Monday: Swim—4500 yards; Strength—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
Since Rob and I were driving back to Salt Lake City on Monday, I went to the pool early to fit in my longest swim workout of the week.
3 x 100
4 x 1000 (17:30, 17:31, 17:19, 16:57)
4 x 50
2.4 miles is 4224 yards, so this whole workout was longer than my Ironman swim will be. This swim felt great. I thought that it was going to be mind-numbing and mentally difficult, but the 1000s went by pretty quickly. I swam at a pace that felt like a “forever” pace for the first three and sped up a bit for the last one. I swam my first two at a 1:55/100yd pace. If I could hold that pace during the Ironman, I would swim a 1:14, which is faster than my wildest dreams. I don’t think I will swim that fast because open water swimming is typically slower than indoor swimming, but I’m in a good place right now with my swimming fitness to reach my goal time in the swim (1:20-1:25). If only I felt that positive about the bike and the run! After Rob and I got back to Salt Lake, I reluctantly forced myself to do strength work and core work.
Tuesday: Swim—2500 yards; Bike—1:30:13 (25.55 miles)
Another early morning in the pool. This week is a swim-focused week, hence the extra swimming. It’s nice, but since I feel relatively confident about the swim, I was a little leery of spending a whole week focused on it. I may switch out one or two of the workouts for bike rides. Today was a speed day:
4 x 200 (swim, kick, pull, swim)
4 x (4 x 100 descend)
2 x 50
Basically, I did four sets of four 100s. Within each set, the 100s got faster as I went on. I wasn’t really feeling the whole “exercise” thing that morning, but I still got some good, fast 100s in later on in each set. I think my arms were a little more fatigued after my long day on Monday than I realized at the time. Because swimming tends to be the sport I do to recover from the other two, I sometimes forget that a long, hard swim will at the very least leave my arms tired the next day. Swimming while fatigued is good practice for the last thirty minutes or so of the Ironman, so I guess this workout was a success!
After work, I set out on my bike ride. Because I have a car again, I got home at 4:30pm instead of 5:15pm, so I was able to get out on the bike earlier than I have been lately. It was warm, but the ride went well. I’ve gone discouragingly slow in some of my recent rides, so it was nice to have a ride where I felt fast and strong. I went in and out of aero position during this ride, and it felt comfortable and fairly natural. I also was much more in control of my bike than I was even just a couple of days ago. I hit a nasty pothole in aero position and didn’t take a tumble. I didn’t even wobble dangerously! So I’m feeling good about my progress so far.
Wednesday: Bike—1:00:xx (15.xx miles); Run—1:00:00 (7.3 miles); 8-minute abs
In the end, I decided to switch out a swim workout for a bike workout. So on Wednesday, instead of putting in endless laps in the pool, I headed out for an early, pre-dawn bike ride. I am thrilled that it’s now warm enough to get out on the bike early without it becoming a giant ordeal with a thousand different pieces of clothing. On Wednesday morning, I went out in shorts and a jersey, with just arm warmers and knit gloves to keep me warm. I was a little chilly at the start, but after warming up a bit, I felt just fine. It was a pleasant ride, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have enjoyed yet another swim. Plus, I think I need a little more time on the bike.
After work, I had an hour long run scheduled. I spent the whole day dreading it. By the time I got back to Rob’s place, it was hot outside—over 80°. As much as I hate running in the heat and would prefer to run in the mornings (or at least midday!), I know I will be running my Ironman marathon in the heat of the day, so I need to acclimate myself to running in the heat. There is one water fountain about halfway through this particular route. I stopped and drank a bit of water there, but I didn’t bring or set out any water. It was hot, and I got thirsty, but I never felt dehydrated. I didn’t check the temperature until I got back, and I was actually surprised at how high the temperature was. I would have thought I would have felt much worse at 80°. I’m just going to keep sprinkling in warm runs as I train and hope that those prepare me for the heat of my Ironman marathon.
Thursday: Swim—“Open water” practice; Strength—15 minutes
I was planning on doing a specific workout in the pool on Thursday morning. But as I was sitting in my car in the pool parking lot waiting for it to open up, I saw the Masters swim team coach. What’s he doing here? It’s not Monday, Wednesday, or Friday! Then I remembered that, throughout the summer, there is an additional Masters swim practice on Thursday. When I got into the pool, I saw that it was a day for practicing open water skills. This all seemed rather fortuitous, so I joined in with them. After warming up, we practiced open water starts, buoy turns, and then beach starts. It was fun, and it was nice to do something a little outside the routine to keep things interesting. During lunch, I did some strength work, but after that, I just took it easy the rest of the day in preparation for my sprint triathlon that was coming up over the weekend.
Friday: REST; 8-minute abs
This rest day was wonderful. I was staying at Rob’s parents’ house since my triathlon the next day was only five minutes away from where they are. But they are actually out of town. So it was a super low-key evening. Low-key as in I came over, ate some food, watched some TV, did core work, and then went to bed well before 9:00pm. I didn’t even talk to anyone all evening. Now, that isn’t something that would be desirable every day, but for this particular evening it was a dream come true.
Saturday: Tri the Heights Sprint Triathlon (1:10:20); Bike—33:xx (9.xx miles)
I’ll write up a more detailed race report about the triathlon, but it went well, and I was very pleased with how I did! The weather was perfect, and I had a ton of fun. However, apparently when you are training for an Ironman, a sprint triathlon is not enough of a workout for a single (weekend) day. So later on that day I hopped on my bike for an easy 30 minute spin. I ended up riding a flat course instead of doing the initial climb that I normally do, so my easy ride actually ended up being faster than normal, even after doing a race earlier that day.
Sunday: Strength—15 minutes; Bike—1:03:58 (15.8 miles); Swim—3200 yards
I woke up on Sunday morning and did some strength work right off the bat. Rob and I did the coffee shop loop on Saturday morning. Fifteen miles and a pastry is a great way to start the day. We did the ride with Ryan, a friend of his that he used to work with. We had a fun time riding and chatting, (although, true to form, I did more eavesdropping listening than talking myself. I ended up leaving the shop a bit earlier than they did so I could get to church on time.
After church, I headed to the pool for another swim workout:
4 x 250 (swim, kick, pull, swim)
1950 ladder (300 descending by 25)
The ladder started with a 300 and each interval after that was 25 yards shorter (300, 275, 250, etc.). It was hot in Salt Lake on Sunday, and the water felt wonderful. My warm-up was completely pleasant. And then I started the main set. I started out swimming each interval at what I would describe as a tempo pace. I took a 15 second break after each one. And after a few intervals, it was tough. It wasn’t extraordinarily difficult, but I was definitely swimming hard up through the last intervals. It felt good to work hard, especially since I wasn’t sure I’d be up for a hard workout after my race the day before.