Countdown to B2B: 5 weeks (Week of September 17)
The stepback week really came at a good time. I finally found my training motivation and was getting on a roll, but my legs were a little fatigued after the previous weekend’s workouts so the reduced volume was welcomed. Unfortunately it wasn’t a full recovery week because I had to make a little switch to the schedule later in the week to accommodate next week’s schedule. It’s not ideal, but by the time I got to Sunday, I was feeling pretty well rested, so I felt fresh for the long ride.
Monday – Master’s Swim: 3200 yds: The jetlag from last week’s trip is actually really good for training…because 8:30 p.m. bedtimes make it easy to wake up at 5:30 a.m. It was raining and dark, so there were hardly any other swimmers at the pool It was actually really cool to swim in the rain and since the workout included 2×1000, it was a great long distance training session. I felt great in the pool and FINALLY found my rhythm and (gasp!) maybe I am even getting my swimming mojo back?! (But let’s not jump the gun here…)
Tuesday – 6 mile run w/4 miles @ 7:50 + 18.9 mile bike, ~1:10, 16.5 mph: I met Char to run before we rode. It was raining a little and SUPER humid. Since this is a stepback week, I decided to maintain the distance on this run, but ease up on the intensity. We didn’t push super hard or really keep an eye on the pace since it was dark, but we still did a pretty good job of getting in the range where I wanted to be: 8:01, 7:56, 8:03, 7:52. Immediately after we changed from our sweaty run clothes into bike clothes and headed out on the bike with Jenni. We rode well, on a hilly route and I was really surprised at how strong my legs felt after Sunday’s ride and the run before. This definitely was (finally) a good sign for my biking fitness!
Wednesday – 7 miles Speed work 10×400 @ 1:35 w/400 m RI + 23.2 mile ride, ~1:20 (17.4 mph): Char met me at my house and we ran over to the track for speed work. Char was a little hesitant about the mileage, so we did some of the intervals on the road to and from the track. I felt good and strong and it did not feel like hard work to keep these intervals on pace: 1:36 (on the road), 1:32, 1:34, 1:32, 1:33, 1:34, 1:33, 1:35 (on the road), 1:35 (on the road), 1:41 (on the road, straight uphill)
Met Jenni after work for the tempo ride. We started slow, but really rode strong during the 26 minutes of tempo. We averaged almost 20 mph during the 26 min tempo, despite rolling and steady hills.
Thursday – 17.3 mile recovery ride, ~1:07 (15.5 mph): Nice easy spin with the girls before work. It was a chilly morning and I had compression socks and arm warmers on for the first time since last spring! Mid 50′s is perfect running weather, but definitely cool on the bike, especially when you are just spinning easy.
Friday – Master’s Swim 3000 yds: Instead of doing a 3rd workout on Wednesday after my ride, I decided to move my other swim for the week to Friday morning. We are dog sitting this weekend and with the craziness of 3 dogs, I didn’t sleep well, so when the alarm went off, I wished I hadn’t given up my “off” day. But I got the pool and instead of wishing the workout away like I was for most of the summer, I was loving being in the pool! Once again…maybe it’s back?!
10 12 mile run @ 8:07 min/mile + 2000 m swim : I set out to run 10, but felt so good when I hit 10 that I did another out-and-back mile to make it 12. Took Walter for the first 4 and finished up on my own. This has been working pretty well to break up the run and keep building up his mileage so he can go further! This was one of the strongest runs I have had, which I attribute to cool weather and light days on Thursday and Friday.
I hit the pool for a nice recovery/steady state swim after the run. It was a beautiful day and it was kind of nice to swim with the sun shining for a change! I did 2200 yds (little over the 70.3 race distance) and it felt like it took forever, but I was pretty happy to see that it was about 31:55, even without pushing the pace too hard.
Sunday - 67.5 mile bike, ~3:32 (19.2 mph): Since I will be gone next weekend for a wedding and had planned to do my long ride Monday after work, Char suggested that it would probably make WAY more sense to switch next week’s long ride to Sunday, since it was really only a day difference anyway. I am not sure why I hadn’t thought about this before…except that I was really looking forward to a weekend with very little training. I met up with Jenni and riding buddies, Rick & Eric, on Sunday morning and we set out for a 67 mile loop. The first half of the ride is really flat and we were cooking at a 20+ mph pace. The back half rolls pretty good and the climbs were killer on my tired legs. It was a beautiful day, we rode silently in a pace line nearly the whole time and overall it was a really good ride. I was definitely DONE and ready to be off of the bike by the time we rolled back to our cars.
- Swim = 8200 yds (finally!)
- Bike = 127 miles (whoa! Big week!)
- Run = 25 miles (slight lower here because the brick was switched to next week)
- Time =13 hrs. 10 min. (I suppose having the highest volume of training yet on a “stepback” week is probably not ideal. Should balance out with next week’s “peak” weak being lower than expected.)