So 2016 is looking and feeling pretty good so far.
Central Park bliss
I really hope I didn’t jinx myself.
General training notes: Even though I’m still in the base building phase, this week saw some quality efforts across the disciplines. We’re slowly introducing more sweet spot/FTP work on the bike, and we’re continuing to build strength on the run by focusing on hills. We’re also upping the volume of the strength training work too.
Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance
While my Ironman-distance training buddies did another power test, I tackled the “Goldilocks” workout. After a 15-minute warm-up and about 10 minutes of single-leg drills, I faced three blocks: “too fast,” which equated to high RPMs (120); “too hard,” which equaled VO2 max (120 percent); and “just right,” which meant sweet spot (88-92 percent of FTP). The work-to-recovery ratio started off equally and slowly shifted toward more work and less recovery: one minute on, and one minute off; 1:10 on, 50 seconds off; 1:20 on, 40 seconds off; 1:30 on, 30 seconds off. I loved, loved, loved this workout! It had all of my favorite things: higher cadence (my natural is 93-95 RPMs), VO2 max intervals, and sweet spot fun. It was also a huge confidence booster because for the first time since August, I felt like my legs had some pop during the VO2 max blocks, and the sweet spot efforts felt incredibly sustainable.
Tuesday – a.m. strength training and p.m. run
Although I planned to run outside during the morning, the 12-degree Fahrenheit reading prompted me to postpone until later in the day when it would be warmer. I completed my normal full-body strength training session anyway and ran after work.
I’ve been digging these after-work runs lately; it’s such a nice way to end a day.
Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance
Another workout I enjoyed: five-minute blocks of endurance, tempo, sweet spot, and FTP work, and one three-minute block at VO2 max. Like Monday, I felt incredibly smooth and strong.
Thursday – p.m. run
This marked my first official hill/speed workout of the triathlon season. (After all, hills are speed work in disguise.) After a 10-minute warm-up, I tackled three Cat Hill repeats: cruise on the first; cruise halfway up the hill and then attack; and attack from the get-go. Then repeat for a total of six. This ended up being more of a strength/leg-busting workout as opposed to a cardio/lung-busting one, but that’s nothing new. When I do speedwork, I tend to feel it in my legs first. Also, for what it’s worth, I felt the smoothest and most in control when I was chasing another girl on the hill. Having that rabbit made a ton of difference, so perhaps it’s time to start running with other people.
Friday – a.m. strength training
Full-body routine that left my arms and legs feeling like jello. I’m still doing low weight and high reps, and the extra set this week provided a challenge.
Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance
Two hours in the saddle consisting of high-cadence work, quality zone two time, plus a hill workout. Two (older) elite women completed this ride too, and it was both motivating and humbling to see their numbers.
Sunday – a.m. run
My days of zoning out during long runs may be over: ninety minutes of sustained speedwork. My main set was 2×20 minutes at my marathon pace, and it coincided nicely with a race that was going on in Central Park. One of my coworkers was there working, and since I was doing a looped course, I got to see him a few times. That’s the best motivation! Other solid motivation: keeping up with the super cute guy who’s running next to you. Except I forgot to, you know, talk to him. *Sigh*
Do you prefer working out in the morning or evening?