Back to my training…
As the season creeps up, I have been focusing on quality and consistency over the past 8 weeks, and I’ve seen promising results. Even though it is technically Spring, winter is still firmly holding on to Michigan. As a result, my outdoor training has still been somewhat limited besides running (i.e. 1 outside bike ride so far!). As good as it’s been to get outside, Spring and warmer temps cannot come soon enough…the snow and ice just doesn’t seem to end!
Besides my typical training plan, I had 2 other interesting events as well. The first was a swim lesson and the other was the Fraser Bicycle Indoor TT Race #4 on March 15.
Still Learning to Swim!
Ah yes….still spending extra time in the pool and trying to learn the fastest and most efficient way to get from the Start line to T1. The extra time in the pool has been great not only for my swim fitness, but I have a new understanding and awareness of my swim form. The extra time has simply given me a better feel for the water and sense of my catch, pull and body rotation. I still have many things to improve to get where I would like to be, but I’m seeing progress and that is what counts.
Given where I was in my training plan, this was also the perfect time to have another swim lesson. Over the past 2 seasons, Coach Bonne Karas (www.bktrainingsystems.com), has evaluated my swim technique and helped me to knock minutes off my Ironman swim split. This was my first lesson in over 6 months, and her feedback was eye opening (again!) The funny part about swimming is that you THINK you are doing it all right and in reality you are not even close. Having another set of eyes to break down your technique is essential to improve swim form. Similar to the past, here are the highlights:
- Widen arm entry: I still have a tendency to enter the water in line with my head, which leads to a slight cross-over and snaking in the water.
- Improve Catch: I enter the water thumb first and continue that hand position through the pull phase. The result is a hand that slips through the water due to an ineffective and weak catch.
- Head position: I still keep my head high, causing hips to drop.
- Turnover: Typical of many triathletes, I still have a relatively low turnover rate.
Once again, it was race time for the Fraser Bicycle Indoor TT Series. Race #4 was held on March 14 and 15, and this time it was a longer course of 21.87 miles over a popular local training route called Hines Drive. The course was a series of many short, steep rollers that often put me right between the gears I wanted. I was often pushing 20 watts over or under than target, but that’s part of racing and it was good variability to practice before the outdoor riding season begins. The ride was very similar to the others: painful, yet rewarding. Most FTP testing protocols are variations of either a 20 or 40 minute estimations, instead of an hour of all out riding. Rarely do I ever do an all-out 60-minute test, which is the most accurate way to estimate your FTP, and this is the perfect way to have that extra motivation for 60 HARD minutes on the trainer.
So what happened? My final time was about 54 minutes and given how I felt, it was a great validation of my FTP power and pacing, with the added bonus of winning of the stage.
That’s it for now, happy training!
For more information on swim or coaching services by Bonnie Karas please see www.bktrainingsystems.com