A week of training- balancing a full time job and still chasing the dream

There are many things I could have written a blog post about right now, however I chose to do a simple account of what a week of training looks like for me now that I am working full time. I haven’t given up on the dream of racing as a professional, and by the way training has been going of late, it would appear that having a full time job is better than not working. Two of the workouts I completed on the bike this week I could not have done last year, so something has to be going right. 🙂

This was the 3rd week of a three week build, so was my hardest week before an easier recovery week.

A few things you may notice about the training- there are no ‘epic’ workouts- generally I finish every workout feeling like I could have done another interval. Two key things about winter training especially (but really applies to training year-round) are Consistency and Repeatability. The ability to come back day after day and execute workouts is what makes a great athlete, not smashing one workout that leaves you needing 3+ days of recovery. Those kinds of efforts should, for the most part, be reserved for race day; they may look good on social media, but in the end you are doing yourself a disservice if they become the essence of your training plan.

The run workouts I am doing are not in the realm of very challenging. Right now I am focused on getting in consistent weeks of running and will dial back or scrap any run workout if I feel my legs are not coping with the training load.

There are a lot of bike workouts with V02 max level efforts. According to science (I mean PubMed research articles, not what I read on triathlete.com or what my friend said is good), the biggest improvements in cycling occur when a plan of one week with 4-5 very hard sessions followed by 3 weeks of the traditional 1-2 very hard sessions per week is followed.  I am testing it out- the studies were done on pure cyclists, so the challenge becomes trying to incorporate that idea into a 3-sport training program.

For reference with the wattages, for a well-paced half-ironman I would ride an average of 205W, and there is definitely a difference between indoor and outdoor wattages. Generally I think I would be 10-15 watts higher outside for the same effort level, I think a large part of which comes from the ability to create torque outside (rather than being locked in place by the trainer inside).

Monday to Friday I am up at 4:15am and out the door in 12 minutes flat. This allows me to get in the pool at 5:15am, provided we don’t have shitty weather.

Monday

5:15am- 70min endurance swim.

8×50

400

4×100

600

2×200

600

4×100

400

8×50

These were all done on a base pace time of 1:30/100m. It may not sound hard but the fatigue builds over the set.

6:45am-7:30 weights/core

4:45pm- 75min on the elliptical

Tuesday

5:15am- IM set in the pool

7am- 75min on the spin bike at the gym. Main set was 15x 1min HARD!/1min ez

5:45pm- 65 min run- 3x10min tempo efforts at about half marathon pace plus strides at the end.

Wednesday

5:15am- hard swim

Main set: 2×200 + 4×100 + 4×50 + 4×50 + 4×100 + 2×200. Objective was to hold 1:15/100m on a pace time of 1:30/100m.

6:45-7:30- weights/core

5pm- 2hr bike. Main set was 5x4min @260W (zone 5)/4min ez.

Thursday

5:15am- 85min swim, technique/endurance focus.

7am- 70min run with 5x5min at ~10km race pace/ 3min ez.

5:45pm- 90min ez spin + 20min tempo run. (usually it is only a 1 hour ez spin but I was waiting for the snow storm to clear up)

Friday

5:15am- hard swim

Main set was 4×50 + 4×100 + 2×150 + 400 then 3×200. All attempting to go 1:15/100m (didn’t quite make it)

6:45-7:30- weights/core

5pm- 2hr bike. Main set was 6x3min @265W (zone 5)/ 3min ez.

Saturday

9am- Easy long run- 80min

12:30pm- 2hr30min bike with 2×20 + 2×10 @220W

5pm- 1hr swim, main set was 10×100@1:30 holding 1:15. (normally I would not swim on Saturday but was otherwise occupied Sunday afternoon and wanted to get the swim in)

Sunday

7am- 2hr bike with 8x2min @270W/ 3min ez

30min brick run (not hard as it was extremely slippery outside)

And there you have it. Between training, working, and 2+ hrs/day of commuting, there is not much time for anything else; of course this lifestyle would not be sustainable if I had kids (heaven forbid), but for now this is working for me. Merry Christmas everyone! (or ‘Happy Holidays’ if you prefer) 😉

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