Well it has been a busy few months since kicking off training in Dec after a relaxed Oct and Nov. The diary was not filled in during Nov but I did a little swimming, biking and running, taking it steady and just enjoying myself. I knew it would be a good idea to reset with the season goals I had in mind, I already knew my goals for the season in September and luckily it all came together! I took 1 complete week off but with no injuries/niggles I did not feel I needed any more, just a very reduced volume for about 6 weeks to make sure I came into winter training fresh, motivated and ready.
The end of will mark 3 months of proper training so far. Year on year I have increased total hours training a little over the months, the goal for will be 70+hrs compared to last year’s 56. I have completed 45 already so right on target. The plan is to hold that or increase a little during March before the build begins in April and May. I prefer keeping a check on hours rather than being to big on miles, the terrain I tend to train in does not lend itself to mileage, as time and effort on feet vary so much in the differing conditions. A 10km run can take 3hrs in certain conditions, or 40 on the road, gives you an idea what I mean! Most importantly it’s specific to my goals.
I briefly mentioned in another post I have started working with Blair Davies Coaching for my swimming. It has been going unbelievably well and really showed me how little I knew about proper swim training. The gains have been huge, quick but hard won, I have found out to swim faster the path is not easy plodding focusing on technique! Looking forward to the CSS test next week but I can see the improvements already in my times during intervals. I have been swimming 4 times a week regularly since New Year, 2x45mins short sessions and 2 longer swims, up to 1hrs30.
My most recent session was as follows- 4km total
10min front crawl/Back crawl
4x200m with band and buoy, getting faster with each rep
8x100 race pace with 10secs rest
2x400 with band and buoy, 75% recovery
8x100 max effort with 40secs rest
200m back crawl
My shoulder were lost somewhere on the last 3 100’s, if anyone finds them I would be grateful of their return. Most importantly, the rest of the pacing was very even, 1-3secs difference max. So the swim is on track to be faster and still lots of hard work to do. It’s been great having the experience of being coached, I have learnt a lot but also love just looking at each session, seeing the challenge and trying complete it. If I don’t, as long as I have given my all, no worries, it will come. If you are looking for a coach, I cannot recommend Blair enough, but be warned it will not be easy. Often nothing worth it is though!
I have also been working hard to improve my biking again and build on last year’s success but have changed a lot from last year. The biggest change has been to introduction of some VO2Max training! Brutal, highly effective and very time efficient. Massive thanks to my friend Andrew who introduced to me the delights, through Bondi training manual, http://www.training4cyclists.com/about/.Worth seeking out for sure! It’s about making every second count in your training, very useful for us triathlete’s trying to be good at 3 different sports at the same time!
The session is very simple, which I like :)-
20min incremental warm up, building to just below threshold, finishing with 5 easy pedalling before starting the intervals.
3x3mins with 3mins recovery between each, effort level for VO2max is extremely hard, the hardest effort you could sustain for 5mins max. Think if I go any harder I will pass out and fall off the bike effort.
10min cool down
I use a mixture of cadence, HR and perceived effort level to control the intervals. They are hard to pace, it’s a fine line between going anaerobic and hitting the correct intensity. Not for the faint of heart but defiantly a high suffrage score if you like that sort of thing. I am currently using it in a 3 week block, once a week. I am focusing a little more on some quality and intensity early on this year then will be switching to more race specific intervals on longer rides during the next month and the build. My thinking is if I can shift that threshold up a notch my race pace effort will be a little faster or leave some spare in the tank for the run. So far its working, the longer rides I have done I am feeling much better than this time last year, the endurance is there already.
On the cards for March will be a trip up to for some training on the course, cannot wait!