August 2017 Training: Is Drinking Wine A Sport?
Maybe it’s just me, but I hate the word report. I am making a bit of a change to my Polar Performance Report and just talking some of the biggest things that I have learned in my last month of training instead. My training is something that is always evolving and it is something that I love to hear back from you on as well, so I want to keep the feature, just change it up.
When we left off in July, I was taking a break from my coach and doing whatever I felt like and it feels amazing.
To be honest, when I was training for the Ironman, I was worried about what would happen to my body afterwards and concerned that it would physically affect my fall racing season. What I wasn’t expecting was the toll it would take mentally. I am not one of those people who does things halfway so I threw everything I had into the training. I don’t regret a single moment, but one thing I am discovering is that it does necessitate taking some unstructured time after the fact to just do whatever I want.
So what did August look like?
I took time off: I shaved over 10 hours of training total off of my schedule. (My total was 48). I got rid of the double day workouts and brought it back to just doing one activity a day max. I also took all the pressure from my training to hit certain speeds or workouts. Funnily enough, I was doing a track session yesterday, not looking at my watch and just going by effort and I was comfortably running sub 3:30/km again. I am NOT taking this as an indicator that I should ramp up again but just that I am doing the right thing.
I have to admit, it feels bizarre to have fresh legs again. Ironman training necessitates an almost constant load on the legs and although I loved the challenge, I am very aware of the time off I need to take to make sure I stay healthy in the long term.
My workouts were social: My workouts were mostly social and with friends. My longest workouts were climbing mountains with Mark. I have had so much fun meeting friends for bike rides, going mountain biking and ending up at a local beer festival and going on easy runs.
Is drinking wine a sport? I stayed up later, drank more wine and watched more sunsets. I also increased my screen time consumption – I watched the entire Handmaids Tale season this month. I sat around campfires, spent more time cooking nice dinners and just revelled in a lot of newly found free time. I think coming back from an Ironman training block is akin to some of my friends who have completed MBA programs – you don’t feel the lack of time when you are in it but the free time feels overwhelming when it returns.
I added strength training: I went from maybe one 20 minute session a week (if I was doing really well) to doing 3-5 sessions a week for a total of around 2 hours a week. I guess you could call this my unofficial start to my off season where I gain some muscle mass and focus on flexibility, strength and rebuilding tired muscles. I have had a few sore days but it feels good to add back in without worrying about adding too much load to my training.
I can heartily say the mountains. I climbed, biked and hiked every mountain I could possibly go to while we were visiting Western Canada. I spent most of the time exclaiming how gorgeous it was and the rest of the time hammering down hill. I paid dearly for it with muscle pain for almost a week as I am not used to such sharp descents.
Oh, I did a race
I did a race report on the AG World Championships. There are a lot of excuses in it. Bottom line: I tried but I had a bad day out there and I’m over it.
I mentioned in my last post that September is jam packed. I am headed to Quebec today to compete in the Amphibious Challenge (the short course). It will be a new experience and I love the extra practice in open water swimming that it will give me.
The next couple weeks, I will be starting to train in cyclocross racing – there is a local clinic near me and I am working with a friend for the drills. It is something I had on my bucket list to learn this year, I have the bike, and it is time to give it a go.
I have the adventure racing nationals in Pennsylvania in the third week of September so I am going to continue to heavy up on my mountain biking. I feel quite confident going into the race.
I still follow a rough structure for my training, I just attach zero pressure to complete it. This month will look something like strength training 3-4 x a week, swimming 2 x a week, biking 2-3 x a week (with one of the rides at higher intensity), and running 2-3 x a week (with 1 – 2 of those having some speed work). One thing I always enjoy about taking time off from my own training schedule is that I am able to be easy going about the speed/intensity of my workouts and can just join which ever of my friends happens to be doing a similar workout on that day.
It’s going to be a great month.