Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gettting Some Structure in my Life

In my last post, I admitted to mis-calculating my time remaining until race day in September.   Now that I actually have my act together, I know that my 20-week Beginner Triathlete plan officially begins on Monday.  While the last 2 weeks of following the plan may not have been necessary, it was probably good medicine to get some structure to my workouts.

The weekly workout schedule has me doing three days a week with one workout, and three days per week with dual workouts.  Monday was a dual.

The swim was the longest of the plan so far.  The warmup was 6 x 100 yards where I was supposed to focus on specific elements of my stroke to improve.  Okaaaaay, this was a little vague.  I wasn't sure how to approach and just ended up doing most of the warmup with slow, deliberate strokes.  Next time around, I may do a round of form drills.  They're more familiar and really isolate stroke components.

The body of the workout was 4 repeats of 500 yards each with a 'steady' pace.  Again, that's a little vague, so I just aimed for about 75% of a long event race pace.  It was a nice, sustainable pace.

The cooldown was 300 yards with the pull buoy.  Its a foam device that you hold between your thighs.  It keeps your legs level so you don't have to kick.  The idea is to focus on your form - especially arms and torso rotation.  It's harder than it looks.

Okay.  So it wasn't the most challenging of 'long' workouts, and I should probably up the pace for the repeats when I do this again in a couple of weeks, but at least I knew that there was a run to do when I got home from the pool.

I haven't been a fast runner since high school, which is almost 15 years ago.  Yikes.  Last year, my run workouts averaged around 5.2 to 5.5 miles per hour.  Yeah.  I'm THAT slow.  This year I'm able to hold 6.1 to 6.5 miles per hour while keeping my heart rate in the mid 150s.  That's fastER, but not FAST fast.  You know what I mean.

So far, all of the runs in this plan have asked for an RPE of around 3/10, and Monday was no different.  The only change was the addition of 20-second 'strides' every 5 minutes.  They're quick bursts of speed that are supposed to teach your body to run faster.  Total running time was supposed to be near 45 minutes.  Here are the splits:

5:04 (.57);
That's 43:28 for 4.57 miles or 6.3 mph.  For this early in the season, I'll take it.

Monday night was even better because I got to pick up The Wife at the airport.  Yay!  The bad news was that her flight didn't land until 11:00pm.  Needless to say, neither of us got the rest we needed that night.  Oh well.  Whadya gonna do?

Tuesday was another dual workout.  This time it was a run/bike combo.  I started with another RPE3 run.  This one was only around 3.5 miles.  The plan called for 45 minutes, but I wanted to hit the bike as soon as I could so that I could make it down to the Tuesday Night Time trials to watch some of the Twin Cities Spoke gang race in the Crit series.

Run - 3.4 miles, 33:38
Bike - 23 miles, 1:21.  My average was below 17 mph, but that includes some putzing around once I got to the race course.

There was just a solo pool workout set for Wednesday.  The meat of the workout was 2 1000 yard stretches with an RPE4 and RPE6.  I tried to do the RPE4 stretch just a hair faster than my 'steady' pace back on Monday.  With the RPE6 portion I tried to keep it close to race pace.

I came away with a 17:24 and a 16:39.  I'm not sure what this means yet, other than the fact I have some control over how fast I go.  Hopefully it will mean more once I get some more workouts under my belt.

This is the last workout before the weekend - another 90 minute slow run at...say it with me now...RPE3.  I knocked out the first half after work, but before my wife got home.

She wanted to join me for the 2nd half of the run.  This will be her last run before racing this weekend.  We did a nice 2.4 miles together - her to stay fresh, and me to do a recovery run.  Sure, I didn't go the full 90 minutes today.  Sue me.

She'll be doing the Get in Gear 5K on Saturday.  This is her first solo race.  Last year we did the St. Paul Triathlon as a team.  I did the swim and bike and she knocked out the run.  For all the sacrifices she's made for my...ahem..."Lifestyle Choice",  I'm looking forward to serving as support for her this weekend.

Then, on Sunday, I'll be riding in the Ironman Bicycle Ride down in Lakeville.  There's a 100 mile route available, but I think I'll take the smart road and stick with the 65 mile ride.  Especially if it's going to rain.  We'll see.

Hopefully there will be some photos posted late on Sunday as proof of our adventuring.  Hopefully I'll also have a better photo for my profile.  That thing's GOT to go.   Toodles!

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