So before talking about training … did anyone watch the Syracuse game last night?
No? It was definitely the best college game I’ve seen this season. And what a nail-biter—the Orange finally put away the Duke Blue Devils 91-89 in overtime, and it’s safe to say a new rivalry has been born.
Anyway, happy February and Super Bowl Sunday! This means my first month of structured training with Full Throttle Endurance has ended. And it also means I turn the big 2-4 on Wednesday. I did not sign up for this growing up nonsense.
Monday – a.m. swim and run
There was a rumor circulating about a 200-yd. time trial (TT) that proved to be accurate. Before practice, I dug into my digital archives and found results from last year’s swimming TT where I swam a 2:59; as per usual, as per usual, my goal was to post a better time. The TT itself was a blur. The only memorable part occurred when I botched my first flip turn and decided not do those anymore, ha. My game plan was to swim the first 100 solid and hammer the last 100, and I finished in 2:41, which is decent. This time was also good enough to bump me up to the next fastest lane, aka fast lane number two. Sweet!
After the swim (we did a total of 2,800 yards), I did an easy five-mile recovery run: two miles on the track, two miles on the treadmill, and one more on the track. I also did some corework with a teammate (who am I?), and we watched coach do the time trial—and casually throw down a 2:13. One day …
Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycling and strength training
Monday’s TT was our only hard effort of the week, and we started the recover process with a steady 75-minute ride on the spin bikes. There were some climbing and high-cadence efforts sprinkled throughout, but nothing too tough. We followed it up with some upper-body strength training and ab work.
Wednesday – a.m. run and swim
Wednesdays are usually reserved for speedwork, but we kept the workout light: one-mile warm-up, dynamic stretches, then three steady miles. Our swimming workout was on the easier side (2,700 yards), too, which focused on pulling and hypoxic sets.
Thursday – a.m. swim and p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance
Another Thursday, another road trip to Stamford, CT (in a minivan!) for a long-course swim. Like Wednesday, we had a lot of kicking, pulling, and hypoxic sets in the mix. I’m not the best at hypoxic sets, and my coach always gives me a hard time, so I was thrilled when I successfully followed a hypoxic seven breathing pattern (breathing every seven strokes) for 100 yards. Baby steps, folks!
That afternoon, I headed to Tailwind Endurance for a power hour on the CompuTrainer. It took me longer than usual for my legs to loosen up (maybe because of the kicking?), and as per usual, this ride was killer: There were four, five-minute blocks, and each contained endurance and threshold efforts; i.e. we’d start at two minutes endurance, then build to tempo and threshold for three minutes. It doesn’t sound bad, but with only two minutes down between sets, it was challenging to recover.
Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance
For the record, I would like to say how surprisingly well this two-hour ride went given my lack of sleep (around five hours) and Saturday night “carbo-loading” (red wine plus half of a gin and tonic); in fact, this combination strangely worked. Dully noted. Our main set included “watt chasers,” which I strangely enjoy. The CompuTrainer tracks a ton of data, including average power output or wattage; and during this drill, we worked up to our tempo effort and then stopped pedaling for a set amount of time, which caused average wattage to drop. And then you have a certain amount of time to get the average back up.
So recovery is over—let’s crank it up!
What are your fitness/training/racing goals for February?