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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Taste of Higher Volume Training

Jumping in a few weeks ago, my training increased by adding some bike and swim sessions just before leaving on two weeks vacation.  I’ll admit that I felt pretty awful after the first week and wasn’t sure how serious this training might actually get going forward.

Last week was the perfect training week.  I’m going to call this my first real week of triathlon training.  I hit every workout on the schedule.  Stupidly, I tended to extend the bike and swim sessions beyond scheduled time/distance because I feel such a sense of inadequacy about those disciplines.  Today, the weekly summary comes in from DailyMile and shows the problem.

Since I rarely use this blog to go over my training, I’ll have to tell you why this is alarming.  I have not had more than 5 workouts (all running) in months.  I also have rarely covered more than 20 miles in a week (again all running).  So basically, I added 5 more workouts and 30 miles (on the bike) to my workload instantly.  This my friend, is far to large of an increase in volume to stay healthy.

Here’s my dilemma.  I like to always be ready to run a half marathon.  This way I can enter a race on a whim or shuffle on to full marathon training without all the base building period.  Thus, my mileage needs to stay up around 20 miles or more each week in 4-5 workouts.  Others would recommend more mileage, but that’s how I roll.  So in order to train for a triathlon, I thought I’d simply add biking and swimming to my existing schedule even though every training plan I looked at for a Sprint Distance Triathlon would nearly cut my running mileage in half.  Somewhere in yesterdays 13 miles on the bike I told myself I needed to rethink this plan.  While 30 miles on the bike is nothing and 2 swim workouts far from exhausting, they are a lot considering I was at zero only a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, this week my schedule is goofed up by a short two day trip to take my son off to his freshman year of college.  I’ll still get some workouts in, but I’d like it to be a down week.  Then, I can regroup the following week to push hard again.

At this point the hardest part of this new triathlon thing is workout scheduling.  I need to start my morning workout around 5:00 AM.  It is still very dark, so the only option is running.  Which is great, except when you need to bike or swim.  I might spend a morning on the bike trainer next week to see how that goes.  I could also join one of the local fitness clubs to have a pool available to me, but I’m already bleeding money from the gear I’m stashing away.

Anyway, I just having a good time with it all right now.  Also, I wanted to mention an amazing development.  My heart rate during my run Saturday stayed much lower than normal.  It could just have been slightly cooler temperatures, but I think even a few weeks of cross training has had a positive result.  I’ll report back in another week or two on this development to see if it is genuine.