104 days: Sprint to the weekend

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Just 15 weeks away! Raised so far: $5,947! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of our causes here, or participate in one of our upcoming fundraising events.

Suzanne and Tawnya are on the march! Follow along as they trek the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, “The Way of St James” – a 500 mile pilgrimage starting in southern France and across northern Spain. They’re four weeks into their journey and have posted several interesting updates to their blog.

Sprint to the Weekend

A few weeks ago I started my 18-week training cycle in preparation for Ironman Lake Tahoe. Though stressors are doing their best to compromise this plan, I’ve been stalwartly protecting each activity on each day of my training regimen and working on finding an overall better balance in life. Three weeks into the plan and I haven’t missed or reduced a single a workout, and I am quite pleased with where I’m currently at in the plan. I’m logging good miles, increasing my volume at a healthy pace, maintaining good speed, and have avoided injury.

I really have no reason to complain.

Except, wow, it can be tiring. Getting back into a focused, regimented training cycle is exhausting. In the early weeks it is physical; the later weeks it shifts towards mental fatigue. After a couple of weeks of intense training I was ready for a recovery week. My program builds in a recovery period every 4 weeks to help the body cope with the increased volume and intensity of the workouts. The body needs to heal a bit, and the mind needs a break.

Week 3 in my training plan was an early version of this – to help recover from the daily pounding it was taking on the roads, on the track, and in the pool. In fact, this past week could have been viewed not just as a recovery week, but also a taper week! The Redondo Beach Triathlon was on the calendar for Sunday, June 9!

This race is a fun. It is the local hometown race! But there are also some things about this race that keep me up at night. In a nutshell: this race is short. It is crazy fast. Great white sharks lurk in the water (no attacks, though). The relative distances for each discipline favors strong swimmers more than it favors strong runners and cyclists.

Note: I am a very fast cyclist and runner – and use those disciplines to eat back the ground I lose in the swim (where I am not so fast). This race is not set up for me to be particularly successful.

Setting the race idiosyncracies aside, the “rest” week and sprint distance race were exactly what I needed.

Later this week I’ll write up a race report on how I fared at the Redondo Beach Triathlon. It went fairly well… and that’s all I’m saying for now!

Monday Training Check-In

So, how did the rest/taper week go? Remember, I’m doing weekly updates of my training progress to stay honest with the “Commit” part of my TFAC process.

  • Monday:
    Plan – Rest
    Actual – Rest
  • Tuesday:
    Plan – Easy 5mi run
    Actual – Run 5 miles @ 6:43/mile.
    I made certain to take it easy this week on my recovery run.
  • Wednesday:
    Plan – Swim 1200m with 10 x 25m intervals; Bike 40min w/ 6x20sec intervals
    Actual – Swim 1200m with 10 x 25m intervals; Bike 13.8 miles.
    Kept the pace moderated on these (except for the interval components).
  • Thursday:
    Plan – Run 40min with 6 x 100m intervals
    Actual – Run 6 miles @ 6:42/mile with 6 x 100m intervals
    Though my overall pace wasn’t as fast as the previous week of interval run training, my top speed was improving. This is good leading up to a sprint distance race.
  • Friday:
    Plan – Swim 1200m with 5 x 100m intervals; easy 45min Bike
    Actual – Swim 1200m with 5 x 100m intervals; Bike 11.9 miles
    The swim set was more solid than expected – though tough, I felt like I was getting stronger as the intervals progressed. The bike was a very, very easy spin.
  • Saturday:
    Plan – Get in a short run, bike, or swim in order to keep the blood flowing.
    Actual – Bike 6.3 miles
    Got in a short ride to dial in the race day setup on the bike (deep front, disc rear, removed hydration) and to do one last scoping of the race course. Hit the accelerator a few times to test out the leg speed/power. Not as much power as I want, but it will do for now.
  • Sunday:
    Plan – Race day! 0.5 mile ocean swim; 6 mile bike; 2 mile run
    Actual – 0.5 mile swim; 6 mile bike; 2 mile run
    I raced fairly fast. I’ll post the race results and the race report sometime later this week.

Grand Totals:

  • 2.3 miles of swimming – Still getting faster here. The more time spent in the pool, the better this part gets.
  • 41 miles of cycling – The focus this week in training was not all-time speed, but to work on short bursts of power.
  • 15 miles of running – This is the area where the cumulative fatigue is showing itself most. I need to be aware of my pace/energy on the runs.
  • 58.3 total miles. Not a bad total for a recovery/taper week.
  • 4755 total calories expended according to SportTracks –  but this calculation varies greatly depending on the tracking tool.

Training jumps back up to over 100 miles planned for this next week, though. The break is over! Heavy miles, tough interval sets, and hill work are all on order this next week. It is going to hurt!

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