This week was quite successful for me in terms of balancing life, training and recovery. Although it was a lower volume week in terms of total hours, I felt that my workouts were all very high in quality. Since we knew it would rain over the weekend, we moved out workouts around and had to move the bike ride indoors. I think that this ultimately ended up being beneficial since we got to experience 3.5 hours of uninterrupted riding (which is probably around the amount of time I’ll be on the bike at Oceanside) and we also go the bonus of being able to sleep in.
Ironman Training for the Week of March 12 – 18
Monday - Daylight Savings time was killer this morning. Although I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and headed to the gym to swim on my own, all I could think the entire drive over was how much I was dreading it. As I entered the 24 Hour Fitness parking lot I seriously considered going straight to the shower and just getting ready for work and not working out at all. But I didn’t. I begrudgingly got into the pool and swam 2,100 meters, hating pretty much every moment. I thought with the extra sleep (normally I’d get up at 6 to swim on my own) would help, but it didn’t. I’ve heard there will be times during Ironman training that you hate it, and this was one of them.
That night I didn’t workout, as planned, due mostly to having to work late but also because I knew I should rest my legs from the big workouts I did over the weekend.
Tuesday - Luckily, my I-Hate-Ironman Funk lasted only one day. I woke up Tuesday ready to get on the trainer. After 60 minutes of spinning, I did about 10 minutes of core work. That evening I left work just in time to squeeze in a 5 mile tempo run before the sun went down. This was one of those runs that remind you why you love this sport. I went from cursing Day Light Savings time to embracing it. After a easy 1 mile warm-up at about 9:10 pace, I went into 4 miles at 8:15-8:25 pace, finishing the full 5 miles at 8:32 average. The tempo pace felt surprisingly easy and my breathing wasn’t labored and mylegs felt fresh. I felt amazing! After I got back I did 10 minutes of upper body strength.
Wednesday - For the fourth week in a row, Mike and I headed the YMCA for our Master’s Swim. In total, we swam about 3,200 yards. Asia and Jeremy also joined us for the first time. As usual, I got in the 1:45 base lane, but today the pace felt VERY slow. After a warm-up with did 10 x 200 with the first 5 being base + 5 and the second set of 5 being base. I accidentally touched the feet of the girl ahead of me several times and Jeremy was right on my tail doing the same the whole time. I waited at the wall for a bit longer than usual each time but I always caught up. I asked the coach after the workout if I should move up lanes and he suggested that I lead the lane. However, I’m pretty nervous about leading a lane, especially since I tend to lose count when I swim on my own and we have one girl who always leads the lane and it’d be weird if I took over for her. I think next Wednesday I may try to move up to the 1:35 lane and if I get too tired, I’ll move down.
After work Mike and I got on the trainers for 90 minutes of spinning. I felt really good during this session and my watts showed it. I’m really starting to notice an improvement in my cycling endurance and power.
Thursday - Since the forecast was calling for rain all weekend, Asia and I decided to get our scheduled long run in this morning instead. Although we had planned to do 12 miles, we brought it down to 10 so that we didn’t have to wake up in the 4 o’clock hour. At 5:15 we set off, headlamps and all and ran 10 miles . Gu for breakfast!
After work I got on the trainer for an hour of intervals with The Sufferfest – A Very Dark Place. After the warm-up, the workout starts with a couple of quick sprints then gets into 5 x 4 minute intervals, each with it’s own “personality.” There is a 3 minute rest period between sets. I was very happy when I got off my bike and checked my average watts for this workout and it was 15 watts higher than the first time I did it and about 10 higher than the last time! I love seeing improvements! After the Sufferfest I did P90X Ab Ripper.
Friday - Since we knew we wouldn’t be making it to the open water swim on Sunday due to the weather, we got up early for another Master’s Swim. I was pretty tired when I woke up so I stuck with the 1:45 lane. Although the first half of the workout felt a bit slow, I was glad I stayed in that lane because about halfway through we started a set of 15 x 75 at descending intervals, with the last being all out. Then we started the set over but this time did less slow intervals and more fast ones. However, I only got in 7 of the second set of 75s since we had to get out to get to work. I was also pretty exhausted by the end of the sets! I was thankful that I didn’t go up a lane because I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up. In total, I swam 3,000 yards.
Saturday - As predicted, the weather was terrible on Saturday. It was stormy all day, with the worst of it being the extremely intense wind. We knew this was coming so we scheduled our workout indoors (we had a 70 mile ride planned). We’ve never ridden more than 90 minutes on the trainer so this was definitely going to be a challenge. We completed 3.5 hours of spinning, which included 125 minutes of easy/medium effort spinning followed by a 85 minute Sufferfest – Local Hero. I consumed about 620 calories during the workout and felt strong throughout. My average watts was higher than my normal trainer sessions, including the Sufferfest workouts that I do. My average HR was right at the bottom of Zone 2.
After the spinning, we changed into running gear and went out for a 4.3 mile run. Despite the torrential rain at times and the extremely strong winds, we finished the run at a 8:30 average pace. Mike and I ran together and he was impressed with the pace I was pushing despite the conditions.
Saturday night we celebrated Mike’s birthday (which is on St. Patrick’s Day). It was a great night and we were glad that we got our long run out of the way earlier in the week so that we could sleep in.
Sunday - After 10.5 hours of sleep, we got up and spent the day relaxing and shopping. In the afternoon we took a nearly 2 hour nap and then did one hour of P90X yoga.
We finished the weekend feeling relaxed, rejuvinated and energized for another great week. This is how we should have felt last Sunday after “recovery” week and I’m glad that we caught up on rest and enjoyed our free day on Sunday. It was a mental break as well as physical.
- Yards Swam: ~8,500
- Hours Biked : 7
- Miles Run: 19.3
- Minutes of Core/Strength: 95
- Total Hours: 14.5
Nutrition was certainly a fail this week as not only did I indulge in a lot of dessert and yummy food to celebrate Mike’s birthday, but it was also a co-worker and good friend of mine’s birthday which was celebrated with brugers, fries and more baked goods! Although I always say that one thing that keeps me going through Ironman training is the fact that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight, this week we went a little overboard and I’m glad to be getting back on the health train in the upcoming week.
With that being said, I can’t believe that my first Half Ironman is only 12 days away!!! Also, we are officially in the double digit countdown for Ironman CdA with 97 days to go. We really just have two more big build blocks after the Half IM before we start our final taper. I can’t believe it! Considering I’ve been training for this race since last July, 97 days really does seem like the home stretch! However, these next couple of months will be the most intense and the most time consuming months of training so I know it won’t be easy. Regardless, I look forward to the challenge!
How was your week of training? How do you change your training schedule for the weather, if you do at all?