Ahhh...training...my favorite topic! It occurred to me that I haven't written about training for some time. Not sure why other than sometimes I worry people don't want to read about the boring details of swimbikerun. But who am I kidding, even when I don't write about swimbikerun, my blogs are boring! HA!
So, what have I been up to? Well, training is getting serious over here in Pittsburgh, PA. Last weekend Dirk sent my new schedule that covers most of January. Let me first just say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting new schedules. I pour over all the details, re-write all the workouts, put them into my planner and figure out when I can go to masters, when will I do this workout or that workout, run first or bike first this day?, etc... It's awesome. Like Christmas morning! And then with each day, I cross the workouts off. But I keep all the sheets to look back through weeks, months (and soon...years) of work. It makes me giddy with excitement just thinking about it!
Anyway, let's start with swimming. I mostly find myself wishing I could do more. I'm also pretty convinced that when I'm done with triathlon (if that ever happens) I'm just going to swim. Like 5000 yds every day for years on end. I've always enjoyed swimming but the more I do it and the better I get, I like it even more. I found this program on the US Masters Swimming website called Go The Distance. The basic premise is that you set a certain goal for the number of miles you want to swim in a year, you log your workouts, and the program keeps track of if you are on pace or not. If you reach certain milestones you get prizes! The first milestone is 50 miles (no problem), 250 miles, 500 miles, and so on. Well the top prize is for those that swim 1500 miles in one year. Of course I immediately thought "I WANT TO DO THAT!" But then I calculated how many yards/week that would be. 50,769. Umm...WHAT???!!!???!!! I settled for a goal of 400 miles. :) If only I didn't have that pesky biking and running to do... Anyway, swimming is going well to say the least and I've really been challenging myself with some tough intervals that I normally wouldn't attempt. I'd say I've NOT made the interval on more swims these past couple weeks than all of last year. Which is actually a good thing. Stepping out of my comfort zone. I've been putting in a lot of weeks either at 20,000 yds or just a bit over but then Dirk pulls me back and I swim a 10,000 yd week. I hate those weeks. But I don't question Dirk. I know he knows what he's doing. Next up? Learn how to swim butterfly. :)
Biking up next. What I have to say about biking is this - I'm starting in a much better place this year than I did last year, both physically and mentally. My power numbers now are roughly the same that they were in May/June of last year. My newest schedule is starting to look a lot more like what I'm used to seeing - lots of hours on the bike. I'm not nearly as intimidated by it as I was last year at this time (I almost cried a few times last year) but I'm not stupid either - I know big bike miles are a challenge for me so I know it will be tough again as the hours start to add up. Time to giddy up on that front! :) (that giddy up was for you Kiet!) Next up? Getting a power meter. I can ride with power on my trainer (I have a Tacx trainer) but not when I'm out on the roads. I'm narrowing in on what I want to buy. Cycling technology is not my forte so I still have some research to do. Fun fun!
And finally running. Ahh running. I do love to run! Especially this time of year because it's one of the few activities I still do outside in the fresh (cold) air. :) This is probably the biggest difference in my training thus far this year vs last year - lots more running. Dirk truly is a mastermind though because despite an increase in run volume (which is usually the death of me), I have remained healthy and happy! Although I often say I can never find a rhyme or rhythm to Dirk's training plans, there truly is a master plan and when I really look, I can see the ever so slight builds he puts me through - not just week to week and month to month, but now also year to year. I'm lucky to have Dirk, that is for sure! Running is the sport that I see the most ups and downs in (always have) in that some days I feel AWESOME and some days, not so much. But I know feeling "good" is all relative and really doesn't have much to do with progress. Consistency and hard work does. Next up? Well, I don't really have a "next up" for running. But I do get to do a running race in one month - a half marathon! :)
I feel like I could go on and on and on and on... about training but I think I'll stop here. :) Although winter isn't my favorite, I do love this time of year because it's a time to really put your head down and WORK without being interrupted with racing too much. I love the routine of working hard and love the excitement I feel for each session. Yet I also know that *consistency* is key and in fact is the motto I've adopted for this season - consistency in training and making every session count, consistency in recovery, consistency in eating well and sleeping well. Consistently going about your work every single day.
Finally, I'll leave you with these two items that speak volumes for consistency...YEARS of consistency. :)
(1) An article about Desi Davila and her rise to become a favorite for the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston this month.
(2) Yet another awesome video of Jan Frodeno and the meaning of hard work.