Sunday, February 25, 2018

Indoor Sprint Tri - Downtown YMCA

This morning I participated in an indoor sprint triathlon.  This was the second year for this event (for me) so of course I have been scouring my email and my Garmin historical stats trying to see if I'm better than I was last year.  I couldn't find anything reliable, so I guess I'll compare myself to the Bryan Health Indoor Sprint Tri from last month.

The format was similar to the Bryan Health Tri, with a couple of frustrating differences:

Swim - 10 minutes; completed lengths counted.
Bike - 30 minutes; average WATTS counted, minimum resistance set at 5.
Run - 20 minutes; total distance counted, incline required to be set at 2%.

My morning didn't start out real great and I briefly entertained not going at all.  I had slept super-duper hard and my body was sore like I'm coming down with something.  Of course I woke up shortly after 6:00am when I actually could have slept until 7:00am.  I got up, caffienated and fueled.  Read my book and enjoyed the quiet time.  I'm glad I went - my buddy, Swimmer Becky, made an appearance and showed those triathletes what fast really is in the pool.  Love that girlie - so humble and just nice to hang around with!

I swam exactly the same number of lengths, today, as I did last month.  Eighteen - 400yds in 10 minutes.  I know how to get faster at swimming -- swim faster.  It's just kind of scary to embrace the suck when you can't breathe.  We'll work on that...

We had 10 minutes to change from our swimsuits to cycling gear.  Do you know how hard it is to put on a sports bra when you're wet?!  I had a little help from my friend and we were off to the Kaiser spin bikes!

Up to the spin room for a little bike ride.  The scoring was based on average watts which I'm a little confused about.  I try not to compare myself to others - but my average watts were 80 and I biked 15.2 kilometers.  The person next to me had average watts of 180 but only biked 10k.  Now, it seems to me that in a true bike race I would have been the victor - but no matter.  I compete with one person and one person only - MYSELF.  My last race, I pushed hard to get 15k done; this time I did 15.2k with a little left in the tank to go running.  I mentioned that I wasn't feeling great this morning and that was very apparent on the bike.  I couldn't get into the zone and while my heart rate was as high as I like to push it on the bike (170bpm) I wasn't really sweating. 
We had 5 minutes to walk on Bambi legs down the stairs to the treadmills.  I wasn't feeling very good, so I figured any run was a good run.

We only had to run for 20 minutes, so I figured I could do anything for that length of time.  One problem...the minimum incline requirement was 2%.  I remember this making my legs feel like lead, last year.  I usually run at a 1.5% incline at home, but that extra .5% incline combined with the effort to go as fast as I could was really challenging. 

In a sprint distance, you can pretty much go all out and and just pay for it later.  The combined time of the event is around an hour or so (depending on the distances) and you can really embrace the suck and see what you're made of.  Last month, the tri that I did didn't have an incline requirement on the run.  I put that sucker at 0% and ran as fast as I could for as long as I could.  I came away from that with 1.8 miles for 20 minutes. 

Today - I only managed 1.7 miles for the 20 minutes.  However - with that incline I was working hard enough to have ran 1.9 miles on a flat road.  See the chart below for conversion:
My treadmill was set at 5.4 mph w/a 2% incline.
I did set a new max heart rate on my Garmin.  I did a 5k max out back in October and got 183 as a max.  Today, I hit 187 and kept it there.  And boy, oh boy do I feel that run effort now.  I will definitely need a nap.  I haven't ever done much "racing" as a triathlete.  In previous years, I showed up for events and just used them as a training session.  The more I read, the more I'm convinced that a moderate amount of short course racing will make me an even better and faster long course athlete.  It also allows me to embrace the suck in a different sort of way. And...I have learned that I love long-slow-distance training best. I'll leave the speed to my buddy and be proud as punch for her!

We R Ded.  :) 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Training to Be a Tinman

I am so excited to announce that my training for the Topeka Tinman 70 officially begins on Monday!  I've been diligently maintaining base fitness throughout the winter and getting my nutrition in check trying to reign in my nutrition.  I'm ready to begin!

If you are not familiar with a half-iron (70.3) distance triathlon, here's the breakdown:

1.2 mile swim - which is about 2100 yards.  Okay, no big deal - that's a regular weekday swim, right?

56 mile bike ride - okay...that turns up the heat a little.  Pacing and nutrition will be important!

13.1 mile run - have I lost my mind!?

I'll be using a the Intermediate training plan from the book IronFit Triathlon Training for Women by Melanie & Don Fink.  I used their Olympic distance plan last year to finish the Topeka Tinman Olympic distance.  Same training plan, same venue...just a little longer event this time.

This training plan begins with 6 hours per week of training and peaks at several 12 hour weeks.  By week 5, I will need to start waking up earlier to fit in the workouts before work.  I will also need to go back to swimming on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  That seemed to work fairly well last year when I was training for the Oly distance tris.  It takes blind determination because it's super hard to come home from work, make dinner and see the family and then leave right before the kids go to bed.  Let me tell Friday morning I am SO grateful for that rest's Heaven on Earth!

I have my workouts planned.  What else do I need to factor in?  Well, at age 42 I'm well aware of potential saboteurs to my plan.  The biggest one is stress.  I never miss workouts, but I have a long history of off the rails junk calorie consumption when I get stressed out.  So I need a plan to combat that.

Things to do instead of consume crappy calories when I'm stressed out:

15 minutes of yoga with my Yoga Studio app.  I'm considering ways to get dinner somewhat started the morning before (maybe chop the veggies?) so that I can come home and quickly change my clothes and do a 15 minute yoga rescue before the evening gets underway.

Go for a walk.  We are currently under a sheet of ice here in Nebraska, but it won't last long.  Perhaps when I feel stressed out in the evenings, I can take a short stroll through my neighborhood.  It would get me a little fresh air and get me time alone.  That comes at a premium when you have kids!

Watch some cute animal or comedian videos.  I have access to YouTube so why not?

Okay!  Now I have the stress calorie consumption plan and the workouts planned!  All I have to do now is begin.  I have an indoor super sprint tri tomorrow and then no races until the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 6th.   That will be the beginning of Week 11 and my running will have progressed up to an 11 mile long run by that week.  I do have a 60 mile bike ride and 4 mile run brick the day before - but I'm just going to train through Lincoln and have fun. 

It's just a C

I'm excited!!  I know I can do this.  I did it in 2014 with my husband.  You can read about that HERE.  There's been a whole lot of water under the bridge since then, but I'm ready now.  I spent last year getting in shape to even start this and it's going to be AWESOME.  I plan on updating the blog with my training journey.  It won't be exciting but it will be a good way to stay accountable with my stress reduction techniques and the training.  Any and all suggestions, pats on the back and condolences will be gratefully accepted.