Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter has arrived!

Last winter, as I was training for Boston, I was able to do all but four of my runs outside. This year is quite the contrast. I've already done about ten treadmill runs, and we've probably got about six more weeks until snow is no longer a possibility. Last weekend the entire northeast got hammered, and we got over two feet of snow at our house. It took me over three hours to clear our driveway after the snow stopped flying, and that included 45 minutes with a borrowed snow blower. Even our cats were shocked with all that snow (what is that white stuff?).

Even though I've had to spend more time running inside, I'm still getting in my workouts, and I'm definitely feeling faster across the board. This is especially true in the pool, where I'm getting in four good swims per week, and around 14,000-15,000 yards. My times are steadily getting faster in the pool, and I've seen my 'cruise' pace go from around 1:40/100 to around 1:35/100. I've recently done a few TT's: a 500 in 7:30, a 200 in 2:42, and a 100 in 1:16. While no means fast, I'm pleased with my progress (that of a non swimmer up until three years ago), and know that I should continue to make some solid gains over the next few months leading into the season.

I've always loved riding outside, but I seem to be getting accustomed to the trainer this winter. My trainer experience is neither love nor hate, but somewhat of a grey area in the middle. I know I can still make some gains in terms of power on the bike, but I have to work hard for those gains. Steve has me doing a lot of shorter intervals well above FTP, as well as some longer (10-20' @90%) intervals as well. I recently did a 5 min TT on the bike, and was pleased to average 408 watts. I'd love to see that creep up closer to 420 as the season nears. As you can see from the screenshot below, I faded a little at the end, struggling to hold 400 watts. Definitely pain cave stuff, but I'm already looking forward to the next test!

We have about six more weeks until our lives will drastically change with the arrival of our first child. Katie and my emotions are somewhere in the excited to terrified range, not really knowing how things will go or exactly what to expect. Training will also change a bit, and I'll try to still fit in my workouts when I can. I'll be taking three weeks off from work after the baby is born, so that's nice to look forward to. As teachers, both Katie and I are enjoying our February school vacation. We're currently in Jackson, NH, and I'll be only running over the next few days while here. Then it'll be back to regular training at the end of the week.

So far, here are my workout totals for the first 17 days of February:

Bike: 183 miles in 8.5 hrs
Run: 73 miles in 9 hrs
Swim: 38,500 yards in 11.5 hrs

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