Friday, May 19, 2006

Training Strategy and Workouts

Thanks for all your helpful and insightful comments! It's hard to fit everything in. My body is adjusting to a higher load this week than last. I am trying to gradually increase but it's more like stair steps instead of a gradual slope. I seem to train hard 1 week, less hard the following, then a little harder the week after, less hard, etc. Every month I take an R&R, on one of my less hard weeks, where the training drops to 1/2 or less of the volume on a hard week. This seems to work pretty well for me. I've been attending lots of the tri club workouts, and I think it's been killer on my body. Now, I need a chance to adapt.

Yesterday, I was planning on attending the tri club's Aquathlon at La Jolla Shores after work. I've been feeling frazzled at lab since I have to present at lab meeting next week and get everything organized. Plus, I'm going out of town this weekend to visit my folks in Nor Cal (and do Bay to Breakers in San Fran while I'm up there). In addition, all the tri club workouts have left me feeling worn out. I was really looking forward to the open water swim, and the run afterwards would be good medicine for me. But by the time 5:00 p.m. rolled around, I was frazzled and could barely keep my eyes open. I decided to scrap the workout and head home. I could feel that my body was just too exhausted and sore to contemplate doing it well and putting the effort into it. So I went home and took a nice, long nap.

I felt guilty about missing the Aquathlon, but I know deep down, it was the right thing to do. It's frustrating to have to hold back when you're read to go, go, go. Anyway, I felt very refreshed when I woke up and calmer. I packed for the weekend and cleaned up the apartment so I felt less distracted. Jason was home, and we both hadn't worked out yet so I suggested we go down to the gym and go for a run. We headed down but it was closed for repair. Undaunted (I was reallly in the mood for a run!), I suggested we go outside. Jason was reluctant; it was dark and 10:30 at night. In St. Louis, this would have never been an option because of safety issues. But UTC is so safe--sidewalks, street lamps, lots of people around all the time. In addition, I felt very safe with Jason. Plus, we hadn't been running together since January, we barely see each other because he's always at school and I'm always at lab, and he's my favorite training partner! I begged him, and he finally gave in.

We set out for a 4-mile round trip out-and-back run to the UCSD campus and back. The night was crisp and smelled of sweet flowers. People were out walking their dogs, couples walking, students, studying late, returning home for the evening. I felt so comfortable. I fell into a pace and had no trouble keeping up with Jason (which is amazing; he's fast!). I felt very zippy. I did lots of fartleks (every time a good song came on my shuffle, which was often), and before I knew it, the run was over, and I felt completely revitalized.

Since I had skipped the swim earlier, I felt I could do some light weight lifting. I followed the run with a good 30 minutes of weights. I did lots of oblique, upper and lower ab stuff, push-ups for my chest, triceps, shoulders, and rows for my upper back. I finished it off with some work on my hip abductors (my weak spot). The only thing I didn't do was quads since they're pretty sore already. (I never do calves or hamstrings b/c they're too tight anyway). Then, I stretched for about 15 minutes (felt great) before grabbing a bowl of cereal and hitting the hay.

This morning, before lab, I got up and hooked up the bike to the trainer. I had a great aerobic, but recovery ride on the bike for about 45 minutes. Enough to get my heart pumping and flush the lactic acid out of my legs. I feel like I'm going full speed.

This evening, I'm looking foward to seeing my family in Nor Cal. Sunday is Bay to Breakers!!! I'm excited b/c I've been running so well. NO FOOT OR KNEE PAIN!!! I can't believe how happy I am just to be able to work out pain-free.


Anonymous said...

Awesome night run! Night running is my favorite. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where I can do it. It can be surreal. Quiet, stars, moonlight, sometimes other night runners, and one time, a friendly stray dog that followed me for 3 miles. All my weekday winter runs were between 8 and 11pm after work. Have fun in Norcal. How cool that you're doing the Bay to Breakers.

Paul said...

The aquathlon had a huge turnout somewhere around 100 people. My race didn't go so well. Have fun up in da bay.