Monday, May 6, 2013

Triathlon Training Diary: April 29 – May 5 (Week 3)

This was the last working week before my first triathlon of the season, a short sprint at my local YMCA called the Y-Tri.  The week’s training was slightly complicated by the fact that I didn’t ride my commute as much this week as I usually do, but ultimately, I think this was a decent week of work.

As usual, I got in the water twice this week.  The first time was Thursday morning before I drove up to Albany for a business meeting.  I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I do remember struggling with it because it was so early.  I’m almost 40, and I still feel like I can be a decent athlete when I work at it, but the early mornings are a struggle these days.  If I want to perform, I need to give myself at least an hour to wake up and get moving before I start really working.

I got in the water Sunday afternoon and swam better.
5 x 100 @ 1:30 warm-up
100-200-300-400-400-300-200-100 Ladder Set @ base 1:25/100
200 warm down

My intent during the main set was to swim at a comfortable, aerobic pace.  I’d run long the day before and wanted to work at that same effort level in the water—which is not always easy after a lifetime of being a mid-distance swimmer.  This time, I was able to hold a heart rate of about 145 bpm while holding a pace of just a hair over 1:15/100, and that’s not bad.

I’d like to be a shade under 1:15/100 at that heart rate, but it’s tough when swimming only twice per week, and I know that I don’t have any more time to put into it than that.

Swimming Total: 2 x swimming workouts (2000, 2700); 47 pts.

I rode my commute twice this week.  In addition, I took Friday off and put in a longish ride during the day, first with my wife Sally and then on my own.

Sally and I rode an easy 12 miles together to start on Friday morning.  Then I dropped her off and rode some in the rolling hills on the north side of Stratford, coming in at about 36 miles total.  I’d liked to have gone a little further, but my back was sore after having been in the car all day the day before, and quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ridden long often enough this season.  Gonna have to work on that a bit in the next few weeks.

Cycling Total: 2 x commute ride, 1 x workout ride (22 miles, 36.7 miles); 58.7 pts.

It seems like I say the same thing pretty much every week—I wanted to run three times this week, but when push came to shove, I only got out twice.  The first time was a mid-tempo lunchtime run, 4.4-miles at an average of about 8:25/mile.  That’s not bad, and in fact, I feel like I’m more comfortable running right now than I have been in quite a while.

My second run was Saturday.  I was tired and a little stiff after Friday’s ride, but I still managed to go out and run easy for an hour.  Well, the first 40-minutes felt kinda rough, but I finished strong and definitely could have kept running.  Which, again, is pretty good for me.  I feel like I’m running well.  I’ll never be a great runner, but if I can run comfortably at the end of races, that’ll be something, at least.

Running Total: 2 x running workouts (4.4 miles, 6.7 miles); 44.4 pts.

Weekly Total: 150.1 pts.

Final Thoughts
Like I said, my next race is the Y-Tri, and I feel like I’m more than ready for it.  I’ve got to go up to Albany again on the Friday before the race, which means I’m gonna have to make sure to schedule some quality yoga after that in order to get my back right before Saturday morning, but I can manage that.  What concerns me, though, is that after the Y-Tri things start to get longer, and I need to be ready for that, too.

So far this season, my average long workout has been something on the order of about 40 points, but after next week, I’ll have a metric century on the bike and then an Olympic triathlon on a hilly course, and both of those events come in at around 65 points total.  I need to be ready for that, but right now 40 points feels like a significant effort.  Which means that I need to do some more long rides and/or long bricks before this month ends in order to start building up the right kind of aerobic fitness and get myself ready for the longer efforts that are coming in June.

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