Marathon recovery is done, transition week is over, and it’s back to serious training. I confess it’s tough to get back in the groove of two-a-day workouts after two weeks of tapering and two more “easy” weeks after the race. But this week is the real deal.
The biggest challenge for my first week of dedicated triathlon training is the extra swimming. Swimming is definitely my most significant limiter, so I’m devoting more energy to it during the base period of about 7 weeks. I want to build up my workout distance gradually to increase my endurance, and then try to add some speed during the build phase.
I’ve had two good swim sessions this week. The first one was 1500 yards, and this morning’s was 1650; not massive by any stretch, but among my longest workouts yet. Doing them back-to-back proved to be a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would… I felt the second workout all day at the office. Swimming at 6:00 a.m. doesn’t help, either. I feel pretty energized after an hour on the bike or a 30 minute run in the morning… swimming is more exertion for me than running or cycling. Guess that’s why it’s a limiter.
My other milestone for the week was getting back on the bike; an actual bike. The weather here has been amazing, even through the winter… but I wasn’t here, I was in Montreal. That meant that my cycling workouts were on a stationary bike. My travel schedule will dictate a few more of those in the near future, but I’m hoping to limit them as much as possible. It was wonderful to get back on the bike, although I think the search for all my gear took almost as long as the ride. However long it took, the ride was worth every minute.
Running is the smallest component of my base period. I’m doing four workouts each week, but two are limited to 30 minutes (about 3.5 miles). The longer workouts will come on weekends, with my longest run being on Sundays. Nothing more than about 1/2 marathon distance, and that only every few weeks. I admit to being relieved that, after the Century in the fall and the Marathon in the spring, all of my single-sport, 4+ hour workouts are behind me. I didn’t hate them, but four hours (or five or six, in the case of my longest bike rides) is a long time to do anything solo.
Throw in two or three strength training sessions, and you’ve got a pretty full week. I usually restrict the strength training to the evenings; I suppose it’s another one of those mental blocks. I just don’t like doing strength training first thing in the morning. I can, but I don’t like it.
Tomorrow is an early morning run, followed by an afternoon ride. There’s a chance for rain, which may require a little juggling of planned workouts. But, as we used to say in my C-130 Squadron, “Flexibility is the key to success, and indecision is the key to flexibility.”