#114 – The party’s over, now BACK TO WORK

“Christmas week is over, New Year’s week is a thing of the past….and now, well past the start of 2014, it’s time to get back to work”……those were my my thoughts when I woke up this morning…..the day after an insanely cold thermometer reading sealed it as an “inside” day (-6 deg is automatic “indoor” workout for this tender athlete)…..I took a look at my training plan and realized, the viking lady was in the midst of her crescendo…..that today was the first day of the rest of my season and so, it was time to get refocused on what is going to propel me to a new level of achievement, another big step toward my goals.  

Swim – pretty awful – but totally on schedule in that regard.  I got in the water for the first time in months last week and it wasn’t super smooth.  Of course, showing up to the local “Y” when the highschool swim team was there was, uh, humbling…..it was good for me to be there and start to build my desire to swim again.

Bike – I’ve got some more work to do here…..but I’m gaining strength and fitness, which is the goal of this stage of training.  The computrainer continues to be about the biggest help imaginable for me, but I need to keep building my mental endurance (and my butt-toughness) to be on the trainer.  I find my mind wanders pretty consistently at the 60 minute mark…..and I really need to build that up to 3+ hours in the short term.  I’ll also begin putting in greater frequency starting this week, so that should help.

Run – So far, the running has been coming along reasonably well and might even be a bright spot at this point.  I’ve been catching up with a good group that has started running out of BaseCamp31 on Saturdays for their regular 10+ miler (except for yesterday….as….to reiterate, that would be insane) and then trying to get a solid mid-week run in. The group is almost ideal for me at the moment, with several strong runners who can push the pace……which keeps me working hard.

Weekly Training Goals

This week it will be about having a solid step forward in total volume, to support the #1 goal of tolerating the training volume w/o injury. I’ll need to keep an eye on flexibility as well….as my hip-flexors are starting to resemble that of a cyclist (short).

1. Bike Miles >175
2. Run Miles >20
3. Swim Meters >6000

Session Objectives
During swim sessions this week, I’ve got to make sure I’m building up my endurance and keeping an eye on my R shoulder.  It got stiff last year and I didn’t address it aggressively enough and it persisted as a nag way too long.

On the bike, it’s all about mileage and volume….just get it in.  I’m happy with the progression of my power so far (although still not at goal), but I need to get comfortable putting in longer sessions.

On the run, I need to continue working on the back portion of my stride.  My cadence and strike are reasonable, however I know when I get tired, I’m crumpling up and not getting nearly as much power from the extension part of the stride as I could/should.  It’s a good thing to be conscious of.

Other – with the holidays over (thus my sugar consumption starting to wane) and my training volume about to start climbing, I should soon begin to see some body-comp changes in the next few weeks.  The trick for me is to manage it and not let my energy reserves get sapped.  

Hydration continues to be a daily reminder.  I’m not drinking enough, but I’m starting to be more mindful of it, so this will be important this week as well.  

Sleep has been (dare I say it) a bright spot these past weeks…..which is somewhat typical for me…..but that will end shortly….so I’ve got to be careful here as well.  

Stress has been reasonable, but this is something I need to put extra time into – actively managing it, if nothing else by giving myself true down-time here and there…..that is WAY tougher than it sounds.

Ramping up,

Mike E.