Weekly training recap: Recovery + Race

7/3/2017 – 7/9/2017: Recovery week + training race

Monday – Rest day! My first one in 4 weeks, this was so needed!

Tuesday – Run 1 hour, 4 x 1 minute hill repeats, cool down to 9 miles; Strength 30 minutes + Straight swim 25 minutes

Wednesday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour  NOON: Easy run 40 minutes PM: Teach indoor cycling 1 hour

Thursday – Group ride 2 hours + core 10 minutes

Friday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour PM: Easy ride 1 hour 55 minutes

Saturday – Easy run 1 hour

Sunday – Olympic Distance Triathlon! 2 hours 25 minutes

Last week was a welcomed recovery week after three consistent build weeks (recaps here and here). I definitely needed it! I also had the opportunity to string together a swim, bike and run on Sunday at the Boulder Peak olympic distance triathlon.

This race was a fun way for me to practice racing without the stress of a longer goal race. Triathlon races can be overwhelming at times! There is a lot of coordination, equipment and things to remember in the days leading up to the race and on race morning so it was nice to have a low pressure race to practice all of this.

My 3 biggest goals for this race were:

  1. Feel good on the run
  2. Practice nutrition
  3. Have fun!

Brick runs have been tough for me since getting back into triathlon and while my run performance at St. George was hindered due to other issues, it didn’t help with my triathlon run confidence. With that in mind, I really needed a confidence boosting run and knew that the shorter distance and low pressure race would be a good time to hold back a bit on the bike in order to run strong.

I had some fueling issues at St. George and while an olympic distance triathlon doesn’t require a huge focus on race fueling, I knew it would still be a good opportunity to practice taking in calories at race intensity. Finally, I really just wanted to have fun with this race. Triathlon is my hobby and brings me a ton of joy but it is also a lot of work and provides it’s fair share of difficult moments. I definitely wanted to do this race as a reminder of why I love this sport.

I am happy to report that the race was a big personal success. I felt great on the run, practiced fueling with no tummy issues (woo hoo!) and I had SO much fun. My performance was not perfect but I met all three of my goals and finished happy. I even walked away with an AG win! It was exciting for me to feel great AND finish well. St. George 70.3 was a huge milestone in my return to triathlon but this race, although low-key and not a goal race, still felt just as important. I walked away encouraged and excited.

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

 

 

Weekly training recap + to rest or to push through?


6/26/2017 – 7/2/2017

MondayAM: Masters Swim 1 hour 15 minutes PM: Core strength 15 minutes

TuesdayAM: Track workout! 12 x 200 fast/200 easy recovery jog + 1k at 5-10k pace (by feel) 1 hour total run time PM: Group bike ride 2 hours

WednesdayAM: Masters Swim 1 hour 10 minutes NOON: Easy run 30 minutes + Strength 30 minutes PM: Teach indoor cycling 1 hour

Thursday – AM: Tempo run, 2 mile warm up + 4 mile tempo + 2 mile cool down PM: Group ride 2 hours

Friday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour NOON: Teach indoor cycling (and take it super easy) PM: Easy ride 1 hour 40 minutes

Saturday – Masters Swim 1 hour 10 minutes + Long run 1 hour 17 minutes

Sunday – AM: Long ride 4 hours 15 minutes PM: 40 minute run with 10x 1 min strong/ 1 minute easy

Totals:

  • SWIM 4 hours 30 minutes
  • BIKE 11 hours 50 minutes
  • RUN 4 hours 30 minutes
  • STRENGTH 45 minutes

21 hours 35 minutes

(does this work?)


When should you push through and when should you give yourself a break?

This week had some rough moments. Not only was it my 3rd week without a rest day but my training this week included more intensity and volume than the previous 2 weeks (and years?). While being sore and tired is expected, this week I felt both mentally and physically run down. I struggled through workouts and had multiple moments where I considered modifying my training or taking a day off. As I decided instead to “put my head down” and push through I thought a lot about these moments where it would be easy to find an out but you choose to keep moving forward instead.

After last week’s post on a mid-season rest break, my opinion on unplanned days off is a bit different. I do believe in listening to your body, planning rest into your training schedule and being flexible but I also find A LOT of value in pushing through “normal” fatigue and soreness. In short, if you aren’t sick or injured (or at risk for an injury), I believe in sticking to your plan to the best of your ability. From my experience, the mental stamina that is cultivated every time you make the decision to press on in the presence of adversity is even greater than the physical benefits of finishing a workout. On the other end of the spectrum, bowing out when things get tough is just as harmful to the competitor in you.

Some of my most memorable training sessions are the ones where I pushed through physical pain and mental demons. These are the workouts where I gained the confidence that I could in fact get through tough workouts and races even when I don’t feel great.  I will never forget when a coach told me “if you feel like crap, let yourself feel like crap”. In this tear-filled (for me) situation, I was struggling through a swim session where I felt like crap, I wasn’t making intervals and I honestly wanted to call it quits. This coach wasn’t going to let me out of the workout or allow me to ease up on the effort but he also didn’t want me to ignore how I was feeling. He knew that getting through that workout in spite of feeling terrible was going to be a huge success that I could deposit in the bank and draw out during my next inevitably tough moment.

We train to race and there is no one who believes that races are all easy. Races are hard and there is no telling how you are going to feel on the day. Pushing through the tough moments, tired days and long weeks prepares you for the inevitable race day hurt. On the contrary, letting yourself “out” when things get hard prepares you to quit on race day. Every time you take the easy road, taking the easy road gets easier. Every time you let yourself quit, quitting becomes the default.

Don’t think that I don’t believe in rest. I know that rest is a crucial part of training but just as we plan and stick to our training schedules, we should value planned rest just as much. Whether you are making your own plan or working with a coach, having the courage and discipline to rest when appropriate will make it easier to push through that next hard training week, workout or race. Train hard, rest hard, race easy?

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

 

Weekly training recap + Chatting about mid-season breaks

6/19/2017 – 6/25/2017 Training Recap

Monday: Masters Swim 1 hour 15 minutes/ Easy Spin 1 hour 50 minutes

Tuesday: Track workout- warm up, 6 x 1k with 2 minutes rest, cool down/ Strength 30 minutes + Straight swim 20 minutes

Wednesday: Masters Swim 1 hour 10 minutes/easy run 30 minutes/teach indoor cycling class 1 hour

Thursday: 2 hour 20 minute ride w/ hill repeats + core strength 10 minutes

Friday: 1 hour run with 20 minute tempo effort/ Swim 1 hour/ Strength 30 minutes

Saturday: 4 hour ride with 2 x 20 minute half ironman race pace efforts + 20 minute brick run.

This was my first brick workout since St. George and although it was a short run and my legs were sore from the accumulation of the last two weeks, I felt strong and fast! 

Sunday: 12 mile long run: 1 hour 33 minutes/ 2 hour easy spin

Totals:

  • Swim – 3 hour 45 minutes
  • Bike – 11 hours 10 minutes 
  • Run – 4 hours 10 minutes 
  • Strength – 1 hour 10 minutes 
  • 20 hours 15 minutes

Overall, I was really happy with this week of training. I have been looking forward to and enjoying every workout thanks to my extended mid-season break (read more about that below). The training days can be long and exhausting but I can’t really imagine spending my time any other way. I am motivated and excited!


Now, let’s chat about rest…I have made a few (jk a lot of) training mistakes. In my first two years of racing, I trained hard, without anything longer than a few days of “rest” for far too long (aka 2 years). When I finally got to my “A” race of the season, I was completely burned out both mentally and physically.

This year, I have been all about training smarter and more conservative in order to avoid injuries, over training and burn out. One of my biggest goals moving forward in this sport is to be consistent over a long period of time. With that in mind, I decided to take an extended break after St. George 70.3. My plan was to take one week almost completely off from any exercise and then spend another week easing back into whatever felt right. Instead,  I spent a full 4 weeks away from any structured training.

I went on rides with friends that I wouldn’t have been able to with a strict training schedule, I didn’t run for a few weeks in order to work through some niggles and while I did some sort of training almost everyday, it was more about doing what felt good that day. I hopped into a few bike races, did a “fun 10k”,  drank more wine than normal and indulged in my fair share of burgers, sweet potato fries and ice cream. 4 weeks away from a training schedule may seem like a long time for most triathletes but looking back, it was exactly what I needed. Now, a few weeks into my current training block, I know that the mental and physical break has helped me refocus and look forward to the next couple months of training while feeling strong and healthy.

Because I was still active during those 4 weeks, I do not feel like I lost anything physically.  If anything, my break helped me get healthy and excited about training again. After St. George I was dealing with some hip and foot pain which completely went away with my extended break. Mentally, getting back onto a structured training plan 2 or even 3 weeks post race would have felt a little forced. 4 weeks post race however, I was truly ready to get back to structured training. I tend to enjoy structure over doing whatever feels good in the moment so the fact that for a few weeks there I didn’t want any structure, proves that I really did that time.

Here are some other signs that were good personal indicators that I needed a break:

  • Not being able to wake up at my normal time in the morning despite adequate sleep
  • Feeling exhausted all the time.
  • Dreading workouts that I usually found fun.
  • Starting to feel injury type pain in places that didn’t really make sense.
  • Overall lack of motivation.

There is no perfect formula for a mid season or post-race rest time but I do believe that if you tune into what your body and mind are telling you, you will figure out what you need.

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

Letter to My Injured Self

To the injured, broken hearted and lost Hayley,

I know that right now, it feels like your whole world is crumbling. You would give anything for the magic plan that is going to get and keep you healthy. You want to get back to running, swimming and biking and you want to get back fast. Girl, I wish I could give that you.Track Workout for Triathletes

Here comes the part that you don’t want to hear: you need this time, this hurt, this confusion, you need to feel alone in this, at least for a bit. Your current pain is going to bring you to the realization that you are so much more than your sport. You need to let go. Wave your white flag, surrender to this plan not because you are done but because you know that this is part of the long road. Don’t worry, sport isn’t going anywhere. You are young and smart and incredibly strong. When you want something, you let very little stand in your way. So, when the time is right, you are going to come back.

You know those long runs at the tail end of a tough training week where all you can do is focus on putting one foot in front of the other? The runs that hurt and don’t look like anything special on paper but make you so much stronger both mentally and physically? This is exactly like that. You are going to get through this, it may take 3 months or 3 years but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you are going to gain so much from this time.

1004885_10202543693784388_1217353907_n

I know that right now you are scared, people know you as “the athlete”. You believe that they love you more because you swim, bike and run fairly well. Hayley, you gotta get over that. Believe it or not, even after being injured for 3 years, the good ones still love you. They don’t care if you are winning races or binge watching “The Bachelor”. If you are happy, they are happy. You will come to realize that your sport does not make you more appealing to anyone. Your character does that.

I know that you are anxious. Anxious because you care way too much about looking like an athlete. You love when people comment about how fit, how strong, or how fast you look. You put so much into maintaining that image and it is absolutely terrifying that this is going to go away. Hayley, know this: the good people don’t care what you look like and the ones that do don’t have a place in your life. Be kind to yourself. If you want to read more about identity, go here.

I challenge you to lean on your faith. It is so hard for you to give up control and trust in a plan that is not your own. You think that relying on your work ethic and perfectionism brings you peace and success. Unfortunately, this mindset also brings you a lot of hurt and shame when you don’t live up to the high expectations you put on yourself. Put your trust in Him. He has a plan for your life that is so much greater than you could ever imagine. Instead of feeling shame when you fall, you will be able to see the doors that open up because of that fall.

Hayley, so much good is going to come into your life because of these tough couple years. I encourage you to say “yes!” when you would have said “no”. From trying a new sport (cycling), to moving to a new state, even taking a job that you never saw yourself doing. Go for it! Saying “yes” when you would have said “no” is going to bring you joy, community, happiness, opportunities and best of all: these “yes” moments are going to show you that life is so much more than sport, and you have so much more to offer beyond being an athlete.honeybadger

I have to warn you, there are going to be people who doubt you. People will tell you that “maybe running isn’t for you” or “have you thought about trying (whatever else) instead?”.  Girl friend, If your heart is longing to run, you are going to run again. Choose to listen to the people who encourage you, that believe in you more than you believe in yourself, the ones that can see beyond this situation. These people are plentiful, they are your biggest fans and they will be cheering you on with every step. These people are the ones that prove that you aren’t alone in this.

Hayley, don’t forget that time passes quickly. Even in your darkest moments, you are just around the corner from light. Every time you get knocked down, you will stand back up. Before you know it, this season will be a thing of the past. Slowly but surely, you will regain fitness, speed and endurance. You will appreciate every opportunity to move and before you know it, you will be toeing the line once again.

Chin up,

Hayley