Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Training in Hoth

Set your course for the Hoth system.
Well, I guess my luck for a soft winter couldn't hold out forever. Despite wearing a t-shirt out on Sunday afternoon (58°) I awoke Monday to the sound of the side of my house being buffeted by "wintery mix." Checking my weather app I was greeted with the information that it was currently 20° and would be dropping by the hour. Sigh. I know in the grand scheme of things the small inconveniences I suffer from having to throw some salt on my driveway and running in my "screwed up" shoes instead of my normal ones is laughable in the face of some of you guys farther north (-40° no thank you.) but you came here for my thoughts... and my thoughts are... winter sucks.

So, as I head into the new year, it's time for an introspective look at what is to come leading into the "big races" of the year.


I've been pretty lax on my pool time pretty much all of 2013. It's mainly a geographical problem (that is, the pool is about a 40 minute drive from my house.) but the fact that I was NOT injured in 2013 meant I was able to run through the year and wasn't "forced" to swim 4-5x/week, which was the case in 2012. That said, for the mileage I've put into it (especially as of late) I feel like things have went better than I could have asked for. Yesterday in my 4x400m sets my best time was 5:37, which is
1:24/100. All of the sets were under 6' even on low rest... so that's mildly encouraging. The last 1k I tried was 14:48 which means I need some work on my endurance (and a little more speed) to be sniffing the 20' 1500. So... more days in the pool, more low rest "long" sets.


Riding mileage has dropped quite a bit since the bitter cold hit. I'm averaging three rides a week right now, two of them being Sufferfest classes at the LBS and the other being an interval ride at home. I'd say "maintaining" is where I'm at currently. I don't think I've put on any fitness, but I also don't think I've lost much. I've also been trying to do every ride on the tri bike to force the position adaptation. Everything is smooth sailing now. If I were a bit less of a wuss I'd suck it up and get a long ride out with some of the guys on the weekend...but I am so I'm not. FTP to 300 on the tri bike by April is still in reach.

Sufferfest class. I'm on the far left on the aerobars.


Oh running... how our love/hate relationship continues. Despite the cold draining my motivation pretty regularly and the ice making my run a bit more hazardly, I think I've been doing pretty well. I'm over 40 miles this month and feeling pretty good running "medium" (~50') runs daily. I need to get my long run back up to the 1 1/2 - 2 hour range, but volume wise I think everything is A-OK.

Speed wise I'm still floundering though. I had really expected to be under 19' in the 5k by the first of the year, and while 19:06 isn't miles away, it's tough to look back and find those six seconds. Of course my amount of speed work is VERY low, as historically I've been able to handle volume but not speed work without getting injured. Hopefully my more meticulous stretching routine will allow me to add in more speed work while staying healthy. On the plus side, I run very well off of the bike (compared to my open times...maybe from being slow in open races) so it's fairly easy to line up improvements in one to the other.

Who has to be faster this year? This guy.

The real tell in the run will be the Knoxville 1/2 Marathon this year. (March 30) I ran a 1:31:51 last year but need to be considerably faster than that this year. I'm hopeful but nervous about what we'll find out on 3/30.

Or, if you wanted the short of all that... I need to get faster and cold weather sucks.

I put in my order for a Tririg Sigma stem to put on my Zipp 2001 (forgot I had that? I almost did myself. Gotta get that bad boy modernized.) and now I've got the itch to put some Omega Brakes on it as well. Hmm. So I should have a nice review of the stem in the near future.

Well, I'm off to get my 3° run in this morning.  Hopefully you are all staying warm and getting in some good mileage.

Thanks for reading

- Christopher Morelock

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