As promised, I have compiled some stats of my training from Jan 1, 2016 through Oct 31, 2016. First the graphs and then my thoughts on what I think worked and what clearly didn’t.
*Misc.= cross training (elliptical/ elliptigo, water run)
If nothing else, I consistently made it to the pool, swimming six days a week on average- some of these days I did two, one-hour swims, although most often it was one 90min swim.
However, like many triathletes, I did not give my swimming the same priority as the bike and the run. If I was tired, a hard swim became less hard, mostly by using the pull buoy as a crutch for my tired legs. I could have done things better by planning out which days were intended to be very hard, the way I do with biking and running, as opposed to what became a lot of days with ‘kinda hard but not too hard’ workouts.
Favourite workout: 20×100 long course @1:30
Last year I came to the conclusion that I could have utilised my time on the bike a lot better which would have led to bigger improvements. So this year I made sure that there were lots of intervals and every single ride had an explicit purpose. I went with what is commonly called a ‘reverse periodization’ approach (which is not an accurate description, but nevertheless). This meant short hard intervals in the winter progressing to longer intervals over the summer. However, I did very very little race pace work ever, opting for a more polarized approach. I think I have found a combination of things that are working very well for me and was very satisfied with how the season went on the bike, so I will only make minor adjustments to what I am doing for 2017 (mostly to keep things interesting).
Favourite workout: 10x4min hard! (zone 5)
Last year I had a little meme that said “set the bar low, be a winner every time!” And yet I managed to set the bar low in 2015 and do the limbo under it this year. To be fair, things were on the right track for the first half of the year with a 1:29 half off the bike at Mont Tremblant 70.3 on what was purportedly a ‘slow day.’ But that was where it ended as I got injured a week later. This could have been the result of having switched to a pair of shoes that had less support in them, as my running volume and intensity should not have resulted in an injury that took 2+ months to heal. Interestingly, both last year and this year I got injured after putting in a month of just over 20hrs of running. I am trying to accept the fact that this may be a reality that I have to deal with and keep the run volume low regardless of whether I feel I can handle more or not.
Favourite workout: cut down tempo run (get faster at every pre-determined increment)
What a waste of time.
I’m only kinda joking. I put in A LOT of time at the gym with weights, resistance bands, stability balls, etc. all in the hopes that I could strengthen my running muscles and not get injured. So clearly that didn’t work.
There are some exercises that I think are beneficial, such as single and double leg squats and deadlifts, lateral band walks, some upper body work, as well as core work, but what I was doing was overkill. Moving forward I will only spend enough time in the gym to get a few exercises done that I feel are actually being effective.
What’s in the cards for 2017?
First off, to answer some questions I got after my last post, yes, I am still going to be racing as a pro.
I might (but don’t hold me to it) start using Training Peaks, as I think there are some things that it can help me with, such as looking at CTL (chronic training load) vs. ATL (acute training load) and a few other metrics. But I believe this would mean I’d need to use HR and power and such in all my training sessions, which I think is a hassle, so we’ll see.
I’m going to go to work like a responsible adult. 🙂 Starting in a couple of days I will be working a 9-5 job like a regular person with a lovely 2.5hours of commuting each day. So that training volume is definitely going to come down. Quality over quantity! 🙂
I have not set any goals yet. I just had two weeks of being a lazy person and am only starting to get back into the ‘training to train’ stage of things, so I will set some goals in a bit. Mostly I am just excited that I will be earning money and might be able to eat something other than canned tuna and rice for dinner.