Last week was a pretty solid week for me, but I know that it was mild compared to what is to come in the weeks and months ahead. The best news was that my finger (which I broke in December) checked out enough for me to get back in the water swimming after a full month off. I’m scared to death of smacking it on the lane line or wall, but so far so good.
This week’s focus was to gradually get my swim volume back up, and get a general feel for the water without diving in too fast. The bike and run proved to be really challenging with each workout (for the most part) providing some intensity and purpose.
Challenges for the week: I had to commute to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and for the weekend we had our kids in the Legoland 1 mile race on Saturday with a family birthday party that night. Sunday was my wife Amy’s half marathon—where she PR’d by 16 minutes! So getting in my workouts exactly as scheduled was key.
Monday: two workouts
Swim: 2000 yards / 45 minutes
1 – easy/warm up
2 – pull
3 – Ironman pace
4 – pull
Post workout notes: Got in the water with my BlueSeventy goggles at 6:30am before I started my work day. Today was all about just getting back into the water, ignoring the clock and making sure that my finger wasn’t going to be effected by the water or the chlorine. I put some Second Skin on it and it was good to go. I actually felt a lot better than I thought I would after taking a month off. I contribute that to losing some of my holiday weight, eating healthier again and being in a lot better bike and run shape than I was a month ago.
Bike Trainer: 6 x 3 minutes Z5 VO2 / 90 minutes
20 minutes Zone 2 Warm Up
4 x 30 sec spin ups (get cadence over 100 rpm) on 30 sec recovery
1 min Easy
6 x 3 minutes Zone 5 with 3 minutes easy in between
Zone 2 to finish out the session.
Post workout notes: After work, threw my bike on the trainer and hit this up before dinner with the family. My SRM Powermeter is in the mail as I type this, so I’ll eventually be posting bike data too. For this workout, once again it was all about going as hard as I could on the Z5 intervals. My legs actually felt great and it ended up being a great session.
Tuesday: two workouts
Bike Trainer: 60 minutes Z2 easy recovery
Post Workout notes: 4:30am wake up call, on the trainer getting in an easy spin to clear out the legs from last night’s workout and to prepare for a tough session on the track that night.
Run: Track session / 1 hr, 7.63 miles
1.5 mile warm up including strides and plyometrics
4×1000 w/200 jog ~1 min recovery splits: 3:41, 3:33, 3:28, 3:26
4×300 w/100 walk recovery splits: :56, :54, :53, :52
1 lap jog recovery
1 mile: 5:21
Post workout notes: I hit this up after an early wakeup call and a long day at work. It’s always hard to get motivated to hit a hard track session after a day like this but I’ve always said to myself, just start running and you’ll start feeling better! It really helps on nights like this to run with a group – which is my case, is the San Diego track club. My legs didn’t feel as good as they did last Tuesday but I was still able to hit pacing that I’m looking for in two weeks at the Surf City half ~5:40 pace. The 300’s were fun to get in a little extra speed work and as always we always finish up with a strong effort mile to finish off the workout which I hit in 5:21 and felt so-so.
Wednesday: 2 workouts
Swim: Specific Technique work / 1 hr / 3k
Post workout notes: Another early 4am wake up call to get in the water. As much as I love our SoCal weather, there really aren’t many indoor pools out here, which is pretty rough in the “winter.” So getting in at 4:30 when it’s 38-40 degrees outside can sometimes be hard. But again, I just tell myself – start swimming! Sure enough, it’s never that bad once you get going. I debated whether or not to post all of the drill/technique work that my coach Flanny had me do, but it was pretty long. Unless I get some comments asking me to post next time I won’t do it. I felt surprisingly good in the water and really don’t feel like that month off had any effect on my form.
Bike Trainer: Big gear work / 90 minutes
After a 30 min warm up on the trainer I did 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: As soon as I get home from my commute, I kiss the family and immediately jump on the trainer before dinner. I LOVE big gear work. For some reason it reminds me of when you were a kid and had a loose tooth. It hurts so good to pull and yank on that thing. Weird right? Legs felt tired, yet strong—overall it was a good day of work.
Thursday: 1 workout
Run: Tempo session – 50 mins / 7 miles
Warm up 20 minutes Z2 and then 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: Got the morning off to sleep in today. Hit this tempo session on the way back home from work on the trails (Lake Hodges). My legs felt really heavy during the warm up and wasn’t too sure how it would go. For some reason I’ve always hated tempo sessions, even in high school and college. Maybe it’s because I only like either going really hard or really easy, nothing in between. I know these are key sessions though so I take them very seriously. Here’s how it went down:
Friday: two workouts
Bike outside: Easy recovery spin -80 mins / 20 miles
Post workout notes: Woke up early, bundled up and rode through wine country watching the sun come up.
Swim: Masters – 75 minutes / 3,500 yards
500 warm up, 10×50 on 50
Main sett (everything on the 1:30 base):
(1700 total main set)
500 w/fins breathing every 3rd stroke
300 pull cooldown
Post Workout notes: So it was my first time back with the group and was a little nervous of how I’d do. I just jumped right back into my same lane as always and ended up being fine and hitting all of the intervals. I started fading a little bit on the last few but that is normal because of my lack of volume. This was a huge confidence booster, because my swim confidence had been lacking.
Saturday: 1 workout
Bike outside: 2:30 / 42.5 miles / 2k+ climbing
During this ride I did 3 x 10 minutes of solid Z4 Threshold riding. Take 5 minutes of rest between efforts and don’t start them until after the first hour of riding is complete.
Post workout notes: After watching the kids run their first mile race (which was so fun), we went over to the EXPO for Amy’s half marathon. After she checked in, I suited up in my sweet Wattie Ink kit, Rudy Project helmet and glasses and hit the coast for some easy spinning and then hit the San Luis Trail for the 3×10 minutes while they went and hung out at the beach. My legs were dead tired today and was only able to average 21.6, 21.9, 22.5 mph for my three intervals. Some days you just don’t have it. My heart rate felt low and my power felt low but I just did my best and got the work in. Sometimes there’s just nothing else you can do!
Sunday: two workouts
Bike Trainer: 1 hour easy spin
Post workout notes: Flanny originally wanted this after my run, but with Amy’s half marathon that morning I had no choice but to get this in early in the morning. My legs were dead!
Run – Track session: 80 mins / 9.5 miles
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: Sometimes your commitment level is tested. This was one of those days. You’re tired from waking up early, playing race Sherpa, football and beer surround you, but you need to get out the door and get the work in. I always take a reality check in situations like this. What is your main goal this year? It’s not to watch football or drink beer or nap, it’s qualifying for Kona! So I headed to the track and got the job done. Here’s how it went down:
The splits are a little funky. My Garmin doesn’t calculate the track very accurately with laps. One mile usually equals ~ .98-.99. My first 15 minute interval falls on Splits 4-7. My 2nd interval falls on splits 9-10. Running on tired legs is like Flanny’s mantra. I hate it because I like to run fast when my legs feel good. The problem with that is, it’s not how your legs are going to feel in a 70.3 or an Ironman. He’s training me to run fast with good form and execute when my legs are smashed. It’s working, I nailed this workout and am extremely pleased with the week and my progress.
Swim: 8500 yds
Bike: 150 miles
Run: 24 miles
Total hours: 15:07 [hr]
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! To see my full blog click here. Thanks for reading.