Long weekends are made for
staying up too late sleeping in traveling training. With an extra day to fit in the same amount of responsibilities + more hours to spend outside, I hoped this would be a good one.
I’m getting better at managing anxiety when I open up Training Peaks and see a block bigger than anything I’ve done before, but I’d be lying if I said that in days leading up I wasn’t a little bit anxious about how exhausted I knew I’d be come Monday night.
My training is so different from last year in a lot of ways. At this point in the cycle I’ve learned the patterns and in’s and out’s so it doesn’t seem drastic. But there are a few big things that are making a difference for me – I think at least – this year.
- REST DAYS. As in, I have them. Not an obscene number, and I’m still perpetually tired and regularly sleep 9+ hours on the weekends (yes I go to bed at 8:30pm on the regular). But it’s good stuff for the mind and body having those couple of days per month to recharge and shower in my own house (as opposed to the gym or office).
- BIKE. BIKE. BIKE. I wish I had a real tally of the number of times I rode on the trainer this winter. I’ve gotta bet it was less than 15. AND I LIVE IN RAINY SEATTLE, FOLKS. Through cold and rain I made it outside and I’ve gotten better on the bike for it. And thus this weekend will be my first century ride of the year whereas last year I didn’t reach that milestone until mid-July.
- BE A FISH. Last year I averaged around 3200 meters 2.5x/week. Since December I’ve been swimming 4k yards 3x/week, and alongside better and faster swimming. Not only does it help build overall hours, but I’ve actually moved up a lane and gotten faster and more comfortable in the water.
- VOLUME. Not much to say here other than with all of the above, there’s a lot. I already have a new PR in “training hours per week” with 3 months to go until race day.
In talking about that last one, volume, the plan for this weekend was as follows.
Planned: 80mi ride, 45min run Actual: 82mi ride, 5.65mi run
Planned: 15mi run Actual: 30min open water swim, 15mi run
Planned: 45min open water swim, 2hr ride Actual: 45min open water swim, 2:35 ride
Nothing to really gawk at, except for the fact that I survived and all. Per the usual there were no mind-blowing breakthroughs this weekend or any huge gains met. If we’re being totally and 100% completely honest I’d tell you most of it felt pretty freakin’ hard. But I silently reminded myself that it should be hard and pressed on, and amidst some struggle there were a few good little confidence boosters.
- On Saturday I rode the third long weekend in a row, with building distance, at what I consider to be a speedy pace. It’s braggy, but this is my blog and so I do what I please! I’m proud of the fitness I’ve gained and my ability to hang with riders I would have been dropped by last year.
- On Sunday I swam in open water. In open freezing cold water. With people. In the rain. And didn’t have an anxiety attack. It may be sad but it’s very very true: This is a huge confidence booster for me. And to build on that I it again on Monday.
- On Monday I rode in pissing rain on my heavy rain bike on some of the most tired legs I’ve been the proud owner of in a while. It wasn’t pretty or easy but I put the time in plus some, and had fun.
Never mind that come Monday evening I watched 5 consecutive TV shows moving from the couch only to snack, hydrate, or pee, and was in bed by 9:30 and slept until 6. Or that this morning it took me over an hour to kick my butt to the curb, where my 11mi run may as well have been 100mi it felt so hard. Still, I checked all of the boxes and got it done.
This weekend will be the last big one in the build for Victoria. It’s a doozy, but if it’s half as good as this weekend was I’ll feel pretty confident going into my first tri of the year.