The last 8 weeks have been a build phase in my training.  Well, at least that’s what the past 8 weeks were supposed to be.  The reality is that I spent a lot of my time spinning my tires and not really going anywhere.

By the numbers:

  • 121.25 hours of total training
  • 15.16 hour/week average
  • 0 days with no training
  • March 31 was my shortest day, 30 minute easy swim
  • Time spent swimming – 27:59:00
  • Percentage of training time swimming – 23.1%
  • Distance swam – 84,311m
  • Days I swam – 48 of 56
  • Time spent cycling – 68:42:30
  • Percentage of training time cycling – 56.7%
  • FTP Improvement – 5W (325 – 330W)
  • Cycling TSS – 3357.6
  • Time spent running – 21:30:06
  • Percentage of training time running – 17.7%
  • Distance run – 289km
  • Longest run – 30k
  • Highest weekly milage – 59.3k (20.8k was lowest)
  • Time spent doing other exercise – 3:00:00
  • Percentage of training time doing other exercise – 2.48%

2016 Build Training Graph

What I did well:

  1. A couple good run races.  The Achilles 5k I ran an unexpected PB of 16:53, and at the MEC 15k I was happy with my 56:40.  These races came as a bit of a surprise because of my poor run training I’ve done this year to date.
  2. Improved at the Ajax Indoor Tri 2.  In all 3 disciplines I improved from January.  I was especially proud of swimming almost 9% further in the pool this time.
  3. Consistently in the pool.  I was in the pool 48 of 54 days in this block.  Also, I’ve upped my swimming from 1500m to 2000m per swim.  All of this increase has come from stretching out my main set from 500m to 1000m.

What I didn’t do so well:

  1. Manage training load.  This impacted my swim, bike and running over the last 8 weeks.  My 8 weeks were split into 2 phases of 3 weeks hard, 1 week easy.  In both phases my TrainingPeak account is filled with workout notes of bailing out of workouts because my legs were flat.  I felt lethargic, and flat for a lot of workouts.  After taking an easy week I didn’t recover at the start of phase 2 like I should have felt.  This means I loaded up too much fatigue and/or I didn’t recover properly (time between workouts, nutrition, sleep, etc.).
  2. Prioritize running. This goes hand in hand with the point above.  Running, especially if it’s cold and wet, isn’t always the most fun.  I’d pick a ride over a run more often than not.  I averaged about 36k of running per week, and I had 3 weeks with less than 30k.  This is not good enough.  Running is where a triathlon is won or lost, and I need to make sure I’m running regularly.  This includes tempo runs, intervals, and bricks, not just a long run and easy runs.

Plans for race specific training

My first real triathlon of the year is the American Triple T.  It begin May 20.  I want to do well, but the race is a fitness test.  I’m not sure how my body will hold up to the format – Super Sprint on Friday night, two Olympic tri’s on Saturday, and a Half Iron on Sunday.

  1. Work in a big run week.  This is something that wont be difficult, as this first week, and potentially half of next week, I’m without my bike as a crack in the frame gets fixed.
  2. Consistent run workouts.  Even when I have my bike back I need to get in at least 2 run workouts per week.  These are hard bricks, tempos or intervals, that are in addition to long runs and easy runs.
  3. Analyze where I went wrong and begin to create a plan for Maryland.  I have big goals for IM Maryland, and another 8 weeks of lacklustre training in the lead-up to that race wont help me achieve them.  I need to look through my data and try to determine what I can do differently.  I have this block before Triple-T, and then another small block before Tremblant 70.3 to experiment.  I’m considering moving from a 7 day period to a 10 day period where I try to fit in all my key workouts.  Alternatively, I could just tone down the workouts in a normal 7 day cycle.

Other Notes

  • I finally got around to riding High Park.  I did a few loops there on my easy week last week.  It’s not amazing riding, but not bad for riding in the city.  Ellis Road Hill is decent for Southern Ontario, and there’s a good downhill with a bend to practice descending.
  • I’m hoping my 8 year old, second hand Pinarello will be like a whole new steed when I get her back.  I’m having a crack behind the bottom bracket fixed, as well as a full overhaul.  In the 4 years I’ve owned the bike I’ve never done this, and there are a number of parts that are worn out.  Headset bearings are gone, cables are stretched, chainring is worn out, bottom bracket needs replacing.  I’ll be without my bike for about 12 days, but she should return in better condition than she was when I first bought her.
  • I’m beginning to wonder if my Jujube’s on the bike are actually creating a dependance during exercise.  I shouldn’t actually need fuel for a 60-90 minute workout, but I’m finding if I don’t have fuel I’m getting hungry early on.  Something I did merely to break up trainer workouts may actually be doing me more harm than good.  I will experiment with eliminating them from workouts and see how I perform.
  • My Mom became a triathlete!  She completed the Lifetime Ajax Indoor Tri.  This was a big accomplishment for her, and she did great.