Triathlon Training Week 1 (and Hello, Negative Splits!)

Even though I officially registered for and started training for the Jersey Girl Triathlon last week, I’ve been unofficially “training” for it for a few weeks. In the last month or so, I focused a little harder on biking in addition to running to see a) if I could keep up with two sports and b) if I noticed any improvements in my fitness. And after checking off both boxes with a big fat YES, I went for it feet (fins?) first and am thrilled with how things have gone in this first official week of training.

Since I started in the middle of the week, I had to modify my schedule a bit and kicked off Week 1 with a swim last Wednesday – where I pleasantly surprised myself!

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The schedule called for 4x50m in the pool, but I mistakenly thought that the “25” in the distance of our local YMCA pool was meters when it’s really yards. Not a huge difference, but this is just one of a dozen other misadventures I’ve had while swimming that illustrate just how painfully cluelss I am when it comes to this sport.

The last time I swam, I needed to stop after each length to catch my breath and bring my heart rate down to safely make it to the other side of the pool. This time I promised to push as hard as needed for the full 50 each time, and I did! Sure, I needed a few moments in each turnaround to regulate my breathing, and by the 3rd lap I was hanging off the side of the pool gasping for air, but dammit I did those 50’s. And instead of the prescribed 4, I did 6 because I had to know that I could do the 300M distance I’ll have to cover on race day! And I didn’t have to be bottle-fed a Gatorade to get moving again after I finished, so yeah. #WINNING!

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The next day I took to the DeskCycle for the prescribed “15 minutes easy” ride the schedule called for, and found myself wanting to push a little harder. I can’t help it when the schedule I’m following recommends that I “try to run” the whole 2.5K recommended for the run workouts. I know what I need to do to maintain my fitness levels, and it sure as hell isn’t walking a mile and a half twice a week. So I did about 20 minutes and covered a little more than 5 miles Thursday, then took the recommended rest day Friday.

Saturday was rainy and cool and breezy (and I had a little too much wine at Happy Hour on Friday), but I still got out there for the 5K bike ride the schedule called for.

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I like to think the wind and the mist added to my training – it sure as hell made me work harder fighting through the wind gusts – but really all it did was make me wish I hadn’t ordered that second bottle of wine the night before.

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Either way, I got it done (while Mike walked/jogged a few laps around the park) and called it a day! And on a semi-related topic, Friday was officially the last time I’m going to really indulge in the vino until after this race, thankyouverymuch.

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It sure was nice having him around in case I toppled off my bike to nap in a roadside bush though.

After a LOT of water and sleep on Saturday, I was ready to run on Sunday. But then Mother Nature laughed in my face and spewed fire and 90% humidity at me. So I fueled up, double-fisted my coffee and water, and headed to the Y for my first treadmill run in months.

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multi-tasking at its finest

I’ve talked a bit in the past about how I don’t hate treadmill running as much as some of my running colleagues do. I actually kind of dig the mill. It’s temperature controlled, there’s a bathroom a few feet away whenever I need it, and I can push my pace in a safe, controlled way (and hide the speed decrease button to challenge myself even more) – what’s not to love?

As such, I’m pretty sure my positive attitude – coupled with the bottle of Nuun that I sipped on every 10 mins or so – turned this into one of my most successful treadmill runs ever!

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I rocked out to T-Swift and ran negative splits for the first time in my life, and the 10:xx pace was surprisingly easy to maintain, even for the final mile. Time was the only reason I had to cut my run short, and I felt like I could have gone much further. The treadmill and I were both drenched in sweat when I was done, too, which is remarkably satisfying!

While I haven’t been running as long as I was while training for the half, the consistently faster miles I AM running are proof positive that all this cross and strength training really is paying off, finally! After running 12:30-13:00 miles pretty solidly no matter the distance for the past year or so, I’m so relieved and energized to see some results, no matter how small!

So that was week 1 in a nutshell – how has your week gone?

12 thoughts on “Triathlon Training Week 1 (and Hello, Negative Splits!)

    • Thanks! I kind of doubled up on workouts, and split up my daily hour of exercise into two sessions each day to see how my body would respond. They weren’t back to back like a tri, though. Usually it was a 1-2 mile run in the morning and a 20-40 min. bike ride in the afternoon, but the change was evidently what my body needed and I started to see some improvements in my fitness so I figured I’d go for it!
      Good luck if and when you decide to go for it! Hey, you never know what your body is capable of until you give it a shot, right? πŸ™‚

  1. Hi! I have been following your blog for a while now and finally am leaving a comment! I started reading your blog after your race recap of the NYC Half….I’m from CT and I ran it too! I too am training for a Sprint Triathlon and am in my second week of training for it (mine is on August 30). Can you tell me what training program you’re doing? I’m kind of doing a mishmash of swimming some days, biking some and then running some but no real program. For example, yesterday I biked 10.5 miles (my tri has me doing 12 on the bike). Today I swam 60 laps in my community pool (also a 25 yard lap). Tomorrow I plan on running 5. Thursday and Friday I will probably do one more swim and then strength/core/kickboxing classes at my gym. Saturdays are usually yoga and Sunday I might try to brick for the first time, with a bike and run. I honestly have no idea what I am doing and would love to hear what you’re using for training! I have never done a tri before so it is definitely different for me but I am looking forward to the challenge!

    • How awesome – first of all, welcome and thanks for your comment! I’m glad you “found” me πŸ™‚
      As for your training, it sounds like you’re doing an awesome job so far! 60 laps, my goodness! I max out at about 20 before I need a Gatorade and a nap, lol!!
      Because the race I signed up for was SO soon (6 weeks!), I searched for a crash-course in tri training, so to speak, and found this: http://www.trifuel.com/training/triathlon-training/triathlon-training-program-for-beginners
      I’ve only been at it for about a week now and I’m feeling pretty strong – the combination of the different workouts each day seems to be adding up and strengthening me for those tougher workouts (especially the swimming, that’s my weakest area!).
      I am adding to the run days as well. I can’t stop at 1-2 miles without feeling like I’m leaving something behind, so I push to 4 or 5 which is my usual distance.
      Give it a look and see if you like it! It sounds like you’re already well ahead of this plan, so you might want to take a look at what else is out there, but hopefully this is a good start – and best of luck on your journey! I can’t wait to see how it goes for you! πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Triathlon Training Week 2 | Jess Runs Happy

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