Thursday 3 January 2013

Training up to the New Year

My training partners - Garmin Swim and Forerunner 410
   So this post is really to bring my training up to date so I can begin tracking my progress from here.  My initial intent for this blog was more of a simple online training diary. I have a Garmin GPS watch for tracing my running and cycling, as well as a Garmin Swim watch for the pool.  I do keep track of all of my training data through there, but it leaves out all of the variables and isn't able to give the data context. What I mean to say is there is no room for how I was feeling, tracking injuries, illness or any other extenuating factors that can effect training. I'll do my best to sum up my training to this point including all of my mishaps and rookie mistakes. Personally I learn better from my mistakes than from any other outside source and I have been making plenty. I am at a point now where I have thought about the need for a coach and the guidance their experience could bring, but at this time it's financially out of reach as well as a potential scheduling nightmare.

  I already explained my first big mistake back in August 2012 when I began. Adjusting my running technique without thinking that my legs would need time to adjust. This really stems to my arrogance as an athlete. After going so far in another sport and being fairly proficient in many others I horribly over-estimated my own abilities. I assumed I could just push my body like I had in skateboarding and if I wanted to do something, I simply assumed I just could. Wrong.

   The next mistake I made and still struggle with to this day is pace. Currently in the upcoming season I'm only looking to do sprint distance triathlons as my first events. Sprint distance is - 750m swim, 20km cycling & 5km run. I want speed over distance. So I began going fast, as fast as I could, all the time. Wrong. Running suffered first from my calf injuries and swimming plateaued very quickly as I was swimming 50m (2 lengths of a pool) fairly quickly. I was placing my body into immediately oxygen debt causing long, air gasping breaks at the end of each lap. Luckily, since I was terrible at cycling I was unable to keep a fast pace and settled into whatever I do to just make some distance.

Here are some of my beginning paces:

Swimming -  1:46min/100m (with breaks)  19:30min/750m (continuous)
Running 5km - 23:04 (4:37 min/km) Oct 12, 2012
Cycling - 25km/h my furthest ride to date being 56km Sept 29, 2012

   The last of my big mistakes was pushing distance and pace at every workout. I had worked my way up to 14km which I went for November 24, 2012. It was on the back hilly section of Around the Bay (ATB). I felt good that morning and with Chris following me on her bike I was out to impress. I did just that. 14km in 1:12:19 (5:10min/km). However, within an hour I was unable to walk and my calves were completely obliterated. The next morning I felt like I had the flu. I had also skipped several active recovery weeks as I was making great progress and didn't want to halt it. Wrong again. Within 2 days I was actually sick with a cold but decided I could just keep pushing through it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. So 2 weeks later as soon as I could walk again I went for it once more. I ran the Hamilton Rail Trail. A gravel path where most of which is a nice, long uphill grade. I blew the doors off what I thought I could accomplish. I pulled off 8km in 36:49min (4:36min/km) and had my hands in the air when I finished. Unfortunately for me, by the time I made it home the stabbing pains in both my calves left me crippled. I have always stretched before and after exercise, as well as every evening before bed. I ice immediately after exercise, a habit I picked up during my years of preforming skateboard shows. All this to no avail. Learning nothing up to this point and still blindly believing in my abilities, 4 days later on December 8th and still fighting a nasty cold, I ran 14km again. This time at Hamilton's Bay Front Park. Just when I thought I couldn't be any more ignorant, I ran an out and back instead of a loop. So on my return to my truck 9km in, my calves began to fail again. It was extremely cold and I wasn't dressed for a walk so I chose to run or limp out as best as I could those last 5km. That was it, my calves were seriously injured now. It would take until December 29th after weeks of icing, stretching and foam rolling, (my new discovery from friend and great runner Steph Mcaulay) to reach a 15km run/walk. This was my furthest distance to date, but I still was unable to make it without walking several times o rest my calves.

   Originally, I had convinced Chris to run ATB again, this time with me. She was still planning to run it but it took a lot of convincing her to run it with me because she was afraid she would just hold me back. It would be my first attempt at long distance and something we could accomplish together. That is until one night she bravely admitted her own personal struggle to strive for personal best in her true sport, cycling. This left me training for a 30km race in March 2013, alone. My goal now is simply to finish it. I have spoken in great length here concerning running. I quickly found after beginning my training that running was where my heart lay, followed closely by swimming. Most of my 16 races this upcoming season are running, the majority of which will be 5km road and trail. I'm still planning 4 triathlons, but will get into more detail of my race season plans in a later post.
My bike in it's winter home

   Swimming has been coming along steady due to the fact that it's difficult to get injured unless you're swimming everyday. My 750m time is now down to approximately 17:30. Cycling is difficult to say as it's been all trainer work now that it's winter. The Silver Surfer is sitting on my Cyclops trainer and I've just recently been using my Garmin to track speed and cadence. Workouts are getting longer and I'm still moving up on the tension while maintaining the same cadence and heart rate. I guess I'll have a better idea in the spring when I get back on the roads in fresh air and sunshine.

  This bring me up to the present where I will try and post at least weekly data concerning my training and some thoughts about how my diet and health are progressing. At this point I'm in the middle of a diet makeover, completely removing dairy, animal meat (I will be keeping eggs and fresh fish on occasion), plus an addition of a bi-daily alkalizing green smoothie. Well here goes nothing...

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