Monthly Archives: March 2014

Triathlon Training Log – Week of March 24 (Phase Two, Week Twelve)

Holy cow—how can March almost be over?!  Hopefully this means spring weather will arrive soon; it’s be cold and rainy in New York City this past week.  At least it isn’t snow, right?

bronx-submariners-red-hook-crit-5-k

Although I did a race in 37-degree weather complete with rain and wind.

General training notes: Whew, this was another solid training week.  Normally, this seven-day span would’ve served as recovery (our program follows a three weeks “on,” one week “off” cycle), and my body definitely noticed the workouts weren’t getting easier.  Whenever I hit a mental or physical block, though, I reminded myself South Beach is right around the corner, and my second wind arrived in no time.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Like our normal “speedwork in the pool” workouts, this set incorporated tech and harder efforts (including a ladder of 125-yd. sprints), plus steady swims.  A steady five-mile run followed, and my coach yelled at me for going too fast.  I never thought that would happen, ha!

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle and strength train

These spin sessions have worked to mimic the South Beach bike course, and I’ve tried to make it sting as much as possible so it’s more manageable on race day.  We did some corework and upper-body strength work, and as per usual, my abs were totally cooked for the plank sequences.  On the bright side, that means I’m keeping them engaged during the bike.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Normally, this would be a speed session, but since I had a 5-K on Saturday, my coach banished me to the treadmill for an easy five miler while my teammates completed a two-mile time trial.  It was fun cheering for everyone, though.  In the pool, my two worst enemies made appearances:  paddles and hypoxic breathing sets.  I got it done, but it was not easy.

Thursday – a.m. long-course swim; p.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Our 15-passanger van (really) made the drive to Stamford, CT for what will probably be the last long-course swim before SoBe.  As expected, the session contained race pace efforts—500s, 400s, etc.—and even though I didn’t wear my wetsuit (most people did), I felt good and surprisingly stuck with folks who wore wetsuits.

Since I didn’t do Wednesday’s speedwork, I participated in the “normal” power hour workout at Tailwind:  6×2 minutes at VO2 max and an eight-minute time trial effort.

tailwind-endurance-power-hour-instagram

#PainCave #LetsTalkWatts #PaleGirlOnFarRight

It was tough, but I hit and held my numbers, which gives me confidence for SoBe.

Friday – a.m. brick (cycle and run)

Ekkk, final brick before race day!  Like prior weeks, we started with a warm-up and a solid effort before sprinkling in two, 800m repeats at tempo and three, 400m’s at race pace.  My coach put one of our elite woman “in charge” of me to ensure I didn’t push before Saturday’s race.  She took it easy on me, and even though I was working, I stayed out of the red zone.  Like the CompuTrainer ride, this workout went well, which hopefully means I’ll string together a solid four miles at SoBe.

SaturdayRed Hook Crit 5-K with the Bronx Submariners

So remember how I joined my coworkers’ running team, the Bronx Submariners?  Well, this Brooklyn-based 5-K served as an official team race.  I’ll write a recap later this week, but for now, I’ll say it went surprisingly well considering it was cold, windy, and raining.  In fact, I PR’ed (22:24—woohoo!) and even beat the aggressive time my coach told me to run.  Win, win!

Sunday – a.m. bike

Instead of doing a CompuTrainer class, I opted to sleep in and spin out my legs; I hung out on the trainer for an hour and just got the blood flowing.

Bottom line, my training these past two weeks have gone well.  Yes, there are aspects of workouts that weren’t perfect, but this two-week build really couldn’t have gone any better.  As the saying goes, “the hay is in the barn,” so now I need to focus on recovering, getting enough rest, and ignoring the taper crazies.  T-minus seven days until go time!

Goals for South Beach Triathlon

This time next week, I’ll be doing my first swim-bike-run event of the season, the South Beach Triathlon—yaya!  As expected, my emotions have been all over the place:  excited, nervous, anxious, pumped, you name it.  Luckily, I did SoBe last year and know these feelings are normal, especially since it’s my first race this year.

south-beach-triathlon

I’m a type-A person, so it’s easy for me to stress about everything pertaining to race—weather, heat index, course conditions, etc.—mainly factors I cannot control.  My high school basketball coach used to tell my team to “control the controllables.”  By focusing on what can be controlled, you give yourself an opportunity to succeed.  With that being said, I made a list of race objectives, aka things I can control come Sunday.

Yes, my coach gave me specific time goals for each discipline.  Like usual, they seem aggressive, but he knows my abilities and how my training has progressed.  Obviously, I would love to hit these times, but overall, I want to smash my times from last year.  To me, that would be a successful race.

Be smart and strategic during the swim.

In semi-surprising news to this #wannabeswimmer, the swim will be one of my strengths this year.  Honestly, I feel like it’s at a good spot now, so I should be able to capitalize during the 0.5-mile open water swim.  This means doing the little things right:  drafting, sighting, and knowing when to push and when to settle in.  Ideally, I’d like to exit the water in the lead pack feeling strong.

Be calm and confident/smooth and strong on the bike.

Yes, I’ve been outside only twice on my Slice, but my comfort and confidence have grown exponentially during each outing.  Especially during the second ride, I felt much more natural, strong, and dialed in.  And knock on wood, the bike could potential be a strength this year too—I know, right?—but that doesn’t mean much if I can’t piece together a solid run.  Anyway, I plan to be smart and strategic in the saddle; this means hammering when appropriate and spinning when necessary.

Be consistent and mentally strong during the run—no slips.

Bottom line, the run is going to be what it will be.  In theory, four miles shouldn’t be a big deal, but four miles in 80-degree heat and humidity changes the game.  Last year, these conditions took their toll at mile 2.5, and I suffered through the longest and hardest four miles of my life.  At least I know what to expect this time around, right?  To avoid hitting the wall again, I need to be smarter coming off the bike, dialing into my pace, and keeping my heart rate in check.

Have fun!

My training is still a work in progress—I’m not trying to peak in April—but I’m pumped to put it all together!  Plus, I can’t wait to hang out with my teammates; this race served as a major turning point in terms of team dynamics and friendships last year, and we have so much fun together.

Watch out, South Beach—Full Throttle Endurance is coming for you!

Triathlon Training Log – Week of March 17 (Phase Two, Week Eleven)

Happy Sunday, friends!  Does it finally feel like spring?  I ran outside in shorts this week (I know, right?) and had a great outdoor ride today.

bike-on-escaltor

Yes, we took the subway to the George Washington Bridge.  We’re not trying to ride 60 miles roundtrip … yet.

General training notes:  Baller training week.  That is all.  Definitely the best seven-day span I’ve had so far this season, which is perfect because the South Beach Triathlon takes place in two weeks—ekkk!  Mentally, my Wednesday speedwork and Thursday swim were tough, but powering through and getting it done bodes well for the race.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Another Monday, another “speedwork in the pool” workout.  Totaling 3,500 yards, this session included tech, pull sets, plus some killer sprints (8×75 with 10 seconds rest) that yours truly was forced into leading.  Woof.  Like usual, a steady five miler followed; this time, we decreased the incline on the treadmill to a negative one-percent grade. (We usually set it at a one percent incline.)

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle and strength train

In an effort to mimic the SoBe course, this session combined solid aero and climbing efforts.  I’ll have to tackle eight hills—er, causeways—in two weeks, so it’s important to get used to climbing and then hammering.  The ride lasted 90 minutes, and we did a lot of corework after.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Two words regarding speedwork:  girl down.  I moved up to a faster group and have to work a lot harder to keep up with these folks.  We started with a mile warm-up, then did a tempo mile, and then chipped away at 6x800s.  As usual, the pace was hot for me (3:27-3:30), and I hung on for four before dropping to the 3:35-3:40 ballpark.  I can tell I’m getting faster, but I want to last the entire workout with this group.  Anyway, the swim was on the short side (2,100 yards) and honed in on pulling and breathing sets.

Thursday – a.m. long-course swim; p.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. run

Thursday began on a tough note.  I wore my wetsuit for the long-course swim at Chelsea Piers Stamford and felt absolutely horrible; my legs were toast, I couldn’t pull (not that I’m great at it anyway), and I just felt like I was slugging through the water.  Hands down, this swim was the worst I’ve felt during a workout this year.  Thankfully, my coach kept the motivation yelling coming throughout the swim, which I need.  It makes it nearly impossible to give up when all you hear is “SUCK IT UP, CARRIE!”

Because the swim felt horrible, I figured the CompuTrainer class would be bad too, but it actually went really well.  Due to Wednesday’s speedwork, I adjusted the workout, and I easily hit and held my power numbers.  And because it was such a nice day, I ran—outside—for an easy 3.5 miles to recover.  And I enjoyed it.  Woah.

Friday – a.m. brick (cycle and run)

I think I run better off the bike.  Like last week, we warmed up for about 45 minutes on the spin bikes and then alternated between five minutes solid in aero, 800m solid on the track, etc.  In theory, the 800s should’ve been the same pace as the speedwork, but I cranked it up and successfully hit and held faster repeats, including a closing one at 3:14.  Does it make any sense that these 800s were both faster and easier coming off the bike?

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. bike

As the above photo indicates, a few teammates and I braved the wind and 39-degree temperatures and rode outside.  Long story short, we split up, and I did 40 miles with one my strong cycling teammates.  She’s solid on the bike, and we took turns pulling and alternated between easy spinning and solid aero efforts.  In terms of comfort and stamina, I felt great.  Like really great.  Like I’m-not-stressing-about-SoBe-as-much great.

Under normal circumstances, this upcoming week would be devoted to recovery, but since SoBe is in two weeks, it doesn’t make sense to recover and then taper.  Due to this timing, we’ll be pushing for another week and then shutting things down.  Let’s get after it!

Do you have any tricks for pushing through mentally tough workouts?

My (Updated) 2014 Triathlon Race Calendar

Happy Saturday, friends!  Like usual, I wanted to pop in earlier this week, but work was crazy.  Anyway, since my first triathlon of the season takes place in two weeks (ekkk!), I figured it’s time to share my finalized race calendar.  Better later than never, right?

South Beach Triathlon

2013-nautica-south-beach-triathlon-collage

Date:  Sunday, April 6

Distance:  Classic—0.5-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike, 4-mile run

Priority:  “C” race

Excited?  Yes!  Pumped to put my training to the test?  Yes!  But do I feel ready to race?  Meh.  Like last year, I’ll “train through” this event, especially on the bike.  Racing and spending time with my teammates will be great, and I can’t wait to see how much I’ve improved since last year; it’s all about personal progress!

Pat Griskus Triathlon – USAT Northeast Regional Club Championships

Date:  Saturday, June 14

Distance:  Olympic—one-mile swim, 25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run

Priority:  “A/B” race

Pat Griskus is locked in, which, unfortunately, means Montauk is out.  Why?  Several of my teammates plan to race back-to-back weekends and do Pat Griskus and Stamford.  I could get away with racing three consecutive weekends, but I’m not trying to peak in June.  Or get injured.

Anyway, the main draw for this race included its level of difficulty.  Most likely, the bike course will be the toughest one I complete this year (and thus far in my triathlon career), and I’ve heard the run is brutal as well.  Bring on the pain!  Also, since this is the USAT Northeast Regional Club Championships, I can actually race for Full Throttle Endurance and earn points for the team based on my age group placing.  I’d love to unload and do serious work at this race, but we’ll see how my training has been going.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date:  Sunday, June 22

Distance:  Olympic—0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run

Priority:  “B” race

you-look-awesome

Yep, actual sign that was on the course.

Yes, it’s one week later, but Stamford was one of my favorite races last year.  Plus, let’s be real:  I can sleep in my own bed the night before.  Most likely, this will be my final tune-up before Nationals, so a solid outing would be ideal.

USAT Age Group Nationals – Milwaukee

Date:  Saturday, August 9

Distance:  Olympic—0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run

Priority:  “A” race

Leslie Knope sums it up.  Although I had a great experience last year, I did not go into the race with my standard competitive mentality.  Instead of pushing and seeing my training pay off, I savored and relished the outing—which is fine, and I don’t regret it.  This year, though, I know what to expect, and since it isn’t my first “big dance,” I won’t be as intimidated or starstruck. (Unless Chrissie Wellington gives me my medal again.  Then all bets are off.) Plus, I really, really want to smoke the bike course.  And do better on the swim and run, too.

So there we have it.  As you can see, Nationals will be my main focus this year, so my training will be structured accordingly; this means training smart, staying injury free, and peaking in August.

How many races are you doing this year?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of March 10 (Phase Two, Week Ten)

Hiya, friends!  Did you enjoy the weekend?  I spent the day spectating the NYC Half and celebrating with teammates—congrats to everyone who ran!  Watching folks put their training to the test was a nice way to wrap up a crazy week.

General training notes:  What a roller coaster of a training week!  Every feeling imaginable—inadequacy, self-doubt, frustration, confidence, happiness—came and went.  As you know, my training started on a brutally tough note with Trial By Fire, and luckily, my performance improved as the week progressed.

Monday – Trial By Fire

fte-trial-by-fire-sign

‘Nuff said.  On the bright side, we’ll do this infamously brutal race again in May.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle and strength train

With South Beach quickly approaching, we’ve kicked up the cycling intensity.  The course will be fast (*knock on wood*) and will contain a few hills in the form of causeways, so our sets have centered on low cadence/strength building.  Oh, and in an effort to get used to riding hot and sweating buckets, I wore a baselayer during this ride.  Not sure how much it will help, but it can’t totally hurt, right?  As per usual, our strength training left me with jello arms:  lots of chest and shoulder drills, plus way too many pushups.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Since Monday’s Trial By Fire essentially prescribed five miles of speedwork, my coach forbade me from running fast and banished me to the five steady mile club.  I even tried to strike a deal—“what if I do two of the 1200m repeats?”—but he didn’t relent.  Well, technically, he let me hop in and do the final 1200m.  The pace was hot (for me—5:15), and I definitely felt fatigue kick in during the third lap.  I guess he was right about no speedwork.

As usual, the post-run swim focused on hypoxic breathing sets—and I did 5×150 hypoxic five!  It’s all about progress!

Thursday – a.m. long-course swim

Taking a minivan to the ‘burbs for a monster swim?  Why the heck not.  The “classic” distance swim at SoBe measures 800m, so like on the bike, we’re starting to tackle longer sets in the water.  Case in point:  1000m with the final 200 building to race pace.  I swam with one of the coaches, and we worked well together; we took turns leading/drafting, and she pushed to find that next gear for the final 200.  Total yardage clocked in at 3,500.  Pretty solid for this #wannabeswimmer.

Friday – a.m. brick (cycle and run)

Finally, finally, I think my run is starting to click.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt this good running; smooth, strong, efficient, and above all, turning over my legs and keeping a solid cadence.  The workout started with a 45-minute warm-up, and then we chipped away at a ladder: five minutes steady on the bike, 400m steady on the track; five minutes steady, 400m steady; five minutes solid, 800m solid, which we repeated twice.  Then we repeated the two 400m sets.  Coming off the bike, I simply felt great.  I’m getting the sense I may be a stronger runner coming off the bike as opposed to running “straight up.”  Anyway, nailing this workout instilled a sense of confidence I’ve lacked this week.  When I hit a rough patch, I know I can turn off my brain, put my head down, and get it done, which I wasn’t able to do during Trial By Fire.  Again, it’s all about personal progress, and my mental game improved.

Saturday – a.m. bike

Not going to lie, taking my tri bike out for its maiden voyage has been hanging over my head.  Yes, my cycling abilities and confidence have improved since last year, but it’s still nerve-wrecking to ride a new bike—and riding in a new position.  Even though there are a several things related to SoBe that make me anxious, riding my Slice tops toped the list.

I planned to meet two teammates at Central Park who totally went above and beyond.  Not only did we meet at an ungodly early hour (I had to be at work by 8 a.m.), but it would also be a slow, touch-and-go outing for me.

Anyway, I woke up before my alarm—think Christmas Day: ‘I get to ride my bike!’—and gave myself plenty of time to get to the park.  Immediately, I couldn’t believe my bike’s lightness; I almost expected the wind to blow me over!  Once I made it uptown, the guys offered me a few tips, and we got down to business.

So what I thought would happen:  having zero control, feeling unstable, and wiping out.  What actually happened:  being a little twitchy, feeling confident and … natural?  I basically spun out for two loops (12 miles) and tried to get used to shifting, which will be a work in progress.

At the very least, I know I can ride my bike somewhat confidently.

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

I cut this morning’s ride short—from two to 1.5 hours—so I’d be able to see my teammates run during the race.  After an hour warm-up, I rode part of the Escape From Alcatraz course.  Holy hills.  That is all.

Who raced this weekend?  And how did it go?

Neither Here Nor There

Happy Friday, friends!  Was this week incredibly busy for you too?  I have lots of updates to share, but since everything does not fall under the “random training thoughts” umbrella, I figured a new title seemed appropriate.

Guess who got a big-girl promotion!

calm-down-carrie

Not in reference to said promotion, but still funny. ‘What?  That’s totally crazy!  I am super chill all the time!’

I’ve been doing community outreach for a while and absolutely loving it, but I wanted to take on more responsibility—and I got my wish!  Now in addition to doing outreach for my store specifically, I’m also in charge of managing partnerships with clubs, teams, and charities, plus I’ll be doing a lot of type-A/logistical stuff:  staffing expos, coordinating volunteers, etc.  I’ll still work the floor a bit—it’s important to interact with runners, listen to their input, know our products, etc.—but I’ll mostly be a “real person” now.

With SoBe rapidly approaching, I’ve been dialing in my nutrition.  I know it’s a sensitive topic in both the endurance and blogging worlds, and I don’t want to get into it too much right now.  That being said, though, it is astonishing how fueling adequately—pre-, during, and post-workout—makes a difference.  Again, this calls for its own post, but my run has finally started to click, and I think it’s because I’ve leaned out over the past few weeks.

My Slice will make its maiden outdoor voyage tomorrow.  Again, with SoBe only 22 days away, I need to get comfortable riding in aero.  Or at least ride without falling off.  That’s the goal right now.

Can we talk about “House of Cards” for a second?  My normal jams include “Parks and Recreation” (obviously), “30 Rock,” and “The Office,” but holy cow, why did it take me so long to hop on this bandwagon?  Who would’ve thought a comedy-lover like me would enjoy a political thriller?

That’s all I’ve got today.  Have a great weekend!

Trial By Fire—I Finished!

Yesterday morning, I completed one of Full Throttle Endurance’s most brutal, yet fun-in-a-masochistic way endurance workouts:  the infamous Trial By Fire.

trial-by-fire-thumbs-up

Straight up cheesin’ afterward.

If you’ve been reading a while, then you may remember when I got “called up” last year to put my training to the test in this swim, run, repeat suffer fest.  If not, then here’s the workout:

full-throttle-endurance-trial-by-fire-2014

Total distances:  1,500 yards and five miles

Yep, you read it right.  Swim 100 yards in the pool, jump out, take a brief detour outside, enter the indoor track from the ground-floor, run 400m, head back to the pool, dive in, swim 200 yards, etc.

trial-by-fire-swim-2014

The yellow cap is me!

And you may remember, a mere 100 yards stood in the way of finishing the session as prescribed last year, so this time around, I went in with one goal:  Finish the entire thing.

Prior to the race, my coach outlined my run splits I should hit and hold (1:45-1:52/400m), and as per usual, it seemed like an aggressive range.  He also said which females I should try to maintain contact with and which ones I needed to let go.  But he did not mention I would be racing alongside our elite women.  Which is probably a good thing.  It totally would’ve psyched me out.

Anyway, the workout progressed like a real race:  setting up transition on deck with sneakers, warming up on the track and in the pool, etc.  There wasn’t a lot of time to be nervous.  And I wouldn’t even call it nervousness.  Maybe anxiousness.  Or simply knowing the next hour would be brutal.

trial-by-fire-swim-2

#WannabeSwimmer

So the first sections of the workout progressed seamlessly: 100 yards, 400m barefoot (putting on shoes would cut into transition time and by extension total time, a lesson I learned last year), 200 yards, 800m barefoot.  I felt good, I was hitting my paces, and surprisingly I was keeping the top girls in my sights.  But I knew it wouldn’t last.  It was the calm before the storm.

trial-by-fire-transition

Forget shoes—get me outta here!

During the 300 yard set, I inadvertently swam an extra 50 yards, which caused me to move from the middle to the back of the pack.  And during the following run section, I fell off the pace; 1:50, 1:53, 2:00, 2:03.  I couldn’t wait to get back in the water and recover.  The 400 yards went fine, but I couldn’t rally on the next 1.5 miles; my splits were stuck in the 2:0X range, and mentally, I was in a bad place.  I did my best to break the six laps into, well, six laps and focus on chipping away one at a time.  Looking back, I’m obviously upset with the decrease in pace, but it’s the mental slip that makes me feel the most unsettled.  This is exactly the battle I’ll face during a race, and I can’t become complacent.

trial-by-fire-run

Plus, while swimming the last 500 yards, all I could think about was the daunting seven laps around the track.  I knew I would get through it, but I didn’t know how or how fast it would get done.

By some stroke of good luck, I exited the pool for the final time with one of the elite woman.  We gasped for air chatted as we slid on our sneakers, and she proposed hitting a 1:50-1:55 pace.  In all honesty, I expected to fall behind, but said I’d stick with her as long as I could.  And by some miracle, I did and got it done.

So my finishing time for the workout from hell?  A semi-respectable 1:08.  Yes, faster (and technically longer because I actually covered the entire distance) than last year’s race, but it left me feeling unsettled.  The lead women finished in 1:03-1:05, and I know the bulk of that time was lost during the 1.5-mile section.  And I know I’m not quite “there” yet—in terms of experience and development—but I want to be.  My coach said I’m on the brink right now, and I just need to trust the process, remember that I’m only 24 years old, put my head down, and keep working hard.

What’s the most intense workout you’ve completed recently?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of March 3 (Phase Two, Week Nine)

Hey, friends!  How was your week?  As per usual, I wanted to pop in sooner, but I was slammed at work.  We hosted a fashion show Wednesday night, and it went really well.

jackrabbit-brooks-pure-project-fashion-show

Shameless plug to check out the Facebook photos.

It was a big week at work, and a big week of training.

General training notes:  With recovery week gone, we entered phase two of training.  This means the focus shifts from base building to volume and intensity.  It also means brick workouts (or biking and then immediately running) will be incorporated into practice.  And fingers crossed, it means we’ll be able to ride outside in Central Park soon.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Woof—speedwork in the pool, plus five steady miles.  We did a lot of pulling in the water and broke up those sets with 100-, 50-, and 25-yard sprints.  I have no idea how, but I managed to log five miles too.  So long, recovery week; it’s been nice.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle and strength train

Nothing too groundbreaking to report here:  80-minute ride with solid climbing and aero efforts.  We did some full-body strength training with corework, walking lunges, chest/shoulders circuit with bands too.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

This speedwork was absolutely brutal.  I moved up a pace group, which made the session tougher, and the workout itself also the most challenging set we’ve done this season:  6×800.  I hung with everyone for the first five, and not going to lie, it was painful.  And then my coach made me lead the sixth and final one.  An expletive or two may have been dropped, but I got it done.  So.  Much.  Pain.  Thankfully, the swim afterward was on the shorter side (2,400 yards) and focused on breathing drills, aka hypoxic sets.

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Two words:  monster swim.  Tallying 3,500 yards, this workout contained a long descending ladder (800, 600, 400, etc.) with 100s at race pace between each set.  And the afternoon ride at Tailwind was tough coming off speedwork; the main set spanned 30 minutes and alternated between threshold and endurance wattages.

Friday – a.m. brick (cycle and run)

Woohoo for the first brick of the season!  And we hit the ground running.  After doing a 45-minute warm-up, we chipped away at a five-minute effort, then hopped off the bike and ran 800m at the steady pace.  Back to the bike we went for another five minutes, and then it was time for another 800m.  We repeated this set five times—and it was actually kind of fun.  For what it’s worth, I think my run is better coming off the bike than running “straight up.”  There are girls who are a little faster than me who I try to stick with during speedwork, but usually fall behind.  But I’m able to keep with them running off the bike.

Saturday – a.m. recovery spin

Since we have a big workout Monday—remember Trial by Fire?—my coach said to do a recovery ride Saturday and take Sunday off.  I spun out on my indoor trainer for an hour and watch old Kona footage.

Sunday – off

Overall, this was definitely the toughest week of training so far, but dialing in is necessary—27 days until South Beach!

When’s your next race?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of February 24 (Phase One, Week Eight)

Lookie here—two consecutive days of posts!

bicycle-bathroom

My mom sent me this picture.  My roak bike actually matches the color scheme in my bathroom …

How was your weekend?  My dad visited, and even though we both had packed schedules, we went out to eat a few times.  Having good food with great company was a great way to end recovery week!

General training notes:  Aside from Monday’s swimming time trial, I eased off the gas and focused on recovering (and sleeping) this week.  These down weeks make me sleepy; between Thursday and Friday, I napped four hours—which is four more than normal, ha.  I even had my first sports/deep tissue massage.  Right now, I feel great and can’t wait to crank up the intensity tomorrow.  T-minus 34 days until South Beach!

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Dun, dun, dun—500-yard time trial day!

500-yard-time-trial-snapped-goggles

Here’s how it went down:  we were separated into heats based on current lane assignments, and most folks wore wetsuits; some (including me) went full-sleeved, others did sleeveless, and some even did pants.  Anyway, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  My coach set an aggressive goal (sub-seven minutes), and honestly, I thought it would be a stretch to break it; seven and change seemed more realistic.  But there’s a reason he’s the coach.  We talked beforehand, and I also consulted one of my friends from work, and both said to be aggressive on the opening 100, then settle in, and hang on.  So my first 100 clocked in at 1:12—woah, Young C!  After seeing that split, I decided to stop looking at the clock:  one, because I can’t do math that quickly, and two, I didn’t want to know how fast I was going and psyche myself out.  My final time?  6:41!  Not impressive for the actual swimmers, but I’ll take it as a wannabe swimmer—and seeing as how I did not flip turn once.  I was still on cloud nine during the steady five miler too.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle and strength train

The mantra for this ride was “sweat not suffer,” so there isn’t anything too exciting to report:  just a steady 80 minutes with some out-of-saddle and aero efforts.  Our strength training was on the short side, too, and focused on corework.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Honestly, this run felt somewhat challenging for recovery week:  one mile warm-up, three miles alternating between steady and tempo (shift gears every half mile), and one mile cool down.  Our swim workout tallied 2,200 yards and contained too many hypoxic breathing sets.  This is one drill I really struggle with; I’m not the best puller, and taking away my normal breathing pattern really messes up my rhythm.

Thursday – a.m. long-course swim; p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

… and the hypoxic breathing continues, but it went a lot better this time.  I asked the same work friend for advice, and he suggested slowing down, focusing on technique, and basically thinking about everything except the breathing.  And it worked—I survived a 400 pull breathing every five strokes!

The afternoon power hour at Tailwind was tough, and we did a variety of drills: hill work, lactate threshold to VO2 max builds, sprints, and tabata intervals.  That afternoon, I also had my first sports/deep tissue massage, and it was awesome.  NYCers athletes, definitely go see Isang—she’s great!

Friday – a.m. indoor cycle and yoga

To end recovery week, we completed an easy 80-minute spin and a yoga class.  Well, FTE sort of took over the yoga class.  In the world of triathletes, I’m pretty flexible, so the practice wasn’t strenuous.  However, based on the amount of guttural outbursts, it’s safe to say some folks really struggled.  And I almost cried from laughing.

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Two hours of nonstop Sunday morning fun?  Sign me up!  In preparation for outdoor riding (totally can’t wait and totally not holding my breath), Tailwind classes will focus on hill work for the next few weeks.  After warming up, we rode one loop of Central Park and did some high cadence and single-leg drills before moving to the main set:  3×20 minutes on a pre-loaded hill that progressively got steeper every mile with the goal of maintaining a steady output.  Each set alternated between endurance and lactate threshold wattages.  It was a tough session, and it made me feel better about my biking in terms of SoBe.

What are some of your go-to tools for recovery—massage, foam rolling, etc.?

Random Training Notes From Feb. 24 (Phase One, Week Eight)

Hiya, friends—happy Saturday!  Look who’s blogging yet again.  I know; it surprises me too.  I haven’t done one of these random training thoughts posts in a while, and seeing as I’ve officially survived phase one, this occasion calls for some spillage.

downton-abbey-swagga-back

Downton Abbey throwback.  Too much (because I got my blogging swagga back)?

Guess who did yoga yesterday?  This girl!  After our indoor cycling workout, my team ended recovery week with a restorative class.  Even though it felt great to stretch out, I was in the minority; watching and hearing my coach and teammates during the session proved to be one of the highpoints of the week.  I’m relatively flexible for a triathlete, but that isn’t the case for everyone.  And let’s just say I almost cried from laughing about five times.

As you read, we’ve officially completed phase one of training.  This blows my mind because the next four weeks will be the final build before South Beach—and the next recovery week will effectively be tapering.  Gahhh!  I so want to race, but so don’t feel prepared.

My 500-yard time trial still shocks me.

500-yard-time-trial-snapped-goggles

Complete recap coming Sunday, but for now, I will say I shattered my coach’s aggressive goal time (and snapped my goggles).

Speaking of swimming, remember how the doggie paddle was my nemesis last year?  Well, now it’s hypoxic breathing sets.  I’m fine with bilateral breathing (every three strokes), but once it’s five or seven, things get ugly.  Not to mention these sets involve pulling, and I’m much better at kicking.

My work and triathlon worlds (positively and successfully) collided on Tuesday.

parks-and-rec-leslie-knope-do-it-fierce-power

I can’t get into details, but there was a meeting that made me anxious—and thankfully, it went really, really well.

Have a great weekend!