So over the last two weeks I have managed to drop from about 208 to 201-202. I don't really know how that happened as I wasn't paying that close of attention. The news is good, but it is also a bit of a concern for me.
I've noticed a bit of a problem with my training the last 3 weeks or so...and I need to be a bit careful. So here is my typical scheudle...
Run 25 am - recovery pace
Swim 30min am
Ride 1:30 pm - zone 4 intervals.
Run: 50min am - medium run
Ride: 1:00 pm - moderate/recovery ride
Swim :45 am
Ride 1:30 zone3/4 intervals
Run: :25 immediately following run. - recovery pace.
Run - :50 medium run
With this current plan I'm running 6 days per week. Riding 5 days per week and swimming 3.
For the last few weeks I've been exhausted for my long run. Last week I was ready to die. Everything hurt, I was sore from the start and wanted to stop after 15 minutes.
Yesterday it was 85 degrees...so I have no doubt that played a roll, but I was exhausted from the beginning. and there aren't too many things worse than suffering through a long run after 10-15 minutes. It sucks BIG TIME.
I believe there are a couple reasons for this.
First, for months and months I've been really focusing on biking and running. And I had been able to schedule my hard workouts around my long run allowing for enough recovery. With the addition of 3 swims, that has become more challenging as my schedule allows for me to swim in the mornings. I had been running in the mornings.
In the off season those three hard rides are what really helped me see gains on the bike. My FTP went from around 260-275 up to whats now maybe 325. Hopefully that translates to riding outside. I also want to start adding one threshold run. So part of my problem is scheduling. 3 interval rides along with an interval run and a long run is too much for me as the season approaches. They need to be on seperate days...but that's 5 key workouts. I can't put a day between them all. I think it is probably better that I go down to one or two interval rides and keep my legs fresher for running as it is a bigger weakness and I still want to get up to 30:60:90. And the gains I've seen are astonishing. Last year my fastest Tri 10k was around a 48 or so. I honestly think I can drop that to a 42, maybe even lower than that on a flat course.
The second/third reasons for this fatigue are as follows. I am always ready to go on my diet on Monday Tuesday...and the last several weeks I've notice very large calorie defecits. On the order of 2,000. While that's a fast way to lose weight, it's a fast way to get tired too. Monday and tuesday workouts are pretty high in terms of calorie burn. I'll typically hit 4000-4500. If I only eat 2500 or so, its simply not enough. So I need to prepare more good food for those days. I can really feel those calories later in the week. so while part of me says to suffer through and drop that last 7 pounds really fast and then drop down to 190 much slower. the other part of me knows I need those calories to sustain the harder workouts. Starting Monday I am going to make sure my calorie defecit does not exceed 1,000. That is a starting point.
Lastly, I have no concept of pacing on the bike or run right now. On the trainer with my power readings I know exactly what I am doing. But I have my road bike fixed up and have been riding that. It has no bike computer at all. I don't have the quarq set up because I don't have my Garmin yet. So when I ride on the road bike I use my stop watch over certain sections, but don't know speed or power. And on the run I am finding it very difficult to run slow.
As an example I went on my long run yesterday. For the first mile I told myself repeatedly I was going to go slow. And I really felt like I was. I got to the mile mark at my watch said 7:55. There was a time when I couldn't sprint a 7:55. So on the one hand I'm always shocked when I see times like that for me. A year ago that would have been 9:30. Now I am consistently faster...much faster. But for a long run I shouldn't be going that fast. I should have been at an 8:20 or so. I must learn control!
So I need to really take a look at my training schedule over the weekend and make sure I am getting enough recovery to handle my workouts. I am doing a lot of work during the week, and should really push some of that to the weekend so I can take a nap after a tough workout.
I really like the road bike. It's a different feel than the tri bike. It's fun to ride again. But I can really tell the difference in my running afterward. When I run after riding my tri bike I often times feel faster running. My cadence is quicker and it feels good. Wednesday I got off the road bike, and while I rode hard, it wasn't that hard. The 25 minute run afterward was really tough.
Essentially I am coaching myself and am learning a lot by trial and error. So far my progress has been great. I have managed to not create any new injuries...that's always good. And despite some really tough weeks, I've been slowly eliminating nagging injuries. My shoulder is getting a lot better. It is still sore during the day after I swim. But that's getting worked out. My toe is mostly better. I still tape it a bit, but not always. My foot was better last week. I get some tightness in my legs and hips, but thats what the foam roller is for.
I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. In the literature for my running program I have been trying to run about 30 miles per week as elites run at least that many miles. Right now I run 6 days - 3x25, 2x50, 1x75 = 250 minutes. When I created this I always used 10 min/mile to calculate distance. Well I don't run that speed any more. In fact on average I'd say I run at an 8:15-8:30 pace. Last week I started adding minutes again and am up to about 265 minutes...which means I am running a little over 30 miles per week already. That's actually a pretty big milestone considering how many injuries I've had in the past.
I believe I will redo all my tests during the final week of April. So it will be a rest week for the most part. I will have the quarq and Garmin at that point. So the biking test will be indoors so I can get numbers on both that and the CT...and take that with me outside. then I can do a comparison to my indoor FTP and outdoor ftp. Although I will need to drive somewhere to do an outdoor ftp.
For swimming I'll be doing the 10x100's. My endurance is getting better. should be pretty solid by then. I am going to make sure I am rested and really push hard to hit 1:10.
For the running I am going to go to a track and get real numbers. I'll have the garmin as a comparison. But I can then take those numbers and plug them into McMillions calculator. that will give me all my running paces moving forward and they'll be more accurate. With the Garmin I'll be able to really use and compare that data to make sure I'm doing it right. I may invest in some coaching software then too. that should help me manage my workouts a lot better.
Should be fun!