Well, this week was supposed to be all about recovery and I hate to say I dropped the ball on it a bit, but I really did. In some ways, my intensity and volume was down, but in others I ignored it (ie did a track workout) and my rear end definitely didn’t see enough of the couch.
Week of March 5-11
Monday: I started the week with a 3,000 meter swim. I wanted to do a bit of a time trial so I timed myself doing 2000 meters in the form of 5 x 400 (with probably about 20-30 sec rest between) and came out at just about 40 minutes. I would say my intensity for these laps was about 70%. This gave me the encouragement that a 35 minute-ish Half IM swim time will be possible.
After work I did a 60 minute spin on the trainer followed by P90X Ab Ripper.
Tuesday: Back on the trainer for a 60 minute spin. My legs felt better and my watts were higher on this session than the previous night’s. It’s really interesting to see how my watts change depending on the day. I’m guessing Monday’s watts were a little lower due to the big weekend. After the spin I did about 10 minutes of upper body strength including push-ups, plank punches and pike push-ups.
That evening I headed back to the track to do a group workout. However, the high school we run at was having a regional championship soccer game on the field and we weren’t allowed to use the track. Instead, we did 1 mile repeats around the school. We started with a 1 mile warm-up then did 3 x 1 mile repeats and then a 1 mile cool-down, for a total of 5 miles of running. I did the warm-up/cool-down at about a 9 min/mile pace and the three one mile intervals between 7:35-7:40, with the middle one being the slowest and the last being the fastest.
Wednesday: I had to be up in LA all day so I got both of my workouts done in the morning. I started with 3,400 yards of swimming at Master’s Swim and then came home and had a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana and jumped on the trainer for a 60 minute spin. My watts were low on the spin and I wasn’t really feeling it. I started blaming it on the swim prior and then realized that on race day I’m going to be swimming about 1,000 meters farther AND riding my bike for 5-6 hours LONGER. Yikes! After my workout it was go go go all day and I didn’t return from LA til 10 p.m.
Thursday: My friend is an instructor for a barre type strength and stretching class called The Dailey Method. I caught her 6 a.m. class and got in 60 minutes strength training. Since this would be a busy day at work, I decided to get my run in at lunch during the daylight hours so I didn’t have to get on a the dreadmill at 7 p.m. I ran on the streets around my office, which happen to be very hilly and not at all shady, so it’s not really possible for a lunchtime run to be easy. I tried to keep my heart rate down and keep the pace as easy as possible and got in 6 miles of running.
Friday: Ah, sleep. I love you. After waking up at 5:30 a.m. for the past four mornings and not getting to bed til 10 p.m. each night, my body was very happy for 8+ hours of sleep.
Saturday: An awesome volunteer through the Tri Club put together an Oceanside 70.3 Practice Triathlon on Saturday morning. It was pretty incredible! We arrived to coffee and bagels and were able to walk through the course, T1 and T2 with the race director herself. After the talks, we swam 500 meters (approximately), biked 28 miles through the first half of the bike course and then ran on the run course. I ended up running 7.5 miles or so since I met up with Asia at about 6 miles and figured I’d just chat with her for the rest of the run. Overall this practice triathlon went well – I even averaged over 17.5 mph on the bike (this is Garmin time, however it wasn’t a closed course so that includes slowing for stop lights and stop signs) and sub 9 min/miles on the run. Later this week, I’ll post a blog about this practice tri and all the lessons I learned during it.
Sunday: Since we were out later than usual for Mike’s mom’s birthday party on Saturday night and we also had to set our clocks forward an hour and lose an hour of sleep, we decided to not set an alarm Saturday night. We woke up naturally at 8:30 (ie 7:30!) feeling pretty good. We got coffee and relaxed for a big before Mike and I headed out on a 40 mile bike ride through the hills of Rancho Santa Fe. The typically easy coastal portion of this ride at the start of the route was pretty difficult for me and from the get go I knew it wouldn’t be a good ride. I focused on keeping my effort as easy as possible. We ended up modifying our route a little bit (we were going to do our normal Pizza Port ride which is about 44 miles) to take off a few miles and make the last few miles easier, since we both weren’t feeling spectacular. In retrospect, we should have probably made this a shorter ride considering it was recovery week, but our desire to spend as much time in the saddle as possible mixed with a “short” 28 mile ride on Saturday inspired us to schedule this ride in.
- Meters Swam: ~6,600
- Hours Biked: 8
- Miles Ran: 18.5
- Hours of Core/Strength: ~1.5
- Total Hours: 15
In addition to some valuable racing lessons I learned on Saturday during the practice triathlon, I also learned that during recovery weeks I need to take it easier. The point of a recovery week is to come out refreshed and ready for a new big block of training. Since coming out of this recovery week there are only 3 weeks until the Half Ironman, one of which will be a taper week, I think that I tried to pile more hard work into the week,assuming it would make me stronger for the race. I also justified it since the week before and after the race would be “easy” weeks, that it was ok to push it a bit more during this recovery week. I think I didn’t want to waste a week of valuable training since Ironman CdA is only 4 months away.
This week was also a fail on the nutrition front. Although in general I stuck to my healthy breakfasts lunches and ate fruit, almonds, greek yogurt, etc for snacks, I went out to eat a few times and made poor choices and also ate way too much at both parties this weekend. I have been justifying unhealthy food and overeating since we are training for an Ironman, but that’s not really an excuse! On top of that, during the practice triathlon I couldn’t open my plastic baggy with my Stinger Waffle and ended up way under-caloring for the practice triathlon (total of 500 calories for about 3 hours of work). I need to eat more during workouts and less the rest of the time!
Do you have a hard time relaxing during recovery week? How much do you decrease your volume and/or intensity during these weeks?