I usually try to give a triathlon training update on Tuesday, but it’s Wednesday. I’ll go ahead and complete this update to stay consistent. I also couldn’t post last week so this is a compilation of two weeks of training.

The last two weeks have been a time change that can often occur in the life of an amateur triathlete when family and work responsibilities conflict with training. We just started school here in North Carolina, which means major changes to my family’s morning routine, and therefore my workout routine. If I’m going to exercise, it has to be before my family wakes up at 6:30 am. This is early, but it’s what I’m used to based on the last few years of training.

The Swim: I’m still working hard on form. I have decided to split my workouts into two parts during the off-season. I want to do exercises and form practices during my training at the beginning of the week. Use exercises such as catch-up, fingertip dragging, and clenched fists. I also use specific form exercises for full immersion swimming, such as dead man’s float, side kick drills, water balance, and placing my hand in the water. Each of these exercises helps me learn muscle memory for my form. The second half of the week I’m trying to build in resistance. I started this last week with a solid 30 minute swim in the pool. This is much easier than trying to count the lapses of which I always lose count. I only swim a set number of minutes trying to maintain good form and good focus. This gets monotonous in a pool, but I think it will help me maintain my stamina in the season. I’m tracking 100 on the trail using my TomTom Multisport watch. I also let the watch track my total distance. I’m trying not to stop at all. I found this last week that I tend to maintain good form at the beginning of the swim, but towards the end my hips started to drop and I tended to have less than quality form. This will have to improve with these endurance swims.

The Run: Just like the swim, I’m trying to do some shorter interval sets earlier in the week since I have less time in the mornings. Then I’m trying to do longer endurance runs at the end of the week. My wife just started working so now I have Fridays to train. It rained a bit last week so I couldn’t do all my runs. I ran on Labor Day doing 10 miles at a pace of 8:24. That’s a good strong pace for me with a medium effort. I am having some pain in my foot. It seems to be on my bow and on my Achilles. I will have to control this to avoid more serious injuries.

The bike: I’m using my indoor trainer for my shorter, more intense rides. I haven’t been able to go out in a couple of weeks, but I plan to this week. I started watching a new TV series on Netflix while I was training called “Leverage”. Holds my attention. I do 5 minute work with 3 minute rest intervals during my early week workouts. So I’m trying to go 1 1/2 to 2 hours in an endurance run. I’m having trouble finding a way to measure a strength increase since I don’t have a power meter. I wish I could have a Lemond Trainer measure power so I can see my improvement in this area. I measure my wrinkles by my heart rate which shows my intensity. It’s hot right now where I’m riding, so this could mess with my heart rate without improving my strength. I’ll have to monitor this outside.

Strength: I’m building in some abdominal strength and core strength during the offseason. I’m using a 30 day ab challenge in addition to doing half crunches on push-ups and half crunches on obliques. Hopefully this will keep me toned and help me lose the belly fat that has plagued me.

Weight Loss – I ran this year at 180-182. Next year I want to run at 170-172. This means that I need to lose weight from my mid section. I have some “love rims” that need to be turned into “like rains”. I must cut back in this area. I am changing some elements of the diet to not eat so much sugar.

Everything goes well in the off-season. The biggest challenges right now are the schedule and weight loss.