A revamped training program, injury update and look ahead to taper week
Ironman Arizona is officially fourteen days away.
I see the finish line on the horizon, feel the excitement building and smell the victory approaching my reach.
However, I’m still so obsessed with my schedule, nutrition, race prep and hitting all my workouts (hhhawwrd) that the realness and nearness of race-day hasn’t quite sunk in for me.
That’s probably a good thing.
I’m feeling strong and confident heading into this final stretch, and despite the crazy, often self-induced, curve balls this year has thrown at me, I’ve built up some nice momentum and hope to ride it across the finish line on Nov. 17.
That momentum didn’t develop by accident.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching and planning as many angles of this journey as possible. And recently, I’ve made some major adjustments to my training plan and injury treatments that have helped keep me moving in the right direction.
In this post, you’re going to see an overview of the revised training program I’ve been following for the past few months, an update on my injuries and how they’re being treated, plus a look at my taper-week schedule.
Training program 2.0
Seven months ago, I laid out my hybrid Crossfit Endurance (CFE) based training plan that blended interval and strength training during the week, with longer stamina rides and runs on the weekends.
For most of the summer I stuck to it religiously.
Until mid August. That’s when I idiotically burned out on a 96-mile bike ride and realized the super-sized mileage – combined with the intense strength training – was taking its toll.
I wasn’t going to be able to continue piling on the miles and maintain my CFE routine.
So I decided to go all-in on the CFE plan (something I should’ve done from day one) and adjusted my training schedule to focus entirely on strength training, interval workouts, pacing, mobility, and shorter but faster stamina swims, rides and runs.
Here’s what a sample week looks like now that I’ve adjusted my program:
Sample Weekly Training Schedule 2.0
- Morning: Rest
- Evening: Mobility, leg- and foot-strengthening exercises, Yoga
- Morning: CFE WOD
- Evening: Run (Long Time Trial)
- Morning: Spin Class (1 hour)
- Evening: CFE WOD
- Morning: Swim (Intervals)
- Evening: CFE WOD
- Morning: Run (Intervals)
- Evening: CFE WOD
- Morning: Swim (Long Time Trial)
- Evening: CFE WOD
- Morning: Bike (Long Time Trial) + 15-minute brick run
A few reminders and notes on this schedule:
- The CFE WOD feature a variety of sports, weight-lifting and gymnastics
- I pretty much copy and paste the CFE WOD straight from crossfitendurance.com
- Workouts are almost always max-effort – meaning I try to complete the routine or distance as quickly as possible
- For comparison, see my original CFE-hybrid Ironman training plan
In addition, after a very slow performance at the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon, it was clear that I needed to pick up my swimming pace and work to generate more power and fine tune my Total Immersion swim technique. Read this post to see the model I’m following to accomplish that.
My problem-dog of a left foot is still barking, but fortunately not as loudly anymore.
The issue now is Achilles tendinitis.
It flared up a few weeks ago during a 10-mile run, and I’ve been working like crazy to solve the problem before the race. I think it arose as a result of my shoes wearing out, increased running pace, plus a week heavy in box jumps and double-unders during CFE workouts.
I researched the injury and learned that – like many foot problems – Achilles tendinitis is rooted in weak or tight calf muscles and/or stiff ankles and feet. Those areas aren’t supporting the load as they should be during running, and are shedding it to the poor Achilles tendon.
I believe I have midpoint Achilles tendinitis, which – the Internets say – is an easier quicker treatment than insertional Achilles tendinitis.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve been more diligent than ever foam rolling, lacrosse-ball rolling and getting in my mobility work (which focuses now primarily on my calves and hip flexors), before workouts – stretching immediately after workouts and icing my Achilles tendon after long runs.
The biggest help, however, has been straight-leg and bent-knee eccentric heel drops (3 x 15, twice a day).
Read this great article on Runners Connect for a demonstration of this exercise and excellent advice for treating the injury.
After a couple weeks of all this treatment and mobility work, the Achilles pain has all but gone away. I can still feel it a bit during sprints, but it regresses seemingly every day.
Hopefully it won’t be much of an issue on race day.
The view ahead, two weeks out
The CFE program calls for about one week of tapering before the race.
So I’ll spend this upcoming week hitting my regular workout routine. Then, I’ll follow this workout schedule during the week leading up to the race:
- Saturday: Light Run + CFE WOD
- Sunday: Easy 1-hour ride
- Monday: Back squats 5X3 Back squat @70% of 5X3 max
- Tuesday: Light swim + CFE WOD Helen:@70% effort (Three rounds for time of Run 400m, 1.5pood kettlebell swings, 12 pull-ups)
- Wednesday: OFF
- Thursday: Brick run-bike-run 800m/1.5 miles/800m
- Friday: OFF
- Saturday: Easy 20 minutes swim, bike and run
- Sunday: Dominate
Clearly, I’m beyond excited for the big race and can’t thank you guys enough for all the support.
Stay tuned for more updates, tips, rants and ramblings as we approach the finish line.
– Live every day –