking for a few people who have been thinking about buying P90x, Insanity or any of the other workouts that Beachbody sells.
I’ve been thinking about becoming a Beachbody coach because I love P90x so much and could use a few extra bucks to support my triathlon habit ;)
If I can get 2 or 3 people who are ready, we can get started right away.
If you’re interested, contact me any of these ways:
If you have any questions, let me know. If I don’t know the answer, I have a great network of people who use all of the products and can help with anything.
The New York Times published a new article today discussing speed differences between cheetahs and greyhounds.
Short story: up to about 40 mph, both species display similar running form and mechanics. But for some reason, the cheetah has some extra gears that allow them to kick it up a notch to 65 mph while the greyhounds stay at 40.
They videotaped some captive cheetahs to take a look at what happens post 40 MPH and they found that cats in captivity DON’T use those extra gears, most likely because they don’t have to since they don’t have to chase down their food. They have them and they just don’t use them.
This makes me think about my own avoidance of threshold and intensity training and its affect on my performance and my mental training. I also have those gears and just don’t use them.
Here’s a good explanation of lactate threshold (LT). It’s important to note that it’s not the lactate buildup that is what limits your performance. The LT is a marker that you’re working out at an intensity that requires your body to utilize the anaerobic energy systems more than the aerobic systems. How long you can sustain exercise at your LT is a function of your training. It could be just a few minutes up to an hour for highly trained athletes. This is your limiting factor when it comes to races.
By working out at or above LT levels, you can push your own LT curve to the right and therefore increase the intensity which you can maintain, whether it be speed or hill climbing.
So this is one of my problems I’ve recently identified and can’t ignore any longer. Despite living in a quite hilly and even mountainous, state I’ve managed to find the flatest routes possible for my runs and bike rides. I’d like to think this is mostly subconscious, but I think I’ve been using my achilles tendonitis rehab as an excuse to avoid intensity. That MIGHT be an excuse for my running, but certainly not for my bike rides and swimming.
Other than the physical adaptations your body makes when you work out at these intensities, I think that maybe at my level is the most important improvement I can get out of this is mental fortitude. Yes, you can make it up that hill. No, you won’t pass out. It’s the only way to train your brain. This is what separates the athletes from the rest of us.
As a 70.3 first-timer, do I NEED threshold training? Not sure. It’s a fairly hilly course, but I’m sure I can stop if I need to. At this point, I’m just trying to finish. My longest workout so far is about three hours, I need to get to at least 6 or 6 1/2. I don’t think my body can handle increases in both time/distance and intensity.
For now, I’m going to try to throw in some hills here and there and maybe one higher intensity workout each week rotating disciplines each week with a break on my recovery week.
How much high-intensity or threshold training do you do?
Total Distance: 60 miles
Total Time: 5:30
Monday: Crummy swim I didn’t even log. Reached a low point in my swim mentally
Tuesday: 13.5 miles on the indoor trainer in the morning, 4 mile run after work. Lots of calf soreness
Wednesday: Scheduled day off!!
Thursday: 6 miles on the indoor trainer until my achilles started acting up again. Skipped my evening run.
Friday: 1800 yard swim, got my head on straight and finally had a reasonable swim.
Saturday: 5.2 mile run, going for 6 miles but IT gave me problems
Sunday: Beautiful 30 mile outdoor bike ride!
Overall, not the best week, but ended on a good note. I was mentally exhausted and had trouble waking up a few mornings. Skipped both of my scheduled strength workouts. Plus my problems with my achilles, calves and IT band popped up, and my mental swimming block came to a head. I decided half way through this would be a recovery week, clearly I needed it.
Still somehow ended up with my highest mileage week of the year. Funny how my recovery weeks always seem to end up like that.
I forgot how much races hurt. This was my first race in 18 months. My last race was actually a whole race weekend. A tri on Saturday and a du on Sunday.
Leaving the house, I had to hold back tears because I was so grateful that I even have the opportunity to race. Last year, I barely did any physical activity. I’ve battled achilles tendonitis since last June, limped around for most of Sept & Oct and just got out of physical therapy for it about a month ago. I’ve worked really hard to get myself back into some sort of physical condition while trying to manage a full-time job, kids & going back to school. I’m not sure how successful I am at those other things, but I’m here at the race.
When we arrived, I couldn’t believe the bikes. It was like we were at a national championship, not some crummy duathlon in Wrentham. I think my reaction was along the lines of “Where the fuck are we?”. Nevertheless, I got my 2007 Trek WMD 1000 with a missing aerobar elbow pad off the car and got set-up.
The first leg was a 5k run and went pretty well. It was very flat and I started out fast. I was worried about maintaining that speed. For the first half I was at least a minute faster than usual. I had to force myself to slow down and just tried to focus on form and stay comfortable.
I ended up with a 5k PR, beating my last du’s time by 35 seconds. Not bad considering I was barely running 1 mile in January and I was much better conditioned at my last race.
I was pretty nervous for the bike. It’s usually my best leg, but I’ve had a crummy training week before this race. I bought new tires and went from 25’s to 23’s. They take some time getting used to, much more twitchy. Plus the roads weren’t closed off, Mass. driver’s aren’t the most courteous (to put it politely), and the roads are in pretty bad shape. I was predicting a wipeout. But once I was out there, all of that disappears in ‘race-mode’.
Because I didn’t do any real outdoor riding yet this year, I didn’t want to burn up all of my energy at the beginning. But it’s so hard to take it easy when you can just pass that person. And then that person. Passing up hill is fun, and then passing downhill is fun, too. I felt great and was happy with my performance, plowing through potholes at 18-20 mph and mentally telling cars “fuck you, you can wait”.
Then my chain popped off at about mile 9. It only took 20 seconds to get it back on, but because I was worn out, it took me about two minutes to get back on the bike and clipped in. Clipless pedals aren’t my friends. That kinda took the wind out of my sails. The rest of the ride was ok, I had to repass some people, but the group I was with was out of sight.
I’ve been riding my indoor trainer 20 - 25 miles, so I was a bit surprised at how exhaused I was after just 11 on the road. Shows you the difference between indoor and outdoor riding. I tried to bring down my heart rate down towards the end, but I think I slowed down too much. When I racked my bike, I was really nauseous and really didn’t want to run.
Two miles worth of crap. My speed started out ok, but I was fighting the urge to throw up for the first 3/4 miles. After my nausea subsided, my IT band started screaming at me. Plus my not-enough-caffeine headache that started half way through the bike was in full-force. I just wanted to lay down in the grass and be done with it. It felt never ending. My second run time ended up being around my usual training pace, so I guess it wasn’t that bad. Certainly felt like it.
What I learned
When I got home, I was presented with the best award of all.