This week was my unofficial start of training for the Gold Nugget Triathlon, and like I mentioned before I’ve definitely got no official training plan that can fit my crazy life right now. I can’t run yet, so my “running” training is coming from long hikes and from all the work I’m doing in PT until I get cleared to start running again. It’s a bit unconventional, but I think I’m off to a good start!
- Tuesday: 30 minutes with my friend. It was our first time in the pool in forever and we were both feeling it. I think we spent half the time trying to catch our breath and the other half of the time flopping around in the water. I mostly stuck to backstroke and freestyle and managed to only get through probably 10 laps.
- Wednesday: After a meeting I realized I was really close to the gym and they had lap swim going on, so I headed over for a “quick” swim. After starting out with a few laps that left me completely out of breath and super frustrated by how hard swimming is, I decided to dial it waaaaaay back. I grabbed a kick board and swam a few laps just focusing on kicking from the hips. I realized right away that I’d been kicking all wrong and it was tiring me out too fast. Next I used a pull buoy to practice just moving my arms. I had another huge realization – it turns out that I was barely using my arms! With all of this new information, I tried to swim freestyle again and realized that I was able to swim multiple laps in a row for the first time ever! HUGE BREAKTHROUGH. I spent about an hour at the pool and went home dying to go back to the pool to try again!
- Friday: I got out of work early and headed over to the gym with my friend again. We were there for about an hour. I tried warming up with the kick board and pull buoy again, and then did a timed 500. It took me 16:15 to swim 10 laps. Out of those 10 laps, only one was backstroke (and it was after I accidentally swallowed water and freaked out and needed extra time to breathe) and I had to stop and de-fog my goggles once. At last year’s race I did it in about 15 minutes but had to mostly use backstroke. It has always been my “unreachable” goal to swim the whole race freestyle and I think I might be able to do it this year! Plus I can’t wait to see what 2 months of training will do to my pace.
- Sunday: It was 30 degrees and gorgeous outside, so I knew it was the perfect day for a fat tire ride. I did a bit of research and realized that the trail that runs next to my house meets up with another trail about 1.5 miles away that leads through the woods to my favorite trail system in Anchorage! The trail was called the Old Rondy Trail and although it was tough to spot the right turnoff, eventually there were signs letting me know I was going the right way. My plan was to do 2.5 miles out and then turn right around and come back, but once I was in Campbell Tract I just had to do the Moose Track Trail, Lynx Trail, and Coyote Trail before turning around to go home. I ended up doing 9 miles total and even though it was hilly I completely loved it! I think this particular route needs to be a weekly ride for me.
- Thursday: 1 hour session of PT. My PT said I did a great job and that next week I’ll be doing another assessment to determine if I can return to running. Ahhh!!!!
- Saturday: I did a 5 mile hike in South Fork Eagle River Valley. I LOVE this trail. We only went out to the bridge and back because of the deep snow, but it was gorgeous and Ridley loved it. We let him off leash for the first time ever because we were in a large group, and he did a great job!
- On Sunday I was just planning on doing the bike ride, but my friend wanted to a quick swim before the pool closed. I told her I’d only do it if we could sit in the hot tub at the end because my legs were tired from biking. We were only there for about 30 minutes and I took it really easy. I know brick workouts usually work the other way around, but it’s too cold in Alaska to swim and then bike outside right now. I’ll save my swim/bike brick workouts for the days when it’s raining, snowing, or too cold for me to bike outside.
Overall, this was a great start to training. If it seems pool heavy, that’s because I finally discovered how to have fun in the pool and then I couldn’t get enough of it. I feel like I’m going to end up swimming more than anything else in this training cycle, which is fine with me because I’m really enjoying my time in the water and it doesn’t hurt my SI joint one bit!
Do you love swimming? What’s your favorite part of triathlon training?