Life Stress & Training

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Hello there! Last week was a mostly good one for my training. I hit a big cycling milestone, but struggled with some of my swimming. My runs felt good last week, and I was finally able to get back to strength training. All in all, a great week. Here’s what I was up to on the training side of things:

Monday

39km ride: Most of the city’s pools were closed for Easter Monday, so I didn’t have swim practice. In the evening, I did a steady ride with some short zone 5 intervals thrown in for good measure.

#twofertuesday

6km run: Oh, hi, morning running! For the second week in a row, I was able to get a run in before work. This time, however, I did a run commute! I bought a little running backpack over the weekend and packed my clothes and lunch up. It was an awkward 6km because I’ve never run with a backpack before, but I’ll get the hang of it. I used the shower at one of my work gyms and got it done!

5km run: Running home was a bit maddening with the crowded sidewalks at rush hour. I ran a bit faster than normal to get up into zone 3. It was such a great feeling to get home from work at my normal time, having accomplished two workouts. I plan to run to/from work occasionally when we move.

Wednesday

650m swim: I was supposed to do my 400m time trials and filming this morning. I got my filming done, but when I started my 400m time trial, I had a panic attack just before the 100m mark. I tried to regroup and finish up, but I just couldn’t. I had difficulty breathing, my mind was racing, and I just had to get out. It was both scary and embarrassing, even though I know I had no reason to be ashamed. I am not sure what triggered it. I know I have been stressed lately, but not in the day or so leading up to this particular swim. I dwelled on this for a bit longer than I should have.

39km ride: A really awesome low cadence ride. I made up for the botched time trial, and then some. I’ve already mentioned this in last week’s recap and told my coach and others, but I’m really surprising myself with how much I’ve been enjoying my rides. I look forward to each one, and it truly has been the best stress relief lately.

Thursday

8km run

40 minutes strength

I had intervals on my plan, but Mother Nature had a monsoon on hers. Okay, maybe not an actual monsoon, but it was raining hard enough that I deferred my intervals to Friday. I can tolerate some rain, but it was excessive and I knew the weather was forecasted to be much better on Friday. I wasn’t ready to take the red boxes in Training Peaks, though, because my body was itching to run and I was actually looking forward to the intervals.

Friday

Rest. Glorious, glorious (scheduled) rest day. It was also a holiday, so everything was closed and I couldn’t even run errands. It was a great day to recharge!

8km run: I felt great the whole time during my intervals! Pushing them back by a day was definitely the right decision. I had 12 repeats of 2:00 in zone 4 on my schedule. I was picking them off, one by one, and seeing my paces get faster, which was very encouraging. When I had a few left, I thought to myself, “Hey, I bet I’m covering close to 400m in these repeats.” Even last year, seeing 400m repeats on a training plan would have paralyzed me with fear of failure, but here I was, powering through them like it was no big deal. I was very happy with how this run went.

40 minutes strength: Still on a runner’s high from my intervals, I knocked out my strength training right after. As I stated last week, my big focus this week was getting back to strength work. This was my first attempt since before Around the Bay! It was sufficiently challenging, but manageable. I was afraid that I would be super sore the next day, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The body, it rebounds. 🙂

Saturday

1825m swim: I went to Regent Park today for my endurance swim, which is always quite chaotic and busy during public lane swim. However, it’s close to home, free, and I had a busy day on Saturday, so close to home was best. I did a couple of longer sets and finished my swim over in the fast lane. Fancy.

39km ride: The long ride was a real mixed bag today. You don’t get to choose where you ride on Zwift, so on Saturday, I was riding in “London.” That meant it was a super hilly course, which was reflected in the mileage covered. I was fairly frustrated to cover the same distance in 1:40, as I had previously covered this week in 1:15 and 1:20. I avoided temptation to kick up the gear and push my wattage to get over the hills. I stuck to the planned power zones. Ah, well. This ride put me over the 100km mark for the week (117km, to be exact), which is the most I have ever ridden. So, I really couldn’t be too mad about it. 😉

Sunday

14km long run: Perfection! The sun was out, and my run was ahhhhhhhhh-mazing! Seriously, I enjoyed every step from start to finish. I forgot sunscreen (oops!), but other than that, everything on the run was smooth sailing. I focused on proper form the entire time. My paces were back in old long run territory, so it’s safe to say that I’m feeling much better about my running these days.

40 minutes strength: My legs were very tired after the run, but I knew that I would regret it if I skipped my strength. Let’s just say that my weighted wall sits were quite the struggle!

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Swim: 2,475m/0:57

Bike: 117km/4:16

Run: 33km/3:17

Strength: 1:21

Total Time: 9:51

Wow! What a week! With the exception of the time trial that didn’t go to plan, I had a near-“perfect” week of training. I know I really should let go of the idea of striving for perfection in my workouts. Compared with last week, it was another improvement, which I’m really happy about. I was also thrilled to have ridden 117km for the week! I’m consistently riding 3 times a week now, and I’m eager to see how I will do on the bike portion of my races this summer. I’m also curious to see if my FTP has changed. I’d really like to have it re-tested before we move, if at all possible.

Looking ahead to this week, I’ve got my first group ride on Saturday with the Toronto Triathlon Club, followed by a half-day clinic for new triathletes. I’m looking forward to learning some new skills, and I hope to connect with some other beginners. It should be a fun weekend ahead!

Life Stress & Training

It’s no secret that things have been a bit hectic around here lately. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have to move. The stress of finding a suitable space that will allow two dogs (one of which has special needs) is not easy in this city. We were willing to give up some of the ‘extras’ that we were fortunate enough to have in our current space, but finding a place still wasn’t easy. We looked at 7 places in total, which cut into my training for a week or so. When a landlord calls, you drop things and go. Otherwise, there are many others who are willing to take your place. That meant a few missed workouts, even though it was necessary. I tried to be kind to myself, but my mental game took a real hit that week as I tried to juggle everything.

We ultimately settled on a house that we’re really excited to move into. However, it is far away from where we live now. We are going to miss our neighbourhood and house so much, although I think the new neighbourhood will be good for us. There’s a big pool close by. It’s not free, but city swimming passes are reasonably priced. I will have to leave my swim group, which makes me sad, but I’m already researching my options.

Our moving date will be sometime early in June, so there’s still time to find a good moving company and pack everything. I’m certainly not naive enough to think that the move won’t affect my training any further, but I’m just trying to roll with it. The benefits of having a coach become increasingly evident to me at times like this, and I’m lucky to have a amazing one. In advance of the move, I am trying my best not to dwell on having to potentially miss a workout or two, and preparing myself for some of my workouts not going as well as I would like.

I’m not the best at dealing with stress to begin with, and I generally take an all or nothing attitude towards things, which I am working on. I’ll definitely be writing a little more about the move as far as how it is affecting my training. I’m trying to be optimistic and think ahead to when this will all be a thing of the past.

How did your training go last week? How do you balance major life changes while training?

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