Monday, October 13, 2014

Offseason Training Log: 10/6 to 10/12 (Week 1)

I was in the hospital with a leg infection the third week of August.  I was on some heavy-duty antibiotics, and at the end of it the doc told me it was gonna take some time before I started feeling like myself again.  He said that the ordeal had cost me some aerobic endurance, and that I would have to build that back slowly.

This proved to be correct.  I started riding my regular commute the first week of September, tried to step straight back into training the next week, and wound up exhausted.  Since then, it's been a slow, deliberate slog back to regular training.  But last week I finally got back to something like my normal offseason training volume.  I'm still not crushing it out there, but I was finally up over a hundred points, and I am slowly but surely starting to feel like myself again.  All things considered, that seems like something of an accomplishment.

I put in an easy 2000 yards on Tuesday at our regularly scheduled Tri Club practice.
  •  5 x 100 warm up @ 1:30
  •  200 kick
  •  12 x 100 pull @ 1:30 (aerobic pace)
  •  100 warm down

My goal for the main set was to swim steady and keep my heart rate under 140.  I actually checked my pulse after each of the first few reps, but once we got into the set, I could feel that I was swimming easily enough that my concerns were overblown.  We wound up holding about 1:17 for the first six or so reps, but I fell off the pace after that and finished closer to 1:20/100.  Still, it felt like a successful practice because this was the first time I'd been in the water in more than two weeks, and I felt good, even though we weren't actually swimming particularly hard.

Swimming Total: 1 practice for 2000 yards (20 pts)

I rode my regular commute through the City all five days this week.  Honestly, the hardest thing about that was just keeping the pace easy and not racing to beat every red light.  This requires a lot more discipline than I've used in past years, but it's left me fresher for my various runs during the week, and that makes the patience well worth it.

Cycling Total: 5 x commute ride for 51.5 miles (51.5 pts)

Running is my offseason's primary focus.  I want to run three times each week, with one run being a longer run and one being a faster, uptempo run.  I love doing uptempo work, but I have a tendency to do too much of it and not to allow my body to rest enough afterwards.  Doing all this aerobic work isn't necessarily my preference, but so far it's been working.  I've had the energy to get out and go run, and that's the point.  If you're constantly trying to recover, you're working too hard, and that's not going to get you where you want to go.

I ran Sunday last week, took Monday off, swam Tuesday, ran again Wednesday, took Thursday off, did my speed work Friday, went to the Army game Saturday, and then ran five miles again on Sunday.

Wednesday's run was right on target.  Friday's run was more interesting, but I only did 3 x 1:00 hard / 2:00 easy, and with just that tiny bit of speed work, I kept jumping off so hard that I really should have just done :30 strides.  I meant to accelerate all the way through the hard intervals, reaching just a touch better than my 5K pace on the back end.  Instead, I blasted into each rep like I was shot out of a cannon and then struggled to hold the pace.  That was base stupidity.  I knew it was stupidity, but I kept doing it, so I guess I just couldn't help myself.  After a whole week of aerobic-paced meandering, it felt so good to get out there and let it rip.

I felt good Friday afternoon, rode reasonably well on my afternoon commute, and wasn't sore at all while we were walking around the Academy Saturday, so I suppose my speed work wasn't too over-the-top.  The execution may have lacked style, but it wasn't too much, and I'm sure it still accomplished its purpose.

Yesterday's five-mile run was a different story.  I woke up stiff from being in the car half the day Saturday, and it took me more than three miles to warm up.  Even then, I didn't run particularly well.  I decided not to wear my heart rate strap, and that was a mistake because my watch is measuring about 10% short, which in turn means that the pace the watch shows is about 10% slower than I was actually running.  I should've been paying more attention to how I felt, anyway, but as it was I wound up running both further and faster than I meant to.  I was stiff, sore, and tired afterwards, and I can't help thinking that I blew it in terms of keeping myself working at a pace that's manageable over time.  Plus, my heart rate was about 160 when I finished; that's a good bit more effort than I was looking for.  If my legs aren't recovered by Tuesday morning, I'm gonna be pissed at myself.

Running Total: 2 x aerobic runs; 1 x interval run totaling 11.1 miles (44.4 pts)

Offseason Week 1 Training Total: 115.9 pts

Like I said, I'm not crushing it out there, but that's substantially better than I've been doing.

Looking Forward
I'm off today and then up in Albany for the rest of this week.  If you're playing the "Train with Dan" triathlon home-game, the plan this week is as follows:
  • Monday: long swim, including 20 x 100 @ 1:30 (aerobic pace)
  • Tuesday: 3.5-mile run, easy
  • Wednesday: 2-mile run, aerobic (lactic threshold) pace
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: swim/run brick
  • Sunday: easy recovery ride (~20 miles)

We'll see how that goes.

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