I’ve been training at a steady aerobic pace with only very limited use of moderately-paced intervals, and so far it seems to be working. This being the offseason for triathlon, I’ve made a point of focusing the emphasis of my training on my weakest discipline--running--by doing at least three runs per week. I’ve tried to get in two swims on top of all the running work, but this week I ran out of both time and aerobic points.
|The three disciplines of triathlon.|
My previous high point total this offseason was 116, set the week of October 6th through the 12th. In the two weeks since, I’d not gone over a 100, and with that in mind, I didn’t want to go over 120 this week. Besides which, 120 points is an entirely decent number for an offseason training week.
I only swam once this week, on Tuesday with my buddy Ben. We did the following workout at a base of 1:30/100 or Cruise Interval (CI) + :15.
5 x 100 @ 1:30
2 x 300 @ 4:30
3 x 200 @ 3:00
4 x 100 @ 1:30
--- No additional rest in between sets.
100 cool down
Total = 2200 yards
We did the whole set right at about lactate threshold. That’s approximately 80% of your heart rate maximum, or 148 beats per minute (bpm) for me. I took my heart rate after every interval to make sure I was on target and not going too fast.
This was a good set, and I feel like I got a lot out of it, but I wish I’d been able to follow up with a second swim this week. As it is, I feel like I’m swimming okay, but it’s hard to hold your form in the water with only one swim per week. That said, we’re definitely coming into the snowy/icy part of the year, and that always winds up being peak swim season for me personally since it’s hard to ride and run when there’s ice on the roads.
Swimming Total: 1 x workout (2200 yds); 22 pts
I rode my regular commute all five days this week. That was good. However, as I get into better shape, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep making these commute rides at an easy aerobic pace. The urge to race for every light is almost overwhelming at times. However, if I do that, it screws up my recovery for my other workouts. I’m therefore stuck plodding along in Manhattan, and it’s a decidedly unnatural experience if ever I’ve experienced one.
Cycling Total: 5 x commute ride (5 x 10.3 miles); 51.5 pts
I ran three times this week--Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
Wednesday’s run was pace work. I ran out from my office for about ten minutes at an easy recovery pace, slowly letting myself warm up. Then I turned and started doing intervals at 5k pace: 4 x 1:00 @ 5K pace / 1:00 easy. That was a pretty good set, leading to a total workload of just over two miles.
Thursday’s run was a simple 4-miler at aerobic pace. I didn’t wear my heart rate monitor, nor did I pay any particular attention to how far I was going. My goal for the day was to get out and back in under 40 minutes, and I did that, no problem.
Sunday’s run was my Long Slow Distance (LSD) run for the week. I went just a shade over 5 miles, and while I’ll be the first to admit that this is not particularly far, it’s still about as far as I’ve gone since getting out of the hospital back in August. I felt good the whole time, so I guess that’s something. I did wear my heart rate monitor Sunday, and I made a point of keeping my pulse under 148 during the run. This wasn’t particularly difficult, but if I hadn’t been wearing the monitor, I’m pretty sure I’d have picked the pace up to a comfortable working pace at about the two-mile mark. That might’ve been emotionally satisfying, but it wouldn’t have accomplished my purpose.
The idea behind these LSD runs--and behind aerobic training in general--is two-fold. First and foremost, you’re trying to increase the speed at which you run comfortably and the distance for which you can maintain that comfortable pace. When I started this project, I was running these easy runs at between 10:00/mile and 9:45. Yesterday, I held between 9:00/mile and 9:15. My best running occurred during miles 2 and 3, but as I said, I was comfortable the whole time, and if I’d been trying to go further, I certainly could have. And then, too, by keeping most of your work light and easy, i.e. aerobic paced or slower, you’re giving your body time to recover between workouts, even when your recovery time is limited. Since starting this project I’ve worked longer and more consistently than I have in years, and that’s been helping in a big way.
Running Total: 3 x running workouts (2.2, 4, 5.1 miles); 47.2 pts
Offseason Training Total: 120.7 pts
If this was all running work, it would be the equivalent of just over 30 miles. The best thing about triathlon, then, is that it lets you train more without putting as much wear and tear on any one muscle group or set of joints.
Now that it’s no longer Daylight Savings Time, I’m probably not going to be riding quite as much. I don’t much mind riding home from the train in Stratford in the dark, but I don’t like to ride through Manhattan in the dark at all. This means that on days that I run at lunch, I probably won’t also ride, and that stinks. It’s also going to require finding a slightly different balance for my workout schedule.
My goal for the coming week is to put in about 130 points. The good news is that I’m sure I’ll have enough points there for two swims and three runs, one of which will be a 6-mile LSD run. The bad news is that it seems like my cycling fitness is bound to take a hit over the winter months, and that stinks.