Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Numbers

Another month is done! And what a great month to have over with. This means we are entering March, and with March comes warmer temperatures and the chance to take the bike off the trainer and get some cold windy rides in. My neoprene shoe covers and balaclava are resting in my bike helmet, just jonesin to get used. It looks like we may be near 40 by the end of the week so that may become a reality.

That's not to say the February was without its merits. It was a good month for me. It marked my return to full time training and several running milestones that seemed well out of reach just a month or two ago. Here's a breakdown of my training numbers for the short month:

Bike:17h 40m - 339.29 Mi
Run:9h 17m 42s - 66.49 Mi
Swim:16h 18m 52s - 49800 Yd

Bike mileage was more than double what it was last month. That means I spent some quality time with the trainer. I discovered the TV shows Fringe and Chuck and am currently satisfying my inner nerd with episodes of Smallville.

Running-wise I was able to leave those run/walk intervals behind for good and build my mileage up safely. I only had one minor violation of the 10% rule, but I iced and stretched the crap out of things as a precaution and the hip is cooperating with me thus far.

Swimming was solid month as well. I was only 200 yds short of having my second ever 50000 yd month. If we hadn't stopped today to do some more underwater videotaping I would have made it for sure. I can't complain though. The video is really cool and insightful.

Next month should bring about a few changes. I am at the end of my 2nd 8-week swim focus block so I will be time trialing sometime this week. After that I haven't really come to a decision on how I want to attack the swim training. I will probably drop the monthly yardage to 40000 or so and shift my focus to long endurance efforts in addition to the speed/drill work. In the bigger picture that yardage may get reduced further as the focus on biking takes over. Of course that is very dependent on the weather. After the sucktastic winter went through I can only hope that we have a nice spring.

It's good to have a solid month under my belt. Like I said a few posts ago I am starting to feel like a triathlete again, and that's a good thing considering the first race of the year is just 2 months away. I might have to sniff out a local 5 or 10k before that just whet my racing appetite. We shall see.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Starting Recovery Week.....With Hill Repeats?

Ahhh, week 4. I like week 4. After spending the last three weeks progressively building the training volume I finally get to take what is known as a recovery week. The recovery week is a necessary staple of the triathlete's training plan. It gives their body time to recover and adapt from the training stresses that have been put upon in order to build strength and endurance that it may not be able to obtain by keeping it in a constantly stressed state.

Fortunately this doesn't mean that I will be doing nothing this week. I did enough of that in the off season. Typical I like to drop my volume to about 50-60% of what I did the week before. So that means that this early in the ironman training plan the workouts will be short and sweet for sure.

But while the workouts are shorter, sometimes I like to compensate with a little more intensity. Take for example today, although I really didn't have much choice in the matter. Our training group decided it would be a good day for some hill repeats. I was a little unsure about this as I have not really run anything remotely resembling a hill since I have been rehabbing the hip. After a good warm up we found a nice little quarter mile stretch with tough a gradient. We ran up and down that puppy 8 times. Hip felt great, but the rest of my legs were screaming at me, as seems to be the usual case these days.

So while hill repeats probably aren't in my top ten ways to start recovery week it did feel good to work hard for a little while. It's nice to know that the hardest day of my week is out of the way now. I can relax, enjoy my week, and get mentally ready for the next one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Just Might be a Triathlete

Ok, 32 weeks minus 2 weeks leaves us with what? 30 weeks to go? This is a good thing because for the first time since September I am starting to sort of feel like a triathlete again.

Two weeks of base building are in the books and I have successfully followed the plan to a "T". This means a sore butt from all that time on the trainer and some tired legs that's for sure, but you know I've missed it. That tired feeling after a good workout, the soreness that creeps into your body afterward, and the realization that, dang, I've got another workout to do yet today.

It was earlier this week that I felt exactly that after a particularly exhausting swim session. I was driving home from the gym and knew I needed to hit the road running in order to have enough daylight left for me. It was one of those moments where I thought, "wow, I'm starting to feel like a triathlete again." It made me smile.

Today was my first "triple" in awhile. I hit the trainer shortly after waking up this morning for a little over two hours. My tri group gets together on Sunday afternoons and this was the first time that I've felt confident in my running to join the group. We did around five miles and the pace was fast as usual. It was a struggle to keep up and it was the first time I've even remotely tried pushing the pace since the injury. I averaged sub-8s though, which I was pleased with. I know that speed will come back with a return to consistency. After the run was a fun little 2900 yd ladder workout to top things off.

Needless to say I'm a little tired, but it's a good tired, a welcoming tired that reminds me that my body just might becoming one of a triathlete again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Long run?

As of now my schedule entails a long run on Saturdays. Tomorrow I'm looking at about a 5 miler, which at this point last year was the minimum length I would run for any run I went out on. Funny, now that I am coming back from injury I am approaching this with a little trepidation. On Wednesday I ran 3 miles straight for the first time in nearly 3 months. It was a scary but thrilling experience and all the while I kept thinking to myself, "when is the hip going to give out on me?" Thankfully it didn't and I managed sub-9 minute miles, which did wonderful things for my confidence.

Tomorrow I will approach it with caution. I will probably run 2 miles, walk a few minutes, run 2, walk and finish the last mile. It seems like a good conservative plan that should serve me well. I sure hope it's snowing again like it was earlier this week. Running on the cushiony snow doesn't seem to aggravate things as much.

This is all of course hoping that I am feeling well tomorrow. I was struck by my first cold of the season today. A little bit of a runny nose and just a real thick feeling in the head that was just punishing me all day during work. So I skipped my swim in favor of a nap. I figure there's no real need to punish myself this early in the season. I also wonder if its a coincidence that this hit as I worked a 50 hour week and put in my highest training volume since August or so.

I'd like to think that I'll have this thing beat into submission tomorrow. If not, a good ride and run always seem to do the trick ;)