April Training: Just Getting Started

Before I get into the week recap, I want to draw your attention to something new on the sidebar… Look to the right. —–>> See it? Now you can send me e-mails!!! If you have any suggestions or comments (like places I should try riding, training tips, things I should cook, etc.), please drop me an e-mail. Now… back to the week in review.. or at least half the week…  

It’s been a good week of getting (back) on the training wagon. Last week was a rest week, since I had just completed my first “A” race of the season and the longest race (to date) of my life. I did get a few workouts in during that week just to keep the blood flowing in my legs, but nothing major. This week has been right on track with the training plan I set out for myself.  

With two “C” races this weekend (Renegade Racing Off Road Triathlon at Bonelli Park in San Dimas and the Kring and Chung Newport Beach Triathlon at Newport Dunes/Back Bay), getting good workouts in this week was a must. Like a good Catholic, I “rested” on Sunday (with it being Easter and all), but Monday was the start of good consistent training.  

Monday (like all Mondays are supposed to be and will be from now on) was a “Quality” running day. I’m trying to follow a new marathon training program to help improve my time for the San Diego Rock’n’Roll Marathon in June. It’s a 16-week running program which I’ve cut short since the race is only 9 weeks away and I’m only now starting the program. I think I’ll be ok though, since it’s not like I’m starting the program from no training at all.  

In any case, this past Monday was Quality #5: 8 sets of 800 yards (essential 1/2 mile) at 10k pace with 90-second rest walk/jog in between each set. My goal 10k pace is 9:30 min/mile, which is weak (I know) but is still faster than my normal pace of 10:00 min/mile. I lucked out, though, I pushed myself enough to get an average pace of 8:32 min/mile for all the sets. This means that I should probably push my 10k goal pace to 8:30 min/mile (note to self for next 10k)… and my 5k pace should be even faster than that, maybe under 8:00 min/mile if I can handle it. The big problem is that I don’t jog the rest interval. I usually slow down to a brisk walk because my heart is racing and I need to catch my breath. Need to work more on that endurance if I want to be able to sustain that pace. The whole run ended up at 5.01 miles, which is a good distance for a weekday run.  

Quality #1: Pace Chart

Tuesday, Minh and I headed out to the Newport Dunes so that I could pre-swim and pre-ride the race course. Here’s a picture of me trying to get my wetsuit on. The look on my face indicates how difficult it is, but in reality, getting it off is actually harder than getting it on (maybe because of the time crunch).  


There was a stronger current than usual at the Dunes, and the water level was higher than usual, which made for an interesting swim. The top 2 feet of water were warm, because the sun was out and there was a warm breeze coming in (a pre-cursor to this week’s Santa Ana’s), but below that, the water was really cold (probably around the average 60°).  The first half of my swim was nice because I had big things to sight off (big white tent in the parking lot, the bridge, cluster of tall palm trees). It was when I turned and started the second half of the loop that my line started to become zig-zagged. The only things to sight off were small and almost the same color as the surroundings (a small blue whale the same color as the sky, the palm trees were level with the hills in the background, the brown park benches and shelters blended in with the sand).  

See?!?!?! Nothing to sight off.. everything's FLAT!

I probably did more than half a mile and got out of the water in 20 minutes. I would say that was a good swim. Here’s my prediction of what I actually swam vs. the race swim course:  


After I got cleaned up and changed, Minh and I headed off on our bikes along Back Bay Drive for the bike course. Overall, the course is pretty flat except for one steep short climb at the end of Back Bay Drive and a less steep, gradual climb along East Bluff Drive. When we headed back to the Dunes, we decided to bike the run course as a preview, but that was incredibly flat (so will be easy on the legs) and a little harder to ride because it was narrow sidewalks and people were out BBQing and hanging out (we had to take it slower than expected).  

Wednesday, Minh packed our mountain bikes on the car so that we could head to Peters Canyon after work for a spin. I hadn’t been on my mountain bike since the US Cup Race at Bonelli, so I definitely needed to get the feeling of mountain riding again. It was a really good (short) ride and I’m super happy we did it. It was hot and dry, but not too bad, because the trail alternated between shade and sun. There were a few areas where I had to get off and walk (too steep to climb and not enough momentum to get up, or too rutted with evil-looking cactus on both sides of the trail), but overall, I did pretty well. We finished the trail (Peters Canyon Dual Loop) in about 40 minutes, which is average for that trail. 


We probably could have done another loop if we had more water and snacks, but we were hungry and we each only had one small water bottle. Minh noted that it seems to be “CamelBak” season again. The temperature is rising (up to 80° already this week) and the Santa Anas are coming (dry dry dry) and the days are getting longer. This means we can do longer rides, but we need more water and snacks and sunblock. 

That’s been the week in training so far. Today, we’re hitting up Fairview Park so that I can get some trail running in before Saturday. Minh packed up his cross bike so that he can hit the trails with that while I run. 

Oh.. and I almost forgot.. we have a new member to our Garmin Family. So far, we have the Nuvi for the car, Minh uses the Edge 305 for his bikes, and I use the Forerunner 305 for running and biking (love the multisport option). Recently, I started complaining about mounting my Forerunner 305 to the bikes. It moves around and turns and is kind of hard to mount. So.. Minh picked me up an Edge 500. It’s like the Edge 705, but with no map feature and no color, just the stats, but it’s small and sleek, and looks more aerodynamic. I’ve been using it lately, and it’s super easy to mount because of the new twist-mount feature. THREE CHEERS for bike-tech stuff!!! 


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