I’ve just completed 12 weeks of base training for the 2016 season.

By the numbers:

  • 175.5 hours of total training
  • 14.63 hours/week average
  • 1 day with no training (Dec. 12 – I don’t recall why)
  • Time spent swimming – 30:15:00
  • Percentage of training time swimming – 17.2%
  • Distance swam – 90,880m
  • Days I swam – 57 of 84
  • Time spent cycling – 94:31:37
  • Percentage of training time cycling – 53.9%
  • FTP Improvement – 10W (315 – 325W)
  • Cycling TSS – 5325.4
  • Time spent running – 45:03:27
  • Percentage of training time running – 25.7%
  • Distance run – 575km
  • Longest run – 32.2km
  • Highest weekly milage – 104km (Los Angeles)
  • Time spent doing other exercise – 5:40:00
  • Percentage of training time doing other exercise – 3.24%
Training breakdown by time

Training breakdown by time

What I did well

  1. Got to the pool consistently.  My 500m TT in the pool has improved from 8:15 to 7:20 (1:39/100 to 1:28/100).  I’ve swam 50 of the past 57 days totalling 77,980m in the pool.  That’s only aver aging about 1560m per swim, but I’m getting into the pool regularly, and I’m developing a better feel for the water.
  2. Went long on the trainer.  Before this year I only rode 3-hours on the trainer once.  Mentally, going over 1:30 was tough, and over 2:00 seemed ridiculous, so in the past I would either substitute or eliminate the long trainer ride.  But after Lisa was crushing her 3-hour rides I finally decided to go long.  A mix of movies and tasty nutrition made the ride seem less daunting, and in the last couple weeks I’ve even been able to push the power so that it no longer feels like a long, drawn-out ride.
  3. Backed off when I felt off.  Now I can’t claim to be perfect at this, but I will say that I’m much improved.  I had a cold in January, and I’ve had a couple little niggles here and there.  I also felt really fatigued for a couple days in February.  Instead of just trying to muscle my way through the workout I scratched, or reduced, workouts from my plan.  It’s tough to say, but it seems to have helped me recover more quickly.

What I didn’t do well

  1. Didn’t run enough.  Looking back at the runs I did over the last 12 weeks I substituted far to many runs.  It could have been substituting a hard run for a shorter or easier run.  Or it could have been substituting a run for a bike when it was cold or slippery.  I made a habit of it, and that’s something I need to change.
  2. Didn’t run fast.  I can’t continue to rely on the marathon fitness I had in 2014 to carry me through this year like it did last year.  I need to run faster, and to do that I need to make sure I’m running fast more frequently.  That means doing more intervals and tempo runs with more regularity.

Plans for the build phase

  1. Increase run volume.  I’m going to experiment with a 2-hour mid-week run in my training plan.  I’ll try doing some different things with this run.  I’ll do a big chunk of it at slightly faster than my goal IM marathon pace (4:15-4:20).  This will start at about 10k and build over the weeks.  I may also try doing a couple of fast 5k tempo efforts within this run on other weeks.  By adding a second long-ish run to my week I think it should help my increase my milage and get some quality miles in my legs.  It will also take some pressure off my weekend long run so that on that run my only concern is getting in some long miles.
  2. Re-introduce treadmill bricks.  Last year I regularly ran 5k treadmill bricks at a hard effort off most of my bikes.  This accounted for most of my run quality.  I’m planning my run a little differently this year, but I plan to get back into the habit of doing this once a week.  I try to do these quicker than 4:00/km pace, and my plan is to build these up towards 30min.
  3. Push my FTP.  I need to continue to work hard on the bike to continue to see FTP gains.  350 is my goal target for the summer, so I still have a long way to go.

Other Notes

  • So far on my long rides I’ve eaten Timbits twice (about 12 for a 3-hour ride), Pilsbury Cinnamon Rolls (I ate 6 during the ride and the other 2 right after cause I was so hungry), and Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars (1/3 of the box)
  • Except for 1030m I swam at the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri, the other 89,850m I’ve swam has all been at my condo pool (that’s 3594 lengths in that pool)
  • I eat 1 jujube every 4-minutes when I ride my bike during the week (my long ride I switch it up)
  • I drink 1 bottle of fluid per 40min on the bike, this was just water, but I’m now adding Nuun or Scratch to add some sodium
  • Coke or Lemonade are current favourites after a tough run