Happy Sunday, friends! How’s your weekend been so far? I worked yesterday and went to a CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance this morning. It was my third CompuTrainer ride this week—the other two were time trials.
So many watts, so much pain.
General training notes: As the final build week of phase one, we continued to increase volume. Physically, I felt great, but I’m struggling mentally. Patience is not my virtue, and I want to dive in and start pushing—but luckily, I have coaches and teammates who hold me back at the right times. Next week is a recovery week (our training cycle consists of three weeks “on” and one week “off”), so this mental battle will probably continue.
Monday – a.m. swim and run
With two weeks of training complete, we’ve started logging longer sets in the pool. After warming up and doing some tech work, we tackled a descending ladder: 500, 400, etc. with the goal of negative splitting (or progressively getting faster) each 100. Bottom line, my lane did not execute this set well; for the 500, we planned to hit a conservative 1:50/100 and work our way down, but we clocked in at 1:35 instead. Whoops.
Nothing too notable to report regarding the run: just a steady five miler, and we alternated between the treadmill and indoor track.
Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance
Holy efff. Sorry, but this was our time trial day. And as with all triathlon-related tests, my goal was simple: improve my power output, or increase my average number of watts. Perhaps this wasn’t the best goal because I completed the first test on my road bike, and power output tends to be greater on roadies (as compared to a triathlon bikes because of the position). Anyway, for the five-minute “blow out” effort, I averaged 285, which trumps the 270 I posted four weeks ago. We then recovered for ten minutes before the main 20-minute time trial effort. This one didn’t go as well. I broke the 20 minutes into “mini-efforts” of five, 10, 15, and 18 and simply focused on building, then maintaining until the 15-minute mark. At minute 18, I hit the pain train, and my average wattage was 225. Even though I didn’t increase my functional threshold power number (it’s around 215-220), I need to remember being in aero will hopefully translate to going faster.
Wednesday – a.m. run and swim
Ah, the return of speedwork. Three miles of intensity were sandwiched between a one-mile warm-up and cooldown: 400m steady, 400m solid/tempo, repeat. Alternating paces helped break up the miles mentally because we were running on the indoor track. And like I mentioned above, this is when the mental battle became prevalent; as the second-fastest runner in the pace group, I wanted to push and catch the faster group in front of us, but my teammates did a good job of holding me back.
The post-run swim wasn’t too intense: lots of longer pulling sets for a total of 2,700 yards.
Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride and run
Ah, time trial number two. This one was officially associated with my team and structured differently: instead of riding for time, we hammered for three miles, rested for 10 minutes, and then completed the same flat, three-mile course again. Unfortunately, I positive split these like a champ: 8:06 and 244 average wattage for the first and 8:11 and 239 watts for the second. Meh. On the bright side, this test further proved my FTP is in the 215-220 ballpark.
And after hanging out recovering for a few minutes, I ran an extremely easy two miles with a teammate.
Friday – a.m. indoor cycling and strength training
Not going to like, the spin bike feels super weird these days. Anyway, for this workout, we focused on pushing a “big gear” (aka increasing resistance) and building leg strength—and embracing the suffering. Being outside will be totally different, and we know it’s necessary to hurt now so we don’t get gassed immediately when we start doing loops in the park. The strength portion of practice included walking lunges, air squats, and a ton of corework.
Saturday – off
Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance
This ride went really, really well. Since this was a two-hour workout, we spent the first hour warming up, doing single-leg and high-cadence drills, plus some shorter build efforts. For the final hour, we completed longer intervals at our endurance and tempo wattages, plus a tempo set with hills. It still shocks me when coaches and fellow riders comment on my output and strength; I’m like, “who—me?”
Overall, this was another solid week, and I plan to embrace this upcoming recovery period. Pedicures are good for recuperating, right?
Do you reward yourself after a productive training block or race?