Friday, March 23, 2012

Triathlon Training - Week 8

Monday, March 19th - Brick - 13.44 mile bike + 1.23 mile run

With the weather in the 80's lately, I couldn't resist the urge to load up the bike and head to the park for an outdoor brick after work.

I went to Seneca/Cherokee park again, primarily because it's the closest place where I can ride without many cars.

I always seem to have trouble remembering everything I need when I'm rushing off for a workout, so I want to take a minute to thank Jennifer for helping make sure I had what I needed. She really knows how I am, and even reminded me to switch my Garmin over to bike mode before heading out on my bike (something I usually don't remember until I'm already into my ride). She really is a great wife, and great triathlete, and whether she believes it or not, a great coach!

The ride was such a great ride! I felt a little self-conscious wearing my tri suit out in public for the first time, but I just put my sunglasses on and got it done. Is it just me, or do sunglasses make you feel hidden, too?

I rode from Seneca into Cherokee and did the loop around Cherokee four times before heading back to the car, for a total of 13.44 miles. My average pace was 14.2 mph, which I'm pretty proud of considering Cherokee has a couple of killer hills!

After I got the bike loaded back onto the car, I set out for a quick run. I ended up just running around the front part of Seneca Park (which was 1.23 miles) in 9:40. My average pace was 7:53 minutes per mile!

Tuesday, March 20th - 50 minute swim

This swim was all about drills, taking it slow, and trying to figure out the problems with my form.

I read online somewhere that swimming starts with floating (you should literally just be pulling yourself through the water), so I started by trying to float. Talk about going back to step 1! The problem is, I can't float to save my life. My legs sink like rocks. Jennifer thinks it's a core issue -- that my core isn't strong enough to hold my legs up where they need to be. I really do agree with her (I mean, we all know that swimmers usually have washboard stomachs, right?), but I can't figure out how to use my core to solve the problem.

So after a few minutes of looking like I was snorkeling in a reef somewhere, I decided I should probably just move on to some drills.

I've always had trouble with drills. I don't like them, and there are some I just can't do properly. But after I do them, I notice that my swimming does improve some. For this swim, I really tried my best to do the drills properly. There are still some that I'm struggling with (and I'm sure it's because of my body positioning and floating troubles), but I felt like I gave it a good effort, and that really seemed to help my attitude.

At the end of the workout, I decided to do another timed 400. This time, though, I was going to take it slow and pay more attention to how I was swimming, instead of how fast or how hard I was swimming. The result? I finished in around the same amount of time as I did when I was going all-out (between 10 1/2 and 11 minutes), and I was hardly even out of breath at the end. That just shows me how sloppy my technique gets when I try to swim fast.

Although I've been kinda discouraged about swimming lately, I've decided I'm not going to let it stop me from doing the triathlon this weekend. I figure everyone has to start somewhere, so it's more important that I do it and get one under my belt than to not even try for fear of coming in last or looking like a fool.

And after the triathlon, I think I'm going to take a lesson or two and really show this swimming thing who's boss!

Wednesday, March 21st - Brick - 1.5 hour bike + 20 minute run

I wasn't scheduled for another brick this week, but Jennifer had one and it worked out that we could do it together, so that's what we did!

Lately, Jennifer has started thinking about how to fuel for her Half-Ironman in June (which is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run!). Typically during triathlons, most of the fueling is done while on the bike, mainly because you're on the bike the longest, but also because you have easy access to a couple of water bottles, and you can even tape granola bars and other snacks directly to the bike frame.

This means we've started experimenting new kinds of fuels.

For this ride, I decided to try GU Brew.

As you can see, I had a little trouble getting all of it dissolved, but otherwise it's as simple as pouring it into your water bottle and shaking it for a few minutes.

As for the taste, it kinda reminds me of Kool-Aid (maybe just because it's a powder that comes in a Kool-Aid-like package), but definitely not as sweet.

So with my snack options and GU ready to go, I hit the road.

The ride itself was really great. I had mapped out a longer route for us to use that involved going through a cemetery, but the guard at the front wouldn't let us, so we ended up just looping the park.

After the ride, we ran the loop around the front of Seneca Park like I did on Monday. It was really hot, and they only had one working water fountain, so we called it quits after just one loop.

As for the fuel -- I really liked the GU Brew, and we'll definitely be picking more of it up. Jennifer liked the flavor of it, and I felt hydrated from it, so it's good in my book!

Thursday, March 22nd - 7.41 mile speedwork

This run was hard.

I didn't exactly plan this one correctly.  It's been in the 80's lately, which is ridiculous for this time of year, and instead of going for my run early in the morning, I was planning on going right around the hottest time of the day. Luckily, Jennifer said something to me about it when it was still pretty cool out.

Here I am, all accessorized :) (and oh so serious)

The plan called for running my speed miles at an 8:31/mile pace, but since that's getting more and more comfortable for me, I decided I was going to try to do them at a 7-something/mile pace.

The first speed mile I did was really great. The weather was really nice, and everything felt great. At some point during my first 1/2 mile jog between speed miles, things started heading downhill (probably because I was heading uphill).

I suddenly realized how hot it was getting, and when I started my second speed mile, I was struggling to keep my pace in the low-8's.

After my second speed mile, I stopped by the house for some water; I was 3.72 miles into the run. I didn't take any water with me since I knew I'd be coming back to the house halfway through, but I definitely did when I went back out.

The second half didn't get any better -- I was struggling to maintain my speed the whole way through. So what was supposed to be a speed workout sorta turned into "just run as hard as you can without dying" during the speed parts, and "try to jog" during the recovery parts, but walking is totally accepted. I'm happy to note that although I did have to walk, I only walked for a few minutes total.

I finished the 7.41 miles in 1:14:42, which really isn't bad (especially considering that includes my warm-up and cool-down). I'll take it!

So yeah, this post is coming a little early since I'm doing my first triathlon on Sunday! Check back for a full report on how that goes!

1 comment:

  1. You look so hot in that picture! All of your hard work is really showing off. ;)


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