by Kristen Marchant
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 (thanks to Kim Nelson of Royal Containers). 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.
5:15am- 70min endurance swim.
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.
4:45pm- 75min on the elliptical
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.
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.
5pm- 2hr bike. Main set was 5x4min @260W (zone 5)/4min ez.
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)
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)
5pm- 2hr bike. Main set was 6x3min @265W (zone 5)/ 3min ez.
9am- Easy long run- 80min
12:30pm- 2hr30min bike with 2×20 + 2×10 @220W
5pm- 1hr swim, main set was 10×100 @ :30 holding 1:15. (normally I would not swim on Saturday but was otherwise occupied Sunday afternoon and wanted to get the swim in)
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)
Special thanks to Barrrie Shepley, C3, and Kim Nelson of Royal Containers who have opened the doors to make this a possibility, and to Skechers and Alto Cycling who have confirmed their continued sponsorship in 2017 despite my lack-luster injury-filled 2016 season.