Sunday, January 19, 2014

1 down, 13 to go!

The first week of my outseason plan is complete.  I did fairly well hitting my workouts this week, but I did tweak the run workouts a bit for a few reasons.  As I recover from this stress fracture and ease into a regular run volume, I do want to ensure I do not tweak anything from pushing too hard on run intervals.  Thus, I did not do a typical EN run test this week.  I made my run test a tempo run as a mile warm up, then 3.1 miles with my HR at a Z3.  Speed is certainly not where it was at this point last year, but I have accepted that this will be a gradual build after a significant injury.  

That all being said-I was able to get out to Waterfall Glen this morning for my first loop of 2014.  I met Katie Mertz out there for a fun, easy paced loop-I know I shouldn't have busted out 10 miles quite yet, but I really wanted to get back out there and of course, have an opportunity to chat with Katie :) But what I thought was going to be an easy jog, turned into quite a challenging run. The conditions at WFG were pretty awful.  There was a good 5 inches of fresh snow, atop of several inches of packed down snow, with a wonderful layer of ice that was far from smooth.  Every step turned into sliding around on the trail, which made keeping any kind of a steady pace extremely difficult.  We couldn't even lift our feet above the snow-I was literally shuffling through the snow with every step.  But we finished-slow and steady-and had a great time doing it!  I was happiest that even though every step was uneven, and my feet were shifting awkwardly with every step-I had NO pain in my heel whatsoever!  It took me about 2 hours to thaw out after this morning's snowy run :)

The bike this week went as expected.  The first week back on the bike is always challenging for me, because it is hard to see watts so much lower than I ended the season with, but does inspire me to get to work and see where I can be at the end of this outseason.  On Thursday I has a VO2 workout that was sick.  Last year, the first VO2 workout of the OS was 6x 30s/30s off Zone 5-This year's first VO2 workout was 6x 1.5'/1.5' Off...Which is a considerable difference from 30/30s!  But I was able to hit my numbers-just felt exhausted the rest of the day!

Running everyday is still going strong as well-couldn't be happier that the 10 miler this morning was pain free!  Ready to ride again tomorrow and get a great start on week 2!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 1

It's been quite some time since my last post-but I wasn't doing much training, and my purpose of writing this blog is to reflect on my training so it only makes sense that day 1 of my road to my 9th Ironman (6th in Madison, Wisconsin) I write a blog post :)

I could not be more excited for my training this year. Last year I did complete Ironman Wisconsin in September, but did not put forth the kind of effort I had in previous years (I feel that it was 100% race execution that got me the time I earned in Madison this past year-I was only 4 minutes off my PR on minimal training).  I love all things Ironman and triathlon, but my heart just wasn't into the training last January-June.  So my crash training (as I like to call it) in July and August adequately prepared me to complete the distance, but left me with a heel stress fracture that I am still trying to recover from.  Even today I feel it-but I am set on gradually increasing my mileage this year with running in an effort to not reinjure my heel.  One way I am planning on managing my running mileage is by bringing back my running streak.  In 2012 I ran a minimum of a mile each day, and while that sounds excessive, I feel it helped me keep a careful eye on where my mileage was all the time-while getting me faster, without the speed training (frequency and volume were increased, so it really helped my times drop).  So I started my streak again on January 1st, 2014-today is day 13, and so far I am at a minimum of a mile each day. Most days have only been a mile-there have been a few 3 and 4 milers in there, but I want to be extremely gradual so I can monitor my heel and not injure anything else.

I am going into my 4th season with the Endurance Nation triathlon team.  It's truly a unique style of training, a more less is more approach in terms of volume in the winter months, but heavy intensity in the shortened workouts.  Volume won't really increase until much later in the spring, which I am alright with because in the winter I enjoy doing a variety of workouts since the summer months are dedicated to swimming, biking, and running.  Speaking of swimming-Endurance Nation (EN) preaches no swimming in the offseason (a whole time investment strategy) that I love because I am not the biggest fan of swimming.  Many people disagree with this strategy, but to each their own.  Truly, I can swim 3x per week for 6 months or start swimming 3 months for Ironman 2x per week and my Ironman swim time may only be about 5 minutes off the previous-so it's really not worth it for me.

So today marked my first day of my EN outseason training plan. Like I stated earlier, the outseason is all about fast before lots of intensity, with short workouts.  To start the outseason, a bike and a run test need to be done to gather my training numbers I'll use for the first training block.  For the bike, this meant an FTP test-a warm up, 5 minute all out interval (Zone 5), 10 min recovery, then a 20 minute FTP (Functional Threshold Pace) interval (around Z4).  95% of this number becomes my FTP for the first training block.  One thing I learned today-I lost A LOT in the last 3 months.  Typically this would have left me pretty upset-losing about 25 hard earned watts off last year's end of the season FTP-but I'm in a pretty good place right now and I'm looking at it positively.  I can not wait to put in the work and watch that number skyrocket!  Last year I really did not put much effort into training-hopefully, my attitude will stay the way it is now and I'll be ready to rock this outseason out!  I finished the hour session on the bike with a mile transition run on the treadmill.  Stayed conservative-about a 9 min pace, because I have a run test later this week. I still don't know if I want to do the typical EN style run test (warm up, and then a timed 5K) because I'm really worried about aggravating my heel.  So we'll see where I go with that.

Alright-time for some food and a shower.  Day 1 done-237 days until IMWI! :)