Swim – 1:30:00 (p)- 2:15:00 (a) – 6500m
Bike – 2:45:00 (p) – 2:45:45 (a) – 74.50km
Run – 2:00:00 (p) – 1:15:34 (a) – 15.77km
Total – 6:15:00 (p) – 6:16:29 (a)
Back to training after a full week off can be quite a drag, but all-in-all it went pretty good. Friday’s swim was a decent set; by decent I mean a killer. It went like something like this.
400m swim/200m kick/400m drill
5x400m swim on 7:00
alternate swim/pull/pull with paddles
100m kick on back
With Speedy Gonzalez leading the lane we hit the wall around 5:40 for each set sending most of us (including me) into a drone state by the 4th interval. The set was actually supposed to be 6x400m but both time and enthusiasm ran out.
I skipped my Saturday morning run, sorry, but I have a couple of good reasons. First I have been working on a slight injury to my left foot; nothing that warrants a trip to the physio but I didn’t want to make it worse.
Second I volunteered at the Chinook Triathlon festival; a local race that I did last year and had so much fun at I needed to be part of it again. As I am in the beginning of my build phase from Ironman 70.3 Calgary I couldn’t justify racing at this point, so I volunteered instead. If you haven’t volunteered at a race yet, you need to do it. It was an absolute blast.
I titled this post after the ever popular phrase “walk of shame” for good reason. Tuesday I headed out for my first ride of the season on Fred, my Cervelo P3C. It was cold and I was glad to have my new fleece jersey from Mojo Cycle in San Francisco on.
As I descended into the river valley on my way home the air became noticeably cooler, so I opted to take a route that takes me through the community avoiding not only the valley, but the steep climb out of it.
I came around the corner and I flatted. Now never a problem, I grabbed my spare tube and CO2, and went along changing it. Success. As I hoped on, pedaled for, oh maybe 3m, I hear another hiss. Karma.
Guess I am walking home with my bike on my shoulder. At least I was only 4k from the house.
Question: Ever made the ‘walk of shame?” Do you carry more than one tube and CO2?
I think it is about time for a rest week.
Swim – 2:00:00 – 4550m
Bike – 2:15:48 – 75.3km
Run – 1:46:22 – 20.0km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 7:32:10
I have been going pretty steady since the new year with only a couple of missed workouts here and there. I have been seeing some positive gains on both the swim and bike, and being able complete 3 runs last week without cringing; chalk that up as a win.
With 14 weeks until my first big race of the year, Escape from Alcatraz, I have some time before I need to ramp up my training. I am going with the tried and tested ‘Time Crunched Triathlete’ Half Ironman program from Chris Carmichael; my second time through the plan. This time hopefully I won’t crash, break my collar bone, and be able to complete it from start to finish…..
So what do I do? Do I stick with the plan right now, slug it out until the first part of April and get on with it? Or do I switch it up now and have a little fun before the ‘real’ training kicks in?
Oh the questions.
I am enjoying my Friday speed sessions with my new found running buddy, even if he is totally faster than me. I was able to beat him in a sprint over the Peace Bridge a week ago, but it took everything I had. I recently referred to it a ‘Fartlek Friday’ and it got me thinking about the name, ‘Fartlek’. I know that it is Swedish for speed play, but it just sounds weird. Say it three times fast. Go ahead.
Weird right? I wonder if it started as a joke, “hey Sven, I bet you can’t get people to use fart repeatedly in a sentence.”
So me and my crazy challenges have started anew. This time it is a familiar challenge; ditch the java for 30 days.
Every time I have a cup of coffee with a friend or at home on the weekend, I don’t feel very good. I thought it may be the amount as with my profession, I tend to meet a lot over a coffee, so I switched to decaf for a while. Didn’t help. So as of Thursday I am coffee free for at least 30 days. I have done it before so I am confident it will be successful this time ’round.
As a addition, I am going to count the days that I go not only coffee free, but caffeine free. Even though tea has much less than coffee, caffeine effects the adrenal system. If I am already using it heavily during exercise, and if you swim with us heavily is the right term, why put more strain on it than necessary.
Question: How do you switch up your training plan?
Is It Really Wednesday Already?
Swim – 3:00:00 – 8100m
Bike – 2:16:24 – 68.6km
Run – 1:13:46 – 16.0km
Strength – 0:45:00
Total – 7:15:10
Man this week has really flown by. So much so that I am currently writing this post while I am on the trainer at home. It is really hard to pedal and type one handed on an iPad at the same time. Good thing I don’t have to balance.
I mentioned a while back that I seemed to lose some of my mojo on the run; 8k never was a chore until December. I tried a couple of different approaches to derail my training in hopes of pushing past this road block. Well after 2 ‘Fartlek Fridays’ with a fellow tri-club swimmer I am feeling better. Not 100% mind you, but things are looking up.
Ramping up my run volume over the next couple of weeks is going to test my resolve. In order to get ready for the Calgary Police Half Marathon at the end of April I need to add an additional day and then start increasing my weekly time little by little. My current plan looks something like this with a run added on Wednesday.
My ultimate goal is to have 45min ER (Endurance Run) on Monday, 60min ER on Wednesday, and a 45min ER with FI (Fartlek Intervals) on Friday. That puts me in the 2.5 hour range per week which should be perfect leading up to the race.
So this week we are without our swim coach, apparently when Napa Valley calls your name, you must oblige. For the three workouts this week, a different swimmer was given the task of writing the workout and coaching everyone during the set. When he was picking them out at the end of our session on Wednesday, I acted like a high school kid who doesn’t know the answer; I looked at the ground and didn’t make any discernible noises. Thankfully I didn’t get picked.
It is interesting to see the different mind sets in a given group. Some of the swimmers feel that we need to swim longer, slower sets and some feel we need more drills. We will see both the remainder of the week as Wednesday and Friday are coached by both personalities. I for one feel that both are right in their own ways.
If you want to be able to swim 1500m in a race, then you need experience swimming that distance.
If you want to swim a 1:20/100m pace, then you need to train at or below that time.
How you decide and balance them is entirely up to you.
Question: How do you balance speed with distance?
I know, I know.
Swim – 3:10:00 – 9600m
Bike – 2:17:29 – 71.8km
Run – 0:44:53 – 6.8km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 7:42:21
Another week in the books, and apart from a missed run on the weekend, everything went to plan. I was really hoping to get out on Saturday, not only because the weather was awesome, but I wanted to see if my stair workout helped shake the funk I have been having on the run.
Alas, it was not to be.
Friday was out annual “Swim 4 Heart” distance swim. The club does it each year to support one of our swimmers and his fundraising goal. I offered to donate $100 if I didn’t have to swim. The result? We ended up swimming 4000m in 65 minutes. Again, not as good a negotiator as I thought I was.
All kidding aside, it was fun to log some laps and switch up our routine.
I love swimming with triathletes; we don’t get in a ‘huffy’ about hitting each other at the wall or grabbing onto each others feet. Hey, in a mass swim start I would welcome the odd foot touch rather than some dude swimming right over top of me or elbows in my face for 200m.
Running needs to take a prominent part of my training plan in the coming weeks. I have been slacking over the past couple of months choosing to focus on strength training and having fun in the pool. Well, the time has come to switch up my approach and log some time (and intensity) on the pathways.
I had a buddy approach me to run with him on Friday at lunch; I jumped at the chance. I think I will rework my schedule to fit in a run Monday/Wednesday/Friday with speed work together at the end of the week.
Let’s call it Fartlek Friday
The good thing about speed work is your partner doesn’t have to be the same pace to get a good workout; if he is a little faster, then you will get faster too. If he is a little slower, then you get a longer rest between intervals.
It is no secret that parenting is hard, those little ones can spin a normal adult into a ball of frustration and anger in the blink of an eye. Queue the parenting advice…….sorry, no big revelations here.
My wife finished a book called “Honey, I Wrecked the Kids” by Alison Schafer and liked it so much she insisted I read it. Not to go into too much detail as this isn’t a parenting blog, the premise behind the book is parents equally share the causes of the ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. So many times the child is seen as the sole part of the problem, and thus, needs to be fixed.
In our house arguments can run rampant in the evening. It takes 2 to argue, and being the grown-up (kinda), I can choose not to participate. So I am going to try to keep my cool and come to an agreement without yelling.
Let’s see how it goes. I am only 30 pages into the book.
Question: Thoughts on run intervals? Which are the best?
Steady as she goes.
Swim – 3:00:00 – 7600m
Bike – 2:00:21 – 62.4km
Run – 1:24:17 – 16.7km
Strength – 0:45:00
Total – 7:14:38
Not to run a cliché or quote the Raconteur’s (Jack White rules by the way), I have been pretty consistent with my weekly average. About 7.5 hours is what fits into my schedule and I am okay with it.
Fins have made their way back into our swim workouts and for now, I am okay with it. I saw ‘now’ because my feet have yet to develop blisters, operative word, yet. Either my feet are tougher, I am more efficient with my kick, or my fins fit better. One chap in my lane had to tape his big toe with three layers to fend of the blister after only the second day. That sucks.
Our swim workout this morning looked like this:
400m Swim/200m Kick/400m Drill
400m Kick ‘Around the World’
200m Side by Side
200m Swim ‘easy’
200m Kick ‘Around the World’
200m Side by Side
4x50m (25m Catch Up/25m Swim) <40 seconds
200m Swim 'easy'
No one in my lane caught on to the 200m ‘easy’ at the end of our fin set; that took a lot out of me. I am finding out however that all this kicking is helping my swim but hurting my run a bit. I have had a couple of back-to-back runs that have been less than stellar. I reckon that a decent massage and reducing my pace for this upcoming week may help shake out some of the bad mojo. Stay tuned.
Speaking of runs, I headed out this weekend in shorts and a t-shirt. Now like any good runner, I should have a selfie to prove it, but I am not a good runner. Sorry.
Weather is crazy here in Calgary; 11 degrees and sun in the middle of January? Yeah, that happened. The only problem is that with the melting snow comes puddles and ice. Two things can slow a run down, or worse, end it prematurely. I am glad to report that I made it home safely, albeit with mud between my toes.
Registration for the Mother’s Day Run and Walk opened over the past week. This is a race that my family will do every year in support of not only the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units here in Calgary, but in memory of our little Oliver who didn’t make it long enough to need the NICU last year. This year will be a little different mind you, instead of me and my brother running the 10k together, my entire family, including my daughter, will run the 5k.
I have a feeling that I will be walking for at least 3k with her on my shoulders and I am looking forward to every minute of it.
Question: Do you have a race you do just for the fun of it?
Holy crap it is cold.
Swim – 2:00:00 – 4800m
Bike – 0:59:43 – 27.9km
Run – 1:25:16 – 17.54km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 5:54:59
This week was a impromptu rest week. I woke up on Monday morning feeling roasted, I think that is a technical (air quotes) term, and decided that for the next couple of days I would take it a little easier. In true triathlete fashion I didn’t hit the couch, rather skipped a couple of workouts and slept till 0630 instead.
I had to sneak in a quick run on Saturday evening as we were heading out Sunday morning to visit family for Christmas; 3.5 hour drive. Taking the advice of Joe Friel, a freaking genius by the way, instead of a long slow run I hit intervals instead. Here is what they looked like:
45min Steady State Run – 4x3min (2min RBI)
15min warmup – 4:45-5:00/km
20min SSR intervals – 4:30/km
10min cool down – 4:45/km
Now I haven’t tested myself for a while, but based on the latest data, my SSR should be in the range of 4:22-4:40/km. I was able to finish each interval at just over 4:30/km and with the exception of the third rest period I hit each time interval perfectly. My treadmill is weird and cycles between elapsed time, pace, and incline. So sometimes, I have to wait for 30 seconds to confirm what the exact time is. No matter for a 45 minute run, but 3 minutes intervals can be challenging to time just right.
My workouts were inside this week. I am not a wuss when it comes to cold temperatures and workouts; I have always said I am like and old Chevy, I run hot. With windchill’s into the -40 degrees I figured no matter how tough I pretend to be, there was no way I was heading outdoors. I do not like the treadmill, I can run 20k outside with no issues, but on the treadmill after 4k my knees are hurting and I want to stop.
Hopefully the weather smartens up this week and I can get outside for some fresh, albeit crisp, air.
It is well known that rest is beneficial, if not critical, to any training plan. I have tried many different schedules including ones published by Chris Carmichael and Joe Friel with varied success. “Listen to your body” they say, “take rest when you need it” they say. Well, it aient that easy.
In ‘The Time Crunched Triathlete’ Chris schedules 2 rest days per week, typically Monday and Friday, over a 8-10 week plan. His plans revolve around high intensity intervals mixed with some lower intensity workouts. I have used his philosophy a sprint and half ironman and enjoyed training for both. I found the mix of high intensity and recovery workouts worked well and timed well with the rest days.
With Joe Friel, you are responsible for writing your own training plan, with his guidance of course. This can be good as not all plans are built for all people, but it can create havoc if you aren’t organized. His philosophy revolves around 4 week training ‘blocks’; 3 weeks building duration/intensity and 1 week of active recovery.
I have learnt many things, among the leaders is I can’t really feel when I am approaching an over-trained state; I can only recognize it once I am already there. It can be tough to take rest when you don’t feel you need it as the loss of fitness is always a threat. Guess I need to get better at that.
Question: How do you plan rest? Any tips?
Swim – 3:00:00 – 9300m
Bike – 1:52:56 – 60.81km
Run – 1:48:09 – 22.99km
Strength – 0:45:00
Total – 7:26:05
Wow, I can’t believe that there is only 4 of these left before the end of the year. November went by in a flash.
I had some pretty decent workouts this week, and trust me, I can feel it this morning. Wednesday’s swim workout was focused on endurance with a little bit of tempo work mixed in. It looked something like this:
400m Swim/200m Kick/400m Drill
1x800m Pull with Paddles – 20 strokes or less per length – <12:15
2x400m Swim – Descending – <6:00
4x200m Alternate Swim/Pull – <2:55
Hang on to the side of the pool and die
Seriously, the last 2 sets almost killed me. It is a great feeling to push hard at the end of a workout; I feel that this is where your best fitness it gained. It also helps with the mental toughness, being able to sprint at the end of a 3000m workout takes a little convincing.
I have to say that I like the 200m more than any other distance. You can push as hard or as easy as you like, with not too much pain if you give it your all. I am working to get my 200m split to 2:45 by the end of the Winter session. It is going to be a big push, but better to reach for goal than settle for second best.
Winter showed up in Calgary today. About time, said no one, ever. At least we can make snow sharks in the front lawn.
My wife asked me if I could stay home in the morning for a couple of weeks to help them get into a decent routine of getting out of the house on time, so I had to skip out on tri-club swim this week. I let my coach know and he graciously sent the workouts for me to follow along with. It was a huge help to keep me motivated in the pool without the team.
I had no problem switching up my routine for the week. It was tough to rearrange everyday and still keep a decent balance and not running ir lifting on back to back days, but I made it work. The girls were able to get a decent routine and as of this morning, she has said I am not needed at home anymore, so I can get back in the pool with the club.
Is it sad that I am excited about getting in the pool at 0600 again?
Question: What is your favorite distance? Why?