Weekly Recap (6/06-6/12)

Monday: Swim—2400 yards + whistle kicks; Bike—2:00:06 (33.68 miles); Strength—15 minutes
Masters swim was a tough (but really good!) workout on Monday morning. The main set was pace 200s which, as usual, I ended up doing faster than I planned on.
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
7 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
5:00 whistle kicks
3 x 200 pace (around 3:00)
100 easy
100 kick
2 x 200 pace (with strong kick)
50 easy
I wanted to swim the 200s in around 3:10, but then I accidentally swam way too fast on the first one and felt like I needed to keep that pace through the rest.  Surprisingly, I actually did manage to keep that pace through the rest of them (including the two at the end).  I felt fast in the water, despite my long-ish pool workout the day before.  And a couple of guys that I have been sharing a lane with for the past few months mentioned that I’m looking really fast/keep getting faster.  So that affirmation was a nice way to start the week.

I took my bike to work so that I could ride it home.  It was a hot day, so I told myself it would be a good day to work on my heat acclimation.  I’m doing my best not to avoid hot days and to embrace them as part of my training.  I had intervals on the bike, so my workout was as follows:
15 minutes warmup
6 x (12t, 3r)
15 minutes cooldown
The tempo effort (t) was supposed to be 5-7 RPE and the recovery effort (r) was supposed to be 2 RPE.  The first hour or so of this ride was great.  There is a slight loss of elevation from my work to my home, and with hardly any stops, I was flying.  I spent a lot of time in my aero bars and got some good practice steering around some sweeping curves while down in the aero position.  Then, as I got further north, the wind really picked up.  The last half hour or so of my ride was pure misery.  I almost got blown over at a stoplight.  Finally, I got home.  I was surprised to see I had broken my Garmin 40k record with a 1:23:37 (probably at the beginning of the ride).  After I got home, I did some strength work.

Tuesday: Bike—2:00:40 (32.94 miles); Run—1:00:00 (7.2 miles)
Tuesday morning I woke up way too early and headed off to work on my bike.  It was dark when I left, but the weather was wonderful.  It was still quite warm (well, warm for 5:00am, anyway), and it was blessedly still which was a great change from my ride the night before.  I actually got out the door a little early which ended up being a waste of time because I got stuck at a railroad crossing for fifteen minutes waiting for the longest (and slowest!) train in the entire history of the world.  As the sun came up, I was greeted by a beautiful morning.  I spent a little less time in the aero position on Tuesday than I did on Monday.  My aero position muscles were a little fatigued, I think, because I’m still getting used to it.  And I’m also still getting used to the new saddle position, so being upright felt a little more comfortable.  I ended up having a strong ride, making (almost) zero wrong turns, and getting to work a little before I planned to.  Not a bad way to start the day!

In the evening I had an hour long run.  I was dreading this run.  It was going to be hot and miserable.  Sure enough, it was 88° when I headed out after work.  I just kept reminding myself that heat acclimation is a part of training.  I tried to take the run nice and slow.  I’ve had some trouble with my stomach on warmer runs, but despite giving in to my base instincts and eating some less-than-ideal food before heading out, it held up just fine for this run, maybe because I was never pushing myself all that hard.  The run was uncomfortable, if only because of the heat, but I ran fairly well, and my pace remained strong throughout the duration of the run.  After I got back, I basically showered, ate dinner, and went to bed.  I was in bed before 9:00pm.

Wednesday: Run—1:30:00 (10.48 miles); Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
I had a run with tempo efforts scheduled on Wednesday.  I wanted to really be able to work hard during this run, so I didn’t want to do it in the evening when it was bound to be really hot.  I also didn’t want to do it right when I woke up because my legs are rubbish when I run first thing in the morning.  So instead, I got to work at 5:30am and worked for a little over an hour before changing and heading out for my run at 7:00am.  The workout was very similar to my bike ride earlier in the week:
10 minute warmup
7 x (7t, 3r)
10 minute cooldown
The tempo effort (t) was supposed to be at 7 RPE and the recovery effort (r) was supposed to be at 2 RPE.  I worked hard on this run.  I took the recovery portions very slow, but I pushed hard during my tempo efforts.  I don’t have a Garmin, so I don’t know what my paces were during this workouts, but I would guess that my tempo paces were pretty easily under 8:00/mile.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful day and I got out before the heat struck which helped make this hard workout feel good instead of terrible.  I felt quite strong during my first five tempo efforts, but I struggled quite a bit with the last two.  I was definitely running out of gas.  Although much of that was fatigue from simply working hard, some nutrition partway through the run may have helped me feel better towards the end of the workout.  I didn’t actually fuel at all—either food or water—during this run.  Ideally, I would have had at least one water break and would have eaten at least a couple gummies, but I was too lazy to make those preparations and I knew that in cooler temperatures, I can handle 90 minutes without fuel.  I felt good about this workout, but this hard run after the past two long days left me pretty wrecked.  In the evening, I did some core work and some strength work.

Thursday: Run—30:00 (3.01 miles); Strength—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
When I woke up, I was stiff, sore, and worn down.  So I took my thirty minute run very easy and used it as a way to work through my stiffness.  I felt better once I got done, and I continued to feel less stiff and sore as the day went on.  In the evening, I did some strength work and some core work.  After the physically tough start to my week (and the long run coming up over the weekend), I needed this easy day.

Friday: REST; 8-minute abs
Thank goodness for rest days!  I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll never understand when people talk about hating rest days.  I positively cherish my rest days.  I love exercising, but when I’m training for something big, I work hard enough six days a week that I love sitting around and doing nothing on that one rest day.  I did my best to fuel up and rest for my upcoming big day.

Saturday: Run—2:30:00 (17.7 miles); Swim—2 x 1500 yards
Because it had been such a hot week, I was planning on waking up very early in order to start my run by 6:00am.  However, fortunately, it was overcast on Friday, and the forecast called for cloudy skies and temperatures around 70° on Saturday, so I was able to sleep in a little bit.  I woke up around 5:30am, drank a bottle of water, and ate a banana, a peach, an egg, a hamburger bun (weird, I know), and a Honey Stinger waffle.  Because this run was my longest run since marathon training by a pretty decent amount, I wanted to take it a little slower at the beginning so I could finish strong.  For once, I actually did start off slowly.  My first (uphill) mile clocked in around 9:40.  I tried to run the next several miles at a very easy, comfortable pace.  When I hit the eight mile mark, I was averaging around an 8:50/mile pace.  I still felt strong and figured I’d was almost halfway through my run.  So I picked up the pace a little bit.  I was still (mostly) heading south and was battling a noticeable, but not crippling, headwind.  I didn’t really push it, but I did try to be aware of my pace and not let it slip from comfortable into really easy.  Eventually, I turned back north which meant I had a tail wind helping me out.  I think I may have picked up the pace a bit without increasing my effort much because of said tail wind.  I still felt strong and comfortable when I hit the steep downhill portion near the end of my run.  I cruised downhill and was surprised by how much time I had left when I passed by Rob’s place.  I added a few more loops and turns before finishing up my run.  When I mapped it out, I had run 17.7 miles, which comes out to an 8:28/mile pace—even after my heavy run week!  I would have slowed down a bit had I realized I was going this quickly, but I felt so strong the entire run that I thought my pace was :10/mile or so slower than it actually was.

After recovering a bit from my run, I headed to the pool for my swim. I had two 1500s on the schedule.  I consoled myself with the promise that I could take them at an easy, steady pace.  Because I hadn’t been swimming since Monday and my arms were plenty rested, these actually felt pretty good.  I started to feel a bit weak towards the end of my first 1500.  I wasn’t really tired, but I lost some strength and felt like I would have been shaky had I been running or riding instead of swimming.  I think this was just the calorie deficit getting to me.  I had eaten after my run, but I hadn’t fully refueled.  I felt better during the second 1500.  My times for these were 25:45 and 24:59.  Considering I was swimming at a completely sustainable pace, I was pleased with these times.  I was more pleased to be done, though.

Later that evening, Rob and I took a walk through some older neighborhoods near where he lives.  It had rained during the day but started clearing up by the time we went, so it was cool outside and everything was wonderfully damp.  We saw a crazy amount of snails (which I absolutely adore for some reason).  But the best one was a minuscule baby snail whose shell hadn’t even properly formed yet.

20160611_193758
That’s a key for scale.

Sunday: Run—1:15:00 (8.06 miles); Swim—1500 yards
I felt surprisingly good when I woke up on Sunday.  I was a stiff and a little sore, but I felt better than I did the morning after my tempo run this week.  I gave myself a little time to wake up and then headed out for my run.  I took it nice and easy, and I opted to run loops around a nearby park on a bark path instead of running on the road like I normally would.  My legs took a pounding on Saturday, and I felt my IT band for the first time in a long time, so I wanted to have the benefit of a softer surface and an easy exit if it started acting up.  I chugged along at a slow pace and ended up going just over eight miles before hitting my allotted time.

After church, I headed to the pool again.  It was (thankfully) a short workout:
4 x 100 (swim, kick, pull, swim)
8 x 100 @ 1:40 (easy, build, easy, hard)
3 x 100 easy
I worked hard during the main set. I originally planned on swimming my 100s on 1:45, but at the last minute decided to aim for 1:40 instead. It was tough, but the workout was short enough that I was able to push myself and get some solid speed work.  When I was done, I’ll admit that I had a mini celebration for completing the run-focused week in my training plan.  I ended up running 46 miles, in addition to cycling 66 miles and swimming 7000 yards.

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