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Week In Review

January 5, 2014 3 comments

badtriThis may or may not end up being a recurring feature on this blog, largely dependent on how busy lazy I am on Sundays.  We’ll give it a try for a bit and see how it goes.

Looking Back

WIR 140105

It was a short week.  It started in Edmonton, included a head cold, a late night flight back home and a New Years celebration (and recovery).  But once 2014 started in earnest I was happy with the results.  It’s been hard work getting back into routine – my cardio is shot.  But I hit all 3 sessions as planned, even if belabored, so I’m happy with it.

Looking Forward

Keep on keeping on, I guess.  Nothing exciting planned for next week.  My goal is to maintain consistency into the first full week of 2014.  Friday is a rest day – every other day has a training session planed.  Let’s try to go 6 for 6.

Thoughts From This Week That I Think I Think

  1. My training is sluggish right now.  Maybe it’s the extra 6lbs from the holidays, or maybe it’s the time off from the holidays (or maybe it’s both… probably it’s both).  I’m amazed how hard it is to do what I could do so much easier a few weeks ago.
  2. I have such mixed feelings about outdoor winter running.  I think I’m much more okay with a treadmill than most runners claim to be.  Outside is cold, the wind can be sharp, and the ground can be slippery.  Treadmill running is much more pleasant.  That being said, there’s something about the sunshine that can really make running outside a winner.
  3. Rev3 looks like they’ve added a new race for 2014 in West Virginia on August 3rd.  Rev3 is a race organization I have my eye on – I really like their philosophy towards age groupers.  And this one is only a 6hr drive from home.  A serious consideration for a destination race this year

Thoughts From This Week That Have Nothing To Do With Triathlon

  1. Flying with a head cold is no joke.  Seriously!  There’s this thing called Airplane Ear, where you can’t clear the pressure from your sinuses on descent.  I had my first experience with that this week.  Holy shit that hurt.  Here’s hoping I don’t ever have to fly with a cold again!
  2. #WhoDat!!!  Great win by The Saints last night.  Next week in Seattle is going to be tough, but I’ll be watching.  Somethings are worth planning our training sessions around!
  3. Volleyball season starts up again tonight.  Excited to play again.  No more concussions – I promise!!
  4. I’m quickly falling in love with Ommegang Brewery.  Their Hennepin is like drinking a cloud!!!  I think a weekend road trip to their brewery in Cooperstown N.Y. may be in order this summer.
  5. Only 89 days until the Blue Jays season opens… god I’m such a baseball geek.  Go Jays!!

That’s my week in a nutshell.  How was your week?

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A Saturated Sponge

January 20, 2013 Leave a comment

calendar

This week:

Swam: 1,000m in 15:00 (1 session)

Biked: 37.3km in 1:20:22 (2 sessions)

Ran: 34.19km in 4:16:30 (4 sessions)

Strength Training: 3 x 20 minutes

Overall, it’s been a good week.  I was able to get on the stationary bike twice, and did strength training 3 times – both of those are confirmation that I’ve stuck to the plan and hit my sessions this week, which I’m really happy with.

Yesterday’s long run was really good (in an I-just-got-my-ass-kicked kinda way).  Stretched my run out to 18k, which I’ve never done before.  Felt really strong through the first 10-12k, and finished with a reasonable amount of fatigue.  But I’m finding the post run recovery really tough.  Today was supposed to be a light 6k run to round out the week, but I don’t have the gas left in the tank to make it happen.  My legs weren’t sore during the run, but they sure are now.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles on Active.com lately, and found this particular quote resonated with me (handy isn’t it, when you find support for decisions you’ve already made after the fact):

The best plan is not only the one that addresses the athlete’s individual needs specifically, but one that is also flexible in adjusting volume based on how the athlete is responding…

Think of your body as a sponge. It will continue to absorb training volume until it reaches a saturation point. Once the sponge is saturated, it can no longer soak up volume; you are only wasting your energy, risking injury and further degrading your performance. You must let the sponge dry out before it will soak up more fitness and that will require time and patience.

My running volume was only up 10% relative to the past two weeks, which I understand to be a reasonable amount.  However, my bike and lift volumes were essentially negligible this winter up until this week, and (I assume) that has an impact on overall training volume.  I think my sponge is saturated.

So I’m taking today as an off day.  The key next week is to get right back on the horse.  It starts tomorrow with a 1,000m sprint swim before work, and a 6k run and lower body strength training after work.  I think my goal for this coming week is to stick to the volume/frequency training plan that I’ve developed, but step up the intensity.  See if I can work stronger, not just longer.

What’s your goal for this week (fitness or otherwise)?

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Weekly recap: good tired

December 2, 2012 1 comment
My hero

My hero

13.3km.  I was supposed to run 12km tonight, but a bit of a distance miscalculation turned it into 13.3km.  Oops.  It was a good run – great company.  I love running with my wife.  It always reminds me that running is fun (tough, but fun).

But now I’m home.  And I ache.  This is the first time I’ve run more than 10km in one session and my legs are loudly reminding me of that.  I think tonight calls for a book and a hot bath.

I hit on my running goals this week: 31.31km overall.  I hit my overall base distance goal.  I did my stairs session on Wednesday.  I turned my Thursday easy run into a Fartlek session (largely inspired by a recent post from one of my newest favorite blogs to follow, Run Stronger Every Day).  I even exceeded my long run goal by over 10%.  A good week for running!

And now it’s time for bed… and maybe a beer (beer first – bed second).  Sore but satisfied.  Tomorrow a new week begins.

How was your week?  What did you do this week that you’re really happy with?

2012 Season Recap

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

A bright summer season now in the rear view mirror… but the open road is still ahead of me

The 2012 race season is behind me.  That’s such a bitter-sweet statement.  It’s weird to be doing an end-of-season recap in November (2012 isn’t over yet), but I won’t be doing any more races this year, and I’m excited to start planning for next year already…

davetriing:  I guess, chronologically, the first big success of 2012 was starting this blog (well, in my opinion at least).  It’s given me a great outlet to reflect on the ups and downs of the year, and connect with other bloggers and interested readers.  Those connections and comments, and suggestions, have really helped my race evolve this year (awww… sappy moment!  Group e-hug!)

Health and Training: A big part of why I do this is as a means to improve my health. To change my lifestyle from the couch potato I have been since my University years to a healthier lifestyle focused on fitness.  Shit, this is hard work!  It’s really hard to overcome sedentary habits.  I struggle to manage food cravings for the crap that made me fat in the first place.  I struggle to differentiate between “fatigued” and “lazy” (both of which make sitting on the couch sound like a great idea).  I struggle to know the difference between the good pain of muscles being pushed, and the bad pain of muscles being hurt.  Mostly I struggle to get into a routine.  There’s always an excuse not to go out for a training session.

That being said, I made a lot of positive strides this year.  My weight is down from 256lbs in May to 240lbs as of yesterday.  That’s a lot less weight to be hauling around every time I go for a run.  And while I have a lot of work to do in terms of adopting (and sticking to) a routine, I did a much better job of committing to a run routine this summer than I did last summer – and it showed, knocking over 5 minutes off my 5k PB time!

I don’t think I did a great job of balancing my training though.  Going into this year, my run was the weakest part of my race, so I really focused on it.  And while that helped my run time, my bike time took a slight step backwards due to a lot less bike training time than the previous summer.  My resistance training also became inconsistent (read: non-existent) which led to a lot of leg strength and core strength problems late in the season.

So there’s lots to work on over the next 12 months.  The key is balance.  It’s hard to find enough hours to run, bike, swim, lift, and stretch as much as I seem to need to.  Writing a plan that balances all this will be relatively easy – motivating myself to stick to it will be the real challenge (especially when the weather gets cold and the couch is right there calling to me)!

Races: I did 2 races this year – The Wasaga Beach Triathlon Duathlon and The Hamilton Road2Hope 10K.  Both went as well as I could have hoped.

The Wasaga Beach Triathlon Duathlon was an achievement just for finishing.  I had trained for a Triathlon, and found out mere minutes before the race started that the swim was canceled due to crazy rain and wind, and so I would be racing a duathlon (race organizers would later say it was the most rain and wind they’d ever seen on a race day… though that comment seems a bit out of context given the recent storms we’ve endured… but it was still pretty wet).  I had never run more than 5k before race day – running 7.5k was an achievement, let alone racing in the rain.  Yet I still set a 5k PB time.  Very happy with this race.

The unexpected extra running of the Duathlon (and “holy shit I didn’t just die” feeling) led me to tackle a longer run next.  The Hamilton Road2Hope 10k was a great success, as it proved to me that I could go further than 5k.  It was nice to stretch the distance out a bit.  And I was thrilled that I replicated my Wasaga 5k PB pace over a 10k run.  I wasn’t able to replicate that pace even a single time in training, not even over a 5k distance.  There’s something about Race Day that helps you find an extra gear.

(photo credit: My Sports Shooter)

If I had one – regret – about the 2012 race season, it would be the race schedule.  I did 2 races, up from 1 the previous year, but they were both in the fall.  I think motivating myself to stick to a training schedule through the spring and summer would be much easier if I had races to train towards earlier in the season.  A better spread (and possibly more races – ’cause they’re fun) might be in order in 2013.

Gear: A few subtle new additions to my gear collection this year have made a big difference.  My wife hooked me up with birthday gifts this year.  A fantastic new water bottle with a compartment to put my keys, or my work swipe badge when I want to run from the office after work, has been a wonderful little toy.  Not having to worry about pockets for keys = less excuses = more runs.  Win!

(source)

The other great birthday haul from my wife was a copy of The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies.  I think I’ve linked to it on a dozen or so posts already this year, but in case you’ve missed it, here’s another link.  I can’t get enough of this book – injury home remedies, workout plans, performance tips – and all written for the weekend athlete.  Fantastic.  It’s helped give me direction several times this summer!

The other gear addition that really paid off this year was the acquisition of our Race Number Belt.  It seems like such a little thing, but it really helped with my T1 time.  In my 2011 Triathlon, my Swim -> Bike transition (“T1” it’s called in race circles around here at least) had all kinds of issues with my race number pre-pinned to my shirt, and trying to pull my shirt on – pins catching and falling off all over the place – before I could get on the bike.  Not having to fuss with safety pins while the clock is running is a huge time saver and stress relief.  You can buy little water bottles that clip onto it – I think I may make an investment soon on a pouch I can put my phone onto the belt, so I can bring my tunes and GPS with me on training runs even if I don’t have any pockets.

Overall, I’m really happy with my 2012 season – lots of things I want to work on over the next 12 months, but this year was my step forward from simply hoping I could finish a triathlon without embarrassing myself, to making progress.  It’s nice to look back 12 months ago and know that I’m lighter, faster, and fitter – even if I have a lot of work I still want to do.

More than anything, this season has convinced me that I’ve caught “the bug”.  I may still cross the finish line nearly last in my age group, but I love it.  I love race day.  I love proving that I can do it.  I love going faster.   I can’t wait for 2013!

-DO’G

 

Weekend recap

August 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Running in new cities is something I could get used to!

This weekend was full of pros and cons – although really, many more pros than cons.

Pro – My aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary.  Congratulations Kim and Sam!  And props to my cousins for organizing a kick-ass surprise party.  Great to see everyone again, and a fun weekend road trip to Ottawa!

Con – As with every great family reunion, beer happens.  Oops.  So much for my 2 week alcohol-free pledge.  But special occasions sometimes warrant flexible rule.  I’m really not too upset here – we’ll just extend the pledge by a few days to make up the difference 😉

Pro – Getting to run in a new city.  Saturday morning (after a couple beers the night before) I hauled my butt off the air mattress for a run.  I was a guest in my cousin’s house, so didn’t have a chance to fix up my usual pre-run breakfast, so I ran on an empty stomach.  Not the smartest move, especially with a few beers kicking around in there, but since that was the worst part of the run I had no complaints.

Ottawa is beautiful.  I love it there – I don’t know the city well at all – but I always feel comfortable there.  My cousin lives right down by the old Rideau Canal.  A perfect site for a run.  I didn’t have the foresight to take a picture for the blog, so the shot above is courtesy of Google Images, but it looks about right – a lovely paved trail right along the water.  It was bustling with runners and cyclists, but the fitness traffic flowed smoothly.

I ran a pleasant 5.5k doing 7:1’s – a bit of a slow pace, but I was enjoying myself.  I had already eclipsed my weekly kilometer PB this week, and already ran my goal of 3 sessions, so this was all bonus.  It felt really good.

Hamilton is nice and functional for running, but I usually just run around my residential neighborhood.  Running along the canal really sold me on the idea of running in new locations, and new cities where possible.  The experience is so much nicer than the usual houses I run past every day.  Wouldn’t it be nice to travel across Canada, or North America, or the World seeing new cities, and running in each of them as we go?  I’m kinda thinking that sounds fantastic!  Seriously, I’m getting into this running thing!

On another note, I got my bike fixed up on Friday on my way out of town, so she’s ready to roll again!  So this coming week’s goal is to mix in some hard bike workouts without losing any of the solid running and swimming foundation I put in last week.  I foresee a couple Brick workouts in my future this week – actually kinda looking forward to it.

21 days to race day…

-DO’G

Weekly Recap – Feb 20-26

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Look, it's a calendar from google images!

I was thinking about the last post that I did yesterday, and realized it really just was a summary of my workout, and without any real story or thought analysis, it was a pretty damn boring post.  So here you go – I’ve started this one off with a picture.  Don’t say I don’t entertain! 🙂

(I actually kinda like the image idea.  Maybe I’ll do this more often – when I’m not being lazy that is)

This past week was a pretty good one.  Coming off an unintentional rest week the week before, I was a bit concerned about jumping back in the deep end, so to speak.  But it went pretty well, all told.  2 Swims, 1 Run, 2 Lift sessions.

The swims were pretty good.  I learned that I really have no idea which way my nose is pointing, and look like an absolute goof with a flutter board.  But I put in the time and distance I had planned and felt particularly strong on my second swim.

The run certainly wasn’t great – only laced up the shoes once, and only for 4kms.  Granted, it was a PB pace shattering 4kms (if it were at all worth tracking one’s PB 4km distance), so it was actually a pretty good workout, but I really would have liked to put more miles behind me this week.  I think that’s my biggest goal going into next week: get my running distance in.  Next week’s goal: 15km.  There – I posted it to the interwebs.  There’s no pulling it down now!

The lifting was really good, particularly the 2nd session.  I hit a few muscle groups I haven’t hit in a long time.  Way too long.  It’s so easy to get into a rut when lifting weights at home, it’s nice to break free from that.  It feels… up lifting (sorry, I had to).  As much as the lifting felt great, the change in stretching strategy was amazing!  The extra blood flow through my neck and back felt like a million bucks.  Must keep that up.

Goals for this upcoming week:

  • 3 run sessions.  Must do.  My goal is 15kms (which is quite aggressive, not based on my skill level, but based on my lazy level)
  • 2 swim sessions.  Trying to step up the running without sacrificing the swim.  Break out the champagne if I can hit all 5 sessions!
  • STRETCH!  Amazing what a good feeling it was this week to stretch properly.  Imagine what it could do for my well being if I kept it up for a full week.  Imagine what it could do for my training!  It seems like such a little thing – but it’s doing the little things to take care of myself that allows you do the big things.  I want to do 2 stretch sessions, all 7 days this week.  Even if I don’t get a training session in, I can find 15 minutes to stretch.

-DO’G

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The Week That Was

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

This past week…

  • Ran once – 5.02km
  • Lifted once – 20 minutes

I give myself a C+ for this past week’s effort.  Both run and lift sessions were really good (or this week would have been really ugly).  But the truth is I didn’t come close to my goals for the week.

Sunday night is a good time to look back on the week and figure out next week’s plans.  I go back to some advice once given to me: “Nobody is going to make it important for you if you don’t first make it important yourself” (I’d cite the source, but I honestly can’t remember where that comes from).

One run this week.  Only one.  I had all the best plans for a schedule – it got derailed.  Our actions in life reflect our priorities.  I can have every excuse in the book, but if it didn’t get done, then it wasn’t as important as everything else that happened.

So what else did happen this week? A little wedding planning and a few great visits with some important friends.  Both important things.  So I don’t feel bad giving myself a C+ this week.  Our actions in life reflect our priorities – Tri training is great, it’s fun, it’s important… but so are friends and family.  I don’t mind if those are the things that “got in the way”

And with a little luck, I’ll still get another run in tonight to wrap up the week on a high note…

-DO’G

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