Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Doing What I Can, For As Long As I Can (Part 1)

Biking in CO (21 weeks)

            That was my mindset for my 2nd and 3rd trimesters while I was in the off-season.  A week after I finished racing, I was in the bike accident.  It was only a temporary slow-down and I got back into things pretty hard-core.  I’ll share with you my goals as I laid out part of my off-season training plan, and what I was actually able to accomplish.  Some of these things I have covered in previous posts. 
The stretch of time between the accident and the start of my training plan that I laid out, mainly consisted of the bike and run, since I had to take almost a month off from time in the pool.  It involved a lot of outdoor rides whenever it was nice out (20-35 mile rides), and running every day, with my mileage being around 30 miles/week.  I had my biggest bike mileage in the fall, post-accident, of about 140 miles.  When I was outside, it was mainly just going for a ride.  When I was inside on the trainer, I would mix in some intervals.  For me, this also helped pass the time on the trainer when breaking it into chunks.
            I had an eleven week block of training from the middle of October through the end of December, which would put me into my final trimester (week 30).  My goal for the 2013 season was to do my first Half-Ironman, so a lot of this was in early preparation for that, and in anticipation that I would have quite a bit of down time for recovery after giving birth.
Here is what I had laid out:
Monday:          Swim (Threshold: work up to 6x200 @ 3:10)
                        Bike 5x5’ (4’) (1hr)
                        Run (4 easy)
Tuesday:          Swim (FAPA: 10x100 @ 2:15)
 Bike (unstructured)
                        Run (4 easy)
Wed:                Run (long - 8)
                        Swim (Easy Recovery: Repeat 300’s+ on 30s rest for 45-60min)
Thursday:        Swim (Threshold: work up to 12x100 @ 1:40)
                        Bike 2x20’ (5’) (1hr)
                        Run (4 easy)
Friday:             Bike 15x1’ VO2 Max
                        Swim (unstructured)
                        Run (3 easy)
Saturday:         Run (mix in Half-Marathon pace with easy, total of 5)
Sunday:           Bike 2x20’ (5’) (1hr)
                        Run (easy)
This was a very intense lay-out of workouts.  The feedback I got on it was that I could have more unstructured workouts, and less high quality workouts, especially those with two in one day.  
            My goals for that block were to run 28-32 miles/week, running every day.  I wanted to bike and swim 5 days/week.  I wanted all the running to be easy pace, with one long run a week, and one run that had faster stuff mixed in every week or every two weeks.  I hoped to bike outside as long as possible, but planned on most of it being indoors, which then I prefer to limit trainer time to one hour at a crack.  Swimming worked well as rehab for my shoulder, as I couldn’t do all exercises for a while (push-ups and pull-ups) when it came to my strength training.  When I laid out the swim workouts, they seemed very challenging at the beginning.  I wanted to build swim endurance, as well as work on technique.
            What did it actually look like?  Running dropped off early on due to the pain.  Four miles turned into my long run instead of being the norm.  I began taking some days off from running altogether, and said goodbye to any speed work.  I tried to continue running 5-6 days/week, aiming for a lot of 3 mile runs.  This ended up being a bless, though it was hard to accept at the time.  However, it allowed me to put more energy and focus into the swim, as well as the bike.  I biked outdoors while I could, but was restricted to indoor rides by the middle of November.  I tried to bike at least four days/week.  I didn’t do much of the 1 minute intervals, but did do the 2x20’, 5x5’, and just straight trainer rides.  I surpassed my swim goals.  I worked up to 8x200 on 3:10 on Mondays.  Wednesdays I worked up to 4,000 yards.  Thursdays I made into the unstructured day, filling it with free, non-free, and kicking.  Fridays I worked up to 10x100 on 1:30 (one of my biggest overall swim goals!), and also did some test sets.
I often did three workouts a day during the week, and only one or two a day on weekends.  A big blessing was that I was in a situation that allowed me to do all of these and put in that much time.  I work at a YMCA, so the pool was readily available, and I was in working most week days anyway, making the swims convenient.  I have a trainer for my bike at home, and I also only work part-time, so I tried to fit a lot in during the week.  I knew that life after my baby was born would bring extra challenges to get workouts in, and I assumed I'd have to take a chunk of time off after delivery, so I had a lot of motivation this off-season to put in the time and work.  Motivation was definitely not a concern!

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