So I was riding this afternoon, my third ride in 2 days, and thinking that I am just so stoked to be training so differently right now. Sometimes I feel like quite the old dog in this triathlon game... My first triathlon was in 1995 and I've never missed a year of racing so you do the math. Anyway, part of my rationale for hiring a new coach was in hopes I'd learn something new and here we are, beginning week 3 and I feel like I am indeed learning all sorts of new stuff! It's fun and invigorating and I am happy.
So ya, I will admit, when I saw my training plan for this week (first glance) I was a little disappointed. Mostly b/c my first glance went to weekly totals and I saw 12 hours and went WTF!?! I am training for an Ironman 12 hours is not going to cut it. Right? Well I'm 2 days into my 12 hour week and feeling pretty trashed.
Lesson #1. I guess if you do it right, 12 hours can completely kick your ass.
We're currently 24 weeks out from Cabo right now so doing training that is the opposite of Ironman is not a bad approach to take for an athlete like me (ie temporarily tapped out on low/moderate intensity volume). Which means I'm ripping up 50's in the pool and hammering for 2' at a time on the bike and doing fartlek runs and strides. It's completely different than anything I've done in years! And honestly, absolutely NOT something I could probably make myself to do unless someone was telling me to do it.
Lesson #2. I work WAY harder when someone else tells me to do a workout and I know I am going to report back to them. This, for me, might actually be the biggest benefit of having a coach.
I got on my bike this afternoon and with the first pedal stroke my legs started yelping LOUDLY (ouch)... and it occurred to me that even though I had not ridden more than ~30 miles at a time, when you do 3 such rides in 2 days, it adds up! So I got ~90 miles on the bike within ~30 hours time frame and the quality was quite a bit higher than what I would have done in a straight 90 miles. She's sneaky in how she set that up... making me think I wasn't biking long! My mind is already spinning in how I can use a similar strategy stacking workouts with some of my athletes this winter. ;)
Lesson #3. If you train often enough, and hard enough, it's way harder than just training long.
I'm sure going forward I'll have plenty of lessons about running... right now the focus is on the bike (obviously). Project: Transform Michelle Into Uberbiker has begun! ;) Of course I really like this part. I'm just hoping Sam isn't underestimating the massive challenge it will be when it comes time for Project: Transform Michelle Into Runner... That part might be harder.