I don’t make mileage or totals goals for a year because I never know what is going to happen. They are just arbitrary numbers and I do much better with goals that are race specific. Well, with 6 days left in 2016 I made the mistake of looking at my 2016 totals in Sport Tracks and saw that I was 275 miles from doing 5,000 total miles for the year. I did a bit of math and figured I could get there with 4 days of doubles on my bike trainer and a big-ish ride outside on Saturday. I have ridden 177 miles on my trainer this week. 98 miles to go!
When I started swimming as an adult I saw a couple of Masters group do this crazy swim on New Years day of 100 X 100 for 10,000 total yards. I was never at the right level of fitness to do the 100s so I tried it once but only did 75s. This year I thought why not give it a try! The idea was floated in my Coeur Ambassador team so a bunch of decided to do it around the holidays, whenever it was convenient for you. I chose Christmas Eve.
I only had a three hour window to get the 10,000 yards done which meant I had to swim a 1:48/100 yard pace. Not impossible for me, but I wasn’t totally sure how fast I would be swimming as the yards added up. My plan had been to cycle through 200s/500s/1,000s in 1,000 yard sets. 100s were just too short and I didn’t want to waste much time on the wall.
I brought two bottles of CarboRocket Half Evil (one Dark Cherry and one Lemonade) because I needed an easy way to get in calories. This stuff has everything you need and it tastes yummy!!! I also used a Foggie to wipe down my goggles before I started swimming. That was the best decision I could have made! My goggles never fogged up and were crystal clear the whole swim! I didn’t adjust them once!
I started swimming and very quickly realized this was going to be really close. I barely had anytime between sets. I started to slow down after only 3,000 yards but I just kept at it. The only discomfort I had during the swim was my ankles got tired so I did a couple of sets with a pull buoy and paddles. I also used my Roka Sim Shorts to give me a bit of a rest. Other than that, mentally chunking the swim into 1,000 yard sets helped me tremendously! It also helped that I had no time to sit at the wall. Stuart showed up for the last 30 minutes and snapped a few pictures. It was super fun to pick a challenge that I had never done before and go for it! I need to challenge myself this year. I have really big goals and that is the only way I can achieve them!
I had my own cheerleader!
The details from the swim
I can still raise my arms!!
You can find the Garmin data for the swim here. Also, if you like the swim suit, it is part of the 2017 line at Coeur Sports. I think a 10,000 swim is a pretty good indicator of what a great suit it is! Goggles are the R1 by Roka, 3 hours straight in them!
Below are the instructions for setting HR or power zones for a Garmin 735. This method should work more almost all newer Garmins. Essentiall you will set the zones in Garmin Connect on the web and the next time you sync your device it should update with the proper zones details. This is what is used when you set you up custom workouts using Garmin Connect.
Login to your Garmin Connect account online. From the main menu on the left select Devices.
Select the device you want to set the zones for if you have more than one device attached to your account. After you have selected the device, click on the User Settings tab.
In here you will find the screens to set both your HR zones or power zones.
HR can be set by entering in your MAX HR if you know it and allowing Garmin to figure out your zones from there. Or you can manually set the zones.
Power works much the same. If you know your FTP you can enter it and let Garmin do the rest. That is what I do.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom and save your updates. Next time you sync your device with Garmin Connect your zones should update!
If you haven’t figured it out by now I am always planning for the next race. Now that 2016 is done, 2017 planning is pretty much complete (I don’t waste much time) – for the first 2/3 of the year at least.
Here is the plan as of now:
February 12th, 2017 The Rock Cobbler 4.0 – 80 to 100 mile gravel ride, route to be determined. I am terrified. This is the first race I have ever signed up for where there is a real possibility I may not finish. I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is the perfect race for that!
March 5th, 2017 The Desert Triathlon Olympic Distance La Quinta, CA- I have done this race many times so I am excited to have another go at it. This year I need to race stronger on the bike so this will be a chance to really try to push hard on the bike for the entire race.
April 1st, 2017 The Great Race of Agoura – I am doing the team marathon with my running partner Sarah . She will run the trail half and I will run the road half. Our combined time will be our marathon time.
April 17th, 2017 The Boston Marathon – shooting for 3:30 or faster! I am super excited for this!!
May 13th, 2017 Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3 – Once again the goal will be to push as hard on the bike as I possibly can. I want to push so hard that I actually blow up at some point during this race.
September 10th, 2017 Ironman Wisconsin – I am saying it now. I want to qualify for Kona. I know that isn’t completely under my control but I will do everything I can to make this happen.
After this I am sure I will do a fall marathon and enjoy some cross racing as well. But this is enough for now!
I may be using the term “Race” a bit strongly here as this was my first time actually trying Cyclo Cross, but I did participate in a race so we will go with that for now. Stuart has been doing cross all fall/winter and now that my A race has passed I finally was open to trying. I picked up a used bike online that is better than my other bikes for this type of riding, a Surly Straggler. It really isn’t an ideal cross bike because it is steel and heavy but it can handle the course so that was all I needed!
I have watched Stuart ride a couple of these races and so far they courses have all overwhelmed me! But I signed up for the beginner lap anyway and thought I should at least try that. I was so pleased to see what a generally easy course it was! There was nothing too terribly hard or technical and the course was really wide. It is always my concern that I will be in the way of those who are really racing.
I had so much fun on my beginner lap I signed up for the Womens C race. I got lapped by the leaders but I had so much fun!!! I am so glad I gave it a try. I will just list a few lesson learned and then give you a bunch of pictures. Here is the Garmin Data if you want to see it.
I think one of the most important items you should have in “tool set” for endurance training/racing is a coach. I am not an expert in how to train to achieve my goals, so I have been working with a coach for the last three years to help me. It has taken so much pressure off of me to figure out how to structure my training to successfully train for all my races. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to using a coach.
- You get what you pay for. I highly doubt you will get a fully customized weekly training plan from a coach if you expect to pay $100 or less a month. That would mean they are only getting $25 /week to craft your plan. That doesn’t even take into consideration if you need time for consultation or changes to your plan.
- Listen to your coach. If you are not willing to do this, don’t hire one.
- Plan ahead. Expecting results in a short time is unrealistic. I truly think you should be willing to work with a coach for 3-6 months before a half marathon or half Ironman and even longer for longer races. That give your body a chance to adapt to the training style. It takes time!
- Get referrals. There are lots of coaches out there, some are better than others. Make sure you ask for references.
- Get ready to get uncomfortable. If all your training feels easy then you aren’t going to have any growth. Train hard and race easy.
There are a lot of coaches out there. Do your research. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are. I do highly recommend my coach Jen. I have had three very successful years with her including a Boston Qualifying marathon and a sub 11 Ironman. If you have goals for 2017, now is the time to start planning; not 8-12 weeks before your A race.