Training Recap Week 4


After a rough few weeks, things started to come around. It’s a good thing I had a recovery week on the schedule. It was just what I needed to get myself back on track. I hit a major milestone this week with my swimming, which you probably already know if you saw it on Instagram. In any event, I’m feeling a lot better after this week and ready to dig back in before the Chilly Half in two weeks, and Around the Bay in five weeks.


1450m swim: We worked on our 200s today. It went fairly well, considering I had slept very poorly the night before.


7km run: A prescribed Zone 3 run that I thought would be a touch too high out of the zone, but the average worked out perfectly. I dragged my heels on this one and it was tough to get out the door, but I felt okay once I got moving. Isn’t that almost always the case?

40 minutes strength. Post-run strength was tough tonight. My coach said it’s quite normal to be tired on recovery week, which makes sense. I struggled with some of my circuit exercises, particularly my plank variations.


1775m swim: Our regular swim coach is still away and when I looked ahead at our workout, I immediately thought there was no way I was going to make it through without modifications. It said we were working on 800s. I had never been able to swim any more than 500m consecutively, and now we were to attempt 800? Guess what? I did it. And it was a little faster than prescribed. Had we not run out of time at practice, I would have completed not one, but two blocks of 800. It was a breakthrough practice for my swimming, and got me pumped for the weekend.

16.9km bike: The Type A in me cringed when the workout ended and I wasn’t able to get to the 17km mark. Really, Courtney?! Aside from that, though, the ride was fine.


9km run: Today’s run took a lot out of me, both physically and mentally. The first 5km was to be in Zone 2 (long run pace), and the last 4km in Zone 3. I’m being really firm with myself and trying my very best to give HR training an honest effort. Over 9km, I ran the slowest I had ever run for a sustained period of time. At times, I was running so slowly that it hurt. I stuck to it, though, and ended with an average pace that was slower than when I walked/ran the Chicago Marathon in 2015. I won’t lie, it was a very deflating run and left me questioning whether or not my spring goals were too aggressive.

40 minutes strength: On the upside, my strength workout went considerably better tonight than it did on Tuesday. My planks were a lot stronger, and I was able to dig a bit deeper after my slow run.


Rest. Glorious, glorious (scheduled) rest day.


21.4km ride: We came down to Ottawa for the long weekend, so I was up bright and early on Saturday to get in two workouts and get one of the dogs dropped off at boarding. Saturday is normally my long run day, but because of the timing with the dog drop-off and me wanting to do my long run on the Rideau Canal, we swapped my workouts. I did my low cadence ride really early, dropped off the dog, and headed to the pool for…

2012m swim: MY VERY FIRST 2KM SWIM!!! I was nervously looking forward to this ever since my coach added it to Training Peaks.


2200 yds/2012m. Not excited at all.


20km run: A sloppy run in Ottawa. We ran along the Rideau Canal and through Little Italy and back. It was sunny and warm, and I was able to run with Ryan, which is rare. He had 32km on his plan, and I really enjoyed being able to explore the city on foot with him. It is also worth noting that my splits were much faster today than on Thursday, which gave me a little more faith in HR training. It really hit home how much my HR can vary from day to day for a number of reasons, and helped me gain some perspective on Thursday’s run.


Swim: 5237m/2:18

Bike: 38.3km/1:40

Run: 36km/4:05

Strength: 1:19

Total Time: 9:42


Once again, the star of the show this week was the swim. After the confidence-boosting swim on Wednesday, I couldn’t wait to go for the 2km distance. I looked over the workout in Training Peaks at least once a day, and visualized it. I thought about how I would feel, and how I would regroup if it didn’t go according to plan. I broke apart the main set in my head and tried to anticipate how I would feel with each part. I went over strategies to negative split my last set. Mostly, I looked forward to the feeling of actually hitting the 2km mark. As I’ve written before, swimming has never come easily to me and being able to swim 2km in a single session really meant a lot to me. Don’t get me wrong; Saturday’s swim certainly hasn’t made things magically easy for me in the water. I’ve still got a ton of work to do with my swim, but this at least gave me some confidence in my long-term goals.

I know that I ultimately put in the hard work to make it happen, but I honestly don’t think it would have been possible without the encouragement of my swim group and having a coach that gives me that extra nudge. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: if it’s a possibility for you, find a swimming group.

With my runs getting longer for Around the Bay, and the extra swim, this may have been the most time I’ve ever spent working out in a single week! A recovery week was just what I needed to reset. I think I’m starting to regain some of the momentum that I was building before the end of January. As my work schedule challenged me, I also started to experience some of the winter blues. I normally struggle through the winter, so this was not surprising and I sort of anticipated it. This year has been a bit better, and having a new set of goals for training has made a big difference.

I’m looking forward to the final push before my goal races!

How did your week of training go? How do you set yourself up for success when you’ve got a milestone workout to complete?



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