Monday, April 11, 2011

A Week of Workouts

It's been a busy week.  My training plan is calling for a lot more two-a-day workouts, plus the volume is going up.  So, basically, my day consists of waking up, working, working out and sleeping.  Don't get me wrong though, I love getting some longer workouts in, especially since all but the swimming can be done outside now. 

Here's what I've been up to over the past 7 days:

There was just a swim last Monday, and it was a speed workout at that.   In general, speed workouts are shorter, but more intense.  So, I spend less total time in the pool, but swim faster than race pace during the repeats.  Here's the plan for Monday along with my 100-yard splits:
50y Swim, 50y Kick Drill, 50y Swim, 50y Kick Drill, 50y Swim.
Main Set:
400y - 1:32/100y
100y - 1:22
100y - 1:22
100y - 1:22
100y - 1:22 (how do you like THAT for consistency?  Eh?   EHHHH?
300y - 1:34/100y
100y - 1:25
100y - 1:26
100y - 1:25 (starting to feel it here - had to struggle to keep it up)
200y - 1:34/100y
100y - 1:25
100y - 1:25 (DEFINITELY had to work harder to keep the pace steady for these last two)

3 x 75 yards (nothing fancy here, it was just enough to wind down and return to 'normal')

This was a long day.  Since I work an earlier shift, any workout that can't be done over lunch has to wait until after I punch out.  So, I packed the bike into the car the night before so I could zip out to Medina and cruise around for a 2-hour bike, before heading over to the pool for an evening swim.

I have an affinity for the roads out west.  The wind can be a little rough when it's coming out of the west.  It really teaches you to get nice, low and aero.  I started at Holy Name Church and headed out onto the course.  It was breezy, but nowhere near as bad as it could be.  After 1:48 on the road and a little over 32 miles, I ended up with a 17.8 MPH average.  No, it's not race pace, but for a solo ride early in the season, it's not too shabby. 

So, I packed up the bike again and sped over to the nearest pool.  This is where I learned a valuable lesson about fueling for workouts.  You see, I had plenty of gas in the tank for a 2-hour bike ride, but I neglected to eat while riding and ended up running on fumes during the swim.  Heck, I was so pooped that I had to cut the swim short.  Ordinarily, I would just tough it out, but I was so drained that my swim form was turning to garbage.  It was better to just cut my losses rather than practice bad form.

It was the 3rd day of the week, and I did my 3rd swim.  This time, it was a long, steady session.


Main Set:
2500y (1:34/100y) - I felt really good about this set.  Since last year, my splits have dropped about 6-7 seconds per 100 yards.  That's 2-3 minutes of saved time over a half-iron swim.  Hopefully, that will get me out of the water even more quickly so that I can put more distance between myself and the stronger cyclists on faster bikes.

4 x 50y - Again, nothing special.  It was just enough to relax and get limber again.

After the swim, I headed home and went for a run.  No, it wasn't anything epic.  I just did a quick 4.25 around the neighborhood.  I managed to keep my splits under 9:00/mile, but it wasn't easy.  I always feel a little oogy running after a swim.  Maybe it just takes a while to get my land-legs back.

There was only one sport to work on for Thursday.  Shoot, after all these two-a-days, it was nice to just worry about doing ONE thing.  The weather was absolutely PERFECT for a run.  It was warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt, but it was cool enough so that I didn't sweat buckets.  As a result, my splits rocked.  Heck, they were better than my 10K race splits from last year.  In the end, I covered 6.7 miles in 57:38.  That gave me an average of 8:36 per mile.  Sure, I'm no runner.  I mean, really, there are plenty of folks out there that can wax my fanny in running.  But, 2 years ago I was grunting out 11:00 splits in training and couldn't break 10:00/mile in a race if you were chasing me with a knife. 

Friday was a rest day...or so I thought.  I got a text from The Wife half-way through the day asking if I would go for a run with her.  She's just getting back in to running again and is aiming to to the Get in Gear 5K in a couple of weeks.  So, I sure as heck wasn't going to say no.  We did a 2.5 mile loop around the neighborhood.  She ran the whole thing and only stopped for a stoplight.  Not bad.  I'm proud of her.

I did another group ride out of Chaska with the Twin Cities Spoke, just like last week.  Only, this time around it was a 38-mile loop.  We were really hauling tail that morning.  These guys focus a lot more on cycling than I do, so they're much stronger in the saddle. 

As we got further into the ride, a handful of the faster riders picked up the pace.  I tried to keep up, but ended up being just a smidge too slow.  As a result, I ended up riding a good chunk of the route alone.  That wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  I got the chance to get into the aero bars again and get in some good time-trialing.

Sorry.  I don't have a map for this ride.  I neglected to charge the battery on my Garmin, so I had to ride nekkid on Saturday.  What I DO know, is that we covered 37.75 miles in just a hair over 2 hours.  That puts my average speed at about 18.1 MPH.  Now, this was a group ride, and it's a heckuva lot easier to go faster in a group, especially when you hide from the wind behind the stronger riders, like I do. 

The workout plan called for an hour run followed by a 90-minute ride. The nice thing about running with a Garmin, is that you can make up your runs as you go along and always know how far you've gone.  Sunday, I did another jog around the neighborhood.  Near the half-way of the run, my right knee started to feel a little goofy.  I didn't want this to turn into anything, so I just cut the run short and headed back home.

For the bike, I headed out to Baker Park again to meet with the folks from Beginner Triathlete.  The weather was looking nasty, and the wind was really kicking up.  Only one other person showed up to ride, but we still rode a good chunk of the Liberty Tri course.  In the end, I did get in just over an hour and a half of riding. 

My knee started to feel weird again during the tail end of the ride.  It hurt just below the kneecap whenever I flexed my quad to push down on the pedal.  Again, I didn't want to risk injury, so I sped home after the ride and iced that sucker.

The knee was still pretty sore this morning, so I decided to skip my evening ride.  However, I was able to get in another nice swim. 

4 x 75y, 1 x 100y

Main Set:
1000y (1:33/100y)
1000y (1:33/100y)


So, there you have it.  One week of workouts.  Well, almost.  I'll try to get in a longer bike later this week to make up for what I missed today.  I'm not too worried yet.  Every season has its setbacks.  Last year, I had problems with my left foot, so a sore knee isn't too big of a deal...yet.  In the mean time, I'll keep icing the sucker and concentrating on the swim.

Later gators!

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