More Data for Better Living – Swim Stroke Rate

So I know my stroke rate in the pool is slow – usually around 44 spm. I was racing on Sunday and my stroke rate was ~60 spm. I know that a faster stroke rate is better, and it’s definitely better for open water – I hadn’t been aiming for it, I just fell into it. I went back and looked at my previous four races this year. Same deal – my arms always move faster when I’m racing.

I’m much faster in the water when I race and I had been chalking that up solely to the wetsuit but now I’m thinking it’s a combo of wet suit and a higher cadence.

Goal Setting 2017

I’ve been at loose ends for a while now, really since last May. Sort of floating along.  I’ve been consistent with strength training for almost 8 months, which is great! I don’t have any goals for 2017. I was planning to set my year around Wildflower, but Wildflower isn’t going to happen so I have been needing to give my self something to build my fitness year around.

One thing I haven’t focused really ever is getting faster as a runner. I used to believe I was “slow.” Now I know that I’m as fast as I work to be and I could get faster if I put in work.

I still have not broken 30 minutes for a 5k, so that is going down this year.  I can do push ups (go me!) so I want to increase those and work on pull ups. The overarching goal is consistency. To stick with it and not sorry too much about outcomes.

The plan is as follows:

  • One Long Run, One Tempo Run, One Interval Day, two full-body weight days and one yoga day. I should be able to separate all runs and strength sessions by minimum 8 hours and generally 24 hours.
  • I may add in easy runs or some cycling and swimming at a recovery level but only if I do not have excessive fatigue. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Tracking mood and energy levels with nutrition. I am not trying to lose weight, I’m weight stable and have been for four years and my focus for the last year has been getting adequate protein – 100g per day.
  • I need to keep a good handle on sleep hygiene. No caffeine after lunch, get to bed at a consistent time, solid bed time routine.
  • Schedule baseline testing and retests. For me this will include racing with a focus on 5ks. I did a 5k on New Year’s Day and I’m planning to do the same race next year to see my progress.
  • Profit.

-fh

I am weird – Part Infinity!!

The triathlon season is winding to a close. So naturally, I’m getting excited about triathlon again!!

I trained longer and harder than ever for Wildflower and I definitely burnt out a bit. It didn’t help that my big race for the fall was cancelled.  I learned that I am an emotionally fragile athlete. Losing that race from my calendar threw me into such a tailspin that I shut down and sort of hibernated.

I came out of that thinking I would go for a fall marathon – but I totally overtrained and did in my knee. Yay.

I was starting to look at 2017 this week and I was pencilling in Wildflower, perhaps even Wildflower Long Course as my first ~70 mile triathlon. Then the news came that Wildflower was cancelled, along with the entire Tri-Cal season.

Bizarrely enough, that got me kind of fired up. I started poking around, seeing what races were going to be where.

Next year’s tentative race calendar

November 2016 – January 2017 – get back into the flow of training.

Early February – test 5k – I really, really want to break 30 minutes for a 5k.  At Monte Rio this year, as the run leg of a triathlon, I ran 30:01. I should be able to break 30 with sufficient training.

April 2 – Oakland Running Festival – I will be doing something – probably just volunteering, but potentially running a relay leg.

April 8-9 HITS Napa – I am committed to supporting local races. I will probably volunteer or even just cheer at this one.

April 22 – Discovery Bay Triathlon – Some teammates from OTC have gone out to this race the past two years.  It’s tiny (71 finishers last year), it’s local. I looked up the results and if I had race there this year, I could very conceivably have podiumed in my age group. I am a firm believer in picking your ground. I am totally targeting this race to try and get an AG award.

Third Sunday in May – Tilden Tough Ten – I like this race. It’s as hard as you want it to be. I went into in this year with no specific training and I had a great time.

June 4 – Monte Rio Sprint – Another race I like. I have had two very good years in a row at this race. It’s well run on a fast course.

Sometime around Father’s Day – Woodmonster – Even though the course was changed this year, I still like this race. It’s unapologetically hard. I feel great when I finish it.

August 27 – Oakland Triathlon – I will be involved in this somehow.  Depending on how I feel I will either 1) Volunteer 2) Cheer 3) Train moderately 4)Train hella hard.

Early November – Morro Bay – I might do this race next year, it’s on the radar. Or maybe I’ll do that fall marathon I keep thinking about.

Hi Hi!

My left knee has been quite unhappy so I took a few weeks off of running. In that time I took a lovely trip to Yosemite and walked a lot. I’ve also been keeping up with strength training.

Last week I went for two short runs, which both went well e.g. no pain. I had that thing when, you have had an injury to something and so you are hyper aware of every bit of sensory information from that area. I don’t know if the joint was stiff or if I was just super aware of it.

I’m going to put in a couple of miles today. Last week’s runs were both less than two miles. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Tired right now

Since the events in my last blog, I have raced three times. Two trail runs and one triathlon. No race reports.

I’m very tired right now. Had a very, very big work project that ate all my energy in May and June. I’m completely burned out on triathlon. The emotional work of trying to decide to race Alcatraz took so much out of me that I don’t think I can even race the Oakland Sprint much less jump into the bay.

There is only so much bandwidth in any of our lives. I am stepping back from tri right now because I can see that it’s too much. It feels like an obligation, rather than a privilege and that’s not a flavor of energy that I want to associate with my stress releasing me time activity.

I focusing on strength training and endurance running now. I’m lifting twice a week and keeping up with my yoga practice. I’m running three days a week and once the reg link is live, I’m hoping to do the Golden Hills Trail Marathon in October.

After that, I will probably switch to working on running speed and 5 k training with the long term goal on being able to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes (that’s 8:00/mile which is fast for me but I think within sight).

 

Let’s make some reasonable goals!

Wildflower  cometh, and with it the massive amounts of anxiety that can only be dealt with by obsessively playing with triathlon calculators and training data to come up with a a decently realistic set of race goals.

I took too long and too off an off season.  I didn’t take it easy and do some running, biking, swimming and other fun things. I did fuck all for like two months. So I’m slower than last year. Sigh, so annoying but I did it to myself.

I can think about my long term goals, things like “Do a 5k under thirty minutes!” and “Do an Olympic tri in three hours!” but those are to be worked at for years. Those are goals where the process must be savoured, cuz I’m gonna be working on that shit for aaaagggggeeeesssss……..

I can think about my comparative goals. I always compare my speed to the pros on the ITU/Olympic circuit. I try to go half as fast as they do.

For instance, Carolina Routier swam 1500 meters in Abu Dhabi on March 5, 2016 in 18:48 which is just under 1:15/100 meters. I want to swim the swim at Wildflower in 37:36 2:30/100m twice her time. This goal is a bit tricky when you’ve got either tide or current at play (Oakland Triathlon was against the flood tide last year, thus, slow as dirt swim).

Wildflower is in a lake, so it should be relatively fast. There is no pro field in the race I am doing. The best women’s swim time last year was 19:12 for a 38:24 or 2:20/100 y.  I think I can do that! When I do pull buoy sets I can hold 2:22 easily so I’m going to set 38:24 as the goal for the swim.

Last year’s best bike time was 1:17:19 19.2 mph.  That’s pretty slow, so the hills are a big impact.

And I have no idea how fast I am right now, in any capacity, on the bike.  I do my very hard bike work on the trainer – which is great for hitting power targets and watching fun videos. It sucks for translating into road speed. You can’t take your bike wheel speed because the trainer resistance is very different from pedaling on the road.

I really want to average 16 mph because that’s about what I did for my last Oly tri. Averaging 16 mph on this course would actually make me faster than I was on the flat course from last year. I have been training really hard and I raced that race too easy.

and the run. Is split into two parts. Due to the drought, when we come out of the water, we have to run 2.2 miles to our bikes. After we bike, then we run the other 4 miles. So, ummm, how the hell do you plan the pace?

Heart rate! If I am planning to race for 3:30 – 4:00 then I should be staying in the high zone 3, low zone 4 heart rate zones. That’s it, just forget about pace and focus on effort.  Yeah, I’d like to do the run in something like 1:10 – 1:15 but it’s hilly and it’s going to be hot so I have no idea if that’s realistic in any way.

I should stop bloody worrying about speed and focus on racing at the right intensity so I don’t blow myself up trying to hit an unrealistic pace target. Which means ignore just about everything I’ve written so far (except the swim part, that’s still valid).

My goal for Wildflower is to race in Zone 3 to low Zone 4 for the entire bike and run.  That means not going too hard on the uphills and pushing the downhills.

Effort, effort, effort. Sounds like a triathlon, actually.

-fh

Lake San Antonio Update – 4/7/2016

The numbers as of 4/1/16

(Water is represented in Acre-Feet)

Current level is 7.2% – 24,110

To Go to Swim at Lynch – 42,890

Increase since 1/24/16 – 13,755

Increase this week – 1,600

Days until Wildflower – 23

Average increase in acre feet required per day to meet 20% by race day – 1865 (yeah, good luck with that)

Next rainfall forecast -4/7/2016

There has been no rain for a couple of weeks and temperatures have risen, so rainfall now has to cope with increased evaporation. The good news is the water is the highest it’s been since they have started using Harris Creek, higher water = less of a climb to get to T1A.

There should be significant rain this weekend, up to a half inch, and there is a chance of rain for at least the next ten days. Unless we get a proper flood Lynch will have to wait for next year, but we will have plenty of lovely water to swim in.

(All Data from the Monterey County Water Resources Agency here.)

-fh

Tri this – Swimming while slow

Triathlon season starts this week, for me (Wildflower, baby!!) and I haven’t swum since my last tri, on August 31. I am starting in on The Sufferfest Intermediate Triathlon Training Plan (woo hoo!) While I have been forced to accept that I am a decent swimmer, I am still not a _fast_ swimmer.  To complete the assigned yardage for this training plan would take me well over the time estimate for the workouts. I know that, as swimmers, when we get tired, our form goes to shit and all our swimming becomes an iteration of crappy habits.

So what do I do? I swim for an hour. It’s a solid workout. It ensures that I get drills in  – which are super important for adult onset swimmers, your form can never be too good – without spending time flailing on the back end. I also check in and see how much I improve. It’s quite easy when you can see the yards per workout going up over a season. And, I don’t start my day feeling like a failure. It’s a What you can, When you can, technique and I’ve had good results with it.

So, new swimmers, don’t worry about not making your assigned yards. Get a _quality_ workout in, don’t spend time being discouraged that you can’t do it in an hour (like I used to), and have an easy yardstick for improvement.

-fh

 

 

Got my motor running!

I got back to the whole working out reality on January 1 (how trite)!

I started back with Rubber Glove – to set my cycling FTP and LTHR for the Tour of Sufferlandria, which is coming on February 6-14.

All done!
All done!

Then on Saturday, January 2, I went to the gym and lifted the things. It was quite wonderful. I go to the Downtown Oakland YMCA. They have child watch, which is $2 an hour for child care while you are in the Y, so Pip gets to go to “Y School” and I can get a workout in.

The lifting was fun. I bought a program that I’m going to be using, if not following, as it’s not triathlon specific but I really like the instructions and the sets/progressions.

For the record, I squatted 20 pounds. 20. Sigh, big ass with no muscles. I am the poster child for glute amnesia. BUT I’m not gonna jack my hips like I did back in 2010-11, I’ve been keeping my issues at bay with yoga and increased strength is gonna help me start to get ahead of the curve.

20 pounds means that for all the running I do, my poor quads are doing just about all the work, all the climbing, all the cycling. Poor quads! The great news about having suck weak glutes and hammies is that progressing them is probably gonna go quite nicely! Stronger ass = faster run splits!!

Now, other things, I did much better than I expected at. I can do a cable row like a boss, so the old lats are still present and accounted for.

Onward!

-fh