Training Week 4 – Establishing a Sustainable Schedule
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I am one month into triathlon training and I have three more months until race day. I don’t feel like I have enough time to prepare, but I am going to make the most of the time that I have.
Last week I set the goal to establish a sustainable triathlon training schedule. I think for right now, I can say, “Mission accomplished.” A triathlon training schedule is no joke and has a lot of moving parts. I knew this going into training for St. George 70.3 and I am committed to the race and training. However, I am also a homeschooling mom, wife, and part time worker and those things are priorities over training in my book. I have to have a realistic plan to set out to make it all work. This is how I laid out my training so that it worked best for my schedule and still got in all the key sessions:
Monday: Bike & Short Swim
Tuesday: Run with a Track Workout
Wednesday: Swim & Short Bike
Thursday: Longest Bike Workout
Friday: Long Run
Saturday: Recovery Run & Short Swim
I got in just over 11 hours of training this week, which I am happy with at this point. I have a solid base, but room to build.
Last weekend I took my current road bike into the local bike shop and had it worked on. When I was riding on Zwift, I felt like the shifters weren't working correctly. I got them repaired and the bike shop was so awesome, they had my bike ready to be picked up by Wednesday. During my ride on Thursday, I could tell a huge difference in the shifting and the feel of the bike. I also got a new saddle (bike seat), and it is so much more comfortable than the old one!
This is something that is well known to cyclists, but I was unaware being a new cyclist… having a fan blowing on you while you are the trainer is a game changer. I cannot tell you how big of a difference it was to turn a fan on during my workout. If you think about it, when you're riding on the road, you have wind blowing on you at you to cool you off and a fan will give you that same effect. I highly, highly recommend not even doing a single ride without a fan.
Over the weekend I did two virtual races. The first was purely the Virtual Healthcare Heroes half marathon. It was purely for fun and for a good cause. The race rules are very laid back and all about logging miles to support our local healthcare workers. You can track your miles over several days and submit them once you hit 13.1 miles. I ran my miles on Friday as part of my long run and joined some friends on Saturday as they for some of their miles. There is still time to sign up if you want to join:
The second was the Ironman VR4 race. I had a brick workout (60 min on the bike/ 75 minutes running) on my schedule so I decided to once again incorporate it into the @ironmantri VR4. There was a swim/ bike/ run option or a run/ bike/ run option for the VR4. I decided last minute when a pool spot opened up on Sunday morning to do the full triathlon swim/ bike/ run option. I am really glad I did because I may not get a chance to do an in person triathlon before Ironman St. George. Virtual racing might be as close as I get. I learned a lot about fueling and what I would want to do differently next time by just practicing doing all three sports in a row.
I was overall happy with how I performed. I finished my swim in 12:29 (.9mi/ 750m) then I went home and got on my bike. I did the bike race through the Rouvy app because I was part of the “challenger” race division and it was a requirement to either do the bike outdoors or on a smart trainer via the Rouvy app. I finished the bike in 36:17 (12.43mi/ 20km). I am still disappointed with my performance on the bike compared to my swim and run but it is a big improvement compared to my last 20km bike. Part of that improvement was because I picked a much flatter course this time, but hopefully it is also because I am improving on the bike. I continued biking for another 25 minutes to finish the time that was on my schedule for today. Then I got off, quickly put on my running shoes, and ran a hard 5km to finish the race. My run time was 19:20 (3.1mi / 5km). I continued to run for another 50 minutes to finish up my brick workout for the day. My overall time for the Ironman VR4 ended up being 1:08:06.
Overall, I am happy with my effort. I learned that I drank a little too much liquid on the bike. I need to adjust that. If I had not run as hard off the bike, that may not have I realized that was a problem until race day. I enjoy the Ironman VR races because I do push myself more than I would working out by myself and they are free which is nice. My bike time is still a little frustrating to me. I have so much to learn about biking. It is not just my bike fitness and I am also terrible at shifting.
I know I am being impatient, and I need to remember that just like with my running journey, it will take time for me to get better on the bike. Sometimes I forget how far I have come in running. Just eleven years ago I was not sure I would be able to finish my first half marathon. Now, I have ran multiple marathons, two under 3 hours. I forget I did not improve over night and I need to have patience with myself as I learn a new sport again. I had the opportunity to talk to Triathlon Taren & his wife Kim (NTK) on their podcast about all of this (my fitness journey) and why I am trying triathlon now, balancing training hard with life, and margaritas. I was honored when Taren asked me to be a guest on his show and I enjoyed my chat with him and Kim. They are very down to earth and welcoming in a sport that can be intimidating at times. Here is a link to the episode:
Next week, I am going to try to just keep plugging away at training and focus more on the “extra” things like strength training and sleep to keep me healthy. I know these extras are super important and I cannot neglect them. To help me do that, I am going to switch to bi-weekly training updates on the blog.
Cheers to a great week!