Monday, June 24, 2013

Triathlon Training Log: 6/17 - 6/23 (Post Race Transition Week)

I ran the Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon last week, my "A" race for the first half of the season.  Coming off of that, this last week was a time to refocus and start thinking about what comes next.  For me, that's a run at the Hartford Marathon, although to be honest, I'm concerned about surviving all of the training required to make it through.  Still, I've built a good base over the course of the season so far, and at a certain level, I feel like I'm ready, and it's now or never.

Well.  I don't know what I think about this marathon thing exactly, but as Sally said, it's not like I have to decide tomorrow exactly what I'm planning.  I've got a plan, and if I follow it, I think I'll be ready.  But if the wheels come off between now and October, I can always run the Hartford Half again and reasonably satisfied.  In the meantime, there's still quite a bit of triathlon season left and plenty to accomplish before the weather turns cooler.

I like to swim at least twice per week, and I managed to do actually get that done this week.  I've spent the last month or so working on swimming at a comfortable, aerobic pace, so this week I wanted to try to break out of that funk and try to re-find my speed.  My next race is the Greenwich Point One-Mile Swim, so between now and then, I'll need to get my best stuff ready to go.

Wednesday was a perfect example of what I'm trying to do to change over from long, easy swims to shorter, harder efforts:

  • 5 x 100 warm-up @ 1:30
  • 5 x 100 tempo @ 1:25
  • 5 x 100 tempo @ 1:20
  • 5 x 100 fast @ 1:30
  • 150 warm down
That was a good little workout.  Granted, it left me beat like a drum, but it still accomplished my purpose of helping me break out of funk long, slow distance swimming.

I got in the pool again on Saturday before Tri Club practice.  That was a different kind of effort, but it was still more uptempo work than I'd been doing this last month or so.
  • 5 x 100 warm-up @ 1:30
  • 10 x 200 freestyle @ 2:50 (7 x swim; 3 x pull)
  • 200 kick 
  • 50 easy
  • 4 x 50 fly/free @ :50
  • 100 easy warm down
I wanted to do that main set (10 x 200) at an uptempo pace, but I got tired about halfway through.  So I ended up kind of making that an aerobic set, and even then, the last three 200s (the ones I pulled) were tough, and I basically just tried to hold my stroke together.  Still, that's kind of what you have to do to get over the hump.  The same way you push to go further running, you have to push to make your body ready to swim longer efforts as well.  So what can you do?  

That fly/free set was tough, but that at least was some genuine speed work, and I know I'm gonna need that in month at the One-Mile Swim.

Swim Total: 2 x swim (2150, 3050); 5200 yards total (52 pts).

My race last weekend was Saturday.  After that, I took Sunday off, but I started feeling better by Sunday afternoon, so I rode my regular commute Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Which was fine, except that I noticed that my rear on my foldie was both soft and out-of-true on Wednesday afternoon, so I decided to just bite the bullet and take the subway at the end of the week, and then I (finally) took the foldie in for a tune-up on Saturday.

The only other riding I did this week was with the YMCA's Tri Club on Saturday morning.  Which is kind of funny, really.  My friend Ben and I had agreed ahead of time that we were gonna take it easy Saturday, especially since both of us were just coming off big races the weekend prior.  And for the first hour, that's exactly what we did.  My wife Sally rode with us, along with my friend Vernette, and we all rode and talked, and save for a few little climbs at the end, I think everyone had a good time.

Ben and I spent some time Saturday trying to figure
out exactly where Walnut Beach is.
But then we dropped the ladies off at something like the hour mark, and things started to get a little spicy.  I mean, I don't want to make it more than it was, but Ben and I rode for another hour, and for all that we talked and just kind of rode along, we're also both competitive guys who're well-matched as far as cycling is concerned.  We rode down to the beach in Milford, CT, and tried to figure out exactly where the Charles Island Sprint Triathlon is gonna be held, but then as we turn for home, things heated up, and...

Well, all I'll say is that Ben dropped me on the last little hill before we got to the Y, and if I could've dropped him instead, I would have.

Cycling Total: 3 x commute ride; 1 x club ride; ~63 miles (63 pts).

So.  The Hartford Marathon is in October, and while that doesn't seem particularly soon, it's still only 17 weeks away, which means that I need to start on my training program next week.  Wow!

With that in mind, I ran twice this week.  Thursday's run was a short interval run, totaling just under 4-miles.  I ran 6 x 2:00 hard/1:00 easy, and by the end, I think I'd realized that I probably should've done something just a little less aggressive to start with.  I mean, that 2:00/1:00 program is fine, but I was dead tired by repetition #5, and if I slogged through it, I at least have the grace to call it ugly.  I mean, it was a good run, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the kind of even splits that I know you'd like to see on a set like that.

Sunday was similar.  Sally and I headed out together first thing in the morning, her for a 5-miler, and me for 8.  I wound up running at a little more than 9:00/mile pace, and that's nothing to brag about.  I finished, and I felt good--if tired--afterwards, despite having heavy legs from that ride the day before.  But still...

As I wrote on Facebook, the idea of doing 16 or 20 miles in a few weeks is kind of freaking me out right now.  Granted, there's plenty of time between now and then, but it's still a little scary.

Running Total: 2 x run workouts; 3.7-miles, 8.02-miles (46.8 pts).

Triathlon Training Total: 161.8 pts.

Final Thoughts
Next week I have to really make a point to get in that third run, even if it's only an easy 3-miler.  I like running, but it's a challenge for me, which is maybe why I'm working at it now more than the other disciplines of triathlon.  I mean, I've never ridden a century just the same as I've never run a marathon, but I wouldn't worry overmuch about whether I could actually finish a century or not.  Meanwhile, truly long distance running still intimidates me.  But I suppose I have to get over the hump if I want to continue to improve as an athlete.

Plus, running a marathon is one of those classic challenges.  So, bottom line, even at 40, I suppose I still have something to prove to myself.

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