What I conquered this summer:
-Swimming in general. When I started considering the idea of a tri – about 500m of easy laps had me winded. I haven’t gone much beyond the olympic tri distance of about a mile, but I’ve become very comfortable with it. In the off season, I’m going to work on my stroke and getting faster. I think if I could get myself down to about a 20 minute mile I could do 25-30 in races (adding the open water and not pushing off the side makes it go slower)
-Open water swimming. I didn’t think it would be a big deal until I had to conquer barton springs and almost had a panic attack less than two weeks before the first tri. Flash forward to the end of summer, diving off big boat into 100 ft deep water and the last tri I didn’t even think about the depth or the open water being scary at all. While there was definitely some use in swimming that way to get used to not pushing off the side, I don’t think it will be a vital part of next year’s training (beyond a refresher trip or two just to make sure I don’t forget what it’s like).
-Biking for exercise – just started this summer. Don’t know how to really push through the tough stuff (like uh 10 miles of continual ascent) yet, will just take practice. I see this as absolutely my weak link in the tri – and it’s the one that matters the most because it’s the majority of your time. I will be really pushing getting faster on the bike in the off season. Anyone with suggestions for gym workouts or outside workouts lemme know, but I think I just need more experience overall. And I’ll be a regular at spin class, fo sho.
-Brick workouts good. Even though it was a requirement to learn how to switch my body from one mode to another in a 3-discipline race, I found I really really enjoyed these workouts most. It helped me not skip a beat from the bike to the run, although I can certainly work on my transition time from swim to bike (mostly better planning and some new trick gear like easy close shoelaces). While I doubt I’m going to keep doing 20+ mile rides followed by 10k runs each week, I like them too much to completely drop them.
-Coming in very close to last at something I’m very new at but doing it anyway and not really getting buggered about it, just motivated. When I started running, I spent a full year on it before I entered any races, and besides half marathons, I’ve been INTIMATELY familiar with the distance (as in, can get through it in my sleep) With tri training, I started a few months before the race and left key items until almost race day (open water swim training and a new bike much?). When I ran my first 5k, I was definitely middle-of-the-pack and I’ve just improved – I can’t think of the last running race I’ve place in the lower half. Sometimes even in the top third or close to age group medals for small ones. However, at tris? I SUCK. I’ve not hit DFL for biking or swimming, but both races I’ve been close. With another year of practice though? Maybe I can make middle of the pack! I’m just happy the fact that I am SO MUCH WORSE at it than the average bear has not discouraged me.
So, in the words of my favorite writer Aaron Sorkin on West Wing, What’s Next?
I took last week just about completely off. Of everything. I ate a lot, I didn’t try to do any sort of calorie restriction. Just whatever my body needed to get through. I worked out formally once (and it was a 1.2 mile swim which is :D), and generally spent the week living at work, traipsing around conventions when I could, cleaning my nasty ass grody house (yay for coming home only to eat, sleep, and unload crap from traveling/being out for the last 3 weeks or so), and RESTING when I could.
This week, it’s back to tracking and training for the half marathon which is in less than 5 weeks (eek). I have the endurance, I just have to channel it into running instead of 3 disciplines and work on the “faster” part.
Monday – 5 miles 400m sprints
Tuesday – group power
Wednesday – yoga/swim
Thursday – 5 mile tempo
Friday – 45 min bike ride
Saturday – 10 mile run
Sunday – off
This is a *little* ambitious, and my goal is to complete the 3 main runs per week and see what else makes sense to do. I’d like to add back weights once a week (power), and I’d like to keep with the yoga, and I want to bike and swim because I’ll miss it if I don’t. However, this looks like a recipe for burnout to me right now, so I’ll play it by ear.
This week is going to kinda be a wash (have family in town from Thursday on so we’ll be eating out a lot), but starting next week I want to get back to tracking and staying in a calorie range which both keeps me fueled and also doesn’t make me gain gain gain.
That’s about it for now. I may have more thoughts about the tri that I’d like to share, but I think that about wraps it up for this season. Is anyone interested in a what to do/what not to do type post on tris? Anyone have suggestions for becoming a faster swimmer or biker? Wanna tell me my training is way too crazy? Hit me up. 🙂