Training Recap – March (Weeks 9-12)

Everyone, March just went by like *snap* that.  It got springier, we got stronger, we got older (both of our birthdays were last month), we biked more outside and ran faster and longer, and all was right with the world.  Here’s some of the highlights of Leah’s training (with some comments by Joel dispersed throughout) and a video of something we tackled BESIDES just generally being awesome, working, and training…


Week 9: March 4-10 – Build 2, Week 1

Leah Notes:

Weights: Back to heavy weights – Monday was rough and I didn’t increase any weights (frankly, had trouble with some of them I was doing 2 weeks ago), but I set either weight or rep PRs on each thing on Wednesday.  Two more weeks of the heavy stuff until I move onto maintenance weights for the rest of the year.

Swim: Swim is my favorite this week.  I had an easy swim Monday that just felt like butter.  Scuba definitely was the equivalent of drills in the water and I just felt long and lean and awesome.  Wednesday, I did my first speedwork in a while – 6x300m, aiming for as close to 2 min/100m as possible with 75m recovery in the  middles.  I am really finding some love with hurting myself looking at that black line.  Then, on Saturday, after swim, bike, and lunch, we did our March swim test.  After a warm up, I got going and am finding that with swimming fast, the pain comes in 3 stages – 1) I start going fast, I feel great. 2) I keep going fast, I feel like I’m going to die and OMG I have about 9/10ths of the workout left, how am I going to do this?  3) About halfway through, the pain dulls to a sustainable level of uncomfortable, my stroke really settles in, and I FEEL like I’m going slower because it’s easier, but it’s not.

But, my super happy was: I finally broke the 2 min/100m barrier (1:51/100m).  My swim test: 19:30 for 1050m.  Beat my time last month by 1 min 15 seconds.  I know these increases are going to stop being so epic each month, but for now, I love it.

Bike: Trainer rides are trainer-ific.  I’m liking using oranges for fuel instead of jelly beans (at least at home).  Having trouble getting my HR up on the trainer.  I’ll try it again next week.  My happy is I DID get to ride outside.  Confession: if you gave me the opportunity and if it would properly prepare me for the race, 99 out of 100 times I’ll chose the trainer.  There are no cars, no weather, no stoplights, no clipping and unclipping pedals… and I get a chance to watch awesome action movies.  However, we are going to do two metrics this spring, and the trainer doesn’t really do much for preparing one for hills, so it’s back to braving the outdoors.  But I did enjoy it.

Run: Now that I have been cleared to do some zone 3 running, it’s ALL I want to do.  We did two runs with a 15 min tempo in the middle.  Then, Saturday’s run was supposed to be an easy Zone 1/2 run, but we were both feeling good, and my HR monitor was not really working properly, so I definitely was running at the top of zone 2/a little into zone 3.  This week, my goal is to cool it on the easy runs.  One fully easy, one with a 20 min tempo, and one with some hill repeats.  Although, it’s nice to have finished with a total pace in the 10s.

Monday: Weights: MS Phase – Day 3 + Stretching 00:40Swim: Magical Fishie Day 1590 m/35:00.
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Hellboy 16.1 mi/45:00. Lunch Run + Tempo 3.25 mi/37:15
Wednesday: Weights: MS Phase Day 4 – 45:00. Swim: Speedwork 3×6 min sets 1350 m 00:32
Thursday: Bike: Trainer w/Tempo: Futurama: Be… 17.72 mi/45:00.  Run: Lunch Run + Tempo 3.1 mi 33:05.
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Shoal Creek Loop 14.24 mi/1:00. Run: Neighborhood Loops 5.17 mi/01:00. Swim: 1050m Speed Test 1050 m/19:30.
Sunday: off

Joels notes:

Alright, so this week went OK according to my notes. I am getting way better at my free style kicks in the pool, and I say part of that is learning how to kick while doing the scuba training.

Monday: Weights and Stretching 50min, 32 min swim 1312 yards
Tuesday: Trainer am, 44:47  @ 12.78 miles. Lunch Run, 37:55 @ 3.26 miles.
Wednesday: Had some back pain, called the day off of working out.
Thursday: Trainer am, 44:46 @ 12.66 miles. Lunch Run 33:11 @ 3.11 miles.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Trainer, Run, Swim Test. The swim test wasn’t great. I was worn out at this point and in a little bit of pain.
Sunday: Off


Week 10: March 11-17 – Build 2, Week 1

Leah notes:

I shorted myself a little less than an hour, which sucks, but oh well.  It really wasn’t intentional.

Swim:  I cannot say enough good things about swimming.  My slow pace is pretty not slow, I’m enjoying the speedwork, and I have a wetsuit to play in when the lake is cold.  When my form is good, I feel like a spider crawling on top of the water, being pushed by the current.  Isn’t that weird?  I was bummed that I couldn’t get our first open water swim in this weekend (planned for 30 mins but only made it 10 mins breaststroking out and back to the first buoy) – but it was nice to know that when the lake isn’t like a wave pool, the wetsuit will work just fine even in 64 degree water.

Bike: Eh.  The wind made riding really unsafe, so we cut what should have an hour ride to 37 mins, and that was less than 9 miles due to WIIIIIIIIND.  My wheel kept singing me the song of it’s people, which was an eerie whistling sound I’ve never heard before so loud and so often that it was really just unsafe to ride.  The bike is my meh sport right now, but hopefully that will change once I get out and ride hills more and get my quad mojo back.

Run: This sport is definitely coming around for me though sometimes I just want to say SHUT UP HEART.  The great thing about recognizing zone 1/2 running is that I can knock a 10 mile run (when I haven’t even run CLOSE to double digits since the marathon) and my legs are like… did we just take a long walk?  Also, I did 2 amazing tempo miles in the middle – miles 7 and 8 – and the pace wasn’t that great (read: the wind), but I felt like I wanted to run that effort forever.  So if I’m doing that around 10:45s in the wind, at the end of a long run, and on a day where I kinda felt like crap, I certainly can get uncomfortable and sub 10 on race day, right?  Also, I did hill repeats and made the lunch run crew do them with me Tuesday – that will probably be a regular thing – they loved to hate it with me.

Weights: Increased weights on some stuff.  I can definitely tell I’m either where I’m supposed to be or at the top of my capacity right now.  I’ve had fun with heavy weights, but I’m ready to move onto strength maintenance, and starting the harder “force” workouts actually on the swim/bike/run to build more specific strength for sport.

Honestly, I’m a little terrified where I am at physically in relation to tri season on the bike, run, and body composition, but I’m also feeling super strong, and very confident in my swim and most importantly, my head game and strategy.  And, I have a month and a half until the first race I sorta really care about (Rookie Tri) so anything can happen.  Hell, a month and a half ago, I would have told you I was an awesome cyclist, mediocre swimmer, I had torn up my running card, and weights were the best thing ever so… yeah.  Things – they change.

By the days…

Monday: Weights: MS Phase – Day 5 45 mins, Easy Swim + Drills 1200 m/30 mins
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Futurama The Wild G… 26.02 mi/1h15m, Run: Lunch Run Hill Repeats 4.35 mi/50 mins
Wednesday: Run: Treadmill Run 1.76 mi/20mins, Weights:MS Day 6 + Stretching 45 mins, Swim: Speedwork Day 1800m/ 40 mins
Thursday: off
Friday:  Futurama + Trainer 13.05 mi/37 min
Saturday: Run: Lake Pfluger 3+ Laps 10.1 mi /2 hours, Bike: Lake Pfluger Out and Back 8.7 mi /37 min, Swim: Lake Pfluger Wetsuit Test 175 m/10 min
Sunday:  off

Joel’s notes:

Ok so I did my run on the 13th and after that passed a kidney stone. Later that day I went to the doctor. So as you can see I miss out on a few things this week.

Monday: Weights and Swim normal, I didn’t record any special data.
Tuesday: Trainer 44:44 @ 10.04 miles. Lunch Run 50:24 @ 4.35 miles. Passed a stone, want to die.
Wednesday: Skipped the weights and swim this day, in pain.
Thursday: Day off. My birthday!
Friday: Trainer PM.
Saturday: Lake PF day! Run 1:53:23 @ 10.01 miles, Bike 37:35 @ 8.68 miles (Lots of wind), Swim to the first marker and back, too choppy from the wind. (But we got to try on the wet suits)
Sunday: Off.


Week 11: March 18-24 – Build 2, Week 3

Leah Notes:

Run: I loved this week of running.  My Tuesday run, I was in a pissy mood to start with, and then Zliten and I snapped at each other over something silly at the beginning of the run so I just put in my headphones and ran my stress, which resulted in a solid 25 minute zone 3 tempo run at 10:07 pace – y’know, just slightly slower than my all out heart busting zone 5 pace in January.  I felt wonderful after, and don’t worry, my marriage is fine, I finished up 2.47 miles, went back to get him, we reconciled, and ran it in easy.  Thursday, I got my first double run day since the marathon – a combo of 8.2 happy easy low HR miles (with 3 solid hill repeats at lunch) at mid-11s in perfect weather.  Bliss!

Bike: I biked on the trainer.  It was trainerific. I tried to do a tempo but I’m having trouble getting my heart rate up on the trainer at 3/5 resistance.  Next week is all easy, but the week after, I’ll be cranking up the resistance on tempo days (also, more outside).  I also rode Rosedale and both loved and hated it (hate at first, love at the end).

Swim: I had a great easy swim on Monday, but had a crappy swim on Wednesday and it was mostly due to my head.  I was trying to use Zliten’s watch and it was frustrating me (user error, he loves the watch), I did two 300m-ish (or more since the watch confused me and was in yards) repeats, and it looked as if it was really slow and my mp3 player kept falling out of my ears, and then I ended up getting forced into the middle of the pool in the middle of a rep with two dudes being splashy and I sucked a lot of pool.  Then the nail in the coffin is someone actually showed up at 8:10pm for their lane and I just got out and said screw it instead of trying to share a lane with Zliten.  Oh well, I’ve been all stars and rainbows with swimming lately, I’ll take one bad one every once in a while.

Weights: Last heavy week.  I’ve ended at these maxes: 205 lbs squat (bodyweight goal was 230, but I definitely hit my limit) x4 reps, 330 lb leg press (bodyweight goal was 450 but I’m not sure if anyone but Superman can do that)x4, 120 lb rows x5 (beyond bodyweight goal), and 95 lb pulldowns x7 (beyond bodyweight goal).  Feel pretty dang good about having built strength this year, and now it’s time to maintain it generally, and build sport specific strength.

By the day…

Monday: Weights: MS Day 7 + Stretching /45 min, Swim: Easy Laps + Drills 1860 m/45 min
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Video Game High School 25 mi/60 mins, Lunch Run with 25 min Tempo 3.36 mi/ 35 mins
Wednesday: Weights: MS Day 8 + Stretching /45 mins, Swim: No Good Very Bad Swim 950 m/20 mins
Thursday: Run1: Morning Trash Day Run 3.8 mi/45 mins, Run2: Lunch Run – Hill Repeats 3.4 mi/ 39 mins
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Rosedale Ride 61.1 mi 04:29
Sunday: off

Joel Notes:

Not much to say, in some pain from kidney stones and just got through the week as best I could.

Monday: Big weights and Speed work swim.
Tuesday: Morning Trainer 59:22 @ 17.9 miles. Lunch run, a little slower. 35:20 @ 3.1 miles.
Wednesday: Full weights at the most weight of the year so far. Sub Par swim.
Thursday: AM Run 45:31 @ 3.79 miles. Lunch Run 42:14 @ 3.4 miles.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Rosedale Ride 4:29:02 @ 61.10 miles
Sunday: Off!


Week 12: March 25-31 – Build 2 Week 4 (Recovery)

Leah Notes:

Hi, my name is Leah, and I’m a slacker and completed only half my workouts for the week.

Since I rarely slack, I decided I was fine with it.   I did Monday and Tuesday’s easy work as planned, but then Wednesday showed up and I was so unmotivated to hit the gym/pool we skipped it.  Then, I had a freakout about life in general and hid in bed and didn’t get out to ride on Friday.  So – I swam once, did weights once, and ran for an hour (and hauled a bunch of scuba stuff 3 days and, well, scuba’d).

I was worried when I was still totally un-enthused on Monday, but as soon as I hit the gym and got a dose of swim endorphins, I was happy girl again.  So, I’m good. Ready for build month #3.  Pile it on!

Joel’s Notes:

Just another week.  See below.

Monday: Recovery Weights! Easy Swim.
Tuesday: After work Run 1:00:01 @ 5.05 miles.
Wednesday: Skip day, and Dr apt. again.
Thursday: Day off.
Friday: Planned out door ride, but it didn’t happen. My fitbit did say I did something like 8 miles of walking this day.
Saturday: SCUBA
Sunday: SCUBA

In summary…

Leah: I feel like I got a lot stronger this month, thanks to a little more speed work, heavy weights, and riding outside more often (read: hills and wind oh my).  April is going to be a war of hours – that is, finding enough in the day to just get in what’s on the plan, but I’m up for the challenge.  March was finally the month I started to make some body composition progress too, so I’m hoping to keep that trend rolling!

Quick note from Joel here. “STAY HYDRATED”!


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