Monday, July 11, 2011

Halfway Through

My playground....from space

As of today, I've done the first 8 weeks of my 16 week 70.3 training plan.  So far, things have been pretty good - I've just had to keep my daily schedule tight and most of the time this has allowed me to get done what needs to be done.  There's the occasional conflict for sure, but that's more or less a universal problem I'd guess.  The great news is that my motivation has stayed high and actually keeps increasing.

My weeks tend to look like this, though every 4th week is cut back by about 30% and Sunday is off.

MONDAY - POOL WORKOUT (1:15 - 1:30)

I've learned to enjoy this.  I'm now up to 2500 or 3000 yards per workout.  I'll mix things up, but every session includes a warm-up, drills, sprints, a pyramid of some sort and a cool down.  I've started to drive to Irvine to do this.  It's a 20 minute drive but the pool gets half the use that my local pool does.  This was a big part of learning to enjoy the workout.

TUESDAY - BIKE/RUN BRICK (1:30 - 2:00)

Normally I'll do an out-and-back along Coast Highway with a turnaround somewhere in Newport Beach.  I usually throw in some intervals for good measure.  For the run, I've got a couple different 4 or 5 mile loops around my house, and I usually decide which one it's going to be as I leave my neighborhood.


I've been doing this swim in Belmont Shore.  Up until the Solana Beach Triathlon (which is in 2 weeks), I'll do quarter mile timed repeats.  After Solana Beach, I'll start doing swims more in line with the 70.3 swim.  It's been pretty crowded with swimmers lately and that's made it really fun.


Chris K sent me 3 workouts a couple months ago and I religiously rotate them.  I probably should be doing this on a track, but I don't.  I do it along the beach path instead.  It's the one workout I always look forward to doing but hate while I'm doing it.  But I'm always glad I did it.

FRIDAY - BIKE (1:30)

Depending what's on tap for Saturday's ride, I'll either treat this as a Z2 recovery ride or work in some intervals.  Because my Fridays are tight, I've got to do this workout in the morning and keep it within the hour and a half time-frame.  This means I don't have enough time to get into the hills, which would be nice to keep things fresh.  Oh well.  By the way, for the first 4 weeks of the plan, this was an off day.


For this, I'll join the scheduled group ride with either OC Velo or Outspoken and then head home for the run.  The ride is usually between 55 and 65 miles and the run between 4 and 6 miles.  I'll be increasing the run length just after Solana Beach.


Since my plan is on a 4 week turn, I'll do each of the above workouts over 3 consecutive weekends with the 4th Sunday as an off day.   My plan does schedule these, but I tend to go with what I'm feeling like doing while still making sure that I do cover them all in every turn.  Today was a good example - the plan called for a swim/run brick but I woke up feeling a little uneasy about my run and decided to do a long run instead.

You'll notice there aren't any days off, except for that 4th Sunday I was talking about.  I was concerned about this before I started the plan.  But it's worked out OK.  With Wednesday being a fairly light swim day and the option to use Friday's ride as active recovery, I've consistently felt good and have not had any major issues.  Plus, if I need to take a day off, I just take it.  I've done that once so far I believe.

My diet has been in training as well.  I've been cutting out all sorts of foods over the last year, like foods that amounted solely to empty calories and processed foods.  This isn't exclusive - I don't think I could live without ice cream for example.  But I would like to think that all but the most extreme nutrition enthusiasts would view my approach as reasonable.

Yet despite the changes, I found they still weren't enough.  The mix of foods (especially carbohydrates vs. protein) was off, because I stopped losing weight and was still about 10 or 15 pounds over were I wanted to be come race day.    So I've changed the mix.  I now try and keep my carbohydrate intake as low as I can, adjusting it up or down against expected training workload.  I'm still working on getting it right, and when it has gone wrong it's usually been the case of running out of fuel.    Overall, I've replaced the carbohydrate decrease with increased protein intake.  I've dropped 5 pounds in the last month.  So I'm going to stay the course and keep working on finding the right balance.

Mentally, I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm pretty excited actually.  I'm spending as much time with the family as I can, but I also know that they expect me to take a break after Santa Cruz.  I'm totally fine with this.  Taking it easy for a few months before I start it all up again in December to prepare for Oceanside will be welcome by everyone.  The truth is, I haven't taken a real break since I started in triathlon over 2 years ago.  Check out this chart from July of 2009 when I first started logging workouts.  Some months are bigger than others, but I've more or less kept my foot on the gas since the start.

Monthly training since July 2009
It's summer, so all my clients are out on tour and work is busy.  But I'm managing fine with that too. I'm also lucky that I can use the slightly odd hours required to work with the bands to my advantage.

So that's where I'm at.  What do you think?


XLMIC said...

I think it's way damned impressive. Making it all work in with life is a super hard juggle…throw in the dietary changes and the wacky work schedule and I would say it takes an incredible amount of discipline to do what you're doing. 'Doer of Stuff' definitely fits. Nice that the swim is getting better AND more enjoyable. Really excited for you that the dietary changes are working. Keep up the great work :)

valen said...

it's quite cool to have your prgress all laid out on a graph like that one. you;ve come a long way.

KovasP said...

Very impressive and the slight flexibility of your work schedule plus an understanding family is definitely helpful in fitting it all in. Sounds like you are approaching this, as you say, in a reasonable way.

Jennifer said...

I really enjoyed reading the details. Seems like you are really figuring it out while paying keen attention to your body. The diet info if interesting and something that I think you are right on about!

Unknown said...

You are doing a great job!! Juggling home life and our hobbies is crazy!! I like that you are staying focused!

misszippy said...

Looks pretty good to me. I think it's ok to skip off days as long as one day is only swimming. Keep hammering away!

Rad Runner said...

More and more often peeps are telling me "we need to do a tri" I think they are crazy, you are crazy (in a cool way like HOLY CRAP thats awesome) how do I get over this? and maybe give it a try, some day in this life time? Sincerely, Rad

Kate Geisen said...

Very impressive, especially the way you're able to combine all the training with work and family and keep that balance.

TRI714 said...

Very cool info.

Way to stay on pace and get it all done. From what I see it's half the battle.

DRog said...

excellent on the changes and halfway thru

instead of ice cream - the coconut based ice cream stuff rules - not even sure how it counts as not eating ice cream but ill take it

Ransick said...

Very impressive load specially with balancing work and family! Too bad the group rides are on Saturday. I like to do my long run Saturday and a long run or bike/run brick on Sunday.

I'm jealous you have access to open water. That would be great.

Johann said...

I absolutely admire you for sticking with this plan so well. Job well done Patrick! I'm really glad I never battle with motivation. I put the goals out and that's it. Keep it going!

Petraruns said...

Nice schedule - make sure you keep fueling enough though for that kind of pressure! I love that overall chart as well - looks great. I would be proud of 2 years like that..

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