Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Building with Perspective

This is the time when hanging tough is tough, but essential. Turning all this hard work into race speed is what I am working on during this build phase. Feeling fast is not really the goal right now although it would be nice. Unfortunately, most of what I "feel" is tired. Focusing on recovery and really listening to my body is super crucial right now. Case in point; yesterday at lunch I did a super hard anaerobic set in the pool where I basically went all out with a much faster (than me) masters' group. This morning before work I hopped on the trainer for one of my key bike trainer workouts which was to be followed by a key run brick. After the prescribed warm-up, I noticed I not only lacked the motivation to complete the workout(s) (which is a lot to do it correctly), but my energy level was nill. I bagged it, went to work and re-convened with the workout(s) later in the day. Mental and physical had been restored and I knocked it out. I enjoy learning about my body and now know that I need roughly 24hrs between "break through" workouts if I want to do them right.

Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to help my coach, Brian Grasky, with an Xterra mini-camp at Saguaro Lake, the site of the upcoming AZ Xtreme Xterra. I still feel like I have so much to learn about triathlon, so I went into the mini-camp a little uncertain about what value I could add as one of the leaders. Well, let's just say I've learned a lot and got tons of satisfaction out of working out with a bunch of motivated athletes that were basically in the same boat that I was in just a couple of years ago. I look forward to seeing this bunch on race day and wish them the best of luck. Pre-riding is so valuable for both the seasoned and new triathlete. Particularly related to the value of pre-riding; in the water, we identified numerous sighting points along the route, on the bike, we figured out where the best places to fuel and how to navigate the hike-and-bike sections and deep sand sections and on the run, apart from figuring out that I've been going the wrong way for two years, we pointed out aide station locations and figured out the best places to "recover" after hammering the hills. Worth it!

Looking to the next couple of weeks I am deviating from the traditional 3 weeks on 1 week off routine in order to make the most of the upcoming races which include the Xterra West Championships in about a month while carefully juggling key training sessions and recovery. I have confidence in this direction. A solid base, good milestone testing and a thoughtful plan put together by an experienced coach help, to say the least.