Thursday, March 24, 2011

Change is inevitable

The training for this half marathon was going to kill me if I didn't make some changes. And those changes needed to start from within.

The Snakebite spin sessions were out. The intensity of the spins wouldn't allow me to recover for my next run workout. The sessions were starting to get intense but I know that those who attended will be ready for outdoor riding when the weather gets better.

My crossfit workouts were the worst part of cross training. The mentality of crossfit is to go hard or go home. Move big amounts of weight. Complete as many rounds or reps as possible. Push yourself to become better with each workout.

My problem was that I needed to balance the running, swimming, cross-training and what little biking I could fit in. Working out at Coca only twice a week was proving to be a detriment, not a benefit. The unspoken competitive nature of crossfit filled my mind each time I stepped through the door.

Unfortunately several workouts fried my legs, ripped up my hands, strained my back or just simply put the hurt on me. It would be several days to a week before I felt back to normal.

I finally had a sit down with Kate and we agreed that I needed to back off. Crossfit was not my primary means of fitness. Triathlon is my first sport which I am training for. I'm not looking to be a competitive crossfit competitor or make it to the "games". I wanted to build my strength so my swim, bike, run would benefit.

I told her I would be scaling back and slowing down during the WODs. I needed to focus on form and endurance. The strength would slowly build up and help my other training. We have both kept me in check before each workout making sure I'm not pushing myself unnecessarily.

It was a major shift in my thinking but one that is better for me. Despite the change I can still tell that crossfit has made me stronger in the pool.

With the reduced training load I was able to focus more on the run. But even with the added rest the pace of the workouts was kicking my ass. I needed to back off on my goal times before I hurt myself on the treadmill. At times my legs were barely keeping up. You definitely reach deep down to keep yourself going so as to not get spit off the back in front of everyone around you. Then you have to reach deep down to not throw up.

My legs were not coming around to the training. The speed was just not there. Was it my age? Was it too many years in long course? Was I coming out of the off season too fast?

Now I needed to make changes to the training plan and that meant the paces needed to adjust. I found the right speed where I would be pushed but not obliterated.

Speedwork would be done at 6:00 min/mile. This was for 400, 800 or 1600 repeats. Maybe a little faster for the 400's since they were shorted.

Tempo would be at 7:00 min/mile. This would be the new race pace. My thoughts of a 1:26 or better finish were becoming dreams despite the goal with a plan.

And the long runs would be at 7:30 min/mile. These still proved to be doable but definitely not easy.

I approached the training and the impending race with a new enthusiasm. I felt good about the changes I made to the training. I would still race the half marathon but I would just need to adjust as needed.

And I'm okay with that.

Game On.

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