“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. -Albert Einstein
We can debate whether Einstein actually said this or not, but it’s still relevant.
I may not have the smarts, but I’m working on the hair, ok?
Y’all, the world is getting me DOWN this week. Can we all stop shooting each other and yelling at each other? I even started writing up a post about all of it and then I actually got myself conflicted debating OWN self about gun control, so let’s put a pin in that.
Zliten’s theory, which actually seems like the only possible explanation, is time travel. If you accept that time travel will ever exist, then you have to accept that it always has existed (because of the ability to travel backwards). It is the simplest explanation that 2016 is the culmination of a bunch of future asshole bros that got ahold of Daddy’s time machine. Everything else just makes me sad.
Either way, I think we all need more bikes. Bikes make happiness, happy people don’t shoot each other, so bikes for everyone! With a side of swimming in clean pools and beautiful lakes, and also running in TEMPERATE weather. Running in this feels like 100+ shit might incite MORE violence. Weights… if your arms are really sore, it would be hard to do gun things, right?
I digress. Highly.
So, instead of thinking about depressing things that seem out of the reach of our control, let’s talk about things completely under my control, how I’m approaching this next training block. How’s that for the worst segue ever?
A different type of “gun show” perhaps.
Almost two weeks in, and it just feels different than it did the last few years. And I’m loving it. I think a long break really helped reset everything, and a different race schedule is helping me not have any sort of expectations on where I’m at compared to previous years. Instead of doing these super quick builds from offseason banking on previous fitness (8 weeks to 70.3), I’m settling in for the long haul and preparing to enjoy the ride (18 weeks to 70.3). And there’s no quick build to marathon (or marathons) after, just (just!!) another long build to 140.6(!!!).
One awesome thing about having more than two times the ramp? I can try new things with my rest weeks. First of all, I’m taking them a little more often. I’m structuring them a little differently. Lastly, they’re not going to always be Monday – Sunday when it doesn’t make sense to do it that way.
I plan to take the first half of this build as 2 weeks on, 1 week off. I usually do 3 weeks on, but that last week is always a toss up whether I’m going to have breakthroughs or breakdowns. Currently, I’m one workout away (Saturday’s brick) from my first rest week next week, and I don’t necessarily feel like I need it yet, but I’m kinda looking forward to it. That’s probably a good place to be.
Signs you need a rest week…
Rest weeks are also going to center around some shorter, faster, key workouts, and a whole lot of optional freedom to do whatever the rest of the time. I used to keep the same essential schedule but make things less intense/shorter, but I found that didn’t really help the MENTAL aspect of feeling like I was doing the same things over and over, My brain didn’t really process that 4 miles is shorter than 6, because I still had to pack my gym bag, drive to the gym, get dressed, warm up, do the workout, cool down, stretch, shower, drive back, etc. That extra 20 minutes of my life doesn’t matter that much.
When I’m doing a lot of volume, it’s really difficult to throw super hard workouts in there too often, even though stuff like 1000m swim tests and track work are really beneficial. If I make those the only running, biking, and swimming I HAVE to do that week, it should be both beneficial and a breath of fresh air. I can’t imagine that I won’t go paddle around the lake or pool, or ride my bike (notice the absence of running in the heat or inside on the treadmill on this list…), but I don’t want to REQUIRE specific times or sessions. Seasoned to taste.
On non race week rest weeks, I’ll probably keep the Monday – Sunday schedule, but for race weeks, I’m going to move that from Wednesday – Tuesday. I have the best of intentions of saying, “I’m going rest for this race and then use it to kick off a bad ass mother effing training block”. I either barely hang on that week or it spectacularly blows up in my face with terrible or missed workouts. So, I’ll stick with Einstein’s theory up there and try something different.
I also plan to keep doing things that I feel like have made me a sturdier human.
Previously, I was a completely lazy ass during my non-training hours. Going back and looking at some of my days off, I’d have something like 2-3k steps. No WONDER I was gaining weight when I was still eating 2500 calories those days, and also, that’s a LOT of time on ass. Rest is good, but we’re meant to move! It totally makes sense why I felt sludgy after complete rest days.
Walking is especially terrible in the spring when you have to traverse terrible scenery like this.
I started walking 10k steps a day to try to keep myself from completely becoming one with the couch over offseason. It ended up becoming a great habit I don’t want to break. On workdays, I actually take my two 15 minute breaks and walk over lunch if I don’t have anything else I have to do. Zliten and I will often take walks after dinner if we notice our steps are lacking, and we’ll walk (or bike) places that are close enough.
Walking has gone from something done only when absolutely necessary to something I enjoy and do multiple times a day on purpose! The activity was great, but it’s so much more than that. It helps flush the junk out of my legs when they’re sore. It helps me clear my head and problem solve on days I need to think or talk things over with Zliten. It helps me not be so sad I’m trapped inside at a desk all day, at least I get to have walks! Also, walking 5-10 miles a day means I’ll probably be less useless when the zombie apocalypse hits.
Lifting heavy things also makes me less eligible for “most useless human in the zombie apocalypse ever” contest as well.
I always go through cycles with weights. I start doing them because *dang I feel like a weakling*, and at the beginning, I hate them. Then I sort of like them. After a few rounds of raising the weights I can handle and improving, I love how it makes me feel and OMG why did I stop doing weights!!!11!! Weights FOREVAR. Then, training schedules start getting hectic and weights drop off because, well, the run/bike/swim are the important parts, right? After a few weeks, I’ll have a moment and do a session, things are harder. Subconsciously, I avoid them by prioritizing other workouts, and then all of a sudden it’s offseason and I’m making another resolution to do weights regularly FOR REALS THIS TIME.
This time, I’m making the two weights sessions non-negotiable. They are key sessions, not fluff. They are 90 minutes of my training plan that I will plan everything else around if necessary. I never want to go through another training cycle with a weak core that injures other parts of my body in compensation. I want to be able to run a long run without my hamstrings and glutes seizing up. I want to have the core strength to be able to easily control my Death Star bike when I point out debris on the road with one hand off the aero bars and not almost careen into the street. These are important items on my agenda and they require lifting heavy things.
As for the actual run bike and swim? That will develop over time. Stay tuned for the ride.