My outseason is complete! It's hard to believe that my outseason training is already over. It was shorter than most years, because I signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Ironman on June 8th-so I have to start getting in half iron shape a bit earlier than normally.
All in all, I am very happy with my outseason. I had a few goals for myself during my 11 week build: 1. Ease into the running as I was recovering from my heel stress fracture 2. Bike, Bike, Bike-3 days per week, short, intense workouts. 3. Get my FTP up to last year's end of the year watt equivalent 4.Get some moderately long runs in (8-10 milers, consistently over the course of the last 5 weeks). I can HAPPILY say I achieved (or was very close!) to achieving all of those goals. My heel feels good-not 100%, after longer runs it definitely doesn't feel completely normal, but I've comfortably worked up to 20-25 mile weeks and don't feel like I'm backtracking at all. Where I'm at biking is extremely close to where I was in August last year (certainly NOT endurance wise, but speaking in terms of FTP). I hit 3 rides a week in all but 2 of the weeks (that I only hit 2) and most weeks I hit or exceeded my number goals. Unfortunately, the last 2 weeks I was definitely feeling the effects of overachieving the bike intervals, and my last few workouts weren't the numbers I would've hoped for. But I know that that was my body saying cut it out with the overachieving intervals, so I'm ready for this easier week I'm starting. I was consistently able to get in 7-10 mile runs over the last few weeks, at paces I'm extremely happy with considering I was not able to run more than 3 miles in December. So, I'm happy with my outseason, my dedication to the training plan (of course-did not do each and every workout as planned, but modified as need be, listened to my body, and maintained consistency), and most of all-happy its over. While the workouts were all relatively short, they were HARD. Ready for an easy week, thats for sure.
Thus begins my 1 week swim camp-a time that is supposed to jumpstart my swimming since I haven't been in the pool since October. Today was my first swim of the week, I completed 2,000 meters relatively comfortably-threw some fast 50s in at the end, just to see what I was working with after nearly 5 months out of the water-and I'm not terribly disappointed. While not up to my normal pace by any means-I can't say I hated the swim. I actually missed the smell of chlorine. Sick, but true :) I followed up the swim with an easy 3 mile run. Over my season training, I complete a number of swim/run bricks, and I actually missed it. This week will consist of a total of 3 swims, 3 run workouts (still streakin' though-today was day 90), and only 1 bike-an easy, transition week, as I get into an 8 week half ironman plan to end on June 8th. This is actually the earliest I've been in the pool in the last few years-it usually takes until May to drag my butt back to the pool, but this half is forcing me to get in the water early-which I'm sure wont hurt me any!
Most importantly-I feel great right now. My head is in the right place going into this half ironman plan and my body is feeling healthy. Certainly not as fast as I'd like to be, but being healthy is so much better than being a little quicker and injured in one of the 3 disciplines. Let's hope this continues!