Weekend training - training hard & fueling smart
There's a lot of training that happens between Monday AM and Friday PM but most of my training pictures happen over the weekend so that is why I am having so much fun sharing my weekend workouts with you.
The weekend started on Saturday morning when we woke up around 6:30 am without an alarm (only a cat alarm) and it wasn't until 9am until we made it outside as we had a few things to get done on the computer first. I enjoyed two mega sized Trmarni pre-workout pancakes loaded with maple syrup, some peanut butter and homemade granola, alongside a side of Sigi strawberry yogurt with a cup of coffee w/ water (I'm a one small cup of coffee a day girl). Karel had oatmeal w/ fruit and yogurt and a homemade orange cranberry scone with his double shot espresso (Karel is European and loves his coffee - let's just leave it at that :)
It felt SO good to ride outside in only arm warmers, light gloves, a base layer shirt, my cycling jersey and cycling shorts. It was around 50 degrees when we started and it was so nice to be outside without tons of layers on.
Karel and I picked the double bakery ride route for our 4 hour ride and I was really looking forward to one of my fav routes that includes a lot of climbing (about 5200 feet). Here's the route starting from Furman (we rode from our house which is about 2 miles from Furman).
Double bakery ride
We had some nice tailwind heading to Flat Rock and we made great time heading up the watershed and into NC. Of course, the wind hit hard on our way back home but I was feeling very strong. So strong that Karel kept telling me how great I was riding throughout the entire ride as I was able to stay on his wheel for the entire 30+ minute climb up the Watershed and on every climb for our entire ride. It wasn't easy for me but I refused to get dropped today. I only got dropped 3 times on downhills (on three sharp turn downhills) so this was certainly a ride to remember for me.
I kept myself fueled with 3 bottles of my Infinit Trimarni base fuel (2 scoops per bottle) + 1 Luna peppermint bar. If you know me, I don't like to eat solid food when I race long distance triathlons as I prefer only liquids but as I progress with my cycling fitness, I am finding myself feeling more comfortable training my gut to take in a little solid food here and there. Plus the peppermint bar is super tasty. I also tried out the three new flavors of Clif bloks that Clif Bar sent me, which included Ginger Ale, Salted Watermelon and Spearmint. More on these new flavors and my thoughts about them in a future blog post.
As I mentioned, I felt extremely strong and I have been intentionally increasing my carbohydrates in my diet to support this added volume. I never ever go into a workout without eating and I never neglect my post workout nutrition (which is either a recovery whey protein drink w/ milk or a real food meal). I am putting in a lot of consistent work and I really believe that proper fueling and daily eating can keep the body in good health and I have been using food and sport nutrition products (sport drinks) for fuel and for health for many, many years. I can't believe that this will be my 11th year of endurance racing and as crazy as it sounds, I feel stronger than ever before. I still remember my first long ride with Karel about 11 years ago, oh boy, it was SLooooooow. Thank goodness I never gave up during all those times that I wanted to give up because I was frustrated with my slow speed and fears of riding my bike on the open road (especially on hills).
After the 4 hour bike, which was extremely fast for us in our Gville terrain (18 mph!!), it was time for a quick transition run. Karel and I didn't run together off the bike but we both ran outside. We live on the bottom of a hill so I walked the 1/4 mile up to the top of our neighborhood and then ran on semi flat roads (the flattest that I could find where we live).
20 minutes later I was back home and ready to enjoy a nice cold glass of OJ to bring back my appetite after the long workout. Karel made a recovery drink w/ yogurt, vegan protein powder (that we had, I was trying it out for some vegan athletes of mine), milk and fruit that we shared before it was time to clean up and enjoy a real food meal.
Karel found ourselves rather busy during the afternoon and before we knew it, it was time for run #2 of the day. We don't always do two runs on Saturday but it does happen once or twice a month. My legs were tired (as to be expected) but with good afternoon fueling (small meals of carbs and protein every 2 hours and adequate water), I found myself with energy for a 30-60 minute afternoon run around 5pm.
Karel ran outside for his run (he ran 55 minutes) and I stayed home and ran on our treadmill. I've learned to be mindful of my body when it comes to run workouts and I have to be careful of all the outdoor pounding with all my previous back/hip issues (thankfully, I haven't had any setbacks in the past 3.5 years). Since our treadmill has a little shock absorbing to it, I do about 70% of my running on the treadmill and I believe it's helped me out a lot over the past year as I've also gained more confidence with my running because I can now run a lot more frequently with better form.
I ended up running for 40 minutes (including a 5 min walk to warm-up). Of course, I warmed up with a bit of mobility work before the run to ensure I didn't go into the run with any tight spots.
Finally, it was time for dinner! Karel made us pasta w/ homemade veggie packed tomato sauce while I took Campy for a nice long walk. Not to worry about Campy while we are away for our longer training sessions as my mom likes to walk over from her house (1 mile away) and steal Campy from our house and she takes him to her house (spoiled doggy!). And Campy has lots of furry friends in her neighborhood!
It was a relaxing evening for us and by 9:30pm, it was lights out.
We woke up to even warmer temps on Sunday morning but it took us a few hours before we made it outside as we had a few things to get done on the computer before our morning run.
To ensure that we could recover from the weekend training (and previous 5 days of training), we told ourselves that we would run for no more than 75 minutes today (60 min minimum). Instead of adding on extra run mileage on very tired legs, we spent extra time with mobility work in the morning (about 20 minutes) before our run. While we didn't leave together, we somehow met up just a mile down the road and Karel wanted to show me some of the Furman running trails that I haven't yet been on.
Well, surprisingly, with tired legs, I felt light on my feet and I was able to run with Karel. While he wasn't running super fast, I was still really excited to be running with Karel. This is a huge deal for me as my confidence for running has never been super high but I'm putting this run in the memory bank for St. George in May (I may pull it out early at Haines City in April). The trails were awesome and it felt so good to not pound the pavement for our entire run. About 70 minutes or so later, we arrived back home. And to conclude the weekend of training, a refreshing glass of tart cherry juice and a cold glass of milk with chocolate Clif Recovery protein powder (Soooo good).
Then, it was time to EAT!!
Karel made a czech inspired dish of spinach and onions stuffed inside a crepe (all from skratch) and it was amazing.
We ate outside while enjoying the beautiful weather but the relaxing was short lived as Karel spent the next 5+ hours installing electronic shifting on an athlete's bike and I had some work to do on the computer, followed by hanging out with my mom for a little bit at our house and then I walked my mom back home with Campy and then I did a big grocery shop to get food for our meals for a big week of training.
Well, there you have it.
Lots of training. Lots of eating. Lots of sleeping.
I'm incredibly grateful to my body for what it allows me to do and I feel I owe it smart training, well planned and organized eating and fueling and consistent restful sleep. I never ever take a workout for granted. Is it race season yet???