Race week, my favorite kind of week.
Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 3:10:00 (a) – 9800m
Bike – 3:45:00 (p) – 3:47:51 (a) – 99.57km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 3:02:46 (a) – 35.74km
Total – 8:30:00 (p) – 10:00:38 (a)
My first half marathon of 2014 is in the books, and all-in-all, it was a great race. I ran it solo in 2013, race report here, and finished with a great time even though I hit the wall at km 15.
2014 was different. I ran it with my brother, helping him finish sub 2 hours. No need to panic, the race report is to come.
As I was training though the race I didn’t taper this week, and good thing. Swim volume was high on both Monday and Friday, and they both went something like this:
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Alternate swim / pull
2x400m on 6:00
4x200m on 3:30
8x100m on 1:45
Needless to say swimming 3600m in 60 minutes leaves me a little tired in the office for the rest of the day. Standing desks don’t help with that by the way.
Speaking of tired, have you ever fallen asleep on the couch at 2030? I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, watching a little TV before bedtime. Next thing I knew the show as over, and my little one was poking me in the ribs.
I am noticing that every day that I have a brick session scheduled (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) I am not only looking forward to my bedtime, I am looking forward to that 20 minutes on the couch before her bedtime.
How sad is that?
Spring is such a great time in Calgary. With the nice weather, the families in our little corner of the community gather once again at the park after supper. It is great to catch up with some that you lose touch with over the winter and seeing how the kids grew.
I got invited by my daughter and her friends to join in a game of ‘grounders’. What an absolute riot, the kids were laughing when I couldn’t hear them on the ground, and screaming when I got close to tagging them.
These kids kicked my butt. I was ‘it’ more often than not, and they had a couple of tricks that took me almost all night to figure out.
Can’t wait to play again this week.
Question: How do you deal with being tired?
Race week. My favorite kind of week.
Swim – 1:13:37 – 3440m
Bike – 2:18:53 – 65.15km
Run – 1:26:42 – 17.81km
Race – 2:23:23 – 51.5km
Total – 7:22:34
I have been kicking around the idea of a weekly recap for a while now. Like I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I am not sure if my life is interesting enough to fill an entire post each week, but I reckon it is worth a go.
My triathlon season came to a close this past weekend with a great race for both me and my daughter in Lake Chaparral. I didn’t hit my goal of sub 2:15:00, but with the slight issue I had on the run, I am happy with my result. I may have gone too hard on the bike, or I may have slacked a bit on my run training the month previous. Vacation can do that to you. I still improved on my time from last year by a full 8 minutes and placed in the top 10.
Monday was a holiday, so I used the day off to head for a long bike ride. To sum it up in one word, wind. It was a slow ride out at 25km/hr, but with the wind at my back coming home, it was much better. I averaged 55km/hr peaking at 62km/hr heading into Calgary. Had a great time. Run Tuesday with 3x3min Fartlek intervals. I had a hard time jogging between the intervals and ended up walking between 2 and 3 for about 2 minutes. This was my first indication that my run fitness may not be as good as I had planned. No matter, I finished the run strong and chalked it up to a rough day.
Began my taper on Thursday with a short run to loosen up my legs and started to get ready mentally for my upcoming race.
Race weekend started on Saturday with the Kids of Steel for my daughter. We had a great time even though she didn’t rush too much. Hey, if it isn’t fun for a 6 year old, why even do it. Right? After her race, I slung the wetsuit on for a quick swim around the course to get my sighting targets and take my equipment for a test run. All good. Race went decent on Sunday morning, even though some kids (I assumed kids) knocked over the portable toilets and smelled up transition. Placed 8th overall with a decent swim and great bike. Mentioned my run fitness, yeah, I struggled there.
So that is the end of my 2013 Triathlon race season. I had a good year racing, with decent performances in all of my races. I still have a bunch of run races scheduled for the remainder of the year, including my attempt at a 10k PR in early September. We are heading out for a well deserved vacation in the coming weeks and this time I am going to leave the bike and shoes at home. I think I earned the upcoming days off.
I have read a lot about the Whole 30 program over the past 6 months. It makes a ton of sense, but while I was training hard, I shied away from it as I was concerned about the restrictiveness of the program. I have hit the non optimal foods pretty hard over the past months as mainly my will power has lacked along with my planning. I think it is about time to hit the ‘reset’ button and give the Whole 30 a rip, so starting September 1, I am in.
I will create a separate page dedicated to my challenge, charting my progress and some of my meals along the way. You all helped me complete the 21 Day No Sugar Detox, so I am calling on you again to help me this time around.
Top Posts for the Week
Hotels, Family, and Training
Calvin and Hobbes
Seems to be a pattern over the past 3-4 months. Ironman must be in full swing as that post has been top spot for a long time now. Congratulations if you became and ‘Ironman’ over the past year; I can’t imagine doing it myself right now. Possibly in the future.
It sucks. All athletes know that.
I am currently tapering for the Calgary Police Half Marathon which goes on Sunday. This is my first time running a half marathon without having come off the bike; I reckon it will be a weird feeling to race on fresh legs, but nonetheless, I am stoked. If you have ever raced, which I am positive most of you have (because that is what it is all about) then you have also reduced your activity leading up to race day.
Ah yes, the dreaded Taper.
I have spoken with a couple of athletes who describe the taper period as ‘unbearable’, ‘horrible’, and the ever popular ‘I am going crazy’. It can be all that and more for your spouse who has to deal with your constant complaining during this time.
When you taper, you purposely reduce both training volume and intensity to ensure you are rested for the event; typically your ‘A’ race for the season. This period can be as short as a couple of days or as long as a couple of weeks. It all depends on the length of the event, your fitness, and current goals. I am not an expert, so I digress.
It can be hard to rest leading up to an event. You are hyped about racing and want to make sure that when the gun goes off, you hit the water with the best fitness you can. Why let your hard-earned fitness slip away along with your finishing time? It can be tempting to keep crushing your workouts; intervals, speed work, and distance.
Resist the temptation. RESIST. RESIST.
I have blogged about the importance of rest days in the past, and did not mention this benefit; they allow you to watch how your body reacts to rest. By watching how your body reacts, you can not only gain confidence that a taper period will benefit you in a race, but you can effectively plan your taper period as well.
My body does well with a 3 week phase, either ‘base’ or ‘build’, ending with 4 days of lighter, active recovery. I tried following Joe Friel’s advice and used a 7 day ‘rest’ period, it took me another 5 days to get back into the training grove. For the past 4 months, I have used the 3 week on, 4 day off with great success.
So test it out and find the right balance. It ain’t easy, but if you execute it just right, then you will reap the rewards.
Question: How do you taper? Do you find it beneficial?