Tag Archives: triathlon training

Triathlon Training Log – Week 6 (Feb. 6)

After a fabulous long birthday weekend filled with sun, swimming, and family time, I am back in New York City.

Swimming in solitude

I did not want to come back north, and the Tri-state area greeted me a “snow storm” on Thursday.

General training notes: finally I kicked the cold that plagued me all last week and settled in to my normal training routine. Er, “normal” being relative since I was still in Sanibel during the beginning of the week. We altered the schedule a bit to include two rides on Thursday and Friday, and I was able to sneak in a run on Saturday morning before going to the Millrose Games.

Monday – a.m. swim

Outdoor swimming for the win—and I had a lane to myself for 95 percent of the workout. Earl assigned a main set that included 20×100, plus 16×50 with builds in increments of four (i.e. 1-4, 5-8, etc.)

Tuesday – a.m. swim

Final outdoor swim that included an endurance ladder—100, 200, 300, 400, then back down—and totaled 3,600m. I already miss swimming outside!

Wednesday – p.m. run

A late flight back to NYC on Tuesday night prompt me to push back my run to after work on Wednesday, and this move paid off. Not only was the weather perfect—hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit—but my legs also felt fresh. This was also my first true run “workout” of this training cycle, and I faced four, eight-minute blocks at half-marathon pace broken up by three minutes at marathon pace. I could tell my fitness from the water transferred to the road, and I could also tap into distinct efforts quite easily.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Tailwind took on the Tour of Sufferlandria, and we tackling a workout titled “There Is No Try.” The primary set included four main blocks, each of which increased in time spent at our sweet spot/threshold: 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off; 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 45 seconds on, 45 seconds off; one minute on, one minute off. There was a five-minute sweet spot block as well before we progressed back down this ladder, staring with the one-minute intervals.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Why I/my coach thought back-to-back days of Sufferfest workouts would be a good idea is beyond me. This “Hell Hath No Fury” workout contained two, 20-minute blocks with effort levels fluctuating between 90 and 120 percent.  This was the hardest bike workout of the year, and I felt its effects throughout the weekend.

Saturday – a.m. run

Easy 6.5-mile shake out in Central Park.  My legs were still zapped from the Sufferfest session, but they felt much better once I finished.

Sunday – a.m. run

Shot legs and less-than-ideal weather equated to a tough “long run” for my buddy and me. It usually takes four or five miles for my legs to warm up, but because things didn’t improve once I hit the seven-mile mark, I pulled the plug. Thanks a lot, Sufferfest. Oh how I miss running on fresh legs.

How long does it take you to recover from tough workouts?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 5 (Jan. 30)

Greetings from sunny Sanibel!

Morning beach walks with Zelda

I escaped the New York City and will be here on the beach in Florida for a few days. Bring on the sun!

General training notes: basically, this week was a complete wash workout-wise because I’ve been sick. I was feeling under the weather last week and thought the end was in sight—but last Sunday’s run proved otherwise. I’ve been taking it easy and trying to fend off this thing all week.

Monday – off

No watts, and no power test. In an effort to kick my cold, I slept in and took a rest day.

Tuesday – off

More resting and sleeping

Wednesday – a.m. run

Easy four miles to test out the lunges

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

It’s never good when you walk into the studio, and your coach asks, “why are you here?” I was still feeling under the weather so I kept this 75-minute ride super easy in my endurance zone.

Friday – off

Slept in and flew south to Sanibel

Saturday – off

I planned to swim, but I was still coughing too much.

Sunday – p.m. swim

Finally, the sickness seems to be gone so I was able to sneak in a birthday swim at the outdoor rec center pool. I missed my Bearcat buds, but it was warm and sunny, a.k.a. perfect conditions for a 3,300m workout.

Did you watch the Super Bowl last night?

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 2 (Sept. 12)

It’s always tough to return to work after a holiday weekend.

2016-central-park-reservoir-september

Escaping

For me, anyway, this week dragged by.

Monday – off

Tuesday – p.m. run, swim with Bearcat masters

Another day living the run-commute life. After work, I did a lower loop in Central Park before running downtown to my pool for a total of four miles. Since I was already wearing workout clothes, I did my first dryland session ever (for the non-swimmers, it’s basically a 30-minute warm-up) and then completed the freestyle-focused practice with my Bearcat buds. Running to swim practice? I’m having an identity crisis/transformation this off-season!

Wednesday – p.m. EngineRm workout

Wowza, this 75-minute endurance row was tough. The “main set” (not sure if that term is used in rowing) was one 15-minute block followed by descending intervals and a 1K time trial at the end.

Thursday – off

Slept in and had real-person plans after work

Friday – p.m. run

Originally, I planned to run before work, but … sleep won. (It never wins during the season!) It’s finally cooling off here in NYC, and by the time I made it to Central Park around 6 p.m., the weather was perfect: hovering around 70*F and sunny with no humidity. I kept running until I felt like stopping—er, really, until I got hungry—which led to 5.75 miles.

Saturday – a.m. run-row “brick” (run in Central Park and row at EngineRm); p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

I’ve missed sportz Saturdays. First, I did a short 1.5-mile warm-up run to EngineRm before I took a 45-minute class. Although I picked up the general concept relatively easy, I felt like things really clicked today, and I can already see improvement in my numbers and stamina. After running a few errands and doing productive adult things, I went to my first Bearcat distance freestyle practice of the season. It was a tough one: 1.5 hours in the water and 4,150m covered. I felt great in the water, and hopefully I can keep this momentum up as the off-season continues.

Sunday – a.m. run

Easy and 5.5 miles in Central Park with one of my friends while folks training for November’s TCS NYC Marathon did 18—wowza!

Are you gearing up for a fall race/event?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 1 (Sept. 5)

Just as quickly as my seven-day period of inactivity began, Sloth Week ended. It was a smashing success, giving both my body and mind a break from triathlon.

2016-sunset-caz-lake

Summer sunsets in the 315

But all good things eventually conclude, and this week, I reintroduced exercise to my routine. Since my coach and I are meeting this upcoming week—to review 2016 and plan my off-season—I was left to my own devices. However, I know we’ll focus on swimming and running from now through December, so I made an effort to devote time to those disciplines and set a precedent for the next few months.

Monday – off

I went home for Labor Day Weekend and spent Monday traveling back to NYC (and reading “Boys in the Boat.” It’s so good.)

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

Easy shake-out run in the morning (3.6 miles), plus my first Bearcat swim practice of the fall season. I’m already doing much better than last year as far as swimming goes because I didn’t avoid the pool for three months. Success!

Wednesday – p.m. EngineRm workout

Fueled by the Olympics, my new obsession is rowing: a total-body workout that actually favors taller humans? Sign me up!

2016-september-enginerm

The phrase Engine Room refers to the middle seats in an eight-oared boat (3, 4, 5, and 6) that are typically occupied by the most powerful rowers.

Earl and I talked briefing about rowing before Nationals, and he recommended EngineRm, an indoor erg facility that caters to athletes. I took a 101 class after work and then joined an hour-long endurance workout. I am totally hooked.

Thursday – p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Again, it’s all about doing better than last off-season: not only was this workout my second time swimming this week, but I also did the entire IM practice as prescribed. Things got a little dicey when it was time to do the butterfly, but we’ll get there. It was a shorter practice in terms of time and distance (one hour and 2,200m), but that’s fine considering it’s the start of the fall season.

Friday – p.m. run

Easy four-mile run-commute home

Saturday – a.m. run-row “brick”

I ran the scenic route through Central Park to EngineRm as an abbreviated warm-up (1.6 miles) before class. I loved the workout we did because it was structured similarly to a VO2 max set on the bike: we did five intervals of 1:15 “on” and 45 seconds active recovery, and we increased the intensity/stroke rate each time (think building the effort). Then we repeated the set again with the goal of improving our numbers. In case it isn’t clear, I am really digging rowing. The actual motions and technique remind me of swimming, and so far, the workouts we’ve done are similar to what I do on the bike.

Sunday – p.m. attempted run-swim-run brick (run to the pool, swim with Bearcat masters, run home)

In addition to rowing, I am currently obsessed with run commuting. Since it takes about 45-50 minutes to get to my pool via public transportation, I figured it would be worth a shot to see if I could get there more quickly by running—and it was a success. I’m sure I can make my route more efficient with additional trial and error, but it took about 30 minutes today. (With run commuting, especially in a city, it’s important to manage expectations: between the pedestrians and traffic lights, you aren’t going to be setting any PRs, but it’s a great way to get in a few extra easy miles.) The pool was closed today, though, due to an emergency, so no swimming, unfortunately. But I ran back home and logged close to seven miles.

How do your workouts change when you aren’t training for a specific event?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 39 (August 22)

Well, that’s it. My 2016 triathlon season is officially in the books.

2016-cazenovia-triathlon-overall-female-podium

Nice view up here. Wonder what it is like a little bit higher …

Thanks to the Olympics, I accumulated a few comp days at work, which let me come home for a long weekend, spend some time with the fam, and do the 16th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon.

General training notes: Since I was still recovering from work—and because I had the local yokel sprint on Sunday—we kept training light this week. Nothing hard, nothing strenuous: just enough to keep the body moving and the legs fresh.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run

After disembarking the early morning bandwagon pre-Nationals, I struggled to hop back aboard this week. I did three loops of the Reservoir in Central Park that were peppered with fartleks, plus one mile at projected local yokel pace for a total of seven.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Easy-ish 70-minute ride with lots of cadence drills

Thursday – a.m. run

This four miler was a total slog, but on the bright side, I saw a few friends in Central Park.

Friday – off

Travel home

Saturday – shake-out run and tech ride

Easy 10-minute jog, and I rode my bike up and down the driveway a few times to make sure everything felt OK. My front brakes were rubbing, so I paid a quick visit to Syracuse Bicycle for an adjustment (and to see my people).

Sunday – 16th Cazenovia Triathlon (800m swim, 14-mile bike, 5-K run)

My final race of the 2016 was a sweet one: I cracked the overall female podium for the sprint! That means a lot because this was the first tri I did four years ago, and it’s super motivating to see the progress I’ve made. Race report to come!

What’s new with you? How did your workouts go?