With my first race of the year this weekend and my first triathlon of the year next week, things have kicked into short and fast mode for the next two weeks. As races approach my workouts tend to drift more towards higher intensity efforts that are shorter, than longer efforts. This allows me to maintain my fitness while increasing my ability to recover and taper for races. Shorter more intense workouts are easier to recover from than longer and easier workouts.
Because this year’s first tri is an indoor one, it means that some things need to be tweaked a bit to improve my results there. For example – getting used to riding on a normal trainer where I’m aiming for the highest possible MPH – rather than just focusing on watts and staying in zone. See, in an indoor triathlon it’s all about the distance you go in the time allotted. I can change my cadence and gearing and produce drastically different speeds (and thus results) with a flick of the shifters. Normally when I’m on the CompuTrainer the speeds are irrelevant because the resistance is a constant (watts) – even if I change gears.
Of course, the biggest change in an indoor triathlon is that you’re in a pool. Quite frankly – this sucks for me. I’m not a high school or college swimmer – so my ability to nail a perfectly executed flip turn and really get the most out of the wall is minimal. And in an indoor tri – the wall is a great place to get back (or lose) time. Mostly losing time for me.
So I’ve been focusing on both my normal swimming form and my flips this week. Yesterday I did a bunch of the usual technique/drill stuff I do, then I went into 3×7:00 sets. In this case it was basically 3×500 intervals.
Unfortunately over the past five weeks my pool time has sucked. This is due to a perfect storm of factors – starting with two blizzards closing pools for a week (not the DQ kind either!), then one week trip to Vancouver for the Olympics and finally one very busy week trip to Nebraska. So I’ve only been in the pool a few times. But I’m starting to get back into the swing of things, and while my times are still off about 20 or so seconds for 500’s, they’re getting close again.
After the last interval was finished I immediately bailed from the pool and made haste to my bike. It was sitting in my car with a little trainer handy. In an ideal world I would be able to put it on the pool deck (like some lucky Pro’s can do) – I had to work with the rather quiet parking lot instead. I only needed about 15 minutes on there – just as a matter of getting my legs used to the transition of pushing hard on a bike.
Given all my training last year was focused on Ironman-distance events, the transition to the bike then was all about ‘settling’ into zone for the long haul. This year it’s about pushing hard per the plan from the start – as the time’s limited!
I was pretty happy with the ‘ride’ – I quickly built up my wattages in the first 2 minutes, and then just hammered away. Though, one little challenge was this particular wheel didn’t have a speed magnet on it, so I need to rectify that…otherwise all is for not. You can see the short build in pink (watts) before I stabilize and stay pretty constant with my HR evening out as well (red). Yellow is cadence – I was trying to get closer to 95 without sacrificing too much wattage (or assumed speed in this case), playing around with different gears.
Before I knew it, I was done – 10 minutes goes by pretty quick. Simple as that.
And moment later, I remembered the camera…still clicking away on interval mode. Doh.
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