Tag Archives: Full Throttle Endurance

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Feb. 9 (Week 6)

It seems like I say this all the time … but how can February be more than halfway over?

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Social media planning, V-Day cookies, Triathlete magazine … this is my #workflow.

Slow the heck down, 2015!

General training notes: Overall, this was a wacky week. I planned to do the Cherry Tree 10 Miler on Sunday, but it was cancelled due to projected cold temperatures and sustained winds. And since this would’ve been a solid progression run, Coach Pat had me back off Tuesday’s speedwork, Thursday’s long run (obviously), and Saturday’s usual masters swim. (And Wednesday also became a rest day.) Basically, this ended up being an easier week.

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

Easy 4.5 miles on the West Side Highway with freezing rain before heading to Tailwind for a threshold power hour ride: 4×7-minute efforts. To make it interesting, we added gear and decreased cadence from minutes 3-4 to simulate hill climbing. Even though my ideal RPM is 90-93, I’m becoming comfortable and efficient “grinding it out” at 80-85 when necessary.

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

As outlined above, Coach Pat gave me an easier speed workout: 7×500 at tempo pace. I had to make a conscious effort to slow down in order to execute the prescribed splits, and yeah, it was tough—but I reminded myself Sunday would be the real workout, and that’s when I’d get to push the pace (relatively speaking anyway). I had some fun with weights, Therabands, and corework after.

At Bearcat Masters, shorter sets—lots of 25m sprints, 50m kicks, and 75-100m at race pace—comprised our 2,450m workout. And I learned a new drill (sailboat) and even got to lead one of the sets! Even though I’ll rock the #wannabeswimmer status for a while, I do plan to move up a lane next week. I’ve had the chance to get my fins wet (ha!), see the format of workouts, and determine the average pace of the lane. (OK, so I honestly don’t know how fast I’ve been swimming, especially since I’m used to putting everything in terms of yards, but I do know it hasn’t been super challenging for me to make our intervals.)

Wednesday – off

Originally, I planned to do a power hour ride at Tailwind, but it was cancelled. (They’re in the process of moving/expanding.) However, given Sunday’s race, this ended up being a good day to rest.

Thursday – a.m. run

Five easy and uneventful miles on the West Side Highway

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Let’s keep it short and sweet: “You executed pretty damn perfectly,” the coach told me afterward. BOOM. We rode a 16-mile course with varying hill lengths and gradients with the goal of holding VO2 max on the hills and recovering on the flats.

Saturday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance and strength train

Even though I’m one of the slower ones at Bearcat practices, it’s still crazy for me to think I’m the fastest at these triathlete swims. Being in charge of the fast lane is a nice confidence boost—and it comes with added responsibility of pacing and keeping the lane on track—but I would much rather be challenged as the caboose at masters. In total, I logged 3,000 yards and then spent about 40 minutes doing strength training and corework.

SundayCherry Tree 10 Miler a.m. run

Womp, womp—I was so pumped for the Cherry Tree 10 Miler! Yes, because there were post-race brunch plans, but more so because I wanted to execute Coach Pat’s pace plan. Unfortunately, the race for the hardcore threatened to be too hardcore, but I still got my 10 miles done.

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You never let me down, Central Park.

It’s all about layering, folks!

Have you ever signed up for a race or event that was eventually cancelled?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Jan. 26 (Week 4)

Woah there, 2015. I need you to slow down.

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How can it be February already?

General training notes: As the fourth week of official training, this span would normally be a recovery week. And aside from Tuesday’s speedwork and Friday’s CompuTrainer class, my workouts didn’t demand an incredible amount of volume or intensity. I even saw my go-to sports massage person for a painful, but much needed flush-out. Gotta jumpstart the recovery process because I’m not going to be 24 forever!

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. run

Adding an extra power hour CompuTrainer class worked well last week, and I need to ramp up the biking volume anyway, so another opportunity to make watts it is. The workout itself wasn’t incredibly taxing—just another over-gear/strength-building ride—but I still sweat buckets. Pending Winter Storm Juno derailed my plans to run easy outside, but I hit the ‘mill after work for an easy 4.5 miles while listening to the #RRP.

Tuesday – p.m. run

“Winter Storm Juno” shut down the entire city, so I enjoyed a leisurely morning, went out to lunch with some friends, and finally made it to the gym around 4 p.m. Note to self: Do not attempt to do speedwork during the afternoon. Coach Pat’s 5x1000s were tough; repeats one, two, and three were on pace, but I fizzled out on the fourth and fifth. Womp, womp. But that’s how you get better.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Thanks to the strength/over gear work we’ve been doing at Tailwind, I’m starting to not totally hate maintaining a slow-for-me cadence. Earl mapped out our gear progression (75-80-85-90-95 RPMs) with the goal of increasing every 30 seconds for the first interval, increasing every minute for the second, and every 1:30 for the third. And then we did every minute and every 30 seconds again. Funny enough, the more comfortable I become “mashing” (at 75-85 RPMs), the stronger I feel when I finally get to the 90-95 RPM blocks.

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Nine-mile long-run in Central Park

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And since we were celebrating Art Night at work, I was able to sneak away during the afternoon for a short and sweet 1,000 yards in the pool.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

It was so unfortunate erg mode wasn’t working properly (can you sense my sarcasm?), so we did a VO2-focused workout instead: 4×3 minutes @ VO2 max with three minutes rest; 4×2 minutes @ VO2 max+ with 3 minutes rest. A new-to-me-instructor (who was awesome) coached the workout, and he really got me to focus on building through the efforts. Basically, if you paced this workout right, your final VO2 max average should be the same or slightly greater than your first one (because you didn’t go out too hard). Don’t worry; I’m not obsessing over the numbers—but it was awesome to see my final averages and how they matched up to what I was feeling.

Saturday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance, run, and strength train

Another solid Saturday Funday that saw 2,250 yards in the pool, 45 minutes steady on the treadmill, plus some weights and basketball. And homemade brunch.

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And bacon.

Sunday – off

Overall, I’m happy with how this first official month of training has progressed. As far as the swim goes, I’m making moves to remotivate myself (#vagueblogging), which basically means I’ll be in the water with different folks. Getting my cycling legs back has been a touch-and-go process, but I’m finally feeling “at one” with the bike again. And the run has gone extremely well; it’s becoming easier to shut off my brain, find the rhythm, and just run. Above all, I’m having fun (which I never say, but is always the case), and I’m excited to carry this momentum into February!

How has your first month of January fitness/workouts/training progressed?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Jan. 19 (Week 3)

Every week, I plan to pop in with a non-training-centered post. And clearly, I fail to do this every week. It will happen, though—promise.

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Waaaaah, t-minus three months until the first race of the season!

General training notes: I’ve mentioned this before, but this season, I’m making an effort to reformulate how I approach training, how I train through sessions, and how I define success. And it’s recently come to my attention I focus way too much on the numbers, specifically watts. Earl, my all-time favorite Tailwind Endurance coach, and I have talked about this a lot throughout the past few months, and this week, he said something that really resonated with me: “Don’t become emotionally attached to the numbers. Focus on the feeling.”

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

This workout took place prior to the conversation above, but I totally nailed this session: Ten minutes at our wattage “sweet spot,” then five minutes at threshold; ten minutes back at the sweet spot, then five more minutes at threshold on erg mode. After work, I ran an easy 4.5 miles outside and completed a pull-heavy swim workout for a total of 2,700 yards.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

I executed Coach Pat’s speedwork really well. During the 6x800s, I felt completely in control—and comfortable with being uncomfortable. Closed out the morning with some upper-body strength training and corework.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Yes, this power hour also occurred before that pivotal conversation, but this workout went really well too. First, we completed a gear pyramid—basically adding resistance every minute until we were “mashing”—and then did three, four-minute intervals during which we started at tempo and then increased our cadence to build our wattage to VO2 max. And then Earl and I talked about not becoming emotionally attached to numbers.

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

I’m really at a loss because these long runs pass so quickly. Those 8.5 miles were done in no time!

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Thanks for a great morning, Central Park.

I hit the pool after work for an easy, 1,500 yards.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Hands down, this was the toughest Tailwind class to date. The CompuTrainers were set to erg mode, and we started with short (three-, five, 10-second, etc.) sprints, before the intervals increased in duration (one, two, two-and-a-half-minutes, etc.). Obviously, the longer efforts became less intense—except for the 10-second sprint in the middle of an eight-minute threshold block, which totally broke me. After that, the intervals grew shorter, and we finished with sprints. Bottom line, I hung on, but it was not pretty.

Saturday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance, run, and strength train

Gotta love Saturday Funday: easy-ish 1,700 yards with the team, steady 45 minutes on the treadmill (too much snow and slush outside), plus 30 minutes of strength training and corework. And one game of PIG on the basketball court.

Sunday – off

Do you become emotionally attached to things easily?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Jan. 12 (Week 2)

Three feelings I’m feeling right now? Sleepy, hungry … and incredibly motivated. All valid, by the way—because it’s the second week of official training.

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Mannequin graveyard at work—because only the strong survive

General training notes: Honestly, swimming and biking didn’t get me super psyched this week. As you know, swimming and I have a complicated relationship. Finding motivation to get to the pool has become easier since the season started, but I just don’t get the endorphin rush from crushing swim workouts—and chasing that feeling is a big reason I love triathlon. In terms of the bike, it’s been touch-and-go, and this stems from the lack of emphasis/volume. I can’t run and bike all the miles, but I do need to find a balance—ASAP.

Monday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance and run

I don’t remember doing the butterfly this time last year, but whatever: 3,000 yards in the pool with lots of butterflying and breast-stroking, plus an easy 4.5 miles on the ‘mill while listening to the #RRP.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Dun-dun-duuuun: 8x600s for speedwork. Since I’m ramping up the swimming and biking, Coach Pat said we’ll have to back off the running just a bit. That being said, the workout went well as far as executing and hitting paces goes. But I need to remember if and when run progress slows, it’s OK; it’s about the process.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

After a mildly disappointing power test last week (it’s fine—I’ve moved on), I really wanted to get after it. While a few folks did the test, I completed an overgear/hill workout, which was perfect for building leg strength. And that also happens to be exactly what I need to do throughout the next few months. Thanks to running, the endurance is there, but I need to get my cycling legs back. Anyway, I was not happy about the ordered 65 RPMs (depending on who you ask, 90 RPM is ideal, and I’m a 93-95 RPM girl), but it was actually OK.

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Decent 8.5-mile long run in Central Park, plus an easy 1,500 yards in the pool after work.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

About those cycling legs … maybe they’re coming back. I mean, the coach asked if I plan to do any bike races in Central Park, which is probably a good sign. Anyway, we did an interval pyramid of sorts: three minutes, two-and-a-half, two, etc. all the way down to three seconds. After these sprints (I hit 535 watts!), we increased the efforts in increments back to three minutes. The shorter the effort, the more intense it became. And erg mode kept me honest; I hung on until the second-to-last effort, hit the wall, and somehow managed to get back on track for the final one.

Saturday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance, run, and strength train

BIG training day that began with an unexpected time trial in the pool. After a longer warm-up, we raced 100 yards all-out, rested one minute, then did a 400-yard time trial. This format resembles the bike power test (five minutes all-out, 10 minutes rest, 20-min. time trial), so I knew how to pace it—and how much it would hurt. In a surprise to no one, I have the top-end speed (1:10 for 100 yards), but I need to work on the endurance (5:40 for 400 yards). But, I’ll take those results for swimming a total of 14 times during the off-season.

Next up came a 45-min. steady run on the treadmill, which went well, plus some upper-body strength training and corework. And hoops—I shot some hoops too.

Sunday – off

Who you rather have top-end speed and be super fast or have endless endurance and be able to go long?

Training Log – Week of Jan. 5 (Week 1)

Week one of 2015 training is officially in the books!

2015-nye-zelda

Clearly, Zelda couldn’t be more excited.

General training notes: Three cheers for surviving the first official week of training! Even though I’ve been logging quality workouts throughout the off-season, I didn’t think returning to officially official training would be too bad—but the load definitely hit me Friday afternoon as I struggled to keep my eyes open at work. The perpetually sleepy (and hungry!) feeling is back!

Monday – a.m. swim with Full Throttle Endurance and run

Game on! First came 3,100 yards with Full Throttle Endurance in the pool, plus four easy miles outside. Whew, I forgot what it feels like to run on post-swim legs—sheesh!

Tuesday – a.m. run

Dynamic stretches with the team, then Coach Pat’s speedwork: 6×200, 2×800, 5×200. Does it make sense to say I liked the 200s?

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Dun-dun-dunnnn: functional threshold power (FTP) test. Because I’m nuts, I was actually looking forward to hitting the pain cave and identifying concrete numbers for training, but my execution wasn’t precise. For the five-minute blow-out effort, I averaged about 270 watts, and after resting for 10 minutes, I averaged 220 watts for the 20-minute test. Yes, testing circumstances were less than ideal (mainly not-100 percent legs from speedwork), and yes, I hoped for a value closer to 225-235, but this is an OK starting point. I mean, it’s January!

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Easy 8.5 miles in 9-degree weather in Central Park.

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Total bliss.

Like I said, I’m still playing around with my training schedule, and I do like swimming (easy) after work. It’s a great way to decompress and shake off the day. Two-thousand yards, most of which I pulled.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Tough ride. I find erg mode workouts challenging because there’s absolutely no room to deviate from the identified wattage. For 90 minutes, we warmed up, sprinted, recovered, and logged lots of VO2 max efforts. My legs felt awful, but I was able to hang on for most of the ride. This was a tough week for the bike, and my confidence has definitely wavered. However, I confirmed my endurance is there (thanks to running), but it’s the leg strength that’s holding me back right now.

Saturday – a.m. swim and strength train

Highlight of this swim: an actual swimmer asked if I used to swim competitively! Solid 2,450 yards, plus about 45 minutes of strength training and corework. And I shot some hoops for good measure. Old habits die hard.

Sunday – a.m. run and strength train

Forty-five steady minutes on the treadmill, plus too many pushups. And corework.

How did your first official week of 2015 workouts go?

Final Thoughts: 2014 Triathlon Off-Season

See ya in nine months, off-season! It’s been real. It’s been fun—a lot of fun. I’ve relaxed, recharged, and reconnected with non-SBR folks. I’ve embraced sleeping “in” and staying out “late.” (Both relative terms, by the way.) I enjoyed the finer things in life, including but not limited to wine, margaritas, and my grandma’s Venetian cookies.

packed-with-love-grandma

After Christmas, my grandma sent me back to the city with close to five pounds of cookies.

Suffice to say, it’s been an indulgent four months.

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Like I’m going to not eat this.

Between eating dark chocolate covered pretzels and drinking RumChata, I actually have done some legitimate work and confirmed some theories regarding said work. For example, I can drink two pineapple margaritas (or were they mango?) the night before speedwork and still string together solid repeats. (Just don’t tell Coach Pat!) In all seriousness, though, I’ve learned and improved more during this downtime than any previous off-season. Let’s recap, shall we?

I’ve embraced “me time”—and loved it. Yes, I trained with Full Throttle Endurance during the season, but for the past four months, I’ve done the majority of my workouts solo.

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Snow and solitude

Don’t get me wrong. There are benefits to training alongside others—more motivation, increased accountability, consistent feedback—but I’ve enjoyed swimming, biking, and running alone.

I’ve always been an independent, intrinsically motivated athlete. Even when playing team sports (field-hockey, basketball, and softball) back in the day, I always completed off- and pre-season workouts whether or not teammates wanted to meet up and do work together. Being dedicated and dialing in has always been non-negotiable; it has to get done. (And “it” means training, work, you name it. If you’re going to do it, then really do it.) To me, this trait is normal. But this off-season, I was reminded it isn’t “normal” for everyone. Countless times, teammates watched in awe as I did speedwork solo. “I could never do that alone” and “how do you push yourself?” became regular comments.

What this means for 2015: I’ll do a portion of my training solo. This off-season highlighted my discipline and independence. At first, I wasn’t sure how tougher, lung-busting workouts would go—especially speedwork—but as I’ve rocked 400s, 800s, and 1200s, I’ve proved to myself I can function and thrive solo; I don’t need a group to get the training done. With this renewed confidence, I will continue working with Coach Pat during the tri season. Sure, I’ll probably “lone wolf” the majority of my runs, but I’m OK with it.

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Another thing I’m totally OK with: a vendor bringing branded wine to an event.

I’ve expanded my circle of friends, coaches, and mentors. Even though I did most of my running alone, I didn’t totally isolate myself: I volunteered/ran with Back on My Feet (BoMF), and I logged miles with friends; I frequented Tailwind Endurance for CompuTrainer classes and continued to build relationships with athletes and coaches. I feel very fortunate because there are so many trustworthy and knowledgeable people in my triathlon arsenal.

What this means for 2015: I’ll continue to build these relationships. Last season, I was all Full Throttle all the time. Monday through Friday, I plugged away at the gym with coaches and teammates. This year, it will be different. Yes, I’ll still race for the team, but I will continue to cultivate the relationships I’ve built and “diversify” my triathlon arsenal. Joining a masters swim team may happen (#wannabeswimmer), being a Tailwind regular will continue, and running actual races will most likely occur.

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“Cross training” while trail running in New Paltz

I’ve become better at being discerning with my training. Everyone chooses to do something different with their tri downtime. Some do yoga, some do CrossFit (ugh, don’t get me started), and some do nothing. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.) But as teammates perfected their butterfly and raced countless IMs for fun, I ran—a lot. This was not a popular move; and there was some pressure to stop running and start swimming. But I knew my training time would be better spent in my running shoes than in my TYR swimsuit. And spoiler alert: Even though I swam less than 15 times during the off-season, I’m still the lane leader for fast lane number two (but forever a #wannabeswimmer). And since my current easy runs are about a minute faster than they were during the season, I’d say I had a productive off-season.

What this means for 2015: I’ll do what’s right for me. Last year, I simply followed the team plan and did what everyone else did. And for the most part, it worked; I had some solid races, including a decent showing at Nationals. But in order to keep improving—becoming faster, growing stronger—I need an individualized plan with specific, structured sessions. This means I’ll be more “selfish” in regard to my training, and it will be an added bonus when my workouts sync up to team ones.

I feel like my best self when I’m training. All right; brace yourself for some left field action.

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Even more New Paltz trail running

I’ve become a total fangirl of Rich Roll and his podcast, the RRP (Rich Roll podcast). He’s a plant-powered, ultra-endurance athlete and bestselling author of Finding Ultra, and in his podcast, he sits down with the best and brightest paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, creativity, and entrepreneurship. His goal is simple: to educate, inspire and empower you to discover, unlock, and unleash your best, most authentic self. Seriously, check it out. Anyway, one universal theme that’s discussed during these conversations is self-actualization—identifying what constitutes your most authentic self, using your energy to actualize yourself, and then going out and affecting change. Honestly, I’m still figuring out what my most authentic self is exactly, but I do know I feel like myself when I’m swimming, biking, and running—not only with consistency, but also with purpose.

What this means for 2015: I’ll rededicate myself to the process. Since hopping aboard the RRP wagon, I’ve done a lot reflecting—on myself, on my goals, on my career. And bottom line, my most authentic self includes triathlon—specifically training with conviction.

jackrabbit-sports-nyc-triathlon-gear-usq

And it’s kinda cool seeing myself on the store’s wall.

Sure, racing is fun (a lot of fun), but during the season, I took the process for granted. It was all about pushing and performing, and I lost sight of purpose: growing not only as an athlete, but also as a person, and waking up with the goal of becoming better. There is a finite timeline to chasing tangible athletic accolades like swim, bike, and run splits. Sooner or later, something will give. But the desire behind this drive should remain constant, and that’s what needs to be tapped into when the going gets tough. Essentially, my training itself will not change too much—but my mindset and motivation have already shifted. I’m not totally sure where this will take me, but that’s why it’s called life, right?

Overall, I’ve matured a lot throughout the past year—both as a person and athlete—and 2015 will be much different. But I’m ready to see what it brings!

Training Log – Week of Dec. 1 (Week 47)

Let’s call it like it is: I spent the weekend catching up on life—running for errands, shopping for groceries, etc.—and binge-watching House of Cards. In my defense, it was raining Saturday, which meant the weather was ideal for cleaning and getting sucked into a Netflix-original series. I regret nothing.

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Full disclosure:  I have watched it before.

General training notes: This week marked a new running block. Basically my mileage has been lower the past few weeks. However, as the month progresses, it will increase gradually. Case in point: my long run spanned six miles (usually 10), and my steady run lasted 40 minutes (usually 45). And as I mentioned yesterday, my swimming and biking will start to ramp up as well and finding mileage/volume “sweet spots” will be a trial and error process.

Monday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Five “unofficial” miles with BoMF and four “official” easy ones. In what is becoming a normal occurrence, I swam after work: 1,200 with some tech and solid 100s. For whatever reason, the pool’s water level was extremely low, which make for some interesting flipturns (forever #wannabeswimmer).

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. bike

Serious #FireOnTheTrack: 4×1200. And I hit my splits and didn’t feel like I was totally going to die. (Does that mean I didn’t push enough?) A teammate hopped in for some 400s and 800s, and she definitely held me accountable for the final 400. In total, the workout ended up being 5.5 miles with a warm-up and cool down. I did some light upper-body stuff after. And since Syracuse had a game, I spun out on my indoor trainer.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Back on the bike! Lots of increasing, VO2 max intervals—think VO2 max, then 20 watts above VO2 max, then 20 watts about that.

Thursday – a.m. run and corework

Six easy miles followed by my first game of pick-up basketball in four years (one word: exhausting) and corework with a few teammates.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Who knew straightening my hair and drinking white wine 12 hours before a CompuTrainer class would actually lead to a good ride? The 75-minute erg workout included intervals of various lengths and intensities, and although they were supposed to be based on FTP wattages, mine felt more like a “sweet spot,” aka I need to test and get new numbers.

Saturday – a.m. swim and strength train

Who goes to the gym on a Saturday? Apparently quite a few of my Full Throttle Endurance teammates, which was obviously news to me because I never go there on the weekend. Anyway, I swam 1,600 yards and did some pre-brunch upper-body strength training and corework.

Sunday – a.m. run and corework

Incredible 40-minute steady run, plus plenty of planks

What’s the last show you’ve binge-watched on Netflix? (Looking for some recommendations here because we know it will only take a few days to rewatch House of Cards.)

(Almost) All of The Updates

Sometimes the words come easily, flowing from my fingertips to the keyboard with little thought. This is my favorite part about writing; when the thoughts, sentences, and ideas come together effortlessly.

bomf-sunset-2

Obligatory sunset picture because I actually do things after work now. #realgirl

Sometimes the words need coaxing, wanting to come forward and make themselves known, but feeling inhibited. The intention exists, but the execution idles; it needs a spark, a prompt, or a reason to make the words come out.

Can you guess which scenario has been the case for the past month? Yikes, has it really been that long?

Since the end of triathlon season, I’ve embraced “real life,” and it’s completely taken over. There’s so much to share, but I’ve had a hard time articulating everything—and keeping track of it all too. So I’m going with a good ole fashioned list. Type-A personality for the win!

Biking and running have been going very, very well. I hope I don’t jinx myself with that statement. Up until a week ago, the only Full Throttle workouts I attended were the Central Park rides, but thanks to accidents, tickets, and general animosity among runners, pedestrians, and cyclists, I’ve decided to avoid the park until further notice. There’s no reason to put myself in those risky situations, especially since I don’t have any upcoming tris.

No Central Park hammer sessions means plenty of quality time with my people at Tailwind Endurance—and I’m totally psyched. My bike improved tremendously in 2014, and I’m excited to build on the progress.

bikeridersnyc-stem

Finally got my roadie re-fit so legit cyclists don’t make fun of me anymore: raised and moved back the seat; dropped handlebars; cut head tub; installed longer steam. Thanks, Bikeriders NYC!

From now until November, I’ll do one-two CompuTrainer rides per week for “fun.” What? You mean doing VO2 intervals, generating all the watts, and telling your legs to shut up isn’t fun?

Come December, I’ll do another functional threshold power (FTP) test and structure workouts around those values. The Tailwind coaches think raising my FTP by 30-50 watts is doable, but it will take work, obviously. On the bright side, everyone seems to be in agreement that I’m just scratching the surface of my cycling potential.

My run finally seems to be clicking too. Coach Pat has done a great job of structuring my run training and striking a balance between the biking and running. (Still not swimming. Still not caring. #sorryimnotsorry) Honestly, I can’t believe how well my body has responded to the increased frequency and mileage (I’m up to 25 miles per week, which is a lot for me), and I’m also learning a lot about the sport in the process. Dynamic stretches, strides, driving from the elbows, oh my!

I guess this would be a good time to share my next “race.” After talking with Coach Pat, we decided I could run the Philadelphia Half-Marathon as a long—potentially tempo—training run. As a short-course triathlete, I don’t need to be training for and racing 13.1 miles, but I do need to be able to run long as an aerobic workout. And I’m also a runner now.

So why Philly? First, I haven’t been there in forever—we’re talking elementary school Girl Scout days. I remember thinking it was a cool city and would be a great place to live; in fact, it made an impression on me long before NYC. Second, some coworkers plan to do the half and full (if they ever pull the trigger and sign up—c’mon, guys!), so it would be fun to road trip and race together. Three, the timing is perfect. Right now, my long run is 10 miles, so barring a catastrophe, I should be able to run 13 miles by Nov. 23.

I’ve started volunteering with Back on My Feet (BoMF). At JackRabbit, I manage our relationships with clubs, teams, and charities, and when I first met the BoMF representatives last spring, they made a huge impression on me. I immediately wanted to be their BFF, and they spoke about BoMF so passionately; their energy was contagious, and I decided once my triathlon season ended, I wanted to get involved.

bomf-love-sunset-the-yard

#BoMFlove #allthehugs

A little bit about BoMF: It’s a national nonprofit organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves; ideally, this helps them make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.

The NYC chapter has four teams that run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, and I’ve committed to one run per week so far. Even though I’m still getting my feet wet, I absolutely love it. The folks I run with—fellow volunteers and residential members (those experiencing homelessness)—are awesome, and it’s inspiring to see and hear how you can make a positive, tangible impact on an individual level. I’m so grateful to be part of BoMF.

This is pretty long, so I’ll wrap it up here.  Maybe there will be another post sometime soon?

What’s new in your life?

2014 Off-Season Triathlon Goals

So. It’s been a few weeks since my last triathlon of the 2014 season, which has given me time to reflect on my training and performance and develop a game-plan for the off-season.

First, I owe a huge thanks to my family, friends, coaches, teammates, and basically everyone I’ve interacted with these past eight months. There’s no way I would’ve been successful without help. Syracuse Bicycle hooked me up with a sweet Slice, and the guys at Zen Bikes took care of me when it came to maintenance and random questions and concerns. The Tailwind Endurance coaches were instrumental to my improvement on the bike, and obviously my Full Throttle Endurance coaches and teammates motivated and pushed me too. My coworkers and friends were incredibly supportive, and my family was my rock. So thank you, thank you!

2014-triathlon-off-season-goals-collage

From left to right: Getting dialed in at Syracuse Bicycle; pushing all the watts at Tailwind Endurance; hamming it up for the camera with my coaches; trying not to cry after my Girls’ Club colleagues/friends made me a card and t-shirt before Nationals; running a 4th of July 5-K with my dad.

Anyway, let’s talk about what’s going to happen from now until official training starts up in January 2015.

Swimming will become my recovery workout of choice. I’ll still get in the water once or twice each week, but I’m not trying to make gains. My swim improved this season (#wannabeswimmer), so as long as I start 2015 at a better spot than 2014, then I’m OK with backing off the volume. And honestly, those training hours would be better spent on another discipline.

Biking will still be a top priority. It would be crazy to back off the bike now—I’m finally starting to find my cycling legs! Ideally, I’ll get in the saddle three times each week, and as the weather gets colder, I’ll become a regular at Tailwind again. I want more watts!

Strength training will happen on a regular basis. During the winter, I was diligent about strength training thanks to “optional” sessions after our indoor cycling workouts. As the season progressed, though, it became less of a priority; with only so many training hours, something had to give—and it couldn’t be swimming, biking, or running. Anyway, I plan to strength train and do corework at least twice each week. Both will help across the disciplines, especially the corework in terms of the bike.

Running will become a top priority. This requires some explanation.

Last off-season, I focused on the bike, which needed to happen, and I made some serious gains. Case in point: The bike was my weakest discipline at 2013 Nationals; this year, it was my strongest. And this was noticeable during all my races: I’d work the swim and rock the bike—and then try to hang on and not get run down.

During some races, this strategy worked: at SoBe and Stamford, I was able to hold off girls because of my swim-bike combo. However, when I looked at final run times, there was a lot of room for improvement. When I couldn’t run down the second-place female at Hopkins (who beat me by 30 seconds), this further proved my run needed some attention. And at Nationals, I put time into girls and came off the bike 23rd, which was where I needed to be. But then I got run down.

This was a frustrating fact to accept, and one of my first thoughts upon finishing the race was, “My run has to get better.” I needed this wake-up call. I absolutely love biking, and if I didn’t get run down at Nationals, then I would probably spent the off-season pushing all the watts.

But I got run down.

So this brings me to an important announcement: The man, the myth, the legend Coach Pat—who founded Educated Running—will be doing my run programming. He’s a legit runner (he WON the Bear Mountain Half-Marathon this year), he’s an experienced coach, and he isn’t too shabby as a triathlete either. Basically, this is what he does—and I have no idea what I’m doing. (Full disclosure: I’ve know and work with Pat in real life.)

trifecta

Throwback to our days as models. Pat is on the right.

I’m not sure what is reasonable to expect in terms of progress during the next four months, but I do know it will be—well—four more months of specific, structured run training than I had last off-season. And I’m keeping the big picture in mind, too: This training block will set the tone for 2015—and beyond.

Bottom line, I’m super excited to start training with Coach Pat. Wait, I’m excited to run? Guess I’m making progress already.

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Aug. 11 (Week 31)

Remember Operation: Sloth Week after Nationals last year? I planned to do the same thing post-Milwaukee this week—relax, work out on my own terms, and slowly transform from triathlete to real person.

milwaukee-sunrise

I’ll be back next year, Milwaukee! (*Knock on wood*)

However, that mission lasted about three days before my body revolted.

General training notes: Basically, in the words of my high school basketball coach, I “farted around” Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and worked out recreationally. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) By Thursday, I was itching to put in work again.

Monday – off

I slept until 6:30 a.m., leisurely enjoyed some Wegmans flavored coffee, and had a peaceful morning.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

I slept in again, ran 3.6 steady miles, and did some upper-body strength training.

Wednesday – a.m. indoor cycle

Rain, rain, go away—because I want to ride my bike! The precipitation canceled our outdoor ride, so we retreated to the indoor cycle studio. My coach had to organize bike trailer unload, and he left me in charge of the workout. So I basically made my coaching debut.

Thursday – a.m. swim and run

After a sub-par swim at Nationals, I didn’t want to get back into the water. But I had to test some toys for work, so into the pool I went. Anyway, since some folks have upcoming races, we incorporated some race-paced efforts into this 3,100-yard workout. I felt good, and my splits were right where they should’ve been, which confirms I had an off day in Milwaukee. After, I ran an easy five miles along the West Side Highway with my coach, and we had a nice heart-to-heart about my training, what happened at Nationals, and where my efforts need to be focused this off-season.

Friday – a.m. bike

It felt so good to get back in the saddle! My last ride was at Nationals, but my last road-bike ride was … uh … two weeks ago? We had a smaller group, so we split into boys’ and girls’ groups for steady loops. Including the ride to the park and the warm-up and cool-down loops, I logged 33 miles.

Saturday – a.m. bike

A few teammates and I met up for a low-key, 45-mile ride, which obviously concluded with brunch.

SundayBattle of Brooklyn 10-Mile Race

Woohoo for another JackRabbit race! I worked and ran (best of both worlds, right?) two loops of Prospect Park. I had to “pinch hit” and join a JRab relay team, and then I did another loop with a coworker who signed up for the full 10-mile distance. So I ended the day with 6.8 miles or so—and brunch. Hmmm, I’m starting to notice a pattern …