Monthly Archives: February 2016

Triathlon Training Log – Base Building Phase III, Week 13 (Feb. 22)

Oh, it was just another week over here …


Work hard, train hard, recover hard

What? We’re conducting research for future partnerships with Finish Line Physical Therapy. These NormaTec recovery sleeves essentially inflate and deflate in an effort to improve circulation and reduce soreness.

General training notes: finally, finally this week saw some higher intensity efforts. The week kicked off with a power test, plus another quality bike workout on Wednesday. I faced a tougher run on Thursday, and I finally felt smooth in the water on Friday. All in all, it was a great week!

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

#LetsTalkWatts: long warm-up; four-minute VO2 max “blowout” effort to open up the lungs; ten-minute recovery, then a 20-minute power test. Like the focus of a lot of these CompuTrainer workouts, I increased my cadence every five minutes and built to 250 watts. Normally, I don’t default to 85 RPMs, but because I started on the lower side and built (85-87-90-92), I didn’t need to add any gear; cadence comes first. Anyway, my new FTP is 232, which is up 17 watts from 215! And what makes me really motivated is when I peaked last year, my FTP was 235—and it’s February now.

Tuesday – a.m. run and corework

My new favorite run workout: one minute “on,” one minute off; two minutes on, two minutes off; three minutes on, three minutes off. Repeat the cycle twice. It’s all about controlling the efforts—slowly building to a tempo effort, then easing off the gas. My legs were fatigued coming off the power test, so I just did corework afterward.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Woohoo for new numbers! The main workout include two, 15-minute blocks: five minutes at tempo, five minutes at sweet spot, and five minutes at threshold. Again, it was all about controlling the effort. I kept the gearing the same for the sweet spot and threshold efforts and simply increased by cadence by a few RPMs to make the transition from 92 percent to 100 and beyond.

Thursday – a.m. run

Woof. They all can’t be great runs. I struggled to dial in to my half-marathon pace for each of the eight-minute blocks; the pace was all over the place, and the wind along the West Side Highway didn’t help. During the third block, I could feel the wheels starting to come off, so I stopped and gave myself a peptalk.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

I’m back! I felt smooth after our warm-up, and although there was a fair amount of IM work, I was able to hang tough for 4,000m. I was also ready for a nap around 2 p.m.

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

My coach who did Ultraman Florida was back, so we recapped his race during the first part of the workout, which alternated between zone two efforts and manual hills. (We dropped our cadence to 60 RPM and added gear.) For the second hour, we rode part of the Kona course with instructions to stay in zone two on the flats, but we could build to zone four on the hills. We finished off with a few 45-second all-out sprints. It was also humbling and motivating to ride with one of the pros who trains at Tailwind. It gave me confidence to see our zones/percentages matched up for most of the workout … but, of course, he was making about 100 more watts than me.

Sunday – a.m. run

Blissful long run in Central Park with a twist: the snowman workout. I was tasked with completing one lower loop and one Harlem Hill loop in the park—in the same amount of time. The lower loop is relatively flat and measure 1.7 miles, while Harlem Hill is—you guessed it—hilly and clocks in at 1.3 miles. My strategy was to cruise on the lower loop and push on Harlem Hill, but my splits were roughly two minutes apart. Can’t wait to try this one again!

How diligent are you about recovery (foam rolling, massage, etc.)?

Triathlon Training Log – Base Building Phase III, Week 12 (Feb. 15)

Training: if you aren’t having fun, then you’re doing it wrong.


Even if it’s just quality zone two time

General training notes: Even though I took training easy last week due to being sick, this week served as a recovery week because I’m power testing on Monday. *Knock on wood* everything continues to feel fluid.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

This Three Bears workout has become our standard Monday set: high tension (a.k.a. big gear) and low cadence. Spending time in these easier zones has challenged me mentally—both in terms of holding back and controlling the effort and staying focused. During these types of workouts, I focus on engaging all the right muscle groups and maintaining a perfect pedal stroke for each revolution.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy, six-ish mile run that included 3×12 minutes at desired Ironman run pace, plus full-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Another mental challenge: while my training buds did a sweet spot/threshold workout, I locked in to 3×15 minutes at zone two. (Thanks a lot, recovery week.) However, I did get the green light to do 3×1:30 at VO2 max, which was nice.

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

I’ve been digging these fartlek runs: one minute “on,” one minute “off,” all the way up to three minutes for each effort. It’s nice to tap into these sustainable, yet challenging efforts, and hopefully, I’ll be spending more time doing this faster stuff as March approaches.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Well, it took the old school Russian swim coach 70 minutes before he told me women shouldn’t do triathlons. Sigh. On the bright side, the main set contained a few longer intervals (300s and 200s), and we logged 2,700m. This is definitely the best I’ve felt in the water, and things seemed to click sooner than usual. I’m slowly getting there!

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Titled “blissful endurance,” these Saturday morning rides center on easier efforts, and today, one of my tri buds accurately renamed it “mind numbing endurance.” While the rest of the class faced nine-, 12-, and 15-minute blocks with various efforts, I rode at 75 percent for two hours. But I could not complain: of the Tailwind coaches took on Ultraman Florida this weekend (6.2-mile swim, 261.4-mile bike, and 52.4-mile run over three days), and if he could hang out on his bike for nine hours, then I could certainly woman up and do two.

Sunday – a.m. run

Just a normal long-run outing in Central Park … except I saw RICH ROLL. I didn’t believe it was him! Thanks to his podcast, I knew he visited Vassar College yesterday, but figured he would stay in the area. Apparently not. We exchanged a few tweets after the missed connection, but he’ll be back here next month.

How did your workouts go this week?

Triathlon Training Log – Base Building Phase III, Week Eleven (Feb. 8)

How is it Sunday again?


Zelda says hi from Sanibel.

This was a weird week for me. Everyone at work is sick, getting sick, or recovering from being sick, and although I avoided it for a few days, the congestion and coughing eventually caught me. It probably didn’t help that I drank a ton of adult beverages (for me) last weekend for my birthday and the Super Bowl. Live and learn.

General training notes: I sensed something was off Tuesday when I needed a third cup of coffee at work, and by Wednesday, the congestion and coughing hit. I really hoped things would turn around for Sunday’s PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Miler—I registered on a whim—and after strategizing with Earl and Coach Pat, we agreed to take it easy this week due to sickness and to the potential race. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and I took three rest days. Were we being conservative? Yes. But what’s the point of pushing now if it will take me longer to recover? Plus, running in “feels like -10 degrees Fahrenheit” is not the wisest decision if I’m not feeling 100 percent.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

So remember the Goldilocks workout? Well, naturally, there’s also a Three Bears set. (And no, not the same Three Bears from Ironman Lake Placid.) After a long warm-up with plenty of single-leg drills and a 10-minute block at endurance pace, we faced a low cadence set that tested leg strength. Here’s how it went down: one minute at 55 RPMs at 65 percent; one minute at 55-65 RPMs at 75 percent; one minute at 55-65 RPM at 90 percent; and 30-second build to a full sprint. (Three minutes down and repeat four times.) This session centered on cadence work and perfecting the pedal stroke. Case in point: I kept it on the heaviest gear possible and executed the builds by increasing my cadence.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy run, plus full-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

More quality zone two time: 2×20 minutes at 70-72 percent

Thursdaya.m. run and strength train off

This is when I stubbornly admitted I caught the bug. I slept in and originally planned to run after work, but I felt exhausted—even after a third cup of coffee. After talking with Earl and Coach Pat, we agreed to take the day off and assess how I felt Friday.

Friday a.m. swim with Bearcat masters off

For whatever reason, masters practice was cancelled, which worked out nicely because I was still hacking up a lung. I also quarantined myself and worked from home.

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

There was a small chance I’d do the Cherry Tree 10 Miler, so Earl programmed an easy bike workout: long warm-up with single-leg and high cadence drills followed by 15 minutes at endurance, 10 minutes at tempo, and five minutes at threshold. I struggled to dial in the threshold effort, and we agreed if I ran the next day, it would be an easy training “yog.”

Sundaya.m. PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Miler off

I’ve done this race the past two years, so I’m bummed I’m sitting on my couch and not running right now. But it is also 1 degree Fahrenheit so …

When you’re sick, how do you determine if you should work out or take a day off?

Triathlon Training Log – Base Building Phase III, Week Ten (Feb. 1)

So I turned the big 2-6 on Friday. Actually, I shouldn’t say “big” because it’s not an important birthday; I didn’t age up, and I didn’t turn 30.


Although it’s scary to think I am closer to 30 than 20 now! Does this mean I’m an adult?


An adulting how-t0 guide

An early birthday present from my parents. Are they trying to tell me something?

General training notes: overall, this base building period has been really effective—I can tell I’m becoming fitter, stronger, and more efficient—and everything seems to be clicking, especially this week. Biking and running comprise the majority of my training time, and I feel rested and recovered for each workout, which is an aspect my training last year lacked. Swimming is still coming along. I’ve said this after avoiding the pool during the past two off-seasons, but I really shouldn’t spend for four months away from the water.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Just another Monday morning Goldilocks workout (while some Iron-distance training buddies power tested, sigh.) One of the benefits to doing this workout every week is being able to see and feel progress. For the first few weeks, I struggled to get my cadence above 120 RPMs simply because that isn’t kosher by triathlon standards. (Bike racing, yes. But triathletes rarely need to “let it fly.”) But I’ve become more comfortable with giving up control and letting my legs spin furiously.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

I don’t want to jinx it, but running is feeling great lately. After a 15-minute warm-up to Central Park, I completed 2×20-min. efforts at marathon pace with three minutes active recovery between. There were moments during this workout when it felt smooth and effortless. Granted, it could’ve been because I was running in shorts, and it was 41 degrees, but still. These moments are hard to come by in terms of the run (the bike is a different story), and finding that feeling validated the plan is working.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Nailed this crisscross interval workout: we tackled two, 18-minute sweet spot blocks with 30-second surges to VO2 max every two minutes.

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy hour-long run in the rain, plus full body strength training and corework

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters


Please enjoy this birthday cod.” My tri buddies get me.

Birthday swim, birthday swim! As the actual swimmers know, a birthday calls for a monster 100×100 set, but there was absolutely no way that could happen. Instead, we did some IM drill work, lots of pulling, and a few 200m sets for 3,800m.

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Nothing glamorous: 3×30 minutes with 15 minutes at zone two, 10 minutes at Ironman-distance effort, and five minutes at sweet spot/FTP. Luckily, the coach gave me the green light to hang out at 80 percent during the Iron-distance blocks because I “don’t have an Ironman pace,” ha! This workout challenged me mentally more than physically; simply having the focus to remain engaged and execute a 1.5-hour set was tough.

Sunday – a.m. run

Hello, Harlem Hill repeats: I tackled two sets of three that followed the same progression as the Cat Hill repeats from a few weeks ago. (Cruise up the hill on the first, build to a solid effort on the second, and attack from the get-go on the third.) With warm-up and cool-down miles, I logged 10.21 for the day.

… and now it’s time for some Super Bowl fun!

What are your Super Bowl plans?