Training Analysis: July

Climbing the 3 Bears in Orinda, CA

Looking at the numbers, I can’t be disappointed with my training efforts during the month of July. This has been the most consistent triathlon training I have ever done, although I’m still looking to improve upon this in August. I’ve been swimming more frequently and longer than I have in the past, and this has certainly been reflected in my speed and comfort in the water. On the bike, I’ve driven up my FTP by almost 20 watts, and have been doing all my typical training routes quite a bit faster than before. On the run, my times haven’t gotten significantly faster (though I certainly ran faster at Tri for Fun #2 earlier this month than Tri for Fun #1 in June). However, I have been building endurance and aerobic fitness that should come in handy as I increase my running volume, which is the highest priority on my training agenda.

Here is summary of my training month:

Swim Total: 41500 yards (23.6 miles) over 21 sessions
Average: [9370 yards (5.3 miles) over 5 sessions] per week
Bike Total: 35 hours (591 miles) over 21 sessions
Average:  [8 hours (133 miles) over 5 sessions] per week
Run Total: 86 miles over 16 sessions
Average: [19 miles over 4 sessions] per week
Overall Total: 61 hours over 58 sessions
Average: [14 hours over 14 sessions] per week

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Training Week: July 14 – July 20

Enjoying the quiet, peaceful wilderness!

In quick review, I had pretty solid week. I put in a block of volume on Monday-Wednesday to prepare for Tri for Fun #2 (where I had a great performance), though unfortunately I lost a bit of time near the end of the week due to tapering, the race itself, and general busy-ness. Nonetheless, I still hit 15 hours for the week and made decent gains in both the swim and bike, and my legs are on their way to recovering and adjusting to my new running shoes. This upcoming week I am travelling to Nashville, TN for my fraternities national convention, thus I am extremely excited and at the same time nervous about losing too much training time. I HOPE I can end the week without losing too much fitness.

Here is a summary of my training week:

Swim 12500 yards (7.1 miles) 6 sessions
Bike 7.4 hours (133 miles, 2600ft gain) 5 sessions
Run 18 miles 4 sessions
Total 15 hours 15 sessions

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Race Report: Tri for Fun #2

I just got back from a solid performance at my second pre-season race: Tri for Fun #2 in Pleasanton, CA. This is the exact same race/course that I did in June, so I was very familiar with the 400 yard fresh-water swim. 10.5 mile bike, and 5K run.

I came into the race with an ambitious (but realistic) goal of breaking the 1 hour mark, which would give me a 7+ minute improvement on last month’s effort. My preparation for this event was much more substantial than the last: I spent a lot of time training at race pace/effort (across all three sports), I’ve been doing open water swim training, and I did a solid session of transition drills last night. And of course, I have MUCH more fitness now than I did five weeks ago.  Continue reading

Personal Update: What I’ve been up to

As we approach August and the start of a new school semester, I have been reflecting to myself a lot about the last year. Although this is primarily a spot for triathlon-related posts, I thought I’d share some of my reflections. Thus, I will attempt to summarize my time thus far in the Bay Area and as a UC Berkeley undergraduate.

Taken from my research building at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

First, I must say that I am EXTREMELY grateful to be living in such an incredible area. There is a very unique vibe in this part of California: everyone has at least one big passion, and everyone is always doing something. On top of that, you have a student body that has been one of (if not) the most progressive, open minded, and politically active of any university in American history. Next, throw in an impressive world-class history in the physical sciences and mathematics (e.g. discovering 16 chemical elements, more nobel laureates than any university in the world). Finally, toss in one of the best collegiate triathlon teams in the United States. At this point in my life, it certainly feels like this is the place I NEED to be. Let me summarize some of the things I’ve been up to:
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Training Week: July 7 – July 13

Touring through the hills of Redwood Regional Park on Friday's bike session

Although I can point out numerous faults in my training this week, I cannot be disappointed with the overall volume I produced. In fact, this week I hit 20 hours of training for the first time this season! This is very good news as I approach my competitive phase of racing. I finally broke the 10,000 yards/week mark in swimming, which has been a goal of mine since late May. I’m finally getting comfortable on a consistent swimming regime, and I’m ready to start bumping up the yardage. On the bike, I dropped all my threshold workouts for the week and instead accumulated more than ten hours of zone three (tempo) efforts. This was largely done over two 3-hour rides: a hot and hilly (5000ft ascent) ride on Wednesday, and a dead-flat ride on Saturday. Also to note, I got a solid amount of climbing time this week, accumulating 13,400ft (2.5 miles) of total elevation gain; in total, I spent almost 5 hours climbing hills with a gradient of at least 4%. Although most (actually, all but one) of my races are relatively flat (with respect to my typical routes), this kind of training is making me a MUCH stronger cyclist, and thus I feel they are worthy investments.

Perhaps the area where I can improve the most is in my overall running consistency. I’ve been experiencing a bit of pain in my legs recently, so I’ve (finally) decided to get a new pair of shoes tomorrow. Once I get rid of the pain, there is really no reason why I shouldn’t be running at least six times a week. Hopefully I can fix this next week and really lock-in on my training before August roles around. Regardless, I had two killer runs this week: a hot and hilly (1400ft ascent) 9-miler on Tuesday, and 8 miles at 6:40/mile on Friday.

Here is a summary of my training week:

Swim 10000 yards (5.7 miles) 5 sessions
Bike 13.2 hours (215 miles, 13400ft gain) 6 sessions
Run 21 miles 3 sessions
Total 20 hours 14 sessions

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Training Week: June 30 – July 6

Enjoying Pad See Ew from Thai Basil after Tuesday's 2x20 bike workout!

I just wrapped up my seventh week of formal training, and I’m once again pretty happy with the consistency I was able to put out (though my overall volume was lacking a bit). My swim yardage was little lower than ideal; however, this was largely due to pool closures that were out of my control, so I’m not gonna stress too much about it. In terms of cycling, my volume was also lower than ideal. However, I still put enough stress on my body to maintain my current fitness and build my FTP a little bit higher. My running legs are coming back to me very quickly, and with the increase in volume I have noticed a subsequent increase in my typical training speeds. I’m gonna build up my running volume over the next three weeks before diving into speed work (1km and 2km repeats building to 5K-10K race pace) to make sure that I’m running a solid race pace before the end of August.

Here is a summary of my training week:

Swim 8000 yards (4.5 miles) 4 sessions
Bike 6.8 hours (113 miles, 3900ft gain) 5 sessions
Run 34 miles 5 sessions
Total 14 hours 14 sessions

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