IMLP Training Weeks 1 & 2

Week 1: January 4-10: Recovery week & Travel

I am finally “officially” training for Ironman Lake Placid!!! I kicked off the new year with a 9 mile run on the Boston Marathon Course, a challenging computrainer hill class at FastSplits and 5,000 yards at the annual Miles for Marley charity swimming event hosted by my masters team, Cambridge Masters Swim Club. It’s funny to me that I am now officially training, when my schedule for the month of January doesn’t differ all that much from the past few months! The good news is that I have a great base to build off of, so I should be in good shape to slowly build by 5-10% over the next few weeks. My main focus for training is staying healthy and enjoying the process. In an effort to do so, I will be taking a cautious and conservative approach.

One key component of enjoying the process this year is staying positive and surrounding myself with positive people who understand my journey. I  have an amazing cheerleader in my coach, Kim Webster. My husband is unbelievably supportive, and is excited for me through this journey – I am so lucky! I also have many friends from Boston Triathlon Team, but many of my friends, family and coworkers fall into the category of “Non-Athletic Regular People” aka NARPs who just shake their head and tell me I’m crazy. These comments are not exactly motivating! This craving for positive reinforcement while Ironman training is a big reason I want to document the journey on this blog, instagram and facebook. Thank you in advance for your advice and support!

Monday: Key intensity ride Tunnabora on TrainerRoad 1 hour, 13 miles

I had planned on getting up early and doing this one before work, but my body was craving more sleep. So, I had to do this one after work, luckily I had the time. This workout was 5×7-minute sets of decreasing then increasing watts (88-94% FTP) in 1-minute steps to allow cadence changes over the course of each form interval. It also included 3×2-minute ILT (Isolated Leg Training) steps within the warmup and recoveries between intervals. If you use TrainerRoad, I highly recommend this workout. It was a lot of fun and constantly gave me something to focus on, so I never got bored.

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PT Session – 1:30. I am working on functional core strength since I noticed this fall that my right side was extremely weak compared to my left. I also have piriformis issues and my chronic L5 disc issue. My hope is that all of these exercises will help stabilize the back so it’s not a problem for me on July 24, 2016!

Tuesday: 4,000 yards at Cambridge Masters Swim Club

I just love this group so much. What an awesome way to start the day. So much love for my swim ladies!

Wednesday: Key Endurance Ride 1:15 Collins on TrainerRoad & 20 minute durability run

In an effort to get in as much cycling as possible before heading out to Colorado, my schedule was front loaded with cycling before I left I completed an endurance ride and a quick 20 minute “durability run”, these runs are crucial for building consistency so I can run a marathon after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike!

Thursday: Day off for travel

I arrived in CO to crazy snow storms, luckily I was able to upgrade my rental car to an SUV which saved my life! Even still, it is crazy to me that CO doesn’t plow roads other than main arteries. What do people without 4-wheel drive cars do?!

Friday: Quick 30 minute spin on the hotel bike

This was a tough one for me. The snow was absolutely dumping in Denver and made it impossible to complete a run outside. I then tried to make plans to swim with my friend Katy, who recently moved to Colorado, but we couldn’t find a pool that would accept non-residents. What the?! Next time a little planning on my behalf would have worked better. Luckily I was able to get a quick spin in at the hotel gym and then it was off to Bachelorette festivities.

Saturday: 8 Miles on the Boulder Creek Path

Unable to sleep and still on east coast time, I decided to head out to the Boulder Creek Path to get an 8 mile long run in. The path was a bit icy at times, but it was breathtaking and incredibly scerene. Everytime I went around a corner and the mountains came into view I freaked out. I had to back off my normal “E-Pace” (also known as Z1, Aerobic pace for long runs) due to the altitude, but I felt significantly better than I had anticipated. Special thanks to the Rockies for some awesome running scenery.

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Seriously, I would run on this path EVERYDAY if I lived here!

Then the bachelorette festivities included a afternoon at the spa, time to hang around and catch up and then a delicious sushi dinner finished off with Karaoke! Super fun, but I was pooped! Since my normal wake up time is 4:30-5am at home, I just couldn’t sleep in while I was in CO. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to bed at my normal time so I was exhausted the entire time!

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Sunday: day off for travel

I was up again before the rest of Boulder woke up and started the day with some coffee with one of my best friends, Courtney. I really would have loved to have gotten a quick workout in, but leaving Boulder at 9am and arriving back at home at 6:30pm, I was exhausted. I crashed early and slept like a baby!

Weekly Total:
1 hour of swimming (4,000 yards)
2:47 biking (28.8 miles)
10 miles running
1 hour of strength/PT/core
Total: 6:29 of training
Not the most consistent week that I was hoping to kick off training with, but it was the best that I could put together despite traveling.

Week 2: January 11-17

This week I was eager to get all of my workouts in and have a green week on trainingpeaks! I find turning those “boxes” on my schedule green to be so satisfying and red boxes to be extremely frustrating. I’m trying not to sweat it and just focus on consistency, which is the goal for training!

Monday: Regeneration ride on TrainerRoad 1:00

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It felt great to spin the legs out and catch up on TV. And detoxing! I usually like to go “booze free” to detox from holiday gatherings laden with sugar and alcohol, but given the timing of the bachelorette party I didn’t really have that luxury during the first week of training! I celebrated detox by having sparkling water in a wine glass 🙂

Tuesday CMSC masters 3,900 yards, Key intensity ride 1:15 Langille on TrainerRoad

Great mid-distance practice with lots of 100’s and 200’s. I’m feeling very strong in the water which is fantastic. It’s always good to feel strong in your favorite sport! In the evening I completed Langille on Trainerroad, a 1:15 workout. Langille is 3×10-minute intervals in the Threshold power level at 95-99% FTP with 6-minute recoveries between intervals. These intervals are bookended by stretches of Endurance work that will end up giving you 75 minutes of ride time.

Wednesday: Strength/PT and 20 minute Durability Run

Thursday: mini strength session and Key intensity run 4.5 miles

It’s so great to feel noticeable improvement when doing these core, glute and hamstring exercises

Friday 4,600 yards CMSC

Tons of lactate threshold swimming which was SO tough! Thank goodness for active recovery.

Saturday 1:40 FastSplits Trainer Class 

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Riding with my ladies, Kristen and Meg, both of whom are doing Lake Placid!

IMG_6644Luz Ardiden in the Pyrenees – WOW this was hard! AC/DC “Highway to Hell” came on during a brutal 20 minute stretch and it made everyone laugh. These classes are such great workouts and I love the camradare between all of the athletes. The majority of the class was at 95-105% FTP as we climbed a mountain. By the end I was completely toast! In the afternoon Rob and I cheered on the New England Patriots to victory!

Sunday: 9 Miles & 45 Minutes of Strength

I started the day off with a Sunday Group Run with BTT in South Boston 9 miles, followed by brunch at our wonderful host’s home! It was great to be in the old neighborhood and running my the ocean. That is what I miss most about Southie! Then I finished out the weekend with 45 minutes of strength and PT exercises.IMG_6653

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Weekly Total:

2 hours swimming (8500 yards)
3 hours and 55 minutes biking (54.6 miles)
2 hours and 39 minutes of running for 16 miles
1 hour and 55 minutes of strength
10:28 swimming, biking, running and strength & PT

MUCH better week and all of my boxes were green on training peaks, YEAH! Not having to scramble and also not having to travel really helped me nail this week’s workouts! Unfortunately it is short lived as I have travel coming up with a quick work trip to Texas!

How do you balance training with travel? Do you have a lot of friends who are NARPs? If so, how do you relate to them?!

Onto 2016! Mission: Ironman Lake Placid 2016

Another year is ending? When did this happen?! Wow. 2015, you were a wild one with so many ups and downs. Work chaos and the emotional stress associated with said chaos, winding down with my last job, starting a new job, moving and then of course, general buzz of my over scheduled life! I’m sure that many of my fellow type-A triathletes are in the same exact boat.

I recently saw this on social media and could not help but share it immediately, as I felt that it captured my year so perfectly:

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2015 certainly was not what I was anticipating it would be. Don’t get me wrong, there were amazing bright spots and happy moments. And the down periods, they have helped me learn so much about myself over the past year. One thing that has become painfully clear is that I really only have one speed, and that is all in and 100% committed. I have learned how to operate without completely burning myself out moving forward, which will be incredibly helpful in the year ahead and beyond. So, just as the above quote states, I am exactly where I am meant to be.

One of the most exciting things to look forward to in 2016 is that I am finally making the leap to the full ironman distance at Ironman Lake Placid July 24, 2016. For those who know me well, it comes as no surprise. I have frequently told the story about watching the Ironman World Championship footage in elementary school and becoming entranced by the athletes pushing themselves beyond their limits. Many athletes were actually crawling over the finish line! Some people would say “no way”, but instead I instantly said “they are insane…I want to do that someday.” And, nearly 20+ years later, after many hours of number crunching, discussions with medical professionals, lifestyle conversations with my husband, course research, question and answer sessions with  my BTT teammates — it all led me to signing up for Lake Placid. 

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I now feel more dialed into my body than I ever have before. I can’t say I am happy that I have had so many injuries and the fact that I am prone to injury, but with each day I learn more and more about my body and the right way to approach each workout. Over the past few years I have acquired a “care team” that is determined to get me to the start line by being proactive and addressing instabilities and weaknesses before they become a major issue. 

One incredible learning experience over the past year has been working with my coach, Kim Webster from Breakthrough Performance Coaching. My schedule was so variable over the past year due to work chaos that it was difficult to achieve the consistency that I crave. Luckily, I have a more reasonable work schedule with my new job and training is one of my biggest priorities in 2016. Working with her over the past year has taught me a great deal about the sports of cycling and running, most specifically how to train as efficiently as possible. Additionally, she has her masters in Sports Psychology and is always there with a helpful tip or strategy for race day. One extra special awesome bonus is that Kim is actually racing at IMLP as well! I am looking forward to going through this journey alongside my incredible coach. 

In preparation for this journey I have been doing a few upgrades to my gear in anticipation of my journey, most namely I have a new trusty steed: a Guru Cycles CR 401!

IMG_6272Special thanks to the patient and extremely knowledgable staff at Fit Werx for setting me up on this incredible rig. If you live in New England and are in need of a bike fit on an existing bike, or are in the market for a new bike, I highly recommend reaching out to them about as their “fitting first” services. They are extremely knowledgable, patient and have absolutely no ego or high pressure selling tactics. I also bought my first aero hydration system, a new ROKA Maverick Elite wetsuit and my first ever Power Meter, a Stages unit. Over the past year I have spent a lot of time using Trainer Road with “Virtual Power”, which is a good affordable (read: FREE) solution for power measurement, but I have personally found it to be incredibly inaccurate. So I am thrilled to have this tool in my back pocket. 

So there it is! The year of Mission: Ironman Lake Placid is about to begin and I couldn’t be more excited. 

Have you done an Ironman before? Or, do you aspire to do one someday? Do you have any recommendations for a first time ironman triathlete?