Friday, September 19, 2014

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

On August 1, I posted a very rough outline of what I planned for the coming year. By August 6, I had actually made a little progress and put my outline down on a calendar!

Recovery weeks penciled in :-)
Unfortunately, that's about as far as it went...I kept reading the book (The Triathlete's Training Bible) but kept getting overwhelmed with all of it. I scheduled my recovery weeks and a few potential races, but that was it. This week was one of my recovery weeks and it gave me the opportunity to revisit my plan.

One Bite at a Time

You've probably all heard the saying "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." That's how I'm approaching my annual training plan. Every day I'm fine tuning it just a little bit more...

With my recovery weeks scheduled, I then focused on my annual training hours. In the TTB (Triathletes Training Bible) there is a table showing the range of annual hours based on what your goal distance is.

Can this be right?

According to my Garmin data, between Aug 1, 2013 and July 25, 2014 (the day before Barb's Race) I put in 358 hours! What??? According to the table above, I didn't even train enough for an Olympic distance race. Can this be right? Even if I figure some additional hours to compensate for the rare occasions that I forgot my Garmin...I would still be at the bottom threshold for an Oly race. What would happen if I actually trained in the correct range for my race? What if I put in 700 hours for a half-iron (or full) race?

Another Bite

After deciding on the number of training hours, I went to another table that shows you how many hours you need to put in each week based on the the training phase. For example, a recovery week on a 700 hour annual plan would include 10 hours of training. The first week of a build phase is 17.5 hours.

I picked the low hanging fruit and penciled in my recovery week training well as some of the hours for the upcoming weeks.

Annual training plan work sheet

With the training hours in mind as well as CIM, which less than 3 months away, I am laying out my workouts for the next few months. Since my next A race is a marathon and not a triathlon, my focus is going to be towards running, with cycling as an option, and swimming as a recovery workout.

Sept looks a little better than August


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recovery Week Starts...NOW!

Recovery week is not a new idea for me and Hot Stuff. We were introduced to the idea of a recovery week back in 2008 when we tried P90X for the first time. P90X promotes the idea of muscle confusion, but also built into each training period is a week of rest (wink, wink).

I love Tony Horton!  LOL

As you can see from the calendar below, there are 3 intense weeks that include strength training, plyometrics and yoga. You can also substitute your "off" day for Stretch-X (which is what HS and I ended up doing) for 3 weeks, you are doing something every day. Then comes the end of the month. If you look at the 4th week, you will see yoga, kenpo, stretching, core synergystics, etc...not super hard, but you also aren't sitting on your butt for a week.

P90X is still my all-time favorite workout program...
can't argue with results!
Interestingly, Joe Friel (author of The Triathlete's Training Bible) also prescribes to the idea of a monthly recovery...
"Monthly recovery. Build recovery into your monthly training plan every third or fourth week. This regular period of reduced workload may be three to seven days depending on what you did in the previous hard training weeks, how fit you are becoming and other individual factors." (Full post)

So, here I am... end of week three and feeling pretty worn out...

Tired Legs

Today marked the end of my 3 week training cycle (3 weeks on / 1 week off). I can honestly say that I'm ready for some recovery! Last year I don't remember feeling this tired and sore. I always felt like I could just keep going and going.  This year I definitely feel different, so I decided to look at my Garmin history...

The last year (Sept 2014 - partial)
Just from looking at this graph, it is obvious I've been doing a lot more training. In the last month, my cycling has increased and so has my running. However, I must remind myself that since May my Achilles injury hindered my run training. Regardless of the reasons, my training has increased over the last several months...

Monday, July 28 - Sunday, Aug 17: 260 miles

  • Swim: 4.5 miles
  • Bike: 210 miles
  • Run: 45 miles

Monday, Aug 18 - Sunday, Aug 24: Recovery Week

  • Took things easy except for our ride around Lake Tahoe

Monday, Aug 25 - Sunday, Sept 14:  355 miles

  • Swim: 2 miles
  • Bike: 276 miles
  • Run: 77 miles

Upcoming Recovery Week

I plan to take Joe Friel's advice
"First of all, a recovery "week" should not be taken literally to mean seven days. Some recover very quickly and may find that in four days they are ready to go back at it again. Others need six or more days...The bottom line is that I'd suggest doing only short duration workouts at low intensity for two or three days. "
My plan for this week is to focus on sleep and nutrition. Monday will still be a swim night unless the pool is freezing (maybe I should bring my wetsuit just in case). Tuesday night, Fleet Feet is hosting one of their famous "pub runs" and I don't want to miss it (even though I don't drink beer) will be a nice, easy 3 mile run. My Wednesday evening ride will be swapped out for a swim. Thursday is typically an "off" day for me but for this week, I will be doing P90X Yoga. I will play next weekend by ear ;-)