This week was my highest volume week to date for Ironman training (and also in my life because I don’t see why you would work out for 19 hours a week otherwise). This week also started my new weekly routine, which changed slightly from my Half Ironman weekly routine. I prefer to keep my weekly workouts on the same days each week so that it’s easier for me to manage. Overall the week went really well and I was surprised that I was still really energized for my workouts each day. Mike and I made sure to be in bed early each night so that when the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. we weren’t exhausted.
Ironman Coeur D’Alene Training – Week of April 9-15
Monday – I began the week with 3,300 yards of swimming at my Masters Swim class. I definitely did not want to get out of be and workout this morning since I’d enjoyed a nice week of rest the previous week but once I was swimming I felt good. After the workout I felt even better. The Monday Masters Swim coach is a bit tougher than the Wednesday coach and we tend to do more speed work compared to Wednesday which are typically endurance focused. The main set of this workout was 400 at base, 100 hard (with rest), 300 base, 200 hard and then 200 base, 300 hard, 100 base, 400 hard. The last 400 hard was tough!
That evening I came home and did 65 Minutes of P90X2 Yoga. Both P90X2 and P90X Yoga both have a lot of push-ups in the flows and by the end of this workout my upper body was toast! I used to coast through P90X Yoga since I was used to doing hundreds of push-ups a week, but now that I’m not, I’ve lost a lot of my upper body strength.
Tuesday – I woke up very sore from yoga, especially in my shoulders, arms, quadriceps and glutes. Mike and I went down to the beach (we are fortunate to live on a street that parallels the beach and literally a 2 minute walk to the main beach in our town) and ran for about 6 minutes before beginning our main set of 8 x 3 minute intervals. Mike usually does his Yasso 800s in this time (where you run an 800 in the time you want to run your full marathon – i.e. he wants to run a 3 hour marathon so he does 3 minute intervals) , but since I’m a bit slower, I probably only did about 600-700 in the 3 minutes. I set my watch for 3 minute intervals with 3 minutes of rest and ran hard for the 3 minutes on and jogged on the 3 minutes off. In total, I ended up running 6.3 miles, with the majority of my 3 minute intervals in the 7:30-40 range. My legs definitely didn’t feel light, most likely due to our weekend workouts and the yoga, but overall I felt really good. It was pretty amazing to run down the empty beach – I feel very fortunate to have such an amazing place to train at!
After work Mike and I got on the trainers for 1 hour 40 minutes of spinning. I kept my effort level at about medium and was happy that my watts were back up to their normal “easy” range, unlike the weeks prior to the Ironman where I was seeing some lower numbers. It was a little mentally difficult to spin this long but we had The Amazing Race and then The Voice to entertain us.
Wednesday – Back to Masters Swim! The new routine has us going twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays. I completed 3,450 yards of swimming. This time we did more endurance work, with the main set being 1 x 300 at base + 5, 3 x 100 at base, 1 x 300 at base, and then repeat with 500s and 5 x 100s. We finished off the workout with some underwater kick sets. I have to say, base + 5 in my 145/100 yard base lane is awkwardly slow for me. I think my true base is 1:40/100 yards so it is hard for me to go 1:50/100 yards. I’m constantly holding back and I think it affects my form! However, the next lane up is 1:35 base and I know that is too fast. On Mondays I don’t seem to have a problem in this lane since the other coach rarely has us swim base + 5, but on Wednesdays I find I’m a bit frustrated. This week I tried to work on my bilateral breathing during the long base + 5 sets.
After work I did 1 hour 25 minutes of intervals on the trainer with the help of The Sufferfest’s “Local Hero.” This workout has three parts: 1 – 3 x 6 minute pyramid intervals (70%, 75% 80%, 75%, 70%), followed by 5 x 3 minute intervals, each with it’s own personality (hills, flat and fast, etc), and finishes with 4 x 2 minute sprints (70% for 1st minute, 80% for 45 seconds and full out sprint for 15 seconds). I am literally drenched with sweat after this workout. The best part was that my average watts were the highest ever on any cycling workout. I was very pleased to see improvement.
Thursday – Luckily my training buddy Asia lives right down the street! We met at 5:30 a.m. to knock out a 7 mile run. We were both tired from our previous workouts so we took it easy. After I got back from the run I did 15 minutes of ab/core work with Ab Ripper X.
After work I had planned to go to an open water swim hosted by the same coach that did my swim analysis, but due to the fact that it rained on Wednesday, the swim was canceled. I was disappointed but slightly relieved because it would have required me to drive practically an hour and a half round trip to attend. I decided that I would swim on my own at the pool. I set up a workout for myself based on a workout I did at Masters Swim a few weeks prior. It would be 3,000 yards in total. I started the workout feeling ok. Then I timed myself doing some 100s and was very disappointed that they were VERY slow! I continued with the workout, which was 300 base + 5, 3 x 100 base, 200 base + 5, 2 x100 base, 100 base + 5, 100 base. I had planned to do the base + 5s at 1:45 and the base at 1:40 but I found I was struggling to do 1:45 on the base sets. I just wasn’t feeling strong in any sense. Probably had to do with all the hard workouts I had done all week! So instead of doing my next set, which was a set of descending 75s, from moderate effort to all out effort, I did 3 x 400, not paying attention to the clock at all. I was having negative thoughts about my swim stroke and convincing myself that I hadn’t made any progress at all since my swim stroke analysis. I practically got out after the first 400 but then I told myself that I was here to get in 3,000 yards and I was going to do it. No excuses. I’m all about listening to my body and knowing when to quit or rest, but in this case I think it was just my mind getting to me. I decided it would be a good test of mental toughness to finish the workout. After I finally finished my 3,000 yard swim I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I knew I was close to 10,000 yards for the week which a personal record. It felt good!
Friday –Complete day of rest. At this point I had already gotten in 10 hours of workouts and I was very relieved to sleep in and get over 9 hours of sleep. My legs still felt heavy when I woke up so I knew that this was much needed!
Saturday – Due to high winds and light showers, we moved our big ride to Sunday and did our long run/short ride brick on Saturday. Asia and I ran 12 miles down the coast. I felt really good on this run, although we didn’t push the pace much. The wind was pretty intense at times but overall it was manageable. After the run, I went back to the house and got on the trainer with mike for a 45 minute spin. My legs felt really fantastic on this ride and I was pushing watts that I usually use for the 75% effort intervals on Sufferfest for the entire 45 minutes! I ended up with the highest average watts of any ride to date, 2 watts higher than my previous highest which was this Wednesday’s Sufferfest workout! After the spin, I did 15 minutes of core work and stretching. It was bizarre to be finished with our workout before noon!
Sunday – This is the day we conquered The Beast. We rode 75 miles with nearly 3,700 feet of climbing. I nicknamed this ride The Beast for various reasons, including the amount of climbing but also the treacherous roads and some insanely steep climbs. Due to this and the fact that it was a completely new ride, we were on the road for 6 hours and 45 minutes in total! We skipped the planned short run afterward, figuring it wouldn’t be adding to our fitness and probably just delaying recovery. My quads and glutes were exhausted after this ride! I think I took in enough nutrition though – nearly 1,300 calories.
- Yards Swam: 9,750
- Hours Biked (door to door): ~10.6
- Miles Run: 25.3
- Minutes of Core/Strength: 95
- Total Time: 19.5 hours (yowza!)
Overall I would say this was a pretty successful week. I definitely would prefer to have my longest workout on Saturday so that I have more time to recover before the following week starts, but sometimes you have to roll with the punches. As for nutrition, my nutrition during my workouts was right on key. Overall it wasn’t too bad either, although I did mention in my blog post about dessert that I am trying to cut back on sugar and I’m not sure I was very successful at that. I’m actually pretty excited to try out 85 miles next weekend – this time on a more familiar course – and see what I’m made of!
How was your week?