Monday, April 8, 2013

Tri Training Diary: 4/1 to 4/7 (Week 4)

This was kind of an unusual week.  I normally train on a four-week cycle--three working weeks and then one rest week.  But that didn’t work out last week, both because of my race schedule and because I’m traveling for work later this week.  So instead of resting last week, I wound up using it as a fourth working week with the caveat that I wanted to be careful not to either overwork or exaserbate the little injury I’ve been struggling with in my left knee.
The other consideration that came up this past week was my racing schedule.  What with The Crisis at work last year and then Hurricane Sandy, I didn’t race much in 2012.  So this year I’d been thinking about racing a lot, basically kind of trying to make up for lost time.  
But Sally vetoed my plan to do seven triathlons, a full century on the bike, and an open-water mile.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but her reasoning was that--among other things--it wouldn’t be smart to spend $700+ on race entry fees in a single summer, and anyway, the summers are often unpredictable what with work and summer storms and all the rest of the crap that can come up in the course of a tri season.  And she also said (though I don’t remember this) that every year, I sign up for too many races and then wind up complaining about how brutal the schedule is later in the season.
Well, that could happen, I suppose.
Anyway, those are all fair points.  I started looking at how I could cut back and/or at least postpone entering some races until later in the season, when we get an idea of how the summer is shaping up.  
So here’s what I’ve got right now:
  1. Brian’s Beachside Boogie (Sun., April 14th).  2-mile/10-mile/2-mile off-road duathlon.
  2. The Y-Tri (Sat., May 11th).  300-yd/11-mile/2.2-mile super-sprint triathlon.
  3. NYC Tour de Cure (Sun. June 2nd).  I’m gonna ride the Metric Century again.
  4. Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon (Sat., June 15th).  
  5. Greenwich Pt. One-Mile Swim (Sat., July 20th).
  6. The Westport Kiwanus Triathlon (Sun., Sept. 15th). ½-mile/5.5-mile/2.2-mile super-sprint triathlon.  
So there’s one challenge in there--coming off the metric century to do an Oly two weeks later--and one opportunity in that my only race in July right now is the open water mile.  I may try to add an Oly in there in July or August, but we’ll have to see how it goes.  
It could also be interesting to really focus on the Greenwich Pt swim and then do some serious speed training for the Westport Super Sprint.  It’s not often as a triathlete that you get to use the upper range of your speed, but this could potentially be one of those years for me.
I mentioned all of that stuff up there in order to try to put this week’s training in context.  Sally and I had a little fight on Wednesday, right before I headed out for Tri Practice.  The result was that I swam like crap, got out after 500 yards, and went home to try to repair the damage.  For her part, Sally said that I didn’t need to come back, and that she hadn’t been expecting me, but she was clearly glad that I was there, so I’m pretty sure I made the right move.
As I have said before, triathlon is not just a commitment for the athlete.  It is also a commitment for the athlete’s family.  The secret to doing the sport for a long time is learning to balance the competing priorities, a fact that has been particularly evident in my life these past few weeks.
Sunday, however, was a different story.  Sally took Hannah to archery with the Girl Scouts, and then she and Emma went shopping.  That left me free for most of the afternoon, and I headed straight to the pool.
  1. 4 x 100 @ 1:35 warm-up
  2. Ladder Set @ base 1:25/100 intervals:
  1. 100 @ 1:25
  2. 200 @ 2:50
  3. 300 @ 4:15
  4. 400 @ 6:40
  5. and back down on the same intervals
  1. 8 x 50 kick @ 1:05
  2. 8 x 100 pull @ 1:25
  3. 100 easy
  4. 6 x 100 tempo @ 1:30
  5. 100 warm down
That worked out to be 4400 yards.
For what it’s worth, I’d actually planned to swim a little further, but my shoulders started hurting during that Pull set.  So I cut it short.  And after that, I was pretty much done.  The six 100’s “tempo” were nothing to write home about.
Still, that was a decent workout, and not a bad way to put in some work while taking it easy on my knees.
Swimming Total: 4900 yards; 49 pts.
I rode my commute three and a half times last week.  One Wednesday morning, I rode over some glass on my way into the train station in Stratford, and after that, I had to drag my bike through the NYC Subway System. That sucked.
Cycling Total: 3.5 x commute rides (39.4 miles); 39.4 pts.
So anyway, when the week started, my goal was to make it a run-focused week.  I ran Monday at lunch through Central Park, and then after our fight on Wednesday, Sally encouraged me to run again Thursday at lunch.  That one was a hair under four miles. Both of those were easy, aerobic runs.  But still, I ran, and I didn’t feel like I’d hurt my knees any.
Saturday, I met the Tri Club with my daughter Emma.  Emmaand I did about a half hour of yoga, and then she went with us for our warm-up run before I took her back, and then my friend Ben and I ran a course he designed for some hill work.  I loved that.  I love intervals anyway, and doing those hills really got me going.  Plus, I felt good afterwards.
After running three times in a week--and getting away with it--I decided to rest my knees on Sunday (hence the long swim), but overall, I felt good about the work I’d put in during the week.  The fact that I put it in without reaggravating my knee injury is a super-bonus.
Running Total: 3 x running workouts (14.9 miles); 59.6 pts. 
That’s not a bad week of work for me, run-wise.

Total for the Week: 148 pts.

Final Thoughts
Well, the Griskus Oly has a tough course, especially on the bike leg.  There’s a nine-mile climb right in the middle, and the whole ride has sharply rolling hills.  The run isn’t too bad; it’s a gentle incline/decline, but it’s a two-loop course, so you go up and down--gently--quite a lot.  Against that is the reality that I’m a much better rider and climber than I was last time I ran the race, especially on the bike.  Plus, I’ve got the Tour de Cure to use as a kind of rehearsal two weeks out.  So that looks good, if challenging.  And the toughest part of the season will be over by the middle of June.
After that, I guess it’s gonna be all swimming and speed work--and some family vacation time.  I find that I’m kinda looking forward to that.

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