Tag Archives: brick workouts

Triathlon Training Log – Week 35 (July 25)

It’s the calm before the sportz storm.

2016-family-selfie-central-park

Family selfie in Central Park

The Rio Olympic Games begin on Friday. #Hammerfest2016/#Sweatfest2016 takes place in two weeks. Suffice to say, these upcoming three weeks will be crazy. Does anyone have a fast-forward button I can push?

General training notes: as I mentioned last week, this training segment revolved around locking in to race paces. The quality, intense workouts were frontloaded to the beginning of the week, and after Thursday, we eased off the gas and focused on volume. We’ll ramp back up tomorrow (Monday) and log some solid efforts through Wednesday, and then that’s it. Taper time—and I’m definitely ready for it. Between triathlon and life, I am carrying a fair amount of stress. The mental aspect won’t necessarily improve during the taper—I am highly susceptible to #tapercrazies after all—especially since we’ll be working around the clock with Olympic coverage at work.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Locking in to race watts: 2×20 minutes at 95 percent with five minutes of easy riding between each. For the first interval, I went with my natural cadence (93-95 RPMs); for the second, I overgeared a bit and grinded it out at 83-85 RPMs.

Tuesday – a.m. run in Central Park

Race-paced run fun: 8x800s with two minutes of easy running between each. Even though there was some humidity, I was able to lock in the pace and execute—and I tried not to run like a basketball player. I saw two friends in the park, too. Or rather, they saw me. I was so focused on my not-running-like-a-basketball-player cues that I didn’t see them, and they were the ones to say hi to me first. Usually it’s the other way around.

Wednesday – a.m. brick/ “Groundhog” workout (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run on the treadmill)

To get used to the transition from biking to running, Earl programmed my first “groundhog” workout of the season. If you remember, I completed this workout last year a few times before Nationals, and it really helps dial in target outputs and build confidence to execute when you’re comfortably uncomfortable. This workout included three rounds of 10 minutes on the bike at 95 percent and 8 minutes on the treadmill at my target race pace. On the bike, I experimented with my cadence (95 RPM on the first round, 83-85 RPMs on the second, and 90-92 RPMs on the third) and confirmed 90-93 RPMs will be my racing sweet spot. This was a tough workout, and there were some dark points I had to work through—especially during the second round—but I was able to execute and finish strong.

Thursday – a.m. run in Central Park; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Race-paced 800s take two—gone horribly wrong, unfortunately. By the third repeat, I realized race pace was not happening given the humidity, so instead, I focused on my form. After work, I swam an IM practice with the Bearcats.

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. bike-swim-bike

I was totally a high maintenance triathlete. During the 20-mile ride out to the Palisades Swim Club, I lost a contact lens (remember how this happened at Nationals last year?) so I effectively had one eye for about 10 miles. Things continued to spiral downward: I flatted. Thankfully, I made it to the pool and had some help fixing it. The swim workout was tough, too. I felt great in the water, but there are some fundamental issues with my stroke we’re trying to improve. And on the 20 miles back to the city, a group of us almost got hit by a fire truck. All in all, it was just another day in the life of an NYC triathlete.

Sunday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run in Central Park)

This long endurance brick was supposed to begin with an outdoor ride, but morning showers prompted me to push it indoors. After two hours riding the Ironman Mont-Tremblant course, I hit Central Park for an easy 30-minute run. Executing well across the disciplines was exactly the confidence boost I needed after yesterday’s disastrous outing.

How did your workouts go this week?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 33 (July 11)

Hello from the other/Upper West side.

2016-nyc-upper-west-side

*Say/sing in Adele’s voice

My sister and I moved this week, so things have been crazy. It also looks like a clothing/workout apparel bomb went off in our new apartment. The unpacking and organizing is well underway though.

General training notes: well, this was bound to happen eventually. After two big weeks of training, the load hit me this week. For the first time in a while, I felt tired and sore—although the stress and fatigue of moving probably added to that. What can you do? Life happens.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

To celebrate the Tour de France, Tailwind hosted a Tour Week where athletes rode different stages every day. To mimic the Tour, this ride contained a lot of hills and sprint intervals, plus two time trial efforts. My legs felt less-than-fresh coming off a solid weekend, but the workout got done.

Tuesday – a.m. run in Central Park

Hands down, this is the best and more precisely I’ve executed my race-pace intervals. After a longer warm-up and strides, I completed 3×12 minutes at my *fingers crossed* off-the-bike 10-K pace with three minutes of easy running between each set. Next up was one mile at about 30 seconds slower. Including the warm-up and cool down, I logged 8.5 miles.

Wednesday – off

My sister and I moved (!!!) so this was a rest day from training.

Thursday – p.m. run in Central Park

Easy cruise intervals around the Reservoir for about 6.5 total miles. After my workout, I met up with some Tailwind folks, and Earl watched me run for the first time. In shocking news to no one, I run like a basketball player—which means I need to learn how to run like a runner.

Friday – p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

You know your “A” race is approaching when a crazy Friday night means doing IM work with your masters crew. Due to moving, I’ll be swimming exclusively at night on the weekdays. The infamous Russian coach ran this practice, and although I did not get the exact yardage at the end, I was in the water for 1.5 hours so I’ll take it. I also suffered the most intense calf cramp from pushing off the wall: my calf seized up, and I grabbed the lane line, and I couldn’t move for a few minutes it was so intense. I have experienced these before, but this was definitely the worst one yet. As I’m typing this training log Sunday, it still hurts, and I’m gimping around a little bit.

Saturday – a.m. brick (bike-run-bike); p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Sportz Saturdays are back! After a 20-mile ride from NYC over the George Washington Bridge and to the Palisades Swim Club, I ran five miles on trails. It was hot, and since I hammered the last 10 miles, the run was incredibly tough, and I felt awful—definitely the worst outing I’ve had in a while. Riding the 20 miles back to the city seemed impossible, but I stuck with one of my training buds, and we took turns pulling and drafting.

After that morning, it was a miracle I made it to masters. Much like the run, unfortunately, I felt flat and totally zapped of any energy. I stayed in the water for the 1.5-hour practice, but there were a few sets I skipped; ballpark distance for the afternoon was 4000m.

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Thankfully, this was a good workout to close out a tough training week. After a long warm-up with single leg and high cadence drills, I completed a strength workout: during the odd intervals (1, 3, and 5), I overgeared and built from 80 RPM to 100 RPM; during the even ones (2 and 4), I started at my natural cadence and added gear every 30 seconds. For all sets, I started at tempo and increased to VO2 max plus.

How many times in the past year have you moved?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 32 (July 4)

Another summer weekend that went by all too quickly.

2016-camp-rose-weekend

Camp Moonlight Lane—and obviously not NYC

A few friends and I escaped the city and headed to the Saugerties/Kingston/Woodstock area for some swimming, biking, and running. We raced HITS Hudson Valley Saturday morning and spent the weekend eating, relaxing, and rehydrating. It was perfect!

General training notes: between coming off a training-heavy weekend in Lake Placid (wow, that already feels like such a long time ago) and heading into a Saturday race, I had low expectations for weekday workouts and the race itself. After taking a day off, my body absorbed the volume from Placid, and I felt loose and relaxed while doing sportz on Saturday.

Monday – a.m. swim in Mirror Lake and run

One final 1.2-mile dip in Mirror Lake and three easy miles around it

Tuesday – off

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run in Central Park)

Following the monster Lake Placid training weekend, I wondered how my legs would respond to a race-wattage bike and two fast miles, but they rose to the occasion. I felt great during the 4×6 intervals, and on the run, I worked down to my projected race pace relatively easily. Could my body be absorbing the effects of LP already?

Thursday – a.m. run in Central Park

Easy and incredibly sweaty six miles around the Reservoir

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Easy freestyle-focused 2,400m workout

Saturday – HITS Hudson Valley

Full disclosure: this was small race, but you can only race the people who show up. Between a punchy bike course with a few kickers and a surprise trail run in a torrential downpour, I was thrilled to execute a solid race and secure my first overall female podium—I placed third! A female pro raced and crushed us (she placed second *in the entire race*), but any day you find yourself on the podium is a great day. Race report to come.

Sunday – p.m. bike

After a rosé-filled Saturday afternoon and evening, we all opted to sleep in Sunday morning and push our recovery ride to noon. In typical perpetual training bro fashion, I hit the country roads with three dudes for an easy 20 miles. It was great to spin out and flush everything out.

How was your weekend?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 31 (June 27)

I’m back in NYC, but my heart is in LP.

2016-lake-placid-mirror-lake

Placid paradise

Along with my arms, legs, and entire body. We had a monster training weekend at #WorkLiveTriCamp!

General training notes: ah, a recovery week. With #WorkLiveTriCamp scheduled for the weekend, we stuck to easy workouts during the week. My body definitely needed the rest. Although now I feel like I need a few days to recover from camp! (And there will be a more detailed post on Lake Placid.)

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run in Central Park

Easy 45-minute run along the trails

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Recovery ride with a handful of intervals that focused on cadence

Thursday – a.m. run in Central Park

A few weeks ago, I did Cat Hill repeats as a recovery run; this time, I did 800s around the lower loop. I really enjoyed this workout, and my legs felt much fresher and looser afterward.

Friday – p.m. swim in MIRROR LAKE

My car left for Lake Placid shortly before 8 a.m., and we arrived around 1 p.m. Since we couldn’t get into the rental house until 3 p.m., we hit Mirror Lake for a 1.2-mile loop of the Ironman Lake Placid swim course. It felt great to be back even though the water was the roughest and choppiest its been in the three years I’ve been going there. Another car of campers arrived around 4 p.m., and I somehow got talked into swimming a second loop of the course. (Slash, it sounded like a great idea after two adult beverages.) This time, it was raining, but we had the lake to ourselves.

Saturday – a.m. brick; p.m. swim

The training day started off slowly due to rain and wind in the forecast, but around 11:30 a.m. the skies looked clear enough to ride. Under normal circumstances, I’d ride the normal bike course, but since it had been raining throughout the night and morning, our coaches advised everyone to skip the seven-mile descent into Keene, which can be unnerving even during ideal conditions. Instead, I ended up riding the run course, heading out Wilmington, and then coming back to Lake Placid. (Once I turned around, my route followed the “normal” bike course.) It was incredibly windy, and the 30-mile ride took a lot longer than anticipated, but it was absolutely beautiful.

2016-lake-placid-mirror-lake-cataclysmic-bliss

Forever chasing that cataclysmic bliss

Back in Lake Placid, I swapped out my bike gear for running shoes and headed down to Mirror Lake to log two loops. Per Earl’s instructions, the first loop was easy, and it was during the second loop I had permission to work down to my off-the-bike pace. During my 5.5 miles, I saw a few training buds from the house getting after it too.

I closed out the day with another 1.2-mile swim in Mirror Lake. The focus of this workout was to work on drafting and swimming in a pack, but I was in an awkward place: not quite fast enough to swim with the pros and actual swimmers who were at camp and too fast to swim with everyone else. Earl put me in a group with three other people, and I unintentionally dropped them when it was my turn to swim from the back of the pace line to the front.

Sunday – a.m. brick; p.m. swim

This was a monster training day: I rode the same route as the day before, but kept backtracking from Wilmington into Jay and eventually Keene before turning around and heading back to Lake Placid. There were four of us who started the ride, but about halfway through, the group splintered to just Earl and me. Granted, this 53-mile outing was my longest one of the season, but hands down, this was my toughest ride in Placid to date. The wind was absolutely unrelenting. When we were about 12 miles from the house, we made a quick stop at a gas station, and that’s when I called in the reserves: Coca-Cola.

2016-lake-placid-bike-bonk

Gimme energy. Gimme watts. Gimme another pair of legs.

Even with the boost from this endurance athlete’s elixir of life, the rest of the ride home was a total slog. I still don’t know how I pulled myself together to run three miles off the bike, but it got done.

After a pizza and Coke break (#metabolicallyefficient), I headed down to the lake with a few other folks for an easy swim. After this training day, I have even more admiration for long-course folks. I told one of the coaches I questioned a lot out on the bike ride, and he said, “welcome to long-course racing.”

When you need an energy boost during a workout, what’s your go-to option?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 25 (May 16)

All in all, things are going pretty well over here.

2016-grandaisy-bakery-nyc

and coffee. I always need coffee.

Maybe one of these days I’ll have a non-training post to share, but to be honest, swimming, biking, and running is taking up nearly all of my time outside of #WingedFootLyfe—but I wouldn’t want it any other way right now.

General training notes: after taking it easy last week, I was pumped to get back after it and log some quality efforts. As per usual, my week started off with relatively intense workouts that tapered off as Thursday and Friday approached. And in the words of my boss, I had another “monster” training weekend. T-minus two weeks until Rev3 Quassy!

Monday – p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Back to putting in work—and putting out serious watts. The 6×3 minutes at VO2 max workout has become a staple, which is nice because every week I can see improvement in terms of output and feel stronger in terms of effort. Tailwind actually hosted an evening event, so I had a crowd cheering me on. It was especially funny when one of the coaches came over and started to chat *during* one of the intervals—and we carried on a conversation. “Carrie’s VO2 max is like everyone else’s zone two,” he said. That made my night!

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

This week, I played around with my morning routine: I took a crazy early train uptown to Tailwind, brought my adult clothes, did my workout in Central Park, and then got ready for work at Tailwind. I tackled 3×12 minutes at race pace along a rolling route in the park and felt strong overall. It helped seeing a ton of friends out there and getting after it too!

After work, I rallied hard to make it to masters practice, and our main set was a descending pyramid with 25s, 50s, and 100s. (Again, the pool has been packed, so we stick to shorter sets.) I found myself in charge of the lane for a bit too!

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

I had plans after work, so this was another early watt-making morning. Earl programmed a push/pull workout: during a 15-minute set, I alternated between two minutes at 102 percent and three minutes at 90 percent (no recovery until the 15-minute mark). This was one of the tougher workouts I’ve done in a while, but Earl told me to think about it as a racing practice—the efforts at 102 percent were surges, and the time at 90 percent is my target race output.

Thursday – a.m. strength training; p.m. run

Completed my normal full-body program with corework and ran an easy six miles after work with a coworker. Within five minutes of being in Central Park, I saw three friends, one of whom my coworker knew too—what a small world!

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run in Central Park); p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Another Saturday, another day full of sportz. My morning began at Tailwind for a hour-long ride that contained three, five-minute builds (tempo to threshold to VO2 max), plus two, 10-minute blocks at Olympic-distance race wattage. I could feel myself “burning matches” and was anxious how my four-mile progression run off the bike would go. Earl wanted me to “shake out” the first mile—or run it relatively easy—and then negative split the run with mile four clocking in 30 seconds faster than mile one. Since I was holding way back at the beginning, I struggled to find my rhythm and feel smooth—and when I did, it was time to shut down the run, ha! This was much more of a strategic run: I focused on building the effort every mile as opposed to hitting my race pace immediately and holding it. We’re still very much in the information gathering phase, so we’ll play around with my run pacing strategy more in the upcoming months.

I finished the day with a monster (for me) 4,000m Bearcat masters swim. I loved the 6×400 main set, but I was totally dunzo for the rest of the day.

Sunday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run in Central Park)

Since moving to the Upper West Side, Tailwind hosts more of these “Velo Bricks” that allow athletes to log a quality ride on the CompuTrainer and then immediately run off the bike in Central Park. Saturday’s workout was a Velo Brick, and this was another tough one. The CompuTrainer was set on erg mode—meaning the resistence is automatically loaded, and you must control it with your cadence—and we completed three sets: set one contained three-minute intervals with equal rest at 105, 107, and 19 percent; set two had two-minute intervals at 110, 112, and 114 percent; and set three consisted of one-minute intervals at 115, 120, and 125 percent. On its own, this is a challenging ride—but doing an hour-long run off it? Sheesh. Let’s just say running slow enough for a long run was not a problem today, ha!

What did you do this weekend?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Feb. 2 (Week 5)

Well, it’s officially official: I “aged up” this week.

2015-brithday-balloons-25

Back in the day, I wore “25” for field-hockey, basketball, and softball; it’s my lucky number, and it feels pretty good so far!

General training notes: Overall, this ended up being an extremely solid training week. My swimming motivation has finally returned. (Big news: read below!) Cycling in general has started to feel like it is second nature again. And Coach Pat has the run dialed in. As far as training groups go, I’m in the middle of a transition. More on that in a minute.

Monday – a.m. run and CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

I tried to run outside, but the sidewalks packed way too much slush, so I retreated to the ‘mill for 4.5 easy miles. At Tailwind, we did a bunch of sweet spot and VO2 max efforts of varying times and cadence prescriptions. Slowly but surely, my cycling legs are returning.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. swim with Bearcat Masters

At first glance, Coach Pat’s speedwork didn’t look too bad: 3×400, 1 mile, 2×400. I executed the 400s according to plan, but started the mile too aggressively. I was able to hold the pace through 800, but I could feel myself tanking on the third and fourth lap. We talked afterward about execution, mental toughness, and how to stay positive even when the pace plan goes out the window. Bottom line, I have it on the bike—because I have more experience on the bike. When the pain sets in, I know how to process it; I know it’s normal and sustainable. I’m not quite there with the run yet.

And yes, you read that correctly: I survived my first masters swim workout! One of my work friends swims with Baruch College’s Bearcat Masters team, and he’s been on me for a while to join. (And other trusted individuals have said if I want to continue improving on the swim, then registering for a masters program is the next step.) I finally put on my big-girl pants, emailed the head coach (with the subject line/disclaimer “triathlete at masters swim”), and held my own in the water—in the second-slowest lane. (More detailed post coming soon.) Talk about humbling. But, it was the best swim workout I’ve ever done, and endorphin surges kept me from falling asleep that night. Needless to say, I’m officially a U.S. Masters Swimming member—and an official member of the Bearcats Masters team (but probably still a #wannabeswimmer).

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Another humbling workout. During this hill, FTP-focused ride, I wanted to maintain a lower cadence (around 80 RPM) because it felt smoother, and I felt more powerful. But after the first two intervals (0.25 and 0.5 mi. with three-percent grades), the coach wanted to me switch to the small ring, increase my cadence (to my normal 93-95 RPMs), and generate the same amount of power. The science behind it makes sense: higher cadence equals less lactic acid build-up, which in turn should lead to a better run. I didn’t like this approach because my heart rate got jacked up, and I didn’t feel strong—but I did maintain my power output, so that was good.

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Effortless nine-mile run in Central Park …

2015-central-park-nyc-nine-miles-25-birthday

Which was a perfect way to turn 25!

And in honor of my quarter-century birthday, I swam 2,500 yards after work.

Friday – a.m. brick workout (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance, run on Finish Line PT treadmill)

Friday Funday saw my first brick of the 2015 campaign—and it went well! One of the Tailwind coaches suggested I start doing these bike-then-immediately-run workouts, and as per Coach Pat’s advice, I completed 45 minutes of VO2 max intervals on the bike and then hopped on the treadmill for two solid miles. Overall it was a huge confidence boost: the bike workout was tough, and I held a respectable pace on the run—and it felt sustainable. Sure, my legs were a bit confused, but it’s great to know my engine is getting primed to do work.

Saturday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. swim with Bearcat Masters

Steady, 45-minute run—which felt amazing because I didn’t swim beforehand. Then I lifted some heavy things and set them back down. After brunch, I went to my second Bearcat Masters swim where I survived 4×200 IM (although I had to ask the actual swimmers the IM progression) and practiced diving! (The coach says I’ll be ready to go off the blocks next week!) This practice totally took me out of my comfort zone, but that’s how improvement happens. In total, we logged 3,200 meters/3,500 yards, which is most likely my longest swim ever.

Sunday – off

As you may have noticed, there is no mention of training with my team. I don’t want to discuss this decision in-depth, but I will say my training philosophy has changed throughout the past few months. And bottom line, where I am now (physically, mentally, etc.) does not match up with where the team is right now. I will still attend team races and race for the team, but I’ll be following a “piecemeal” approach to training: swimming with the (Bearcat Masters) swimmers, biking with my buddies at Tailwind, and running under Coach Pat’s guidance.

How have your strengths/weaknesses changed over the years?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of July 14 (Week 27)

Greetings! What did you do this weekend? I kicked off Saturday with some swim-bike-run action at the Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon (0.5-mile swim, 10-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) in Connecticut. Serving as my last tune-up before Nationals in August, this race confirmed what I suspected about my training and abilities so far: I can swim, I can bike, but whether or not I can run depends on the day.

hopkins-vineyard-triathlon-third-female-overall

But any day you nab an overall podium slot is a good day—my first ever!

General training notes: Finally, a recovery week! As I become a more experienced triathlete, I find it easier to embrace the down time. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still hard to back off the intensity and shut down workouts early, but I know it’s part of the plan. In other training-related updates, my road rash has healed nicely. A teammate gave me magic DuoDERM patches; you keep them on and change them our every 24 hours, and they expedite healing and prevent scars. So fortunately or unfortunately, my bada** road rash has basically disappeared.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

In the spirit of decreasing intensity, the 3,050-yard swim contained mostly “steady” sets with some hypoxic-five breathing thrown in—which I actually completed (#wannabeswimmer). I felt good in the water, but when I went on the treadmill for four easy miles, my hip hurt a little bit from Friday’s crash. It wasn’t anything major; just an increased awareness of the area.

Tuesday – a.m. run, strength train, and swim

I don’t know what was going on in my head, but this easy five miler was tough mentally. Even with some chill music, I struggled to stay in the moment and focus on the workout at hand. Sympathy taper crazies, perhaps? Anyway, I did 15 minutes of corework and shoulders after and then swam 2,400.

Wednesday – a.m. brick and strength train

Ugh, this was a frustrating day. The forecast said there was a 90 percent chance of rain, so our outdoor ride was canceled—but it didn’t rain. Instead, I completed a mini-brick indoors: 30 minutes on the spin bike and one race-pace mile on the track. Since I was at the gym, I did some corework and a shoulder circuit.

Thursday – a.m. bike

Even though our normal team workout called for another swim, I opted to ride in Central Park instead. Two pool swims plus an open-water swim on Saturday seemed like enough time in the water. Anyway, two teammates and I logged four steady loops for 33 miles.

Friday – a.m. bike

Because of Saturday’s sprint, I really shut it down: three steady loops in the park for 26 miles.

Saturday – Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon

Solid training day. Race recap coming later this week!

Sunday – a.m. bike

So … I rode 78 miles today. That’s the farthest I’ve ridden—ever. And I’m a short-course triathlete. How did this happen? Well my teammate and I met up with our friend who rides on a cycling team. We didn’t realize it was a team ride, but the guys were cool. Anyway, they took (read: pulled/did all the work) us on a new route, and it took us until mile 45 to realize we were probably in over our heads–because we’d have to bike that distance back to NYC. At that point, we pulled ourselves out of the group and let the guys continue; we turned around to retrace our route and figured they’d catch us eventually. Long story short, we got lost, stumbled upon a mall (not sure if we were in New York or New Jersey at this point), and asked for directions at a gas station—after chugging a bottle of Coke.

coke-78-miles

Elixir of life. Seriously.

Anyway, time to put the blinders on, keep my head down, and go to work—three weeks until Nationals!

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 23 (Week 25)

Hello, hello!

jackrabbit-watts

#WorkFlow #LetsTalkWatts

General training notes: Woof. My back-to-back races caught up with me, and fatigue plus humidity made for some tough bike and run workouts. And it’s not that bad yet. Anyway, this combo led to a lackluster training week; at times, it felt like I was just going through the motions. However, there are several factors at play: aside from fatigue and humidity, my work schedule has changed, so I’m getting used to new hours, and I’ve also “checked out” a little bit because I’m going home for the 4th of July. ‘Tis life, right?

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. brick (bike and run)

Yeah, this was an aggressive first workout post-race, but it went OK. My legs felt stiff during the bike, but loosened up by the run. Thankfully, it was a short brick—36 biking miles and 1.7 running miles. Don’t know if I could’ve handled anything longer.

Wednesday – a.m. swim; p.m. Anyone Can Win 5-K

Coming off Sunday’s race and Tuesday’s brick, I wasn’t sure what to expect in the pool, but my body fared pretty well. There weren’t a ton of hard efforts, and it felt great to get in the water. And that night, JackRabbit hosted its annual Anyone Can Win 5-K in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. It’s a prediction race, so you predict your time and try to run it—without watches, music, etc. I worked and ran, and it was a lot of fun!

jackrabbit-anyone-can-win-5-k-union-square

Yeah, Union Square represent!

It was during this run where I noticed the humidity affecting me; it felt like I was running so much faster and working harder than my chip time indicated. But I should cut myself some slack as my body acclimates.

Thursday – a.m. swim and run

Tough, tough swim. Our main set took the form of a 3×300 that included steady swimming, solid pulling, and race pace 50s. I planned to run five steady miles after, but my legs were shot from the night before, and the humidity was killer, so I did four easy instead.

Friday – a.m. bike

Two words: girl down. We had a smaller group in Central Park, so the entire team completed the warm-up loop together before my coach split us into pace groups. My all-girl group cranked the pace and did three solid loops—and I somehow ended up pulling on a bunch of hills. And when one of the coaches yells at you to push—“Hit 22 going up this hill, Carrie! ”—it’s not like you’re going to ease up and spin out. So yeah, it was an aggressive ride. Including the commute to and from the park, plus warm-up and cool-down loops, I did 52 miles. Very solid for a weekday.

Saturday – a.m. bike

Triathlon life doesn’t get much better than escaping the city, soaking in the sun, and spending time on the bike. One my teammates and I met early to log 40 miles that included hill repeats and solid aero efforts. Since we’re about the same speed (she’s the one I “rode with” during Griskus and Stamford), we took turns pulling on the way back to the city and held a decent pace. Good ride!

Sunday – a.m. run

In an effort to beat the humidity, I hit the West Side Highway for a 7.35-mile run. It felt tough at first, but I was able to work the negative split and get down to my off-the-bike pace for the final mile before cooling down. Success!

All right. Time to buckle down—three days until I go home!

What are your plans for the 4th of July?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 2 (Week 22)

Bizarre. That’s the word that most accurately describes this week. Everything—and everyone—at work and training seemed out of sync. And honestly, I don’t remember the last time I felt this off for a longer (i.e. more than one day) stretch of time. If you read my most recent post, then you know all about it.

cannondale-slice-5-105-ride-river-road

When in doubt, pedal it out.

Moving on.

General training notes: Even though I felt drunk/delirious during 85 percent of this week’s workouts, I nailed key sessions, followed my coach’s instructions, and overall gained confidence going into Pat Griskus. This was by no means a taper week, but that’s what it felt like mentally. Maybe the taper crazies are out of my system so I won’t be a total headcase next week?

Monday – a.m. swim and run

As I mentioned, I felt out of sorts during the swim—like a combination of being drunk/delirious—and I took in a ton of water. A lot of my teammates expressed similar feelings. Anyway, the run after went much better; I dialed into my steady pace, listened to music, and enjoyed the sunny morning.

Tuesday – a.m. brick (bike and run)

Another Tuesday, another outdoor brick. We were instructed to ride easy, complete two Harlem Hill repeats, and run steady off the bike. The pace was frustrating because I wanted to push, but I trust my coach and the process and know there’s a reason he wanted the ride to be easy. The hill repeats ended up being solid efforts, and I even did one standing—and chicked so many dudes, ha! The run went well, too. My coach said to focus on the negative split, so I started off steady and progressed to what will hopefully be my 10-K-off-the-bike-pace. It felt good, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold that pace for 6.2 miles. I guess we’ll see next weekend!

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

I knew this tempo run would be killer—4×8 minutes at tempo/4 minutes at steady—and it was one of those key workouts I needed to execute. Again, I felt lethargic/inebriated, but everything clicked after the warm-up mile; I hit and held a pace on the fast-end of my tempo range, which gives me confidence for next weekend. Yes, running off the bike is totally different, but if I can make it hurt (check) and be comfortable with being uncomfortable (check), then this bodes well for race day. It ended up being a long-for-me run too at 6.6 miles.

Nothing too interesting to report on the swimming front: Just 2,100 yards with some solid swimming and pulling efforts. And I’m still not the best at counting laps.

Thursday – a.m. swim and recovery run; p.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Even though my morning workouts went well, I felt so out of it—could not shake the hungover feeling. The yardage got logged (3,150), and I had a good four-mile recovery run too. Thankfully, things turned around during the power hour class at Tailwind Endurance. As usual, it was a sufferfest—12x 2 minutes at VO2 max and 2 minutes recovery on erg mode—but I felt much more like myself after the class ended.

Friday – a.m. bike

This was a fun ride: We did one warm-up loop, and then rode in a single-file pace line, and the person on the front chose when to attack, coast, etc. (No one could attack from behind the peloton.) Somehow, I ended up pulling on most of the hills, but that worked to my advantage; I’d rather hammer up hills than on flats. Totally mileage clocked in at 34.

Saturday – off

Sunday – p.m. bike

Wow, these Sunday rides have become my favorite part of the week. A few teammates and I drove to our coach’s house in Connecticut for a hilly, 40-mile ride. Since it was our last solid ride before Pat Griskus, we really cranked it. At one point, we hit a flat, five-mile section, and the five of us took turns pulling. Three cheers for broing out and not getting dropped! Oh, and my coach told me I rode like a guy, which I guess is a compliment? Ha!

How do you bounce back from feeling “off”?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 26 (Phase Two, Week 21)

Glahhh!

pat-griskus-triathlon-countdown

T-minus two weeks until Pat Griskus—here we go!

General training notes: June will be a big racing month for Full Throttle Endurance—there are four races that take place four consecutive weekends, and a handful of athletes are doing back-to-back races—so we entered a recovery week. Compared to previous down weeks, this span felt more intense. That’s OK with me, though, since I’ll start tapering on Wednesday next week.

Monday – a.m. run

Because of Memorial Day weekend, the gym followed holiday hours; and unfortunately, that meant no time to swim before work. Instead, I ran to Central Park for some hillwork. I’m not totally sure how this happened, but I logged 7.5 miles, which is also a new long run for this season. Once I found my groove, everything felt good, so I kept running and running and running—and enjoyed it. Who am I?!

Tuesday – a.m. brick (bike and run)

Honestly, this brick could not have gone any better: I hung with my new (read: faster) cycling group for two loops of Central Park—plus two Harlem Hill repeats—dialed into what will hopefully be my 10-K-off-the-bike pace, and rode two cool-down loops. Total mileage was 38 on the bike and 1.7 on the run.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

I’m not going to call it a breakthrough just yet, but it seems like my run is finally getting better. While some of my teammates did a two-mile time trial, I ran about five miles steady—and couldn’t believe how good the pace felt. It was tempting to push, but I followed the workout and backed off the gas. A short, 2,300-yard swim followed.

Thursday – a.m. swim and recovery run; p.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Since we’re in a recovery week, we backed off the intensity during the swim, but maintained the volume. The 3,400-yard workout included lots of pulling and an abbreviated ladder. Just for “fun,” we did some 25-yarders underwater. I did four, which was three more than my coach predicted I would do—ha! Right after, I did an easy four miles outside.

Like last week’s Tailwind workout, we did another erg mode workout with a handful of 10-minute blocks at threshold. Although I gravitate toward a higher cadence (90 RMPs is ideal, and I normally default to 93-95 RMP), I felt like my cadence was too high, and the power/watts didn’t seem to be there. No complaints, though, since it’s a recovery week, and maintaining a higher cadence and essentially spinning out was probably a more appropriate workout.

Friday – a.m. bike

Three cheers for sticking with my new cycling group and not getting dropped! We logged four steady loops in Central Park, and since there were about eight people in the group, we got ample rest after our 30-second pulls in the front. Including the commute to and from the park, plus warm-up and cool-down loops, I logged 48.5 miles. Another solid weekday ride!

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. bike

Holy hills! Like my Sunday bike workout a few weeks ago, this ride was all about hills—specifically repeats in preparation for Pat Griskus. Although my splits were only a few seconds faster than last time, I felt so much stronger. Granted, I knew what I was facing, but my mental game was on point, and I even sprinkled in a few standing climbs. Total ride was about 48 miles.

Back to the grind—let’s get after it!