Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pushing it and having fun

Yesterday, I busted my butt to get up to Encinitas, fighting traffic the whole way. It took me an hour to drive 15 miles. Ridiculous. Needless to say, I was a good 10 minutes late for the tri club bike workout. The adrenaline was pumping b/c I really didn't want to miss the group. I decided, worst-case scenario, I would go it alone, using the directions the coach had e-mailed us beforehand. However, when I got there, the group was lined up, listening to the pre-ride talk. They were ultra-nice. I felt really bad about making them wait, and I told them to go ahead but they said they didn't mind and waited anyway while I put on my bike shoes and helmet and got my bike off the car.

We took off, and I felt totally disoriented. I already felt like I had been racing to get there so I was kind of frazzled. Plus, I didn't quite know what the gameplan was since I had missed most of the pre-ride talk. Also, no warm-up. Also, everyone else was super-fast...faster than me anyway so I went from 0 to sprint right away. 3 miles later, I was huffing and puffing and my legs were screaming. I let the group pull ahead and just settled into my own pace, deciding I could figure it out. Again, worst-case scenario, I would fudge the ride and figure out something. As long as I knew how to get back, it would be fine.

Mentally, I started to settle down but my body had a hard time since I had been going, going, going. In addition, I felt tired. My legs were sore, and I had no power. I knew it was from lack of recovery since I had a long, hard bike on Sunday and a hilly, hard bike on Tuesday. Now, Wednesday, I'm back on the bike, sprinting. Despite all these setbacks, I didn't mind. I accepted where I was and just focused on having a good workout.

The group was super-nice. I missed the first turn, and they all made sure I knew where it was as they passed me going back. I turned back and got back on track. The coach stayed behind at the second turn and waited for me so he could make sure I knew where to go. I didn't expect that at all. Very, very considerate.

I made it back to the car/transition area, changed into my running shoes, and the coach gave me course directions for a 5K run. I had been looking forward to the run all week. My foot has been feeling better, and I've been aching to run more since it's my favorite activity. My legs had the familiar heavy, dead feeling you get when running off the bike. However, I noticed it went away much faster than previous bricks. Only 3 minutes into my run, I found a very comfortable pace. I went into a zone and floated down the street. My form felt smooth and easy. I relaxed and started to really settle down. I had a lot of fun looking at all the shops I passed around town. After the first loop, I checked my watch and realized I needed a 2nd loop for 3 miles. This would have been an easy time to quit; I could see the car. Normally, I would have to push myself. This time, I didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep going. It was awesome. The second loop was even better than the first. I came back to the car, feeling fresher than when I had started. I even felt like I could go farther but I didn't want to push it. Best thing? No foot pain!!! Unbelievable. Also, I didn't have any knee pain on the bike. Yea!!!

The coach asked how I felt and was surprised when I told him I felt better after the run than the bike. He also was surprised when I told him I had done two loops. Guess he figured after my performance on the bike that I would be a slow runner. He was very nice though and never made me feel bad about being sapped on the bike. I think I probably just needed more recovery from biking but since I hadn't been running in a few days, was fresh for running.

Ending on a good note was a great thing. I also met some new, friendly people. I am so sore today. Good sore. I stretched a lot last night. It felt great. Obviously, I chose to sleep in this morning rather than weight lift. Sore, tired muscles don't make for good weight lifting. I feel I'm training smart and hard so I'm happy. However, I haven't been able to make room for weight training, which is important for me since I lack strength and power. Normally, I do it twice a week. It's not that I don't have the time, my body just can't handle it this week. I'm training as hard as my body can safely handle right now, and there's just no more room for anything else. How do you reconcile this?

Question of the Day:
How do you balance weight training with running, swimming, and biking plus recovery time when the triathlon stuff tires your body out?


Cliff said...

Weight lifting is the one that i usually bail if my body is tired. Right now I am going to the gym only once a week instead of two. I rather use the time to stretch or yoga (which we triathletes definitely need).

As for power and strength, I think u can develop it on the bike?

But going back, I would say focus on the bike,swim or run. Apecific sports activities will definitely help u improve (cardio, skills and power). The only exception is that if your doc say you should do leg exercise so you dont' get injure.

Cliff said...

...good job on the brick :)...being strong in the run is a good sign :D.

jessie_tri_mn said...

I do core work along with a yoga session once a week and call it strength training.

It's waaaaay too easy to slack on this! Hill repeats on the run or bike, and swimming with paddles are also good strength exercises.

Nice brick! Good recovery on the run :)

theseamonster said...

I'm struggling just to add a core workout to my schedule. I don't have time to do the weights so I make sure I ride/run in hills at least 1x per week.

Sounds like you had a really nice time with the club. Those group rides/runs really take some of the boredom off of training.

jameson said...

i am really big on strength training but I have had to cut way back with my current load of swimming/cycling/running. right now I do core on Mon/Thurs and lift weights (upperbody only) on wednesdays and only if i don't have a race on the weekend.

I had to totally drop lifting with my legs. It was really affecting the quatlity of my run/bike workouts. And they are defintely more important. I will hit the weights hard again in the fall/winter.

glad to hear the foots feeling better!!

Habeela said...

What a great brick! Weights...they're my optional thing but if I do them I do them just before or just after my swims because my pool is attached to a gym. If you do it right (minimal exercises done in a circuit) you can finish it in 15 minutes. And that's not so much extra time 2 times a week.

Jessi said...

I used to lift 5 times a week but have recently cut back to 3 times a week - one session each for upper body, lower body, and core. Like Jameson, I find that the lower body sessions really affect my bike/run. I haven't dropped the lower body lifting, but I do make sure to schedule it on a swim day, so that I have at least a day to rest before I do a hard run or bike. It's tough to find time for it all, I agree! You can check my training schedule (sidebar on my blog) for more details if you're interested.

Jack said...

I showed up for a 10K race once and got to the Start just as the starting gun went off, I felt totally disoriented for awhile as you mentioned - since then I alway seem to show up way too early.

I have trouble getting in my weight training as well, and I only run and swim! Next year I want to try a Tri so will probably be worse off - if that's possible.

Great job on the brick!

Jenö said...

Great brick! Happy to hear the foot is feeling better!

No idea what the magic recipe is, but I, too, am usually likely to drop or ease off on the weights. Then again, getting up the big mountains is all about getting acclimatized, right?

Paul said...

Honestly your body will start to adapt to the training load. You just need to set realistic goals and build your loads gradually. Keep in mind not to increase too much from week to week. the 10% rule is pretty good here. Don't forget your rest days and easy weeks. Your body needs a slower week to recover and adapt from your training loads. Try 3 weeks builing load and 1 easy week. Same number of workouts just less volume and intenisty.

Good work!