Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 5 Training Summary...Thoughts on Weight Training

Week 5 was another solid week of training minus the running. I'm still having some achilles swelling after I run. I saw a specialist on Wednesday who did an ultrasound on the tendon to make sure I didn't have a cyst returning. She found the tendon to be in really good shape. She was not sure what is causing the swelling around the tendon. I was prescribed some anti-inflamatory cream to put on it 3 times a day. She said I could continue to run if it didn't hurt. I ran Wednesday for my 6th day in a row and when I finished it had swollen quite a bit and was sore so I stopped running for the week. The good news out of this injury is that is has allowed me to spend more time in the pool and on the bike. I swam 17,100 yards this week and biked 120 miles on the trainer. My swim workouts have been going better than ever. I've really been working on some technical things and I'm seeing big improvements in the water. I certainly don't expect to be leading any races out of the water but I do believe I can close the gap substantially over last year between the leaders and myself. On Friday I did a set with our high school team that consisted of 4x (100, 75, 50, 25). I went with the fastest lane and did the intervals all on the 1:20/100 so it was 1:20 for the 100, 1:00 for the 75, 40 seconds for the 50 and 20 seconds for the 25. I hit all 4 sets with plenty of rest. I was swimming my 100's in 1:08-1:10 which shocked the heck out of me. I had two great bike interval workouts this week and they went well. My total training time was 17.5 hours. I lifted weights 3 times, did lunges 3 times, plyometrics and speed drills once, and core work 6 times.

Speaking of weight lifting...I've been reading a lot about weight lifting for triathletes on, a website that has a triathlon forum. Most of what I read is very negative on the benefits of weight training for triathletes. I could not disagree more. Most of the opposition to weight lifting comes from people who say triathletes are better spending the extra time running, swimming, or biking. They say that the movements in weight lifting are not the same as the movements in swimming, biking, or running, thus it is a waste of time. It is my belief that by weight training I am building my maximum power output, especially for swimming and biking. I believe that as I get stronger I am able to produce more watts on the bike per pound of body weight. More power = more speed. My other big belief in getting stronger is that if you can increase maximum power it will be easier to sustain a higher level of power over the course of a race. This is the same reason I believe in doing speed work on the track. If I do intervals at 5:15/mile pace when I get into a 1/2 Ironman and want to run 5:45 pace it feels relatively easy because it's so much slower than what I've been training at. You won't find the weight lifting naysayers scaring me out of the weight room. I have no doubts that my big improvements over the past year have much to do with the time I've spent in the weight room. One of my yearly training goals is to increase my leg lifts by 20% over last year. In summary, I believe weight lifting is extremely important for triathletes and it is more valuable than the extra swimming, biking, and running I could get in the 2 hours and 30 minutes I spend each week lifting.
I lost 2 lbs. last week brining my total loss to 5 lbs. since I resumed training on Nov. 16th. I expect to lose another pound or 2 this week. I have my official weigh in every Monday morning. I'm feeling very fit...but am getting anxious to get my running mileage back to where I want it. Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!!

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