Obviously I have been through winters before. And obviously I have seen a time change or 60 in my lifetime. Yet I am sitting here shocked at how much different this time of year is than summer.
I even trained for this same half at this same time last year, but here I am like, “Oh! It’s Dark!” and “Oh! It’s Cold!”
So we’ve had to get creative with our workouts.
The track that we use isn’t lit. It also is not made of that fancy newfangled track spongy stuff…it’s dirt. And the last turn is washed out because it is in the middle of a gulch. It doesn’t rain here just about ever, but erosion has occurred So running on this track in the dark or without complete sunlight makes the sprinting aspect of the sprinting workout pretty impossible.
So, aside from dragging ourselves out of a warm bed (is this even a realistic option?) before work, we are doomed to the treadmill.
Fact: one of the busiest weekends at the gym is the week before Thanksgiving.
For some reason, I always feel really self conscious when sprinting on the gym treadmill. It makes this really obnoxiously loud BOOM BOOM BOOM noise, generating annoyed stares from the people there to walk in peace.
On Tuesday we braved the BUSY gym and did a 5 minute warm-up, then sprinted for 1 minute/walked for 1 minute for a total of 20 minutes before our cool down. I was hitting between 6/6:10 minute mile pace during the sprints. I would like to be at about a 5:30 sprint pace by the end of this training cycle.
I do think that sprinting on the treadmill is easier than being in the real world, BUT the treadmill doesn’t let you slow down, and keeping up with the pace is essential if you don’t want to be launched back into the wall/the nice walker behind you.
We followed the sprint workout with plyometrics. This isn’t something I’ve done too much of in the past, but according to coach Aaron, plyometrics increase your eccentric load (I THINK) giving you more of that explosive energy needed for speed. Wikipedia says, “plyometric exercises use explosive, fast-acting movements to develop muscular power and to improve overall speed.” Meanwhile, all the cross fit people are sitting there saying DUH.
We looked kinda like these people.
Basically, we ventured deep into the weight lifting area, and jumped onto a box and jumped off it. All the meatheaded weight lifters were giving us weird looks (Why these people jump? Jumping no give big muscle….I always give meatheaded weight lifters cave men accents).
In addition to more gym speed training, we’re having to cram in 3 weeks of “Amy doesn’t want to DNF in the indoor tri” training.
For the next few weeks, Wednesdays will be our Spin It To Win It day which is a fancy way of saying that I’m trying to master the art of spin biking. Yesterday was spin class #2 for the year and today I’m feeling the saddle soreness. At least I think that’s what it’s called. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Spinning really works out muscles that I must not use very often because I was having a hard time sprinting up the imaginary muddy hills that the instructor kept leading us through.
There is work to be done here.
There is also work to be done on indoor tri logistics. Aaron doesn’t seem to think that the transition area will include locker room access meaning no changing that requires privacy. As a girl of ….um…a certain size I can’t really run without a sports bra. An option I suppose is to wear a sports bra over a swim suit and remove as necessary (and deal with the fact that this will look completely ridiculous). I’ve been trying to research swimsuits, but I haven’t found any yet with the support I need. I haven’t looked into full tri suits (I kind of don’t want to buy something that I may only use once), but apparently they take the whole issue into consideration.
So, that’s where we’re at. Today is more speed work, tomorrow is yoga, and this weekend is our long run and intense swimming crash course.
THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT on my indoor tri. I feel silly for being so nervous about it especially since it really isn’t half as scary as an outdoor sprint. We’ll see how it goes.
Happy Thursday! (Also, I wrote this REALLY fast today, so I didn’t edit. I don’t even want to know how many mistakes you can find).