Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Reasonable and realistic training thoughts

Last week, I stumbled upon an old email exchange with my former TBB teammate, mentor, and later coach, Beck Preston, which had a sample of my weekly training program I had followed for over 6 months when I was out of training camp and training on my own:

  • Monday: swim 90mins (longer intervals), 30x800's on the track (week #1 schedule) OR long continuous run (3-4hrs)
  • Tuesday: double swim day, easy 45min spin on turbo in between. swim #1--4 x (10x50 PB/B + 100 band only + 100 free recovery). swim #2--9x400's (3 with PB/B, 3 with P/PB/B, 3 with P/PB/tube)
  • Wednesday: big brick day. swim 90mins (40x100's P/PB/B with Mac's squad). 4hr bike (rolling hills) w/ 90min run off the bike OR 15x800's on track (week #2)
  • Thursday: active recovery day--45min easy turbo + optional 30min easy run
  • Friday: swim 90mins (4 x 16x25's band only + 200 TT with P/PB/B). 2hrs turbo bike--10x5mins hard w/ 2.5mins recovery
  • Saturday: swim 90mins. 21x800's on track (week #1) OR 2-3hr continuous run (week #2)
  • Sunday: 5hrs long bike on pretty flat TT course.

"not healthy at all!" LOL!

.... of course it was so mind-blowing to me that I used to do this day in, day out... week in, week out.... month in, month out... I had to share it on my IG training log account (@wongstargram). Some random pro triathlete I don't know made a comment about how it was "not healthy at all". Um, rude!

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about how to build a reasonable and realistic training program with my current responsibilities. I know I have some scary looking races at the end of the year that I'm hoping to do, like a half ironman and a 50-mile ultramarathon, and I know what I want my training to look like for those particular distances, but can't quite wrap my head around doing any of that any time soon.

Right now I run 2 times a week. Sometimes 3. So instead of freaking myself out looking too far ahead for the year, I reminded myself that last year, I couldn't even get myself to train enough for an Olympic distance triathlon. I have rearranged some stuff in my life to make my own health and well-being a bigger priority this year, but what has also been helpful is giving myself the patience and time to get back into more training and racing postpartum, instead of rushing and pushing too much too soon.

I do feel like training for the Olympic distance is pretty reasonable as a working mom. I didn't end up going forward with an Olympic tri last year, because these are the building blocks I felt I would need to hit in order to race an Oly decently:
  • Weekly 2k swim
  • Weekly 2-hour bike
  • Weekly 90-minute run
Last year my shoulder surprisingly flared up from carrying my large child so much, and it took a while to build up my run mileage as I rebuilt my body post-surgery. A 2-hour bike ride would also wipe me out!

I think if I can do those 3 workouts at a minimum each week, I'd be solid! Even better would be 2 each of swim, bike, and run (6 workouts). Something like this:
  • Monday: 2-hour long bike, optional open water swim (30mins)
  • Wed: 4-5 mile tempo run on the treadmill
  • Thursday: 45mins bike intensity on the trainer
  • Saturday: swim intervals 45mins (2km)
  • Sunday: long run 10 miles (90ish minutes)
Totally doable! (Tuesdays and Fridays are rest days, if that's not obvious, and I don't work on Mondays.) But I'm not there yet. Hoping to get there by summer. In the meantime, here's how I'll build up to it:
  • February: run 2-3x per week
  • March: add 1 bike per week. so 2 bikes & 2 runs per week, or 1 bike and 3x runs.
  • April: add 1 swim per week. 1 swim, 2 bikes, and 2 runs
  • May: OWS season starts! add that optional Monday night swim at the reservoir for that 2 swims, 2 bikes, and 2 runs.
So, by summer--June, July, August--repeat that proposed Olympic distance schedule above. July 9th and August 21st there are local Olympic tris I want to hit up.

September: increase the long bike to 3 hours, and the long run to 2 hours. Half ironman is October 1st!

October & November: transition from triathlon training to ultra training. Too scary to think about for now. Will circle back.

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