Weekly Recap (5/09-5/15)

Monday: Swim—2400 yards; Strength—30 minutes
It was Masters Swim team in the morning again.  I’m going to try to keep going at least once a week through Ironman training.
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
4 x 50 (count strokes)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
n x (2 x 50) decrease stroke count by 2 each set
8 x 75 build
4 x 25 sprint @ 110bpm
200 pull
There was a lot going on in this set, specifically in the stroke count set.  Basically, what we did was decrease our stroke count for each set of two 50s, based on what we counted while warming up.  I started at 18 strokes per 25 (36 per 50) and worked down to 14 strokes per 25 (28 per 50).  This was a technique set, and it was probably good for me.  I have such long limbs (which is apparently great for swimming) but I don’t think I take full advantage of them yet.  So it’s good for me to focus on elongating my stroke.  My original plan for the evening was to either rest or go for a bike ride.  Because it was raining when I got home and I knew I had a doozy of a day on Tuesday, I decided to do the bike ride on Wednesday instead.  So I did a half an hour of strength work and then tried to get my life in order for the rest of the week—meal-planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.

Tuesday: Bike—4:19:57 (69.13 miles); Run—30:00 (3.5 miles)
I woke up early to participate in Strava’s Global Bike to Work challenge.  I have a long commute, so it wasn’t a small task.  I left around 5:00am and arrived at work around 7:45am (I had some navigation errors that slowed me down!).  It was a cold morning, but with my Gabba jersey and some heavy-duty gloves, I was fine.  The ride to work went well, though my frequent stops and backtracking bumped my average speed down.  On my way back, I got a little… lost.  Again.  It’s a long story.  It was frustrating trying to navigate my way to the trail, and it ended badly.  Finally, when I was minutes from giving up, I saw that I was fairly close to an access point.  The ride home was mostly against the wind, but I got into a groove near the end and was holding a pretty decent speed, despite the wind and my fatigue and frustration.  It was my first brick workout of the training cycle and immediately after getting home, I donned my running shoes and hit the road for an easy thirty minute run.  I tried to focus on running slow because I know I will need to run quite slow off the bike in my Ironman to avoid completely bonking.  However, despite trying to run slow, I still hit an 8:34/mile pace.  I know that’s too fast for me.  I have read way too many race reports where the racer starts the run and says, “I hit the first mile in 8:30.  That’s fast for me, but I felt great so I decided to go with it!” only to report crashing and burning later in the marathon.  That’s something I can control, so I’m going to try.  Next time, I will try to run no faster than 9:00/mile off the bike.

Path
I liked this shot of the path with the little elm seeds everywhere.

Wednesday: Swim –2000 yards; Bike—1:30:20 (24.59 miles); 8-minute abs
I went to the pool in the morning for a shorter swim that included a lot of shorter reps:
300 (50 swim, 50 kick)
20 x 75 @ 1:20
200 easy
I didn’t have any gas in my tank for this swim, and I struggled through the 75s.  I swam most of them in about 1:10 which isn’t terrible… I was just surprised at how tired I was when swimming at this fairly generous pace.  I think my shoulders were feeling the effects of holding myself on up on my bike for four hours the day before.

I was not excited for my bike ride after work.  I was worried about how tired my legs would be after all my miles the day before, but mostly, I knew another long ride would mean another day where I worked out, ate, went to bed, and got up to do it all over again.  Once I got out on the bike, I actually had a good ride.  I was surprised at how fresh my legs felt and how fast I was going (maybe my Garmin is off!).  I feel like something clicked in my pedal stroke, and now a higher cadence feels more comfortable and more natural.  My ride ended up going quite well, and I actually did not feel exhausted at the end.

Thursday: Swim—3500 yards; Run—45:00 (5.55 miles); Strength—15 minutes
This was my longest swim workout so far in this training program.  The meat of the workout was two 1500s.  That’s a lot of laps.
3 x 100
2 x 1500 (26:09, 26:43)
4 x 50
I slowed down some during my second 1500, but it was only a few seconds per 100 yards.  Even my slower one was faster than my targeted Ironman pace.  I worked from home on Thursday, so I got to skip the million year commute into work which was a welcome change.  Instead, I spent the day working away at my laptop at Rob’s place with him (he took the day off) and the cat.  During the middle of the day, I headed out for a run with strides every five minutes.  I felt terrible the first fifteen minutes or so, but once I started actually warming up, I felt much better.  Funny how that works.  After I got back, I did fifteen minutes of strength work.

Additionally, my new swimsuit came in the mail!  I have a sprint tri coming up in a few weeks, and the swim is in a pool.  This means that I won’t be wearing a wetsuit.  I wanted a low-drag option to wear with my tri shorts, but I didn’t want to swing for something expensive and/or super specific to this particular race, so I decided that a bikini top would work really well (I don’t need much support, so I would be able to throw a tri top on for the ride and run).  So I went to the TYR website and ordered a grab bag bikini.  You can pick the size, but the color and style is a random selection from their older stock.  It’s a great deal, and it only cost $20.  They have a similar grab bag option for one pieces as well.  I first randomly learned about this from Rheagan over at Hardly Awesome.  It’s a great option for anyone who wants a swimsuit for training purposes only.

Swimsuit
New swimsuit!

Friday: REST; 8-minute abs
Thank goodness for rest days.  I needed this one to maintain my sanity.  It was great to sleep in (which now means waking up at 5:45am…) and be done with my day early (which now means 5:00pm…).  Seeing that written out as my totally-relaxed day is unbelievably disheartening.  But the evening was relaxing.  I took a walk with Rob, did some core work, watched some TV… all things that normal people actually do!

Saturday: Swim—30 minutes; Run—1:40:00 (11.79 miles); 8-minute abs
I woke up and headed to the gym right when it opened to swim.  I tried out my new swimsuit, and it worked great (even though, as a life-long one-piece gal, I felt a little exposed!).  I just did an easy thirty minute swim.  I didn’t count laps, but I’d guess I ended up going either 1600 or 1650.  When I bothered to check, most of my 50s hovered right around :55.

Afterwards, I went to Rob’s house and ate second breakfast before heading out on the run that I had been dreading all week long.  Running is the discipline that I enjoy the least of the three.  I know runs are going to be hot and tiring.  I know I’m going to feel gross at the beginning and gross at the end.  This run in particular was scary for me because it had a tempo element.  I was supposed to run the first 75 minutes at an easy RPE 3 and then bump it up to RPE 5 for the final 25 minutes.  I’m not accustomed to bumping up my effort at the end of a long run.  I tried to focus a little more than usual on holding back and keeping the pace easy.  When I hit the 8-mile mark, my average pace was around 8:46/mile.  Just a little under half a mile later, I hit 75 minutes and bumped up the effort.  The last 25 minutes were pretty tough.  I tried to keep a quick turnover when I was going uphill and stay quick but controlled while going downhill.  I also tried to minimize the pounding on my knee by keeping good form going downhill, and sometimes speed and lightness work against each other when running downhill.  I picked up the pace quite a bit and averaged around 7:40/mile for my tempo effort.  That’s not quite as impressive as it sounds once you take the elevation profile of my run into consideration.  The run finishes up with a pretty significant downhill portion, so I think I did a good job on the tempo effort without overdoing it. A little later in the afternoon, I did some core work.

100minutes
See what I mean about the profile for the last couple of miles?

Sunday: Run—1:00:00 (7.3 miles); Bike—2:01:01 (34.55 miles)
I was a little uncertain how my Sunday morning run would go, considering my hard effort the day before.  I started of pretty slow, probably due to a combination of cold muscles and tired muscles.  However, my legs picked up speed naturally as I warmed up a bit.  Plus, I knew that once I climbed the initial hill that the hardest part of the run was over.  That’s always a nice mental boost.  Starting at ten minutes, I did 20 second pick-ups every five minutes.  I think this may have helped my pace as well.  Focusing a little more on speed for short bursts keeps me from losing focus and falling into a slower turnover.  I ended up having a strong run and finished up with an 8:13/mile pace.  I didn’t have any IT band pain, despite the fact that I did two reasonably long runs in two days.

I skipped out on church and spent some time relaxing, planning meals, writing a grocery list, and working on a blog post. Rob and I headed out for a bike ride around 1:00pm.  I didn’t want to do my typical route.  The climbing just seemed like more than I could handle emotionally.  So we tried out a trail his neighbor suggested.  Basically, it was the trail I rode to work earlier this week, except we rode north instead of south.  It was an awesome path.  The surface was great, and it was overcast and threatening rain, so there was hardly anybody on the trial.  We saw maybe 3-4 groups the entire time.  The other benefit of this ride is that it was flat as a pancake, which is pretty atypical here in Salt Lake.  At least, it is for me since I spend a lot of my time in or around canyons.  Rob and I were trucking along at a pretty good pace.  I actually beat my 40k PR on my Garmin with 1:25:19 which averages out to a 17.5mph pace.  Overall, I hit 17.1mph.  Once I got back, I ate, showered, and then did some strength work.  Another hard (but good!) week of training in the bank.

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