I think there is a big difference between proper triathlon training and doing a little bit of swim-bike-run stuff and maybe possible hundred other things. I feel like I am again in the training phase and mood. I can feel it in the increased need of sleep, tired legs and shoulders, but also very motivated and happy mind and improved fitness. It feels great to able to make proper training weeks again, suffer – in positive sense – in tough trainings and feel better shape coming every week. I hope this lasts long without big problems, as it did last year.
After a rather easy first week of 2017, I am now back to a 3-week more intensive period including tougher sessions and a FTP test. I am quite happy how the first week went. Here are some things:
I had done only one FTP test earlier. It was in November when I started training with Mette. So, I had only one result to which to compare my cycling shape. In November I wasn’t in very good shape, but I felt that FTP test went still quite okay. I was then able to cycle with very high heart rate and got very probably all out of myself. On the two following weeks after the test, it was a bit difficult to keep the target watts on interval sessions.
This time my max heart in the test was 6 lower and average heart rate also 2 lower. So, I didn’t get that well all out of myself, but I could cycle more stable and not start far too fast. The result was also better now. Average watts were 7W higher, and since I weigh now 1kg less, is the result of course in that sense better. In the table below, I land now in Excellent, cat. 1. For a Kona AG podium placement, it’s probably not good enough. There is still a lot work to do with my cycling! But I feel I am the way of getting better. :) And I’m learning more about watt-based training.
I feel quite stupid that I didn’t do a FTP test before my Ironman last September. It would be nice to compare my current cycling shape to my Ironman-debut shape. I feel that I am now still behind September shape, but not very much.
3 very good swim sessions, one swim technique check
Winter and spring is the time to find a new level to my swimming, which has been still far behind my running shape and a little behind my cycling shape. As you can’t order new levels from Internet, work is needed. And work has been already started. I swam four times this week, including two rather good interval sessions, one technic check with Mette and one long endurance swim. I swam Monday intervals alone and Thursday intervals with Stian, who is stronger than me and helps me to push a bit harder or longer. Swimming is indeed much more fun with company! And faster when drafting someone faster… :) However, solo swims teach me also a lot. Saturday’s 5,5km program as a solo swim sounded quite horrible. I was afraid that I want to quit swimming and go home already after 2km, since shoulders had felt a bit tired on Friday. I surprised myself by realizing after 3km that swimming became more and more relaxed and smooth. I guess I got confidence that I will survive and nail the training.
Learned: You are often stronger than you think!
Running on Saturday afternoon some hours after the swim felt quite heavy though. You can’t always win.
Happy with January running shape
I hate being in bad running shape. Well, who wouldn’t. But compared to cycling and swimming, running somehow feels often stupidly important to me. I get a lot of confidence, if my running shape is good and I feel that I am getting faster, reaching my PR paces from 2013, the time I was only running. Earlier I also used to become rather depressed if my running shape was bad and HR monitor showed a high HR for a slow pace. Last year I tried to learn away from that and not to pay too much attention on single bad days, if overall shape seemed to be good and, what important, going to the right direction. I learned quite well that mindset change. A great help there was that I didn’t have that many bad days between February and October.
After November’s and December’s sicknesses, I forced my head again to think that bad running shape is temporary. With normal and consistent training I can be fast back to my old level and then start to search for even faster paces. To my delight, it has worked out just like I wanted. With a few weeks’ training, I think I’ve already caught the missed speed from late 2016 and I’m eager to train more and be much faster in summer 2017.
This week I did one harder run, which was progressive 10km on treadmill. I started with 4:25/km pace, increased 5s/km every kilometer, and thus ended with last kilometer being 3:40. I would have wanted to run two kilometers more and faster, but probably this old head has learned a little from past and knows that often too much is too much. :) You have always next training day coming.