Friday, July 20, 2007

Hard at work and loving it!

Sunrise from our about motivation to get out and start your day (after coffee of course)!

The past 2 weeks have been tough but very productive. I have been busy with work but this is a good thing b/c a lot of great things are happening, which helps me look good to those signing my paychecks =)
In addition to a hectic work schedule I have been putting in tons of training time, often waking up super early in the morning to squeeze it all in. I am a morning person so I don't mind waking up early but the challenge comes in making sure I get enough rest and don't burn out.

-Heading out for a ride in San Luis Obispo
I am very happy with where I am in terms of my fitness. After a 2 week break the question is, how much fitness did I lose and how much weight did I gain from all that beer and wonderful food? The goal of my break was to get out of shape so that I can be in peak form in october and I think my mission was accomplished but I am suprised with how well things are going now. My swimming finally feels like it is coming around since I have started swimming with a team in monterey. I have really struggled with swimming this year but other areas have improved and you can't have everything, right? Swimming is funny in that if you want to swim with a fast group you often find yourself swimming with a bunch of kids about 10 years younger. Sure, there are fast masters groups in major cities like San Diego, Santa Clara but in Monterey I have to swim with high-school kids and some that are even younger. I had to do the same thing when living in SLO but, to be honest, I will do whatever it takes to swim fast and the kids I am swimming with now are the key to faster swim splits. It has always amazed me that kids so young can swim so fast. If you look at the olympics you will see a lot of the swimmers are in their teens. They have perfect form and have been in the water ever since they learned to walk. While the kids I am swimming with are not olympians they can post some very fast times and I am excited to be swimming with them.
My riding and running are also coming along quite well. While swimming matters in Xterra the bike and run are the most important and I can say with certainty that if you can't ride your bike fast you won't go far in this sport. For this reason, I will be spending tons of time on my bike and I will focus on a few key run workouts that will bring everything together. Xterra requires strength so I have developed a plan that will hopefully have me flying in the month of October.
On the bike my focus will be climbing so I will be in Los Gatos a lot doing threshold climbing in the Santa Cruz mountains where there are several 45 min to 1 hour climbs, which is perfect prep for nationals and worlds. Threshold climbing means that I will be riding up these long climbs at around 170 heart rate. These workouts will make me strong and hopefully lead to fast bike splits. In addition to threshold climbing I am doing the tuesday night crit in monterey, which is more like a circuit race b/c it is a 4 mile, hilly loop. These rides are always tough and get you some quick fitness. Additionally I am riding my mountain bike twice a week, one long ride of 3+ hours and one ride about 2 hours long to build endurance and to keep my handling skills in check.

Weights are also a new addition to my plan. I have felt that my muscle strength is lacking so I am lifting weights twice a week and I think this will make me much more powerful.
My run workouts focus on hills. Every run is on a trail and 95% of the time it is hilly. Aside from nationals I have not seen a flat Xterra run course so hill running is key to a fast run split. I am trying some new things with my run and I am excited about my progress.
Overall, I am so excited about training right now and I can't wait until my next Xterra race August 5th.
I hope all is well. Stay tuned...I will keep you posted on my progress.

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