I am kind of dumbfounded looking at the title here and realizing I’ve been working six weeks already towards this goal, with four more to go. On the one hand it feels like I’ve been working hard but on the other hand it feels like it hasn’t been quite that long. Will I be ready? I feel like I will but you never know what obstacles will get thrown in your way.
Monday: 14 mile bike
I was never able to get in my long bike ride last week due to my freak mandolin injury. I know that sounds nuts right? I sliced off a chunk of my right index finger making sweet potato chips and it really was quite a mess for several days. But by Monday I felt riding would be alright, so I met up with a friend who is also going to do this triathlon for a bike ride. It was her first for this training cycle, but she’s in far better shape than me so she can probably get by with a lot less training. We did 8 miles together and then I did 6 more on my own to get to my goal of 14. This is well beyond what I’ll need for the race, and feels good to know that I’m going well beyond it.
Tuesday: 3.3 mile run/walk
I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do Week 5 Day 1 on my Couch to 5K app for this one. It called for a 5 min run/2 min walk/7 min run/2 min walk/5 min run. It was rainy so I headed to the Y for a treadmill run and….I did it! I couldn’t really believe I had it in me. I kept up intervals after the app ran out to hit 3.3 miles. The plan called for 4 mile run this week, but I’m very happy with this.
Wednesday: 20 min stationary bike/40 min strength
I still wasn’t confident about a swim with my hand on this day so I went to the gym and did some strength training hoping to build up my base.
Thursday/Friday: Rest Days
I had intended for Thursday to be a rest day and Friday to be a swim day but I felt sick on Friday and decided it wasn’t going to happen.
Saturday: 60 lap swim
I covered my much better looking wound with a Tegaderm supposedly waterproof bandage and went to my local Y for the swim. The training plan called for 55 laps and I had intended on 58 just to keep ahead of it a bit (my last swim was 56 laps) but it felt silly to end on 58 and I felt good so I added 2 more to get to 60. 60 is the longest lap swim I’ll do in this training cycle, so it feels good to have nailed it already. I only dropped to breast stroke twice, at laps 30-31. That’s a big win. As to the bandage, it was not waterproof but it did at least still stay on and covered…and by 7 days out the wound is mostly sealed up and healing nicely. At this point the chlorine helped! 🙂
Sunday: Indoor BRick: 45 min bike and 40 min run
The plan called for 45 min bike and 3 mile run, but when my 45 minutes got me over 13 miles on the stationary bike, I decided I could cut back a bit on the run. For the brick I dropped down to Week 3 Day 1 and it was just the right length of intervals for the tired legs. I ended up with 13.4 miles on the bike (I am much faster on the stationary bike despite using the hilly setting….today I used level 9 and it felt tough but maybe i need to go higher) and 2.64 miles on the treadmill.
Next week the plan dials back for a bit of a rest week. I may switch it with the following week, which is college move in week for my daughter, so it will be a lot harder to get in the longer workouts. Either way, the training is feeling great and I am definitely seeing progress.
This was a solid week of training for the tri. I really am enjoying the process and the hard work…did I just say that?
Monday: Indoor Brick
This week’s training calls for my first brick workout, but it has been raining most days and super humid. I decided to do this one in the gym on a stationary bike and treadmill. It wasn’t the full brick called for but I had to start somewhere. I did 6.3 miles on the bike and 2 miles on the treadmill, using a Couch 2 5K (Week 4 Day 1) workout. The bike seemed a lot easier despite setting it to “random hill” workout, maybe I set the level too low. The Couch 2 5K was run intervals of 3 on 2 off 4 on 3 off and 5 on and then warmup/cool down. I managed the 3 and 4 but the 5 was just hard on tired legs and I took a quick walk break in the middle of it before finishing the time.
Tuesday: Open Water Swim
This wasn’t on my schedule at all for the week, but I had the chance to do it and I went for it. My girlfriend who is also doing this tri has a membership at a lake swim club and invited me out to swim. What a difference. She coached me on some tips to not tire out so quickly on the swim and I felt really good about it. I think we probably went 3/4 a mile, with rest breaks.
Another rainy day, and also wanted to not swim again, so I opted for a gentle yoga class and then a little 20 min stationary bike ride and some machines at the gym. I did a better job setting the bike level right because this one was much harder.
Thursday: Lap Swim
The plan calls for 37 laps this week. My girlfriend told me at the lake that 36 is the half mile needed for the race, so I’m ahead on that count. I had done 50 last week so I wanted to keep going so I did 54 laps. The plan tops out at 60 and I think I will stop there too; once I hit that I will work on trying to get faster.
I haven’t ridden outside in over a week and I felt it right away. I wanted to hit 12 (the race is 11.5) miles but once I got close I decided 13 would be better. I made it 13.2 miles averaging just under 11 mph. Very humid and sweaty; I stopped around 7 miles in for water.
The plan called for 30 minutes of running. I am still working my Couch 2 5K workouts, so I did Week 4 Day 2. Same as the other day: 3 min run, walk, 4 min run, walk, 5 min run, walk. After I finished the official workout, I wanted to keep going to get more mileage so I did very short run/walk intervals (1.30 run/2 min walk). I was tired and it was very warm and humid; I was soaked. But my 5K time was around 45:30, which considering that included a full 5 minute warmup walk I can live with that. I ended up with 4 miles total.
Sunday: 4.3 mile walk
I know I need to have a rest day somewhere but when a friend asked to go for a walk this morning, which was clear after days and days of rain, I couldn’t say no. We went on a hilly route around our local lake and it definitely felt easier than when I did it with her a month ago. So I can tell I’m feeling stronger!
So this was the first week I hit all of the distances I will be doing in the tri. From here on out it is starting to work on bricking. The swim to bike is going to be the hardest I think because there really isn’t a great place for me to swim then bike. I’m going to have to start thinking about where I might be able to do that.
Post vacation it was time to get back onto my training regimen for the tri. This was the last week of base building, after this the plan incorporates some bricks and open water swims. I’m already finding it interesting to plan where each workout goes based on everything else going on…and I’m not working in the summer! Those last two weeks when I am working are going to be super challenging. But that’s a long way away.
I did officially sign up for this tri this week so there’s no turning back now.
Wednesday: 11.4 mile bike ride
The training plan called for a 60 minute bike ride, and this one took me 3 minutes more than that. This felt good. I hadn’t ridden for over a week, but I can tell already that the training is building muscle and stamina. The same hills that felt super hard at the start of this are feeling a little less hard. I am still stopping for water about half way through my rides…I know I won’t want to do that during the tri so hoping I’ll start not needing that as I improve.
Thursday: 50 lap swim
I’m still way ahead where my training plan says on the swims…it called for 37 laps this week. I know in my original tri the half mile swim took me half an hour, and this is still taking me a lot longer than that, so hoping to tighten up as we go. I think the half mile is equivalent to about 60 laps. Open water swims are coming into the plan in the coming weeks and those are key to getting the feel for what it will be like. That being said I’m liking the swims. There’s something really peaceful about it.
Saturday: 5K Race
This week’s plan called for a 20 minute run but I had the Sandy Hook 5K scheduled anyway so there you go. I ran when I could and walked when I couldn’t, which is my plan for the tri. I clocked in at 45:00. I obviously have more work to do here too. Walking just isn’t going to cut it. I plan on doing some dedicated Couch 2 5K running in this department to hopefully increase the time of my running intervals.
In addition to these workouts I did yoga twice (needed it after twelve hours in the car last weekend) and a nice walk with friends. So it was six solid days of activity with one rest day. All in all a good, solid week that is moving me forward to the tri on September 8.