Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Breaking Through

Whole bunch of stuff to write about today!

Let's start with a training update... I'd say the biggest take-away I'm getting from my current training plan is the polarization of EASY vs HARD. I think last year a ton of my training fell into the mod/hard category... I went without data a lot and most days just pretty much gave it what I had that day then backed it up again the following day again giving it what I had and then the next day giving it whatever was left. And after ~a year of that you know what was left for race day? Nothing.

Interesting with my training plan now I get power caps for my long/easy rides. I will be honest- at first I resisted this wondering if there was really any benefit to going that easy?? I mean, you know I am a HUGE fan of aerobic training and all but when I cap my power like that, HR is even like 10 beats below what I would consider MAF aerobic. I'm sort of used to it at this point though and will admit there's a sense of relaxed relief when I see long/easy ride on my schedule b/c I know that even if I'm out there all day it will really take nothing out of me... and I don't really have to think at all throughout the ride just cruise easy and look at the ocean. Then the next day inevitably I get to do something quite a bit harder and you know how much energy I have left for that? All of it! It's pretty cool to experience this polarized type of training and I can absolutely see how this would/could/should result in faster racing. I can see it in training already (at least on swim and bike) that when my easy days are not just easy but ridiculously easy, my hard days end up with a bit of a breakthrough in power/speed which is super motivating! Seeing those kinds of breakthroughs gives me confidence to continue to keep my easy days EASY.

Swimming has been LEGIT lately too. Yikes. It's good of course and I really like the sessions I'm getting but there is definitely more suffering involved in the pool than I'm used to (and I'm used to suffering in the pool!) Monday the main set was 8x250's as first 50 fly straight into 200 steady swim... It's been like 20 years since I've really trained much fly so 400M of it was kind of a lot... and when you're swimming fly longcourse you really miss the wall/turn at the 25! That first 50 swim after the 50 fly was nothing short of hypoxic hell every time but was pretty proud of myself for even making that one without giving up and breaking into 1-arm fly... I was thinking I never would have made myself do that set but since Marilyn wrote it there was no backing out! It was definitely some good practice too in swimming strong even when feeling severely uncomfortable. Swimming butterfly brings out a level of discomfort that goes well beyond what I can do to myself with freestyle.

I think my swimming has been big recently as a sort of replacement for my running not being big... BUT, I've finally had a bit of a breakthrough with this lower leg injury thing. In good news I found a local chiropractor who is also a triathlete so he understands what we're doing to ourselves on a daily basis... If you're local here and need some help with whatever ails you, check out Dr Zen at The Zen Center. I was super impressed with how thorough he was in examining my lower legs and the treatment/adjustment he did was excellent. I could tell he was going out of his way to really help me. I walked out of there feeling better than I had in a long time and have been jogging pain free ever since! Marilyn is super conservative when it comes to building back from injury so my run instructions often include the words WALK and SHUFFLE like a little old lady, etc... But whatever I'm happy to go easy for now and build back the smart way which hopefully will keep me on the roads consistently going forward for the rest of the year. 6 weeks of ZERO running was so shitty I do not want to have to endure that again so if that means starting back with just 20' easy walk/jogging, whatever. I'm game!

In other exciting news, TeamBSC is offering up a pretty cool opportunity right now... If you're an athlete who has been considering hiring a coach but just haven't yet made the leap for whatever reason, check out Krista's latest blog. As she is building her coaching group right now she has offered up FREE coaching to one lucky athlete. I've had the opportunity to watch/help Krista get started with her coaching and can tell you that she is totally 'on it' with her athletes. She pays attention, she communicates well, and she has the knowledge/passion to help her athletes reach their triathlon goals. This is really a great chance for someone to see how much having a great coach can benefit your season. Hiring a coach is not magic, of course- YOU still have to do the work as directed... and you have to communicate feedback after you do your sessions... but taking the thinking/guessing out of it is wonderful and quite energy saving. So stop procrastinating and send Krista your story. Maybe you'll be the lucky one she picks?!? Then you too could be a TeamBSC athlete. :)

Finally, I'll leave you with a little story about our backyard chickens...
Every afternoon I gather up the cats and lock them inside then go open up the door to the coop and the chickens all happy fly right out. They get at least an hour to run around the yard, sometimes more. Did you know chickens eat lizards? Truth. I've seen it. Anyway, at some point before dusk I go back outside to help them back into the safety of their coop. It's easy with the two red ones- I just show them the food and they walk right up the ramp no problem. With Snow though we've had some challenges... She has not yet conquered the ramp (won't even go near it!?!) and consequently I've unsuccessfully chased her around the yard for quite some time (looking like a total moron I'm sure!)... We finally resorted to going with a two person attack where we would corner her and then quickly leap to catch her... Recently though she has made it a bit easier. I think she finally understands that I'm trying to help her not hurt her. The last few evenings I've gone out and just sort of squatted down with my hands out and we have this little stare down contest. Two nights ago she begrudgingly hopped into my hand and then squawked bloody murder while I carefully carried her to the coop... Last night though it took her less time... I held out my hand and she jumped right into it like she completely understood the drill. And she didn't squawk as if she was super scared. I know it sounds crazy to be so proud of a little breakthrough like that with a chicken, but I'm pretty proud of that little breakthrough I had with my chicken. :)


Katie said...

QT2 has also taught me the importance of super easy days mixed in with the hard workouts. Like you, I resisted at first, but now the easy days are SO AWESOME! Glad to read your finding some progress on your calf!

Melissa Christensen said...

Hm, I might be doing too much hard these days. We'll see. Most of my running is hard, but I have way more rest days. Maybe those would just be easy days?

I love that you have chickens. A lot of people have them by me, but I don't think our HOA allows them in our specific neighborhood. Even though we border a cattle ranch. Boo.

Kris said...

Love this and also I just love the chicken stories. They are just so cute! Please keep them coming. :)