The race yesterday went pretty well. The biggest issue I had with doing my first triathlon was not knowing how hard to push it. A few weeks prior, I took part in a duathlon and almost overdid the cycling part of the event. Following on from this experience I held back a little in the triathlon. The only problem with this was that I ended up finishing the race feeling like I hadn’t really raced at all and realising I could have pushed a lot harder on the cycling and running parts of the event. I’m putting this down to a learning experience.
The other thing I realised during the event was that leading up to a major event, it’s often a good idea to put yourself through some races that will prepare you better mentally. Training can only provide you with so much mental toughness and physical preparation. Putting yourself in a position where you can race hard without compromising your overall training build up is a fine balance but very important depending on how much you value the ultimate goal race.
My best ever half marathon result had a good lead up. Early in the year I ran a personal best on a 5 race series of 5K events (www.5KRunSeries.com). I knew I was on the right path with my training and planned out the next 4 months training cycles including strategic races including a 10km event one month before my half marathon. In the 10km event, I also set a personal best and still rate this as my best ever 10km race. This prepared me mentally and left me in a good place to replicate the feat a month later in the half marathon where I also set another personal best.
The Recovery Week
Depending on what kind of event you’ve just been involved in and your overall cyclic strategy for your training now determines what you should do for the week post a race. The race could just be a part of the overall preparation plan or the end goal from a long period of training. In this case, I’ve altered my plans to make this simply the end of a mini-cycle and will revert back to the tougher Stage 3 training again with a goal of several 5K races in January and another triathlon also. This will be followed up with some another couple of triathlons in February and March.
So, no recovery this week!! If I was actually feeling any fatigue or muscle soreness, I would have dropped the training back to just some recovery runs, cycles and possibly some swimming too. If this does prove to be incorrect and the training is feeling a bit tough, the training will revert to recovery runs, cycles and swims but at this stage, the mini-cycle approach is the better goal.
NOTE: You never want to over train. The result of over training is obvious signs of fatigue and often accompanied by poor sleep and generally not being able to train for several weeks as a result. Watch for the signs and back off if you ever find yourself feeling this way.
My training paces for this week are:
- Reps: 1min 17secs per 400 meters
- Intervals: 3mins 28secs per kilometer
- Threshold: 3mins 46secs per kilometer (or slower)
This is taken from my estimate of 17:30 for a 5K race.
To confirm this pace, I’ll be looking at doing a 5K race this weekend. This will also be a good measure and ensure that my training has actually been working correctly from the previous few weeks. There’s a chance there won’t be much competition in the race so could end up being a time trial but will hopefully have someone to chase or push me.
|Tuesday (AM)||Running – 5 sets of (4mins @ interval pace with 3min jogs)|
|Wednesday (PM)||Bike – 7 Sets of (20secs hard with 2min recoveries) – Total ride time = 1 Hour 10 Minutes|
|Thursday (AM)||Running – 3 Sets of 10mins @ Threshold pace with 2 min recoveries|
|Friday (PM)||Bike – Foundation Ride 1 Hour|
|Saturday (AM)||Running – 5K Race (Park Run or similar)|
|Saturday (AM)||Bike – Foundation Ride 1 Hour 30 Minutes|
|Sunday (AM)||Running – Long Easy Run|
|Sunday (AM)||Swimming – Open Water Swim Practice|