It was a tough first week of 2013. I am certainly praying this is not a trend for an unlucky year of the thirteen. To start things off, I attempted to do a sinister looking Trainer Road workout on Jan 1. Much to my amazement, a completely deflated rear tire greeted me that morning. I pumped it up and started the ride, but about 20 minutes in, it was already half soft. Guess I should have given it some Viagra.
Fortunately, I was able to compensate by doing some cross-country skiing with the family. It was our first time on the trails, and it was a BLAST. I am in love. Biathlon, here I come?
Wed, I got in a three-mile run at 8:06. Not too shabby. 2300 of poor swimming followed that.
Thursday, it was round 2 for Keeler Needle on Trainer Road. Painful and fun:
Friday, I hammered it again with 4X9 minutes near 90% with 3X1 minute standing segments. I hate these workouts as I am about as smooth as a porcupine with a Mohawk when standing. Yet, I guess that’s why I need to do these. My legs were absolutely shelled as well. I am amazed how much standing, even when not on an actual hill, can zap my legs. For the last two intervals, I had to finally dial it down to 90%. Less than prescribed, but it was great pain and suffering still.
Saturday, it was the start of ski school. While taking my kids up to the mountain eliminated by run and ride, it did provide my wife and I a chance to do some nice cross country skiing at Whitefish Golf Course.
Cross-country skiing has helped redefine a new level of suffering in the legs. No, it didn’t matter that I ran and rode a lot; this new activity freaking hurt plenty. And while the Chariot stroller I have is as smooth as butter on the snow, even with 2 kids in it, it was plenty heavy when trying to go uphill on skis.
This left me pretty shelled for Sunday. I had planned to do a six-mile recovery run on the dreadmill at 8:30. I even cued up a bunch of lame Dido-esque music for the calming experience I had planned. Unfortunately, my legs were so tired; it was a pretty painful six miles. But I got her done at 8:35.
Following that, I started the P90X ab routine. Something that has become clearer over the past year is that my constant running, riding, and swimming is working well in some parts of my body, but still leaving others weak. Some of the P90X maneuvers I could do easily. For others, I had as much skill as an armless angler in the desert. I’m trying to work on these deficits with more weights and cross training this year.
Today, I had a monster Trainer Road workout planned for the AM. However, my new infant son had other plans. He is going through some tough medical problems right now, and I spent the majority of the night managing rashes, vomit, and poop. I’m absolutely drained today. Plus, my hip flexors are killing me. This is a new sore for me, which I think must be a good thing. It is always nice to get “feedback” from the body. I think my new aforementioned new shoes and swim gear should show up today or tomorrow, so I will have plenty of motivation to get down and dirty tomorrow. Big plans for this week: time to retest the FTP!
Diet wise, things are going well. Eliminated all sweets from the house and my diet. My new favorite friend is the blender. I have been making my own smoothies at home, and my latest creation involves milk, fresh organic peanut butter, non-fat yogurt, and a banana. DIVINE. Weight has actually dropped down to where I want to be. I’m currently hanging out at around 137.
Stay tuned. New goodies coming in the mail!
Time for a quick training related update! For the past six weeks, I have been in what I would call a base period. (oh, if you have no idea what the reference the title is making, click here) After The Polson Triathlon in mid-August, I basically just took some time to wing it with the exercise. Not just haphazardly; I actually ate a ton of wings from Tamarack Brewery. I swam for fun. I did get a good century done in September. But as I looked ahead to another winter of 2X(2×20) per week on the bike chased by a Hell Hath No Fury, I knew I needed to build my legs back up the pain.
So, since October 1, I have been doing Part 1 of the Trainer Road Intermediate Base Plan.
It started off exactly like I wanted: SLOW. Most of the early stuff was lower Sweet Spot intensity and drills/cadence exercises. There was also some rather painful and telling isolated leg drills too; boy that hurts something fierce. Slowly but surely though, I found myself getting back into form on the bike and by the end of the six weeks, I was finally starting to do some FTP work. Even though I was sure I had dropped my FTP, I decided to just keep my FTP at 225 for the workouts. All at 100%.
At the same time, I’ve restarted running. Yes, RESTARTED. In September, I was barely running 10 miles a week. That’s pretty much not running for triathlon, or in general. I know there are a lot of opinions out there about running volume goals in the off season, but I definitely needed more than 40 miles a month. So, I have been doing one 7-8 miler a week. The rest is a combination of 3-6 milers for a total of 21 miles a week right now. Don’t laugh. Most of my running is between 8:20-9:20, which is entirely comfortable. More lately, I have started throwing some quarter mile repeats at 7:15 to stretch the legs and sip the pain.
I have also bumped up my swimming from 2000 a week to about 7000 a week, consisting of everything between 100 repeats and 2000 TT at T-pace. Pace is spot on, meaning that I have a lot of room to improve. I’m cruising 100 yards at 1:36 comfortably. 1000TT easy at 16:45.
All this came to a head last weekend. I was really hurting during the last workout of the plan and I had some break downs in the ride.
So, I decided to take the first part of this week easy. Swam about 4000 yards Mon and Tues. 3 mile run on Monday and 5 miles Wed. No riding at all until today.
Which left my legs good and rested for another FTP test. Here’s the data from Trainer Road:
As always, the numbers come out close but not the same for WKO. In TR, my norm power for the 42 minutes was 228w. The norm power for the same segment in WKO is 229w. Oddly enough, at the end of the workout, Trainer Road recommended a new FTP of 231w. I am not sure where that came from. To make things simple, I am just going to set my new FTP at 230 and see how this rolls out.
As I had expected to be lower than 225w, I am thrilled to at least be equal to what I had been during this past summer while racing. I have some major pain ahead of me though in the second part of the Intermediate Base, but hopefully big gains will follow.
Weight wise, I’m a little higher than expected. I’m hovering around 138-136. It sort of makes sense as I am ravenous. I swear, I am eating like I am on death row. If I could stop shoving fun size Halloween candy followed by a beer in my mouth, I’d probably be better off. This is the holidays though; I am not about to diet. There is plenty of time to disappear in the spring.
Injury wise, body is feeling better. I still am having intermittent right shoulder pains in the levator scapulae, but better than when I wasn’t swimming. Knees and achilles doing well to boot.
This week, I have ordered some swim paddles to start gaining my pool strength. I am planning on ramping up my running further to about 30-40 miles a week. Then come December, the pain train really starts.