Tag Archives: Tailwind Endurance

Triathlon Training Log – Week 4 (Jan. 22)

To sum up this week in one photo:

My secret cold-fighting weapon. Guess it’s not a secret anymore, though …

It seemed like everyone was sick this week, and unfortunately, I succumbed to the congestion and coughing for a few days. Toward the end of the week, I was on the mend, but relapsed today and cut short my scheduled long run.

General training notes: as week four of structured training, this span served as a recovery week, and it was perfectly timed. Thanks to a nor’easter and a head cold, my workouts were affected a bit. Granted, almost everything got done (we missed an Achilles run due to the weather), but I was feeling only 75-80 percent throughout the week.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

I kicked off Monday with our normal technique-based ride. My coach also announced we’re power testing next week, and I’m strangely excited—probably because it’s been one year since I’ve done a proper test. Bring on the pain!

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Due to the nor’easter, I opted to ride indoors. This session contained three, 10-minute blocks filled with threshold and VO2 max efforts, plus a five-minute FTP block at the end. On Tuesday evenings, I normally run with Achilles, but my bud and I decided to skip it since it was still raining and pretty windy. (He’s visually impaired so any type of precipitation is a factor.)

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

This freestyle-focused swim contained a lot of cruise and build efforts, and I’m really excited I can finally tap in to distinct speeds in the water. I logged slightly less than 3,000m before heading to work.

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

Wow, lots of time in the saddle this week. We repeated the ride we did last Thursday that centered on cadence. Since I didn’t run at all on Tuesday, I was itching to lace up so I logged four easy miles in the park after work.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Why I swim with a masters team: I can lead my lane during freestyle practices, but I bring up the rear during IM sessions—and that’s very humbling and motivating. Our “normal” lanes saw some changes again, and a few folks who swim in the fast lane joined my medium-speed lane. Per usual, I took my place in the caboose and hung on for dear life, but I executed the workout as prescribed (i.e. not reverting to freestyle) and did not get lapped. Both I consider huge wins, ha.

Saturday – a.m. run with Achilles; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

I met up with my Achilles bud for one loop of the park in the morning and managed to survive distance-freestyle day in the pool.

Sunday – a.m. run

I planned to do eight miles today, but since I was coughing and congested, I shut it down after five. Womp, womp.  A super early bedtime is in order tonight.

How do you decide if you should work out when you’re sick?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 3 (Jan. 16)

Did this short week seem long to anyone else?

All about that dawn patrol

General training notes: my body has finally acclimated to the 4:45 a.m. daily alarms, which means my super early bedtime is also being enforced. My swim and bike workouts felt great this week, but my legs felt less-than-fresh on the run. Tuesday’s outing was especially tough, and that prompted me to take a complete rest day on Saturday.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Thanks to the holiday, I slept in and took the 7 a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind instead of my normal 5:30 a.m. one. We repeated the same ride we’ve done the past two Mondays—lots of tech work with a few tempo blocks, plus four VO2 max blocks at the end. Coming off a 13.1-mile run, I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond to the harder efforts, but after some tough love from my coach, I hit them. “Don’t give up your strengths just because you’re going long.”

Tuesday – a.m. run

I kept this run super easy, but my legs felt the effects of Sunday’s long run and Monday’s CompuTrainer ride.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

The Russian coach subbed this workout, and we logged 3,000m of IM work.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

This hour-long ride centered on tension and cadence work. After a longer warm-up, we tackled three builds that progressed from tempo to threshold to high threshold, and as the effort increased, our cadence decreased (which translated to adding more gear). Following a easy endurance block, we finished the workout with three VO2 max intervals.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Wowza, what a tough swim. A handful of young, fast dudes attended practice (as one of my training buds exclaimed, “who are these 12-year-olds?!”), which affected our normal lane assignments: some folks who normally swim in the fast lane were bumped down to my lane. It’s one thing to see those swimmers doing their thing in the lane next to you, but actually swimming with them? Yikes, they are fast. My goal was not to get lapped during this IM practice, and I was thankfully successful. It was a very humbling and motivating experience because I feel like my swim has come a long way, but then to see how the faster athletes swim … holy cow. After 70 minutes, my body was screaming, and I shut it down with 3,300m logged.

Saturday – off

I realized I haven’t had a rest day in a while and figured taking one would be a good idea.

Sunday – a.m. run

New PDR (personal distance record) alert: I ran 14 miles! There was a half-marathon in Central Park that my running buddy was doing, so we linked up, and I tacked on an extra mile after. All things considered, it went well—although I spent the rest of the day on the couch, ha.

How did your week of workouts go?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 2 (Jan. 9)

Winter came to New York City this week, and spring also paid us a visit on Wednesday.

As seen on Church of the Sunday Long Run

And the cold weather returned in time for today’s long run—woohoo!

General training notes: base building week two is in the books! I’m still getting used to the daily 4:45-5 a.m. alarms (it takes me about two weeks to fully get back on the bandwagon), but other than some sleepiness on Wednesday, I felt great this week. I logged one “quality” workout this week—Thursday’s CompuTrainer ride—and everything else was relatively easy.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

We completed the same technique-based ride as last week: lots of cadence work with some tempo efforts, plus one build from threshold to VO2 max.

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. run with Achilles

My running bud is finally back! We met for 5.5 miles in the park before work. That evening, I guided an Achilles athlete for a complete loop (six miles) in the park.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

During this freestyle-heavy practice, we completed a variety of descending blocks (50s, 75s, and 100s) for 3,450m total.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

The toughest ride of the week, this 60-minute workout contained a lot of quality efforts: we faced three, 10-minute blocks, and each contained various intervals at 85-90 percent of our FTP, 90 percent, 92-97 percent, 100-105 percent, and 105-115 percent.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Friday practices tend to be IM-focused (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle), and this one was no exception. Our main set included a 200 IM, plus drill work across the strokes for a total of 3,100m. The coach also gave me a slight, but big pointer for my backstroke (actual swimmers: I want not moving my shoulders enough/at all), and I immediately felt a difference in terms of speed and smoothness. The wannabe swimmer saga continues!

Saturday – a.m. run with Achilles; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Easy loop of Central Park guiding an Achilles athlete in the morning and a monster 4,300m freestyle swim with the Bearcats during the afternoon. Sportz Saturdays are my favorite!

Sunday – a.m. run

An easy two loops of the park plus one around the Reservoir for a total of 13.1 miles

Has the weather affected your workouts?

Reviewed: The 2016 Off-Season

The 2016 off-season has come and gone—and the 2017 is underway—so it’s a good time to recap the past three months and talk about where my training currently stands.

2017 looks pretty good so far.

After my final triathlon of the 2016 campaign in August, I had mixed feelings about shutting things down and heading into the off-season. Physically, I felt like I was only just starting to scratch the surface of months of concentrated work; as the season progressed, I felt stronger and more confident across the disciplines. Mentally, though, I needed a break. Between changing jobs and moving apartments, lots of life stuff happened aside from swimming, biking, and running. I absolutely love the multi-sport lifestyle, but I definitely needed time away from structured training. So as I eased into Sloth Week—the glorious seven days in which I did no physical activity—I told myself once I started up again, I would do whatever I wanted, only.

An epic, homemade, three-tiered snickerdoodle cake from the Bearcat masters holiday party

As I started sweating again, I did some swimming, running, and even some rowing, but absolutely no cycling. For more than three months—sixteen weeks to be exact—I avoided my bike. Honestly, I’m still shocked and surprised this happened, but after my final race of the season, my desire to ride vanished. Instead, I wanted to swim all the meters and run all the miles—and my coach was completely on board. So that’s what we did: logged laps in the pool at Baruch College with my Bearcat buds and ran miles in Central Park. I embraced this identity transformation, fell in love with the process, and found ultimately joy in the water and on the road. No longer did each session seem like something I “had” to do. Rather, each stroke, each footstrike became an opportunity to get the best out of myself. There’s no doubt spending time on my not-as-strong sports will prove beneficial, especially since my “A” race in 2017 is a swim-run stage event. (More on that later.)

Sidewalk wisdom

Spoiler alert:  I did reach the point where I wanted to get back on my bike. That was the plan all along—spend some time away so I’d feel fresh and rejuvenated when it came time to start smashing watts again. It worked because riding brings positivity again:  I love it, and I love being around my Tailwind peeps. We’re slowly ramping it up—cycling twice a week indoors—and I feel like my normal triathlete self. I’m also very at peace with how the off-season transpired. I did what I needed to do to put myself in a position to succeed—both during this season and beyond.

On the bike, I’ve noticed a shift in my mentality. Most of my riding thus far has been in zone two with the goal of building my base. Last year, those easy endurance miles were the bane of my existence. They made me ancy. Give me threshold, give me VO2 max, let me touch the fire and feel the burn. But today, I am perfectly fine with it. Like my swim and run workouts, I no longer view zone two as a place I “have” to spend time, but I want to. It is part of the process, and it completes the process.  Always trust the process.

My race schedule is almost solidified, and it looks a bit different from past years. Improving, maturing, and ultimately becoming faster are still goals, but another component we’re focusing on this year is further developing my race experience portfolio, leaving my comfort zone, and finding happiness in the process.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 1 (Jan. 2)

The first workweek and training week of 2017 is officially in the books!

Cold, snowy miles in the park. Hello, winter!

The office has been quiet the past few weeks, and fortunately, I’ve been able to make some progress on my long-term to-do list. I’m also back on the 4:45-5 a.m. alarms everyday, which means the season is underway. That has also meant I’ve needed an afternoon coffee three days this week, whoops.

General training notes: let the 2017 season begin! Like last week, I feel like a triathlete again because I did all three sports. (I even rode twice!) For the next four weeks, we’ll undergo phase one of base building on the bike while maintaining my current swim (three-ish days a week/9,000m) and run (four-ish days a week/30 miles) volume. I’m really excited for this upcoming season because it will see new challenges across the disciplines. (More on that later.)

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

No work meant I got to “sleep in” and take the 7 a.m. class instead of the usual 5:30 a.m. Since official training has started, we will be doing this skill-building ride every Monday for the next four weeks: thirty minutes of drills/tech work with some tempo efforts sprinkled in.

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. run with Achilles

Double run days are my favorite. Two loops of the Reservoir before work and four miles guiding an Achilles athlete in the evening.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

So. Much. Kicking. After Tuesday’s high-for-me mileage day, my legs held up surprisingly well during our kick-heavy 3,750m practice.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Tension and pedal work was on tap. After a longer warm-up, we focused on tempo and threshold efforts in which cadence decreased as effort increased and finished up with a few sprints.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Even. More. Kicking. If my legs still work at the end of this week, then I will be shocked. We did a fair amount of IM work during this 3,700m practice as well.

Saturday – a.m. run with Achilles

Five easy and snowy miles guiding one of my Achilles buds. We have some exciting race plans for 2017—can’t wait to share!

Sunday – a.m. run

Solo snowy long run: twelve miles in 17-degree weather. Even though I stayed in Central Park for two loops, I felt like I was at home in the tundra!

Do you enjoy running in the snow?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 17 (Dec. 26)

Happy 2017!

Watts up, 2017?!

Although I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions, I do find a sense of ambition, optimism, and opportunity with the start of a new year. That being said, we can make positive changes whenever we want; it shouldn’t be a decision solely relegated to a new 365-day cycle. For me, 2017 means it’s a officially a new triathlon season with structured training beginning on Jan. 2.

General training notes: lots of running, a fair amount of riding, and not enough swimming. My, how things changed this week! To be fair, the pool was operating on a holiday schedule (I swim at a college) so less time in the water led to more time in the park. Both my runs and rides are still easy; it’s all about building that base.

 Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. run with Achilles NYC

Kicked off the workweek with 5.5 easy miles through Central Park. That evening, I went to my second Achilles workout and guided a visually-impaired athlete through the park. We ran six miles and chatted the entire time.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

My final swim of 2016! During our 4000m practice, we focused on shifting speeds, and I was pleasantly surprised with my execution of 2×150 when we built by 50s. I was to tap in to three distinct efforts.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Seventy-five minutes in the saddle with a long warm-up and 6×3-minute builds from sweet spot to threshold. (Everyone else got to hang out at their VO2 max, but we’ll get there.)

Friday – p.m. run

It started snowing around 5 p.m., and I met up with one of my buds for an easy “yog” through the snow in Central Park.

Saturday – a.m. runs

Final run(s) of 2016: I ran eight miles solo through Central Park first, and then I met up with Achilles and guided an athlete for six miles.

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Watts up, 2017? I kicked off the new year with a 70-minute resolution ride at Tailwind Endurance and “treated” myself to a sports massage after.

Do you make resolutions?

My 2016 Running and Triathloning Recap

As the final day of 2016 get crossed off in our planner (just me?), it’s time to recap the year in multisport.

Tailwind family photo at Rev3 Quassy; finishing the run at HITS Hudson Valley; hammering at Nationals in Omaha.

I’ve done this survey a few times, and I enjoy looking back on progress and highlights.

Best race experience

Comparing a triathlon to a swim meet is like setting an apple and an orange side by side: both are sweet, but you probably favor one over the other. (I’ll go for the apple every time.) I had a blast this year diversifying my race portfolio—triathlons, relay races, and swim meets—and while each event posed a unique set of challenges, I found joy through competing in everything.

NYC in Geneva, NY

Even with the apple and the orange comparison, one race experience was the sweetest:  the Seneca7. The present collided with the past when my NYC runner friends traveled to my college stomping grounds for a 77.7-mile relay around Seneca Lake, and we had the best time. The race itself was extremely well organized, the volunteers were friendly; race directors Jeff and Jackie and their entire team simply produce top-notch events. It should come as no surprise that we’re going back to Geneva in 2017.

Best swim

Because I avoided the pool after the 2015 season, swimming and I got off to a slow start in 2016; it took a few months to rediscover my connection with the water. Therefore, it makes sense that my best outing was at the end of the season at the Cazenovia Triathlon in August. In the sprint-distance race, I was the first female out of the water, and the distinction felt even sweeter because I actually raced a girl in the closing 200m.

Bolting to T1

I also did two swim meets in 2016, and while the individual medley (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle) is challenging me big time, I now find even more comfort in the freestyle. Er, comfort with being uncomfortable. I swam a solid 200m free during October’s Bearcat Invitational. It wasn’t fast enough for an AG top three, but I was happy with how I executed: starting strong, building the effort throughout, and nearly eking out a heat win. Training for and competing at swim meets has been a refreshing change, and I’m pumped to continue diving off the blocks in 2017.

Best bike

Thanks to my lack of health insurance from February through May, I didn’t ride my bike outdoors until June. Aside from a leisurely morning spin, my first true outing of the year was at a race: Rev3 Quassy. That showing rattled me, and it took time to become friends with my bike again. Things improved as the season progressed, and I nailed workouts indoors and felt strong outside, but that elusive, perfectly executed ride never happened during a race.

Combating the bonk with some sugar

However, when I think of biking in 2016, I remember those brutally beautiful outings in Lake Placid during WorkLiveTri Camp.

Best run

The run will always be a work in progress, and it reached a turning point toward the end of the season. (Noticing a theme?) I had a good showing on the trails at July’s HITS Hudson Valley, and although my split at Nationals was not what I trained for, I ran a mentally sound 10-K in hot and humid conditions.

Locked in

That combination would’ve led to a meltdown—definitely figuratively, potentially literally a la NYC Triathlon—for the “old” me, but it did not happen in Omaha. I did not hit the wall or go into a dark place. Heck, I was passing people! The split will take care of itself, but this process of maturing mentally makes me excited for 2017 and beyond.

Best piece of new gear

Aside from a swimskin for Nationals, I didn’t make any exciting new gear purchases this year—just the normal goggles, running shoes, etc.

Best piece of running/triathloning advice you received

Trust the process. This is one of my coach’s fundamental philosophies, and my mindset has slowly shifted over the past year. With prior training groups, the immediate results—going faster now, getting on podiums now—were paramount but now, I’ve found joy in journey: what can I do today to become a better version of myself—tomorrow, three years from now, five years from now, etc.?

 If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

“Foundational” and groundbreaking

What are some of your highlights from 2016?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 16 (Dec. 19)

To everyone who celebrated, I hope you had a memorable Christmas surrounded by loved ones.

Surrounded by Grandma’s cookies

My days at home flew by—I took the train Upstate on Thursday and am heading back to NYC today—and it never seems like enough time.

General training notes: this was another good week of being a triathlete again, meaning I swam, biked, and ran. In fact my cycling and running mileage were nearly the same. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a not-so-good one, but I’m enjoying being back in the saddle. Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll slowly build this base and most likely bump up my rides to twice per week by the end of January.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Back on the bike and feeling great! This 75-minute ride centered on technique and speed skills—think single-leg drills, spin-ups, etc.—and I felt more powerful and comfortable than last week. For what it’s worth, I’m also feeling less “frisky” in the words of my coach. Everyone else had permission to bump up the tempo blocks to threshold, but since this was my second ride in three months, I was instructed to stay at 75 percent—which, surprisingly, I was perfectly fine with. Am I finally maturing as an endurance athlete? Ha!

Tuesday – a.m. run

My final 2016 outing with my run bud—so bittersweet! We braved the elements and logged 6.5 miles in 24-degree weather.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

How swimmers celebrate Christmas

HY-POXIC FIVE: the morning group of Bearcats tackled a 12 days of Christmas swim that included 12x50s broken up in a variety of ways: straight freestyle, 25 drill, 25 swims; 25 butterfly, 25 freestyle; etc. At the end of the 12, we swam 200m straight, and then did the 12×50 once again. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday – off (travel home)

Friday – a.m. swim

For once, my hometown’s pool was open while I was home. Huzzah! I drove over first thing and tackled a 3,600m set my coach wrote titled “Christmas Toys,” which appropriately contained a lot of fun with fins, paddles, and pull buoys.

Saturday – a.m. run

Long and easy 10 miles around the lake

Sunday – a.m. run

Easy five-mile shake-out at home

Where did you go for the holidays?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 15 (Dec. 12)

As quickly as it arrived, the snow melted.

Upper West Side winter wonderland

The ground was covered in powder yesterday, yet most of it is currently slush. I even wore shorts on my run today!

General training notes: guess who’s back on her bike! This week marked my first ride since the Cazenovia Triathlon back in August, and it felt so great to return. I missed my Tailwind people. Other than that, it was another uneventful week of swimming and running.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

I’m baaaack! I made my triumphant return to the saddle for 75 minutes of drills and tempo work. On the bright side, the engine is good—but I could definitely feel the absence of biking in my legs even though we lowered my FTP by 30 watts. We will get it back soon enough.

Tuesday – a.m. run

Easy 5.5 miles in Central Park

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Following Sunday’s swim meet, the masters coaches think it’s time for me to move up a lane, so for the next couple practices, I’ve been tasked with watching my splits and dialing in how I feel. We logged 3000m this kick-heavy practice, and I led my “normal” lane.

Thursday – a.m. run

My legs felt trashed from Wednesday’s kick-heavy practice, so I was thankful for my run bud. There’s no way I would’ve done the entire loop of Central Park without him.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

So. Much. Kicking. Part of our warm-up included a 4×100 IM kick set, and I logged about 3000m total before work.

Saturday – a.m. run with Achilles NYC

This upcoming triathlon season, I plan to make it a priority to give back to the sport, and since a lot of my friends volunteer with Achilles, I attended my first run to see what it’s all about. A non-profit, Achilles has chapters and members in more than 65 locations throughout the U.S. and abroad. The organization aims to provide athletes with disabilities a community of support. Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together to train in an environment of support and community. Even in the freezing rain, Achilles hosted its holiday reindeer run, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came. Along with three other volunteers, I ran with about four miles with one of the Achilles athletes. The group meets Tuesday evenings for workouts as well, and I plan to make it part of my routine.

Sunday – a.m. run

Worlds collided for today’s long run: one of my swimming friends joined my running bud and me for 10 miles in Central Park. It was a balmy 52 degrees, and the miles flew by!

Have your workouts been affected by winter weather?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 13 (Nov. 28)

After a holiday weekend, it’s always tough to get back on a schedule.

2016-december-dawn-patrol-central-park

December dawn patrol has begun.

It was kind of a weird workweek, too.  Some days flew by while others seemed never-ending.

General training notes: aside from a missed swim workout on Wednesday, this was another great week logging meters and miles. I’m really enjoying this relatively unstructured training, but it is time to start easing back into an official plan: my coach and I met this week for a summit meeting of sorts to talk about 2017 and beyond. We’re in the process of building a two-year plan, and I’m really excited! (Post coming soon!) Right now, I will say my hard start date for 2017 is Jan. 1.

Monday – a.m. run

My favorite route: an easy 5.5 miles with two loops around the Reservoir

Tuesday – a.m. run

Another easy 5.5 miles—in shorts and a t-shirt.

Wednesdaya.m. swim with Bearcat masters off

When life happens, all you can do is accept and adjust. So when I woke up for swim practice and discovered I was locked in my apartment, all I could do was read my book. (I finished Belgravia. It’s written by the guy who did Downton Abbey. So good!) We were eventually sprung … just not in time for a 6 a.m. swim practice, ha.

Thursday – a.m. run

December dawn patrol in shorts and a tank top.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Woohoo for Friday Flyday: lots of IM work during this 4000m practice, and I stayed for the entire 1.5 hours without being late to work.  Success!

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

A few Tailwind buds and I met in Central Park for a short run and hot chocolate. Since I haven’t been on my bike since August, it’s been a while since I’ve seen everyone, and it was great to hang out and catch up. (I will be back on my bike in two weeks.)

2016-december-hot-chocolate-run

Tailwind Endurance in now Tailwind Indulgence … until the off-season is over at least. Coach Keane did a get job setting the pace!

Later that afternoon, I conquered my first-ever “test set” at masters practice: 5×200. The protocol was to swim the first 200 all-out and try to stay within three seconds for each subsequent one. We had a packed lane and failed to put ourselves in the right order, so I got stuck behind a few folks and felt like I was just cruising during the 200s. (For the actual swimmers, my splits were all around 3:00-3:02.) For added fun, we did three starts off the blocks in preparation for next Sunday’s meet—ekkkk!

Sunday – a.m. run

Perfect fall … er … day for a long run. One of my training buds and I met up for eight easy miles in Central Park. My legs did not feel great—most likely due to back-to-back 4000m swim practices—but it was a beautiful day, and we had a great time chatting away.

What are your goals for December?