Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking back as I prepare to move forward

I’ve seen a few folks posting their 2012 training totals online recently so it made me curious to check out mine. Since I am a data junkie, I decided I would also compare to other years.

Below are the results: I cannot believe that I have 9 years of data… that’s dorky! It’s also hard to draw any particular conclusions between volumes and how I raced each year. Sorry that it's hard to read...

2012 = 426,088yds swim; 6,000mi bike and 917mi run
One ironman race (Cozumel)

2011 = 418,202yds swim;  6,926mi bike; 1,015mi run
No ironman races

2010 = 442,259yds swim; 7,681mi bike 1,043mi run
Epic Camp and two Ironman races (St. George, Hawaii)

2009 = 479,548yds swim; 7,552mi bike; 1,129mi run
One ironman race (Hawaii)

2008 = 390,937yds swim; 6,359mi bike; 1,259mi run
One ironman race (Arizona)

2007 = 370,264yds swim; 6,796mi bike; 1,030mi run
No ironman races

2006 = 279,064yds swim; 5,861mi bike; 1,153mi run
One iroman (Arizona). London for 4 mths w/ no bike. Broken hand

2005 = 349,596yds swim; 8,531mi bike; 1,239mi run
2 ironman races (New Zealand, Hawaii)

2004 = 566,135yds swim; 7,540mi bike; 854mi run
1st ironman (Lake Placid). Running injury (ITB) for most of year

The only things I will say about the above data is that I have accumulated a pretty big base of cycling miles over the years and I think that helped me get away with fewer miles in the legs (just 5x 5hr+ rides to train for Cozumel – all the rest were sub 4hrs or less). Secondly, I need more run miles… I ran out of endurance at Cozumel and some of my better running came in 2008-2009 when run miles were above 1,100/year.

As I look ahead to 2013, I have 3 races currently on the calendar: California 70.3, Vineman 70.3 and Ironman Hawaii. There will be other local races but those are the main ones. One of my main goals is better running so my coach and I have already talked about more frequent running throughout the season, as long as I can remain injury-free.

I also decided to review and reflect on my training for my last Ironman (Cozumel 2012), to make sure I was not forgetting certain elements of the training that I found challenging as well as the areas of training that were successful.

Here are my notes for the 10 weeks of training that I completed for Ironman Arizona Cozumel… I’ll be looking back at these notes when the going gets tough this season as I juggle my job in finance, a construction project (building a house), supporting my husband (also works full time and is training for Ironman racing) and stay in touch with friends and family

Training period was September 10th to Race day = 10/11 weeks
• After some very consistent swimming throughout the season, I slipped to swimming only 1-2x week in the build-up to the ironman
• Overall volume was quite low with peak week of 19hrs but with 15hrs being more the norm
• Run volume was low and there was not a single run longer than 1:45. I didn’t even do many easy 30-45min runs.
• Even with the low volume, I still seemed to get very tired
• I had to travel a lot during this timeframe – 3 cross-country work trips (2x NYC and 1x Miami) and one personal trip (Maui)
• I never run very fast in training. Barely any sub-7:30 pace.
• While there were only 5x5hr rides, there appears to be a big bike focus in here, which indicates why the bike was my strongest discipline by far

Week 1
Week after Vegas 70.3 was all about recovery. 9 hours total training where the longest ride was 2.5hrs and power was generally below 160w. Longest run was 1hr (7 easy miles).

Week 2
My back was bugging me post Vegas so running volume/frequency needed to be managed carefully. Things began to ramp up in week 2 as total training hours jumped to 16+hrs and the weekend consisted of a 115 mile ride (6hr 45min) and a 12 mile run (1hr 43min) but only one other run of 30mins.

Week 3
I had to travel to NYC this week so no swim/bike during the week but I completed two x 1 hour treadmill sessions with pace work and another easy treadmill session during the week in NYC. On my return to SF, Saturday’s big workout was a 100 mile ride (6hrs) with 2x 1 hour of power sections (toggling between 5’ at 190-200w and 5’ at 160-175w for an hour). I followed this ride with my best ever t-run from a long training ride… 6mile run in 47mins. I only managed one swim the entire week :( Total training time was 15hrs.

Week 4
I was back in the SF office all week so it was a fairly standard training week except that I missed a swim workout. I did 2x 90min computrainer sessions on the bike where I aimed to spend a good chunk (30+mins out of the 90mins) of time riding 200w+. I also did two 80min aerobic runs during the week. The weekend was noted by coach as a *big bike weekend*. Saturday was a 4hr ride where the goal was to increase watts each hour for 3 of the 4 hours (1st hour was 155w, 2nd hour 166w and 3rd hour 175w). Sunday was an aerobic 3 hour ride and a long swim

Week 5
Due to the Columbus Day holiday, the *big bike weekend* continued into week 5 with another 5hr ride with 2x 1 hour of power sections (once again, 60mins of toggling between 5’ @190-200w and 5’ @160-175w). As I wrote in my training log “my legs were tired and screaming at me most of the time on climbs... heart rate was low... I was tired!”

After the Monday holiday, it was also another travel week for work as I headed to Miami for a conference. I swam one day. I took one day off and only managed a 45min treadmill run on the third day of the trip. I was rested for the weekend which brought on another fairly big effort. I rode 6hrs aerobic on Saturday (included 6x 70secs at 240w) with a 4mile/30min run off the bike. Fast for me! Sunday was a swim and a 90min aerobic (?!?) trail run.

Week 6
No travel this week but I still took it easy for the first two days with a rest day followed by a light spin. The weather was scorching in San Francisco and my mid-week 5x1mile progression run (descend from 8:30 to 7:30 over 5 miles) was a disaster but I seemed to make up for it with a strong computrainer class the next day (lots of time above 200w!).

The weekend ride was an interesting one… 4 hours at Ironman watts! I have never really ridden such a steady state training ride before so I was worried when I did not feel so great. I was on a new bike and we rode the Silverado trail in Napa so we could TT as much as possible. I managed 170w average for the four hours but felt uncomfortable a lot of the time. I also bagged on the run, completing only 30mins of the prescribed 60mins. Thankfully I made it through the week, wrapping up with a 12+ mile interval run on Sunday (1hr 42mins) that left me feeling much better about my running.

Week 7
Once again, the first two days of the week were all about active recovery with swimming and easy spinning. Wednesday was a treadmill session but I got through it happy, able to hit the prescribed paces. The end of the week brought more travel! This time it was a personal trip to support my husband and friends racing Xterra Maui. I packed my road bike and the highlight of our four day trip was a 5hr ride up and down Haleakala… 10,000ft of climbing! I also managed a little running and swimming during the trip but the travel ate into training time so I logged just 13.5 hours for the week.

Week 8
Another chill start to the week to recover post-travel but midweek brought about a hard treadmill session that lasted 90mins backed up with a hard computrainer class the next day. Ouch! I also completed two Purplepatch swims during the week but missed a weekend swim.

The weekend brought more biking: Almost 6hrs and 105 miles in the East Bay (Del Puerto Canyon ride) followed by a 7mile/60min run that built in pace by 2mi segments. I was supposed to back that up with a 3 hour ride and 2hr run the next day but I was tired and completed only a 2hr ride and 1:15 run. I was not happy that I had fallen apart so badly, especially after a successful day of training the day prior.

Week 9
Day off on Monday and just a swim on Tuesday but found my legs halfway through a Wednesday morning bike class. I had to fly to New York (again!) for 24 hours that week so I included a NY Plaza hotel treadmill session of 5 x 1 mile build, descending from 8:30 to 7:30 pace by mile. Thankfully, I had reached taper week so it was a very light weekend of training and I was able to recover from the travel. I was supposed to ride 3 hours on Saturday but somehow only managed 1 hour but I cannot remember why! Rain? The rest of the weekend’s training went as planned.

Week 10 (pre-race week Arizona)
Light-ish week kicked off with a 2hr spin on Monday and then shorter swim, bike, run workouts sprinkled through the next few days.

Week 11 (pre-race week Cozumel)
I got food poisoning the night before Arizona and never made it to the start line. I switched plans and scored an entry to Cozumel the following week. I eased myself into this week to ensure my body recovered from the illness. I did some harder bike efforts on the Wednesday with an easy run off the bike. Once in Mexico I just did easy sessions to acclimate.

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