The Strides of March
Yes! I am still alive! As always, the world of family/work/school has kept me writing papers and patient notes rather than blog posts. But, thanks to some late nights, early mornings, and enough caffeine to make Seattle proud, I finally have a moment to share my most recent adventures in triathlon. Despite the always present distractions (don’t kid yourself, we are all always busy), I can unbelievably say that my training is progressing like clockwork.
The most exciting news is that my left knee imposed restraining order against running has finally ended. This month, my secret training group decided to raise our pain to a new level by starting a new challenge called The Strides of March. Basically, we must each run at least two miles a day. Everyday. For 31 days straight. And yes, we are still cycling and swimming. Well, almost all of us are swimming. And there are no excuses.
Busy at work? RUN.
No sleep? RUN.
In jail? RUN. FAST.
And sure, while you could just run two miles a day, the person with the most miles at the end of the month will score himself some fine beer. And my pals and I know our beer. So far, I am eight days in and things are going great. I have no knee pain at all. On days I ride, I usually run 2-3 miles as a brick. Yeah, I know there is a lot of talk out there about bricks. Say what you want, but if I don’t practice running off the bike, I end up getting horrible calve cramps after T2 at races. In addition to the brick days, I’ve been incorporating one long run, one fast tempo of 4-5 miles, and one day of short intervals/hill repeats.
Pace wise, I seem to have picked things up after my month of hard cycling. I’m currently doing my “tempo” runs at roughly the same pace I did my last vdot tests. I haven’t tested in a while and I think the day is coming next week. My long runs are down to six-seven miles right now, but I’m hovering around 8:00 pace rather than like 9:15 last year. Hopefully things will stay the same as I head upward to around 10 miles.
While all this magic is going on, I am still hitting the bike hard. I am completely in love with Trainer Road and The Sufferfest. I don’t know what it is, but it is way more rewarding trying to hit goal watts on my laptop screen versus watching my tiny Garmin 310XT. Maybe its the video gamer in me. Maybe its my unhealthy addiction with creating pretty graphs. Either way, Trainer Road and Sufferfest know how to hit my “watt spot.”And the variety is awesome. I am currently in a base building plan that consist of three sessions per week for nine weeks. Despite that frequency, I don’t think I have done the same workout twice without just wanting to. Here are some examples of the fun.
One interesting thing about this plan is that it has me doing a lot of sprints. I had my doubts about the usefulness of such sessions in the tri world. Check this one out.
However, I have always been a week cyclist, and I needed improvement all around. I definitely feel stronger after five weeks of this. I have made sure to incorporate some sessions with longer FTP intervals to keep myself used to the long term pain. Here is my most recent one.
The real feedback on the plan will be next Monday when I repeat my FTP test. Unlike most other FTP tests I’ve done, I’m optimistic that I will see some improvements. I only garnered a 3% increase in my FTP after the Sufferary challenge (Hell Hath No Fury twice a week and Revolver once a week for one month). I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a better percentage.
In other news, I will be doing my first tri of the season on St Patty’s day. It will also be my first indoor triathlon. While I am excited, I pretty much know that this will be a MAJOR Sufferfest. I am excited to be rocking my Trisports kit for the first time. If your in Kalispell and you want to watch a crazy Asian guy run around in a circle, drop by The Summit to cheer me on. I will need all the fans I can get to suffer through it.
Speaking of which, if you need a new wetsuit, trisuit, or other clothes for the season, there is a 50% sale on 2XU clothing at Trisports right now. It only lasts one more day. This is a major saving and I love the 2XU brand. I have used their Elite wetsuit for two years now and I don’t have one scratch or torn seam. There compression stuff rocks too. Check em out at the link below and tell them Ironvan sent you.