This guy has nothing to do with anything, I just thought he was funny. OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay
This was my last “easy” week until taper. Oh, free time, how I am going to miss you.
Monday – Rest Day – traveling back from Williamsburg
Tuesday – Rest Day. Supposed to do an easy 20 minute swim, but since I had been out and the boss had been out for over a week, I opted to go to work on time. Plus I got in the easy swim Sunday night, so that should count for something. Went for an easy walk after work just to keep the blood flowing.
Wednesday – Easy 45 minute bike. Did this on my road bike since my tri bike was in the shop (I still don’t know how I lost a spoke nipple during the race, but I find it hilarious that spoke nipples exist). It made me realize just how much I really love my tri bike when compared to my road bike.
Thursday – Easy 2 mile run. Did this in the neighborhood and was absolutely DRENCHED when I was done. So disgusting.
Friday – Rest day
Saturday -Tri Camp!
Sunday – Easy 4 mile run. Once again, DRENCHED. And this weekend is supposed to be even warmer.
Apparently, I bought my treadmill five years ago. And I have beaten the odds! My treadmill is not used for hanging clothes or stacking things. I run on it at least once a week, much more in the cold months. I use it for short runs, long runs (I’m not sure what my max is, but I’ve regularly done 10+ mile runs), speedwork, and hill work. While treadmill runs do get old after a while, there are ways to mix it up and keep them exciting.
First off, I need to distract my brain. I can’t just run and stare at the wall. That does not work for me. I cover up the screen so I can only see my pace (helpful when I’m running intervals), and then set my watch to beep so I know when to run/walk. I’m sure I could make the treadmill do this for me, but I haven’t bothered with the settings. Once I’m sure I’m not watching the time tick away, I put something good on the tv. I often save “good” tv shows to watch while on the treadmill, or I rent a movie for longer runs. Whatever it takes to keep my brain a bit distracted while I run.
I have the tv set a bit away from the treadmill. I know some people who use an iPad set on the treadmill display, but I can’t watch something that close. If you don’t have a tv available, consider watching something on a laptop placed on a tray table or whatever you may have laying around. Barring that, go for music, podcasts, or audio books. Whatever it takes.
Next, I generally try to mix it up a bit. Even if I just have a long run, I’ll play with the pace or the incline. Anything to change things up for my legs. If I were running outside, my pace wouldn’t be completely steady and the ground wouldn’t be completely flat, so the variety makes things at least a little bit more realistic.
Finally, if I need to, I break it up. If I have a 10 mile run, I might run 5, then stop and grab something to drink, stretch, then do the last 5 miles. We’re not talking a long break, but it’s something to look forward to as I work through the distance.
This weekend, I spent much of Saturday helping out at the Team Fight tri camp for the ladies doing the Iron Girl Columbia sprint in a few weeks. This is the first year since I started triathlon that I won’t be doing the race, so it was awesome to get out there and help out.
It was also awesome to realize just how far I have come. We started the day with an open water swim. I remember coming out to this water a few years ago and really struggling and Coach Dawn telling me that it was normal – that I had to remember that I knew how to swim, that I was competent in the water, and that I would be fine. She was right, of course. Doesn’t mean that I won’t have a moment of panic, but now I know what to do and how to deal with it. So when I found out there was a camp going on, I offered to help out. These sorts of workouts have given me so much, so it’s awesome to give back.
I spent some time in the water making sure that the ladies didn’t crash into each other or go totally off course. The group looked great – some super fast swimmers, some slower swimmers, but I have no concerns that every single one of them will finish the swim.
Then it was on to the bike. I helped make sure that they got onto the bike course, and then rode around, making sure that everyone was okay. Some big things that we worked on were proper passing skills (call out, go wide enough, and if you’re being passed, don’t feel like you have to move over – hold your space) and general bike handling skills.
I stayed out on the bike while the ladies did their run as well and rode with one of the slower runners. We thought she was the last one out there, but there was another duo still out. Whoops. But they were together, so it was all good. I also noticed some of the runners having some… support issues. Ladies. Get a good sports bra! I am obviously a champion of the Enell, but whatever you wear, make sure that you aren’t bouncing all over the place.
Because my tri bike was in the shop, I did this whole workout on my road bike, and it became abundantly clear that it is too big for me. I didn’t realize it when it was all I knew, but now that I’ve been spending time on a bike that fits properly, I see what the fitter was saying when he told me that the bike was too big. It’s still a source of frustration – a bike shop wanted to get the bike off the floor so they told me it fit when it’s clearly too big (it’s a Felt medium, and based on size charts, I should be on a small – my tri bike is a 47, which is tiny in comparison). But I’m not in a position to buy a new road bike, nor do I really need one. And since having two bikes is helpful for when you break one, I don’t see getting rid of it. I’m just glad to have my tri bike back (picked it up Saturday after the workout).
It is approximately one zillion degrees outside, give or take. I don’t know about you, but that makes workouts a challenge for me. Biking isn’t quite as bad because you create your own wind. But running… ugh. So very warm.
Here’s what I’ve found works for me to stay healthy and keep moving in the heat.
Hydration is obviously key. But I don’t just mean staying hydrated while you workout. No, you need to make sure you’re properly hydrated at all times. There is a lot of different “wisdom” out there about how much water you need – 64 ounces, 100 ounces, juice counts, juice doesn’t count, etc. I tend to aim for 100 ounces in the summer, plus whatever I consume while working out. But this isn’t a challenge for me. I’m not forcing down water or anything. So if you don’t drink very much water right now, don’t worry about hitting a certain goal. Just try to add a glass of water here and there.
For me, figuring out electrolytes (specifically sodium, but really electrolytes in general) was a huge thing. I used to get crushing headaches after a long run until I discovered that salt after a workout helped. If it helps after a workout, it must help during too, right? I’ve used salt pills and recently switched over to Base Salts, which I really like. Using electrolyte beverages just wasn’t cutting it for me. So as you’re training in the heat, experiment. Maybe the electrolyte drinks will work for you. Maybe you need something more. Since I don’t eat much processed food and don’t habitually salt my food, when I have a hot workout coming up, I make a point to add some salt to my meals, just a sprinkle here or there. It’s made a huge difference in how I feel after a workout.
Wear sunscreen. Just do it. I don’t care what kind you use, just make sure you apply it properly. And if you’ve had a few burns over the years, it never hurts to see a dermatologist for a skin check. I get one every year, just to be safe. It’s quick and easy and the reassurance is awesome.
Time of Day
If you haven’t noticed, it’s much warmer out in the middle part of the day. Getting in your workout early can really help you beat the heat. But you have to be smart and safe. I’m not going running at 3am in the dark outside. It’s just not happening. But there are running groups that meet early to get in their training. Safety in numbers and all. Just make sure you’re wearing a lot of reflective gear. Not just light colors – they don’t illuminate like you think they will. Reflective gear, blinky lights, the works. The more ridiculous you think you look, the better off you are.
Listen to Your Body
This is the most important part of working out in the heat. Listen to your body. You will probably have to slow down a bit. That’s okay. If you find yourself struggling to recover after a workout or find that you’re way more exhausted than you think you should be, get some rest. Heat is hard on your body even when you’re not exerting yourself, so be smart. It’s better to go into a race slightly undertrained and healthy than sick or injured.
I’m not going to bother with a weekly workout recap since last week was a major taper week. Basically, last week, I rode a little, biked a little, and swam very little, and then did a race.
I also must share this picture of a very important cat family that hung in our condo bedroom. This is a very serious family. But I suppose that is the way of old fashioned cat portraiture.
This week is another light week in terms of training, just a lot of easy recovery. I’m feeling really good today – no lingering soreness, and the little bits of pink from the sun have already faded. (Seriously, Zealios is a fabulous sunscreen.)
It’s a little scary to think that my next race is a 70.3. I’m definitely feeling unprepared, but that’s what the next many number of weeks (I refuse to count because it will make me nervous, and yes, I realize there is a countdown in my sidebar) are for. This weekend’s schedule is pretty easy, but next weekend starts the massive bike miles.
That said, I felt pretty good during this weekend’s race, and it makes me feel more confident in September’s 70.3. Yes, the course is significantly different, but here’s my logic. The swim was fast. The swim for Augusta will also likely be fast because of the current. Thumbs up. For the bike, this was a flatter course, but I held a fabulous pace, faster than I thought I could, so that’s huge. The run was a hot slog, but again, faster than I thought it would be, so that shows I can push when I need to.
My only time goal for Augusta 70.3 is to get an official finishing time – so under 8.5 hours. 8:29:59? That counts. Of course, I would like to be faster so I’m not totally stressing out on my run. If I can be onto the run course with 3.5 hours left, I will be happy. More than 3.5 hours and I will be delighted. So really, the goal for the next few weeks is to really work on my bike skills. Lots of hill riding, lots of long hard workouts. I’ll get there, but it’s going to be an adventure.