January 8, 2012

Ironman Week 1


am: conditioning / 1:00
Despite the 6am start, I've started to enjoy getting a good workout in before the sun comes up. I haven't talked about these workouts yet, but they started at the beginning of December and will continue through the end of February, two times a week. It's basically a mix of plyos, circuits, and strength training, building in intensity each week. It's also geared toward triathletes specifically. Although I know the importance of strength training, it's always been easier said than done, so I'm glad that this forces me to do it! After one month, I already feel like I'm getting stronger : )
hello, sunrise!
pm: swim / 1,100 yds / 0:32
The focus of this workout was technique. It was fairly short in length, but I wasn't totally sure of the drills so I looked up videos beforehand and hoped I was doing things right! A couple felt somewhat awkward, but turns out I did indeed do them right! 
  • warm-up: 200
  • main:
    • 100 front kick
    • 4x50 side kick (25 l/25 r)
    • 4x50 side-to-side
    • 4x50 catch-up
  • cool-down: 200
am: run / 5 mi / 0:44 / avg 8:20
Picked up the pace this morning to complete my run test! Felt similar to a tempo and ended up being a pretty intense workout, but I was happy with the results. Averaged an 8:04 pace for the 30 minute time trial. Also was my first time using a heart rate monitor...and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be : )

am: bike / 8 mi / 0:32 / avg 15 mph
Since I didn't have to be at work til noon and the scheduled ride was short, I decided to do it right after my run. My legs were definitely a little tired, but the half hour went by pretty quickly.

am: conditioning / 1:00
This workout absolutely killed my arms! It was hard to even hold them up to the steering wheel on the ride home, haha.

pm: swim / 1,500 yds / 0:36
This was my first evening swim after work. I used to swim after work all the time over the summer, but then it was warm and still light out; can't say the same now! On my way to the gym my stomach suddenly cramped up really bad, and for a while I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete the workout. I sat in the car til they finally subsided a bit then figured I'd give it a go. The focus on the workout was endurance, with 300s being the distance du jour. My arms were still tired from the morning's workout, but I powered through!
  • warm-up:
    • 200
    • 6x50 fast on 1:30
  • main:
    • 3x300 @ 2:05 on 6:40
  • cool-down: 100
night swimming - thank god it's heated!

pm: bike / 15 mi / 0:55 / avg 16.3 mph
Completed my bike test on an absolutely gorgeous day! Hard effort but felt good, averaging 17.5 mph for the 30 minute time trial. Also wore my compression socks during the ride for the first time which seemed to keep my calves feeling fresher.

pm: run / 5 mi / 0:45 / avg 9:10
Headed out about an hour after my ride and wasn't sure how my legs would feel after pushing it on the bike. They were a little heavy for the first mile but warmed up as I went and it actually turned out to be a pretty good run!


am: run / 10 mi / 1:29 / avg 8:54
My last long before Houston! Commuted to work on my usual route on a surprisingly warm January morning. Didn't feel bad, but didn't feel great. A little tired, but still managed to average a sub-9 pace. I wore my HR monitor and despite trying to keep it easy, I couldn't get out of a higher zone. Not sure what this means... I also may have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to HR! I think part of the problem, however, is that I'm in serious need of some TLC for my muscles. That means lots of trigger pointing, stretching, and foam rolling over the next week. Need to get these legs feeling fresh!

pm: swim / 1,400 yds / 0:33
This swim was originally planned for Sunday but it fit into my schedule better Saturday evening, plus I figured it would make a nice recovery swim after my 10 miler that am. I had the whole pool to myself, probably because I'm the only one with no social life who chooses to spend their Saturday night working out : / Haha! The focus was on endurance, although right now that still means 200s : ) I nailed the 2:00 pace for them, although I did feel a little tired during the workout. Finished the evening with a nice soak in the jacuzzi!
  • warm-up:
    • 300
    • 100 kick
  • main:
    • 4x200 @ 2:00 on 4:30
  • cool-down: 4x50
am: bike / 9.8 mi / 0:30 / avg 19.4 mph**
This workout was mostly a fail. It was straightforward enough, but in execution it just wasn't happening. It was basically an easy 30 minutes with some single-leg drills thrown in the middle, so it was recommended to use a spin bike or trainer. This was fine by me because I had to work earlier than usual this morning and it was dark by the time I got off. I've only used my trainer a couple times, and neither have been positive experiences. I feel like I don't set things up right as it never feels very "smooth". Maybe I'm just not doing it right!? When I tried the single-leg drills, something just wasn't right; it was way more jerky than it should've been. After a few tries I decided to just call it a wash and just do an easy 30 minutes sans drills.

**And then there's all the gadgets: HR, Garmin, cadence sensor. None of which seemed to want to cooperate tonight. The cadence sensor is supposed to give speed and distance data (plus rpms) while inside, which they did (except for rpms), but for most of the workout it had me riding at 19+ mph, and let me just say, there's no way in hell! My heart rate was also strangely low, like 120s, which is the zone 1 for me for running. Seemed kind of odd, but then again, what do I know about HR? So while I'm sure the speed and distance data is off, at least I got in a decent 30 minutes in the saddle. Let me just say I'm ready for the sun to stay out later in the evenings! The trainer and I are not friends.

swim: 4,000 yards
bike: 32.8 miles
run: 20 miles
other: 2 hours
total time: 8.6 hours


  1. I love swimming outside at night! Good thing the pool is heated though!

  2. Looks like a solid routine...good luck in your Ironman training!

  3. I've had the saem experience on the trainer. Have only tried it (borrowed a friends) a few times or so but could never get it to feel smooth, always a little jerky. Or like there's way too much, or non-existent, resistance. I've also assumed this is user error but who knows. Just got a new trainer for xmas & plan on breaking it in tonight. Hoping for better results! Good luck in Houston!!

  4. Every single time I read your blog I get so impressed- you do so so much!!! Good luck with next week of training!!!

  5. Great week! That pool looks awesome, I'd kill for that. It would make me hate swimming a lot less!

  6. Update Rachel: I tried the new trainer and it was very smooth. Such a relief! It's a basic Ascent trainer from Performance Bike. A little noisy as it's a mag, not fluid. But I just dropped the gears down, turned up the tv volume, and the pedaling went great :)