Monday: Swim—2550 yards; Run—45 minutes (5.6 miles); 8-minute abs
First official day of Ironman training! I started it off with Masters in the morning. It was a good workout and included some timed kicking drills and some speed work:
4 x 50 10-kick roll
4 x 50 closed fist
6 x 75 kick @ 2:20 (MMF, MFF, FFF x2)
20 x 25 @ :30
300 (focusing on form)
4 x 50 sprint
I haven’t done timed kicking drills that I can remember, and I was pleasantly surprised with how I did. The coach had my lane do the 75s at a 2:20, but I probably could have (should have?) been doing them at a 2:00 interval instead. I feel like my kick is the weakest part of my stroke, but it’s nice that it’s not as weak as I thought it was. My 25s hovered around 19-20 seconds with about ten seconds rest, and I felt strong through the whole set. I never felt like I was sucking wind. My 50 sprints were between :35 and :38, which I think is good for me. The only timed-from-the-blocks 50 I’ve ever swum took me :33 (although I think I could go faster now?), so my sprints at the end of practice weren’t far off that. After work, I headed out for another pain-free run. This run felt tougher than my last run. Maybe I’m just getting used to two-a-day workouts. I felt like I was going much slower, but I actually ended up going the exact same distance (within a couple of paces, probably). Rob had to work late, so I made it his place before he did and managed to have dinner done right when he walked in the door. Domesticity, check. We then headed to the store to get a couple of things we needed, but we were distracted by a free showing of a movie he loves (Yojimbo, an old black-and-white samurai movie). So we ducked into the theater and watched that instead. Spontaneity, check. After that, though, I opted out of shopping and went home for the evening. I did my core work and was in bed by 10pm. Responsibility, check.
Tuesday: Strength—15 minutes; Run—45 minutes (5.14 miles); Bike—1:00:52 (15.55 miles)
Normally, I would have done my strength work and run before work, but I have a hard time warming up properly in the mornings, and I think tight muscles are a big contributor to my IT band pain. Instead, I got to work very early with the plan to do my strength work and run during a long lunch. It was the first time I’ve run two days in a row since I started dealing with IT band pain, so I was a little anxious about it. My strength routine went just fine, but I could feel the fatigue in my legs. I wasn’t looking forward to running because my legs simply felt tired, and I didn’t want to have a “bad run.” While I was doing my strength work, though, I realized I have to switch mentalities. When I was doing the Run Less, Run Faster plan this winter, all my runs were hard. That is one of the unique elements of the plan. In fact, my swims were mostly hard too, leaving me with just cycling as a more low-key, recovery-type workout. I can’t “go hard” for every workout of Ironman training. If I tried, I would burn out and injure myself. I need to learn to embrace easy workouts. The competition is in August, not today. So I went out with the intention to run more slowly than usual. I’m glad I did because it would have been a slow day regardless of my intention. There’s a little thing that happens in the spring that folks here call wind. The way out was great, but I knew what was coming my way when I turned around. Wind. Loud wind. Cold wind. Awful wind. The run back was pretty miserable. When I got back, I checked my phone which said the wind was blowing around 25mph. Yuck. After work, I headed out on my bike after reminding myself to take it easy. I did (mostly) take it easy, though I probably pushed the pace a little too much during the final fifteen minutes or so. Then I spent most of the rest of the evening sitting on the couch like a sloth. I can only do so much!
Wednesday: Swim—2500 yards; Bike—45:23 (10.99 miles); 8-minute abs
I headed to the pool Wednesday morning, but instead of jumping in with the masters team, I grabbed a lane of my own. I felt a little guilty, like I was cheating on masters with the Ironman. But mostly I was just glad I didn’t have to do whatever multi-stroke workout they were doing that day! Instead, I had a long set:
1 x 1500 (25:48)
4 x 50
I felt a little fatigued when I got in the pool. My legs were a bit tired and my glutes were a bit sore. However, after I warmed up, I felt okay. I was planning on taking this workout at a medium effort, and I did a good job of that. There’s not much to say about swimming thirty laps straight. It’s been a while since I counted laps, and I actually didn’t screw up which was a pleasant surprise. My strategy for counting laps during long sets is coming up with little rhymes and then repeating that rhyme in my head throughout the lap. That way, instead of thinking “three” when I finish the third lap, I’m thinking “Three, what a good day to be me” or something stupid like that. They are all infinitely stupid rhymes, but it gives the number a little uniqueness that keeps me from forgetting which number I was thinking of if I drift off for a moment. Instead of counting all the way up to thirty, I broke the set up into three sets of 10 laps. I didn’t stop between the sets—I just used it to help me better keep track of my laps. Anyway, I didn’t feel all that fast (and I wasn’t all that fast), but it was a solid swim and a good reminder that today’s “not very fast” would have been close to last fall’s “race effort.” I did my core work during lunch. I arrived at Rob’s place before he did after work. I started dinner but handed it off to him and took off on my ride when he got home. I was feeling the larger-than-usual workout load from the week and was glad I only had to go out for 45 minutes. It was nice to stretch my legs, but it was even nicer to get back and rest.
Thursday: REST; Physical therapy
Other than my physical therapy appointment, I took Thursday as a well-deserved day off. At physical therapy, I learned a few good exercises to add to my strengthening repertoire. The physical therapist seemed pleased with my progress, and I made an appointment for next week to have all my strength and running stride checked out again. Then, after work, I drove to Idaho for the weekend. It ended up being a pretty late night for me, but I slept well that night which made up for it.
Friday: Run—90 minutes (11 miles); Strength—15 minutes
My dad and I planned to do a 90 minute run, and I was nervous about it. I wasn’t sure how my knee would hold up or how my fitness would hold up. We ate a hearty breakfast of cinnamon rolls and coffee and gave our legs plenty of time to wake up. We left around 9:30am. And, much to my excitement, the run went wonderfully! I didn’t feel my knee at all through the run, my new stride felt most comfortable it’s ever felt during a run, and my endurance held up great. It was sunny, the perfect temperature, and just a tiny bit breezy. My dad and I chatted throughout the whole run, and we both lost track of time more than once. Even though neither of us felt like we were pushing the pace at all, we went 11 miles in the 90 minutes we were out, which works out to an 8:11/mile pace. There’s simply not much to say about this run because it was blessedly uneventful. In the afternoon, I did my strength routine and added in some of the new exercises I learned from physical therapy.
Saturday: Swim—1500 yards; Bike—2:00:58 (34.3 miles); 8-minute abs
I was planning to swim on Sunday, but when I looked at the hours for the pool in my parents’ town, I realized they didn’t open until 11:00am on Sunday. I wanted to get on the road before then, so I went to the pool Saturday morning instead and did the following workout:
400 (50 swim, 50 kick)
8 x 100 @ 1:40 (easy, build, easy, hard by 25)
4 x 75
It was a simple enough workout, but I swam it hard enough to feel pretty gassed by the end. I also looked at my schedule later and realized I was supposed to do 6 x 25 as a cool down, not 4 x 75, so I got a bonus 150 yards in. After spending some time with my nieces and nephews in the morning after swimming, I went on a bike ride around 11:00am. I’ll post a little more about my bike ride in a post later this week, but it went really well. I rode around the lake and because of the relatively flat course that contained very few stops, my average speed was much higher than usual at exactly 17mph. It can be hard to get a good idea of where you are speed-wise on a bike because of all the stops and starts in a typical bike ride. Getting out and doing a nice ride on country roads helped me get a better idea of where I’m at. Turns out, I’m not quite as slow as I thought I was! Still, I’m thinking that my “A” goal for the Ironman bike leg was perhaps a little lofty. I set the goal as 6:30, which would equal a 17.23 mph pace over 112 miles. It didn’t seem unrealistic at the time, but now that I have actually paid attention to my speed on the bike, I think it might be. In the evening, I did core work. Swimming, babysitting, cycling, core work… I accomplished a lot for a Saturday!
Sunday: Strength—30 minutes
Because I swam on Saturday, all I had to do on Sunday was some strength work. I woke up early and did thirty minutes of strength work. I was surprised how tired my legs were after a couple of big days. The strength work was tough, and I felt like all the right muscles were fatigued. I was glad that I had scheduled myself with a light day on Sunday, not only because it will hopefully help me recover a bit for week two of Ironman training but also because long car rides don’t pair well with tough workouts. After my strength work, breakfast, and saying goodbye to all the kids, I drove back to Salt Lake City and relaxed the rest of the day.