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?
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?
Another week down. Man, these weekly recaps are coming almost faster than I can write them.
Swim – 0:55:00 – 2500m
Bike – 0:49:57 – 21.9km
Run – 2:09:17 – 27.22km
Total – 3:54:14
My swim and bike suffered this week, but it isn’t all my fault. Brace yourself, here come the excuses. The pool was closed for maintenance on Friday and as much as I wanted to dive in, there was nothing but air to dive into. Sure, I could have gone to another pool, but I am not a huge fan a busy lanes; at a strange pool? No thanks. Besides, swim club starts up again on Monday and a day off isn’t a bad thing.
I woke up Saturday morning to rain, actually, rain like that can’t be called just rain. It was almost like ’40 days and nights’ or ‘build me an ark’ kinda rain. So the bike stayed in the house and I took the day off. Kinda.
I was able to squeeze three runs though, with one being a 10k race on Sunday morning. The race was a great success as I set a new PR of 43:36 (4:22/km); almost a full minute faster than last year. Race report to follow (stayed tuned). I was the first on my team to finish, with all of us coming in under an hour. A great result all around.
Just about 2 years ago, going against the grain, we moved into a older community in Calgary from our suburban community. Our friends thought we were a little crazy, and I am the first to admit we are. It has been awesome so far being close to the Bow River, Bowmont Natural Park, and having trees that are taller than our fence. The downside you ask? Well, the house was built in 1976 and hasn’t really been updated since.
So I started renovations this weekend by demolishing our ensuite bathroom. Man, you want a decent cross training workout? Rip up a sub floor. My hamstrings, triceps, and wrists are killing me. I mentioned that I kinda took Saturday off, well, no triathlon specific workouts, but I was sweating pretty hard on Saturday afternoon. It went better than expected, and we are ready to close up the walls pretty soon.
My Whole 30 Challenge has reached Day 12 as of today, and I am glad to say it is going pretty well. I am starting to crave certain things, but more than anything I am just getting a little hungry. I think the challenge makes you think that if you snack, you fail; there are certainly people out there that have than opinion and I call them the ‘Elitist Paleo’. I say eat when you are hungry make a decent snack choice, because it sucks being hungry. For me, cashews are not a decent choice.
Image via the Oatmeal
My wife has left the room.
Question. Now that triathlon season is over, will you still race? What are you racing?