Sure signs of spring:
- Spring Peepers
- Thunder (without snow)
- 5Ks everywhere
- INTERVAL NIGHTS!!
Never have I been so excited to punish myself on a bicycle… But after 3 months of diligently attending spin classes and going NOWHERE… fast… it was so refreshing to generate my own wind instead of relying on the ceiling fans. Yes, it was breezy. Yes, it was cool. Yes, it was AWESOME.
I was sadly disappointed that of the 250+ members in our triathlon club, only 5 showed up (plus a Big Tree guy, a Walt’s guy and a guy that shows up for everything ride related but I can never remember his name…).
For my part, I went out a little too hard, blew up a couple of times and kind of limped home, but for the first hard ride of the year… I’ll take it. Things I noticed on my ride:
- The spin classes helped. My cadence was good. Really good.
- The hills (not that there are any REAL hills on this route) seemed much flatter. Probably because I’m not towing a beer keg around anymore…
- I still think my seat is a bit too low and I have a pronounced hitch in my pedal stroke. Definitely something to work on.
- I’m running out of gears on the downhills. May need to bump up to a 52 or 53 tooth chainring in the front. It will keep me from spinning at 120-130 on the downhills so much.
One of the hardest things for me to do in triathlons is find a balance for my training. I always seem to be neglecting one sport for another. For instance, I think I have been swimming pretty consistently but as soon as it warms up I immediately abandon the pool for the bike. I know part of this is the normal cure for gym fever we all get when spring finally arrives, but I don’t want to make it a habit and lose what little I have gained in the pool.
I also know that now is the time to start working on speed. I have a half marathon coming up in 2 weeks but after that I’m not going to do anything over a 10K (except in training) until after club nationals. While I will be sad to not go on all those long runs and rides with my friends, 4 hour rides and 18 mile runs don’t do me much good. So my focus will change to intervals, hills, speed work and intensity.
My workout week will look like this:
Tuesday: Morning Run, Afternoon Bike or spin
Wednesday: Morning track workout, afternoon bike hills
Thursday: Morning run, Afternoon bike intervals
Friday: Lake Swim
Saturday: Long run, short ride (or brick)
Sunday: Trail run or MTB, Lake swim
This is the basic schedule. It looks like a lot and I realize there are no break days in there, but with my work schedule, I’m realistically only trying to get 2 workouts of each type in per week. If I get them all in, great. But that rarely happens. And I will probably rotate one week a month where I don’t do one of the sports for a week, just to give those muscles a break. The other thing about this schedule is that except for the long run day, everything else is short. My longest ride this year will be 50 miles and I will only do a few of those. No more than 2500 in the water. No more than 10 on the run.
See, my problem in the past is that I “trained” for “triathlon”. Which meant I basically did any and all workouts I could. My first 2 seasons I would routinely go out on 60+ mile rides… but I was only doing sprint distance races. Yet I did NO speed work. So at the end of my 15 mile bike ride in a race, I would be frustrated because I didn’t go any faster… but I felt great! Same thing on the run… and the swim…
So this year, I’m switching to short, intense, hard workouts (for the most part). Hills, speed, fartleks, and other fun stuff are on the menu this year!