Another four week cycle in the books. This lat cycle’s primary goal focused on getting back up to previous month’s volumes and I think I succeeded in achieving that goal. December’s training proved terrible as I was riddled with injury and illness, barely achieving 19 hours of training. Previous months concluded with closer to 30 hours of training. Similar to the phases previous to December, this last one proved successful as I achieved roughly 27 hours of training. Additional to volume, this phase concludes with solid progressions in swimming, cycling and running. Overall this phase of training has been a success and pushed me closer to my first triathlon.
At the beginning of this phase, I identified that my primary focus aimed to increase my performance capabilities. I had achieved levels of fitness that would allow me to finish the distances of the triathlon. So I started to focus on getting better at each discipline.
After a few days into this phase, I decided I needed to focus on a short period of running interval work to increase my overall speed in a 5k.. Unlie previous phases, I reduced the focus on distance workouts to one entailing intervals completely. As I have not reran a 5k distance yet to measure the performance, I am not certain how this has improved yet. Overall I feel stronger and like I have a greater duration. The first run of the new phase will consists of running a 5k distance to re-establish my base pacing.
I am continuing to get faster and more efficient at swimming. I have added some other strokes and I have continued progressing my ability to perform those strokes. I focused allot on interval sets and some drills and I have seen my 100 meter time go down from 2:24 to 2:05 during this phase.
While it has been cold, bike training has been reduced to long sessions on an indoor spin bike. So I am not wasting my time, I have tried to distribute these workouts as mixtures of heart rate zone work specifically aimed at different zones for different effect. My long hours per session feels to be paying off as my legs and lungs feel progressively stronger with every session.
Besides the three main disciplines, I have continued a focus on a core strengthening routine and Pilates classes. In Pilates I have gone from not being able to hold a plank to holding one for about 30-40 seconds. Additionally, there is a roll up exercise where you roll up using the abs and not the hips. Initially I was unable to complete one, but currently I complete 10-20. As I progress through the Pilates class I can feel the benefits of a tighter core and increased stability in the hips and lower back.
Phase 4 By the Numbers:
I managed a total of 27 hours for this phase, closer to my October/November numbers which is what I was striving for. My running distance is down because I have been focusing on interval training to increase my speed and have removed the longer runs temporarily. My spin time has increased astronomically as I have been working to train longer in specific zones. Often this is 2 hours in zone 2 with some zone 3 or zone 3 for an hour followed by zone 2 for an hour. Pretty good numbers for this phase so far and I am fairly happy with my progression. I had a very lazy recovery week, but with the mental stress of my current work experience I figured it was a good time to check out a little bit and just take it easy for a week. Looking at the chart, my time looks a bit unbalanced toward swimming and spinning. This is due to the fact that the interval sets I am doing for my running routine do not require more than an hour, where swimming usually lasts a bit past an hour and spinning is an hour and a half to two hours at a time.
Besides finishing this phase jobless, this phase has been pretty good so far. I feel the intervals for running will help improve my speed and the long zone specific spin workouts will aid my overall leg and lung endurance. At this point I feel like I am in a pretty good place for my April 7th “Ironman To Me” Triathlon (my term for my approach to my first sprint triathlon so I take it just as serious as someone training for an iron man race). I know I can do all the distances, its just the mechanics and performance I need to improve upon. The time is getting closer fast and soon I will be racing to finish my first triathlon. Hopefully I can overcome the torment to my schedule job hunting and joblessness can be. I am a creature of habit and this situation makes things difficult. It will work its self out eventually. Here is to another solid four weeks. Til next time.
- 11 Weeks and Counting: Marching to Triathlon (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)