I usually try to give a triathlon training update on Tuesday, but it is Wednesday. I will go ahead and complete this update for consistency. I wasn’t able to post last week either, so this is a compilation of two weeks of training.
The last two weeks have been a time change that can often occur in the life of an amateur triathlete, as family and work responsibilities conflict with training. We just started school here in North Carolina, which means major changes to my family’s morning routine, and therefore my training routine. If I’m going to exercise, it has to be before my family wakes up at 6:30 am. This is early, but it is what I am used to based on the last few years of training.
Swimming: I’m still working hard on the form. I have decided to divide my workouts into two parts during the offseason. I want to do exercises and training practices during my training at the beginning of the week. Use exercises like catch up, fingertip dragging, and clenched fists. I also use form-specific exercises for full immersion swimming, such as the dead man’s float, side kick exercises, water balancing, and placing my hand in the water. Each of these exercises helps me learn muscle memory for my form. The second half of the week I try to build resistance. I started this last week with a solid 30 minute swim in the pool. This is much easier than trying to count laps that I always lose track of. I only swim a certain number of minutes trying to maintain good form and focus. This gets monotonous in a pool, but I think it will help me maintain my stamina for the season. I am tracking 100 along the way using my TomTom Multisport watch. I also let the watch track my total distance. I am trying not to stop at all. I found out last week that I tend to maintain good form early in the swim, but towards the end my hips started to sag and I tended to have less than quality form. This should improve with these endurance swims.
Running: Like swimming, I’m trying to do some shorter interval sets earlier in the week as I have less time in the mornings. Then I’m trying to do longer endurance runs at the end of the week. My wife just started work, so now I have Friday to train. We had some rain last week so I was not able to participate in all my races. I ran on Labor Day doing 10 miles at an 8:24 pace. That’s a good strong pace for me with medium effort. My foot hurts a little. It seems to be in my bow and in my Achilles. I will have to monitor this to avoid more serious injuries.
The bike: I’m using my indoor trainer for my shorter and more intense rides. I haven’t been able to go out in a couple of weeks, but I plan on doing it this week. I started watching a new TV series on Netflix while training called “Leverage.” It holds my attention. I do 5 minute work intervals with 3 minute breaks during my first week workouts. Then I’m trying to go 1 1/2 to 2 hours in an endurance race. I’m having trouble finding a way to measure strength gain because I don’t have a power meter. I wish I could count on a coach from Lemond to measure my power so that I could see my improvement in this area. I measure my walks by my heart rate, which shows my intensity. It’s hot right now where I’m riding so this could alter my heart rate without improving my strength. I’ll have to keep an eye on this outside.
Strength: I am incorporating some abdominal strength and core strength during the offseason. I’m using a 30-day AB challenge in addition to doing half sit-ups in push-ups and half sit-ups in obliques. Hopefully this will keep me toned and help me lose the belly fat that has plagued me.
Weight loss – I ran this year at 180-182. Next year I want to race 170-172. This means that I need to lose weight from my midsection. I have some “love handles” that must become “love handles.” I must cut down on this area. I am changing some elements of the diet to not eat so much sugar.
Everything is fine in the off-season. The biggest challenges right now are the schedule and weight loss.