I’m in week 2 of training and it’s been really great working out so much again. I’m going 6 days a week and generally I’m working out pretty early.
After our honeymoon, I decided to stay on the same daylight schedule as Cancún. We were only 2 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time but those hours have become precious to me. The hardest part is making sure I’m in bed at a reasonable time.
I’m in bed between 8pm and 10pm on most nights. That’s because I’m up at 4:31am. Yes, exactly 4:31am. (I have a weird thing about setting alarms and microwave times. They can’t be set to any time ending in 0 or 5. I don’t know why I do it, maybe I’ll write about it some other time).
My workouts usually start around 5:30am. That’ll start to move up as I’ll eventually need more and more time to get everything in. I get up an hour before so I can full wake up, clear my head and focus on what needs to be done in the workout.
Monday’s are “off-days” for me. I prefer taking Monday off because then I can get longer workouts in without being required to stay focused at work. It’s a bit tougher to do a 2 hour run on a Wednesday and then go into a meeting with a large client.
Taking Mondays off also gives me something to look forward to. Usually people dread going to work on Mondays; I love it!
Tuesday & Thursday
I swim for an hour and lift weights for 30-45 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I joined the YMCA Masters swim team at the Mission Valley location. So far it’s been a good addition to my workout schedule.
Swimming by yourself is not a good idea. There’s something about suffering with a group of other people and the chaos caused by stopping in the middle of set that is so good for you.
When I’m in a lane by myself it’s very easy to stop short and give up. When I’m grouped with any number of people in a lane I tend work harder and if I need to stop mid-set, I feel guilty for making everyone shuffle their spot in the lane.
Since joining the team I’ve been to 3 workouts and my foundation times have already dropped significantly. My muscles aren’t quite firing like they’re supposed to yet, but that will come in time. I’m just glad to be feeling tired after a swim.
After swim I try and get in a run. This is nice because the feeling is similar to the swim/bike transition. It takes a little time to get your feet under you and not feel so wobbly.
I’ve been trying to get in a good warm up with a couple of interval sets. This morning for example I did the following:
- 15 min warmup at an average pace (heart zone was in the 3-4 area)
- 4 x (45 sec zone 5, fast; 2 min recovery @ zone 3-4) – 11 min
- 4 min easy cool down @ zone 3.
I want to get more complex and increase my speed variances with my running because as my friend Derek says, “if you want to run fast, then run fast”. I’ve realized I tend to get into a zone running longer distances but that doesn’t help me speed up my pace or make me stronger. It takes fast running to get there.
For the first time I’m committing to spin classes. I’m taking an hour long class on Wednesdays and it’s rocking my world. It’s in no way easy. Well it could be if I let it, but that’s not why I would wake up so early to train.
What I like about spin is that it is an intensely focused workout. When you’re on the bike out on the streets you’ve got all kinds of variables that prevent you from getting a really good work out.
There are street lights/signs that cause you to unclip, there are thousands of pounds of metal flying around at high rates of speed, there is the dynamic of group riding and making sure everyone sticks together and knows the route. Lastly there is nature’s elements kicking your ass—rain, wind, heat and for some snow. On the spin bike you get an hour straight of intense pedaling.
I’ve been on spin bikes before, just never taken a class. The bikes are usually pretty minimal but these have a computer on them and the controls are much simpler and more responsive.
The main evidence that shows the benefits of spin class has been when I’m on the bike. I feel faster and stronger for longer periods of time. I don’t yet have a power meter so I can’t measure many improvements just yet, but based on how I feel, I’m liking where it’s taking me.
I’ve decided to start doing some strength training on Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s something I haven’t really incorporated into triathlon before. There are several reason I’m adding it into my training plan this year. The first being injury prevention. Injuries seem to plague me and haunt me when I’m training. I don’t know why but I want to be proactive in preventing them.
Strengthening all the unused muscles and the ligaments around the joints is my primary focus. For now I’ll be doing circuits and sticking with machines. I don’t want to hurt myself doing too much and the machines seem to keep me out of trouble. I think it’s the fact that the amount of weight your lifting is somewhat discrete. When you feel the pressure to pick up a large dumbbell or pack on an extra 45, you get hurt.
I’m not doing much core body work right now. I need to, though. I might ask my sister for some recommendations, but will get on some exercises tomorrow.
I’m trying to figure out how to do this one. I’d like to do hill-repeats. It’s tough because I don’t want to be leaving work early or traveling out to the mountains. There’s one in Point Loma that I can use but I’m not sure I’m allowed to. It’s near Cabrillo National Monument and generally you need to pay to get on that portion of the peninsula although, the road I need to get on isn’t technically in the park. I’ll check it out tomorrow and figure some stuff out.
I like doing hill-repeats on actual hills because it’s more realistic than in spin class. There’s so much psychology happening when you look up that big steep grade.
Training on hills makes you stronger. Stronger on the flats, even. I like climbing and I want to get better at it. Point Loma is convenient and challenging.
I want to do more strength on Friday as well. Logistically it will be tough as I won’t be interested in going back to the gym for this and it’s not near the gym even to drive. So, I’ll have to suck it up a bit and maybe go during lunch or after work. But it’s Friday so we’ll see how that works out.
I like my long rides on Saturday. I can really push it hard and if I’m sore the next day, I can run a little later or run through the soreness, which is also good. I hope to get into some riding groups so I’m not going it alone. Riding in groups increases visibility and gives you added challenges keeping up with the group.
I’ll eventually turn this into a brick. Running on dead legs is something I really like doing. Fighting through the dead legs is really good to get used to.
I try and get my long run out earlier than later. If Saturday night was a long one I’ll push the start time but generally, the earlier the better for me.
The primary reason for getting the run out of the way earlier is so that I can get a few extra hours of recovery in since Monday is my off day. Any extra bit really helps.
My long run isn’t usually fast but I try to get in a variety of terrain. I’d prefer trails and hills but it doesn’t matter as long as I’m on my fit for a little over an hour. Over time the length will climb up to 2-2.5 hours but that’s if I start training for anything longer than the Olympic distance.
I’ll be jumping in the pool later in the day. I think it’s nice way to do an active recovery from the week. The swim is generally longer in yardage and lower in intensity although I have some timed 500 & 1000’s in there. My gym has a hot tubs as well so that will be nice to relax my muscles a bit in after as well.
That’s my basic week right now. Step one is consistency. Step two is adding a time to each workout each week. Step three is to increase the number of workouts per day. Since running is my truest weakness, I’ll add in several secondary runs to get extra miles on my feet.
My first race is in 8 weeks. I’m excited to see how all of this plays out by then and over the course of the year.