Triathlon Training Update at the Beginning of the Season

Lynne Kiesling

A casual weekend post … I know that some KP readers are fellow triathletes, and I appreciate your interest in my training and racing plans. Here’s a summary, with more below the fold.

Race plans. I am doing two triathlons this summer: the Tri Shark sprint triathlon on 7 June and the Pleasant Prairie olympic distance triathlon on 17 August. It’s a light race season, but that’s because in late June I am doing a 987-mile bike ride over the first third of the Lewis & Clark trail. So the balance this summer is shifting a little to cycling and off of triathlon.

Training. Not surprisingly, given above, it’s been cycling-centric. The weather this winter was pretty bad for outdoor cycling, so it’s been rollers for me! Sadly, I still can’t stand doing more than an hour on the rollers, even with the best DVD on the planet in the player. But what I’m finding this spring more than in past springs is that just getting in the saddle frequently is the most important thing for me, just to get the body habituated to being in the saddle. I think that’s because I kept up a pretty decent level of base fitness over the winter. My swimming is as it always is — I’m a strong swimmer, so I’m doing enough swimming to be fit, but I’m really focusing on the cycling this season.

More below the fold …


Running. It has never been my strong suit, but my base fitness is good enough that I’ve gotten to a point where my base run is 60 minutes, 5.5 mi/hr, at a manageable heart rate. I also recently did my first-ever stand-alone 5K race recently, because I wanted to know what my stand-alone 5K race pace is before I do the 5K in the Tri Shark sprint next month. I was thrilled that my 5K race pace was 9:16/mile! My goal was to break 10:00 (i.e. faster than 6 mi/hr).

I also recently did a brick (bike-run transition) workout, and was able to keep a sub-10:00 pace for the run without any calf discomfort. So this means that my Tri Shark goal is to have my run race pace be sub-10:00.

Weight. In the past two months I’ve lost 8 pounds without even trying! I think it’s two things: the acceleration of my cycling training from winter to spring, and the fact that I’ve reduced my wine consumption somewhat and reduced my dessert consumption drastically.

Mental discipline. Mental discipline is an even bigger weakness for me than running. Sometimes it’s just easier to bail on the workout and do work or do one of my other engaging hobbies. But what I’m finding now is that the self-help folks are right: once you’ve been doing something regularly for two weeks it becomes a habit, and that helps with the mental discipline. Just getting the butt in the saddle, or just getting out of bed and standing up when the alarm goes off is the first step toward increasing that mental discipline. So far, so good … I’ll see if I can keep it up. But I do have this self-undermining tendency to let my workload distract me from my workouts.

So how are your workouts going? Any tips, suggestions?


5 thoughts on “Triathlon Training Update at the Beginning of the Season

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and never realized you were a triathlete! I hope you sneak a few more posts about your training in here, especially about the Lewis & Clark ride.

  2. YEA! Two races in one summer is plenty; why is that a “light” load.

    RE: Comparing notes. This year I’m only doing one triathlon — in September. But, I decided to tackle our shared greatest weakness (aside from good mole and dark chocolate desserts) straight on. Like a fool, I’m going to run the Marine Corp Marathon in October. I look forward to losing 8 pounds effortlessly.

    RE: Tips. I know so much less about biking than you I’m tempted to say nothing. However, I got on some rollers (in my garage) for the first time this past winter. The thing that worked best for me was to do timed interval training — like the stuff I grew up doing in a pool. So, I would go extremely hard for 3:00 then take a :20 easy ride and then repeat the whole thing ten or fifteen times. It helped with the boredom.

    Next post, include some of your beta on riding around Chicago in the spring/summer. Misplaced Midwesterners like myself enjoy it.

    And, Yea Cubbies. They are in first place (still).

  3. YEA! Two races in one summer is plenty; why is that a “light” load.

    RE: Comparing notes. This year I’m only doing one triathlon — in September. But, I decided to tackle our shared greatest weakness (aside from good mole and dark chocolate desserts) straight on. Like a fool, I’m going to run the Marine Corp Marathon in October. I look forward to losing 8 pounds effortlessly.

    RE: Tips. I know so much less about biking than you I’m tempted to say nothing. However, I got on some rollers (in my garage) for the first time this past winter. The thing that worked best for me was to do timed interval training — like the stuff I grew up doing in a pool. So, I would go extremely hard for 3:00 then take a :20 easy ride and then repeat the whole thing ten or fifteen times. It helped with the boredom.

    Next post, include some of your beta on riding around Chicago in the spring/summer. Misplaced Midwesterners like myself enjoy it.

    And, Yea Cubbies. They are in first place (still).

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