Well week three is in the books and it seemed to come a little easier than last week. We skipped the Tuesday night track session to recover from a big week and bumped up the swim days to four. The goal is to continue to gradually increase swim volume and get to 5 days a week totaling around 15-20k. The swim is by far my weakest of the three sports and after taking a whole month off, surprisingly I didn’t lose as much fitness as I thought I would. I contribute that to improving my technique. We do 1-2 technique focused swims (3k) and 2-3 Masters swims (4-5k) a week. Over the past several years, my strong bike and run workouts never correlate to race-day. I attribute that to lack of swim fitness. By the time I get to the bike I am gassed and don’t ride to my potential and that just carries over to the run which often times I’m in survival mode. So needless to say, I need to swim A LOT. It drives me crazy when triathletes dismiss the importance of swimming since it is significantly shorter than biking and running in a race. Imagine running an all out 1.2 mile race when you’re in terrible running shape then getting on the bike to race 56 miles. You wouldn’t ride to your potential. I feel the same way about the swim. I plan on getting to the bike fresh this year and ready to hammer! Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday: 2 workouts

Masters Swim: 1 hr / 3k
500 wup
6×150 on 2:15
100 on 1:30, 50 on 1 min
500 w/fins unstructured
c/d to 3k

Post workout notes: I was pretty smashed from the weekend so I was excited that we were only doing 3k today. I cruised through the 150’s. Then we did the 100’s/50’s (x5). The goal was to come in more like around the 1:20 range on the 100’s and then just recover for the 50’s. 1:20’s just aren’t there for me yet. I came in right around 1:25 each time and was definitely feeling it towards the end.

Bike: 1:17 / 17.3 miles / 1k climbing / 13.5 mph

Flanny’s workout: All I am looking for is 75-90 minutes of easy Zone 1-2 riding. You’re coming off of a solid week.

Post workout notes: Legs were dead, I just cruised around wine country in my small ring, keeping cadence high, did a little climbing. Active recovery.

 Tuesday: 1 workout

Steady State run: 1:15 / 8 miles / 9:30 pace

Flanny’s workout: Zone 2+ for 75 minutes. Don’t give it too much gas as I want you to nail the next 2 days of work.

Post Workout notes: I had a late night trade show that night so I got up at 4:15am and got this in. Flanny asked me what the heck was wrong with me because of the slow pace. There’s something about those 4:30am runs. I just feel old, tired and slow! I kind of run with what I’m given and don’t force it. I was clearly still tired from the week prior but didn’t stress it. Run done!

Wednesday: 2 workouts

Masters Swim: 1:30 / 4k
500 wup, 10×50 on 50
2k Mainset all on 1:30b:
500,400,300,200,100 w/a 100yd recovery in between each one on the 2mins
500 kick
400 on 1:30b Indian Style
100 c/d


Post workout notes: This was the first time I had done 4k in awhile and I did it with some of my favorite lane mates, Heather and Tom! However, I barely made all the sets on the 1:30, especially towards the end. I’m really starting to learn how to focus when things get hard in the water. Before, my form would break down and I would try to force it. Now, I’m treating it like when I start to hurt during a run where I really focus my mind, body and form to get through it. Not surprisingly it works great for swimming too.

Bike Trainer: 1:15 / 24 miles / 19.2mph

Flanny’s workout: 3 x 3 min & 2 x 5 min Z5 VO2
20 minutes Zone 2 Warm Up
4 x 30 sec spin ups (get cadence over 100 rpm) on 30 sec recovery
1 min Easy
3 x 3 minutes Zone 5 on 2 minutes easy
2 x 5 minutes Zone 5 on 3 minutes easy
Zone 2 to finish out the session.

After a 30 min warm up on the trainer I want you to do 6 x 3 min big gear (hard enough to slow your rpm’s to 40-50 as long as the knees are not strained) with 1 min of high cadence spinning between (100 rpm+). Ride the remaining time in Z2

Post workout notes: My legs were finally fully recovered and I took advantage of that for this workout. This was probably the most I’ve ever hurt in a trainer session so my legs went from fully recovered to destroyed in just 75 minutes. Again, maximizing the amount of time I have with QUALITY work.

Thursday: 1 workout

Run: Tempo session – 50 mins / 7 miles / 7:15 pace

Flanny’s Workout: Warm Up 20 minutes Z2 and then give me 20 minutes of high Z3 Tempo (5:50 pace) before bringing it back down for an easy 10 minutes of Cool Down

Post workout notes: I had an early breakfast meeting in the morning for work and the pool doesn’t open until 5am. So I was left with just one workout. After an 11 hour day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was a tempo run. I know most of us reading this go through the same exact scenario. It’s late, you’re tired, hungry and all you want to do is to go home and see your family. I look at this as a short term commitment. I’m not going to be training like this forever. This is my shot, my chance to do something great and I can’t let those excuses get in the way of my dream. So I knocked it out. Didn’t feel great after last night’s trainer session, but I got the work in and as always – I was glad I made that decision.

Friday: 2 workouts

Swim: Masters – 80 mins / 3500 yds
500 wup, 4×100 on 1:40, 4×50 on 50
Main set (broken 1500 on 1:30b)

4×200 with fins breathing 3,5,7,9 every 50
8×25 all out with 30 sec recovery

Post Workout notes: This was a big confidence builder for me. We made the main set all on the 1:30. We were coming in between 1:20-1:25 with about a 5 second recovery. Total time was 22:50 which converts to 23:17 for meters (according to some random calculator website). My PR is 24:19 so I am very pleased with my progress in the short two weeks I’ve been back at it.

SRM Bike Trainer: Optional Easy recovery spin – 1:04 / 16 miles / 15mph

Post workout notes: On Wednesday, the SRM Power meter came in and I am so excited to work with them this year. By Friday, The Bike Shop had it installed and ready to go! For the past three years I’ve been racing and training all on a guessing game. My bike workouts, although they have been specific – have all been based off of rate of exertion. The SRM takes away that guessing game. It will provide me with the most accurate data on the market and hold me accountable when I’m going to hard or too soft. This is going to be a game changer for me this year and KEY for me racing Ironman.


Saturday: 2 workouts

SRM Bike: 2:30 / 44.5 miles / 17 mph / 3k climbing

Flanny’s Workout: During this ride I want 3 x 8 minutes of either sustained seated climbing or Big gear low cadence work. These are to be done controlled Z3 and not attacking the hills. This is about Strength.

Post workout notes:  I was excited to go outside and test the Power Meter out. I tried to ride like I normally do without looking at it too much just so Flanny can get an idea of my style of riding – especially with all the hills around here. I have no idea what the numbers mean, but after my half marathon this weekend, we’ll get to testing and dive more into the numbers with this blog.

Brick Run: 20 mins / 2.3 miles / 8:50 pace

Flanny’s workout: Easy run off bike, Z2

Post workout notes: First brick run of the year. Let me make a confession. I absolutely HATE brick runs. I don’t know what it is. It’s probably the fact that I’m tired from a long ride and I just want to go home, eat, shower and hang out with the family. BUT. I know they are necessary and I always feel like I accomplished something big after I’m done with it. Whereas, if I were to skip it, I’d feel like I cheated myself for the day.

Sunday: 2 workouts

Swim/Technique session: 1 hour / 3k

Post workout notes: We only had time for one technique session this week. I knocked it out first thing in the morning as Sunday’s are big family days.

Run – Track session: 80 mins / 10 miles

Flanny’s workout:
20 minutes of Z2 Running
15 minutes @ Half Marathon Goal Pace (5:45 pace)
Easy 5 minutes recovery
Stop Watch and get in 4 x 50 m strides to get some pop in legs
Easy 5 minutes to get back into it
10 minutes @ 5-10 sec per mile faster than half marathon goal pace (5:35 max)
15 minutes cool down


Post workout notes: Same workout as last Sunday. I was absolutely dragging before I started this session. After a 20 minute family nap, I got up with a full belly still from lunch and headed over to the track late in the afternoon to get the work done. Like a lot of us do, as I was warming up – I had my doubts about hitting the pacing and executing this workout. I was just tired and my mind was trying to talk me out of doing it! I just ignored all these thoughts and went forward with it. There’s just something about the track. As soon as I start an interval, I just get “in the zone.” No matter how slow or how poor I feel in the warm up, the pace just seems to kick up with ease. The same thing happens in the pool. I think it’s important to not pay too much attention to how you “feel” during a warm up for a workout or race. Warm ups lie! I ended up running well and felt even better than I did last week and executed right on plan.

Strength Training for the week: 1 hr. Pushups, and different variations of sit-ups.
I forgot to log this last week too. I started with 25 push-ups and sit-ups and this week I bumped it up to 30 and next week 35…etc until I reach 100/ea. I do this first thing in the morning. I wake up, brush my teeth and hammer these out before I start the day. It really is the only way I’ll ever have time or motivation to do any type of strength work. The goal is to just have a stronger core for Swim, Bike and Run; not necessarily IMPROVING in those three disciplines. And most of all, to try and remove the beer gut!

Totals (4 swims, 4 bikes, 4 runs)
Swim: 13,500 yds /4:50
Bike: 101 miles / 6:14
Run: 27 miles / 3:46
Strength: 1 hr
Total hours: 15:50

I tweeted last week about the idea of how it takes 6-8 months for a coach to get to know you. You abilities, your schedule, your tendencies, how long it takes you to recover, what your strengths/weaknesses are…etc etc. Flanny really has me locked in right now. He knows when I’m tired before I know when I’m tired. I can’t stress enough about how important it is to have “real” coaching and not a pre-written / one size fits all plan. Each of us are unique and won’t react to training stresses the same. I really feel like I am on to something big this year. Even though last year was a break through, I think it has just begun and I can’t wait for the season to unfold.

It all starts this weekend, Super Bowl Sunday at The Surf City Half Marathon. It’s my first open half in two years. I ran 1:14 then and this weekend I am shooting for a 1:13. It’s my first test in my Kona Journey. Wish me luck!

Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.