Thursday, January 24, 2013

Training Observations & My 2013 Schedule

So, training talk. January is going well so far. I was a (pleasantly) shocked this week when comparing my January 2012 with January 2013 training logs. Turns out this month I've already put in more than 10 hours of  training than all of Jan. '12. All base of course. This was not on purpose nor pre-meditated. I don't live by the numbers nor do I train in order to achieve numbers to input into the log. The volume and consistency has just happened. However, I will admit: after the work is done, I do enjoy looking back on my log and analyzing. In this case, it was awesome to see how much more I'm able to handle.
View from Top of the World after riding up about 1.3 miles at an 11% average grade.
Lucho wanted hills that day. We found 'em, starting with this one!
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that I'm comparing just base-training months. When the intensity increases that means volume decreases, to some degree. So if I am looking at a month deeper in the year that's a build/peak closer to a race where volume was lower but intensity was higher, I would not compare that to January. Very different goals in each. The build/racing phases are more about "quality" than "quantity" (volume). Not to say that base isn't quality, but it's different. In intense build/race phases it's time to "cut the fat" in  in order to get the most quality work done....I'll stop rambling.

So back to this month. First and foremost, I've made training a big priority. Once that's determined, there are clearly a lot of variables that go into the ability to handle more training. Here's what I think has helped me do more than ever before:

-Overall life balance. This is arguably the most crucial component. Last year I was still juggling some things that had me a little scattered, including finding a new place to live and maybe just too many work-related commitments. Not the case this year. I'm busy as ever, but it's smooth sailing and I feel in control and balanced...
Sunset strength training & stress relief session.
-Building on past years of training. The work done in 2012 and prior was not erased from the body as soon as Jan. 1, 2013 hit. I did my first tri in summer 2007, and have been pretty much consistent since then minus some injuries. So it's to be expected that I can handle more.

Drink green often.
-Smarter nutrition, wisely chosen supplements. Every year I learn more about improving my diet, and in doing so the benefits are clear. Also, by "wisely chosen" supplements I mean a) not wasting money on pointless things that lack quality/importance, and b) choosing supplements specific to my needs. As a result, my body is able to bounce back better, remain injury free, etc.

-Support at home. It's nice to be living with someone who's also training for the same races :) Not only does it give me a fun training partner, but also someone with whom I can talk with about it all, as well as be dorks with on a Friday and Saturday night when we're trashed from training.

-Quality rest. I've made more of an effort to prioritize this, whether it's getting 8 hours of sleep as much as possible, or just taking scheduled breaks from work, etc, to reeeellllaaxxxxxx.

-People who have faith in me. I have some exciting (and new) partnerships going this year, and an amazing network of support. Gotta make 'em all proud!

-Good coach chemistry. It's so, so so important to have a coach I believe. And in my case, yes, it's true: things are going well with Lucho and I. In fact, I get to meet the guy face-to-face for the first time in a little less than a month! We'll be going to the Endurance Live Awards in LA Feb. 23 with the Endurance Planet crew! How fun!!! Anyone else going to be there??

-This is fun. Last but not least: I am DAMN excited for the season this year! I have some cool races on tap and it's going to be crazy fun. Which reminds me, I don't think I've mentioned my race schedule on the blog yet. You can see my '13 schedule by clicking here.

I leave you with a few pictures....
Post-run bliss feeling hot sunshine again after a stretch of abnormally
cold days here in SoCal. Too bad as I write this blog it's back to
rain and cold again, waaahh
Farmer's Market treats: two giant organic kale bunches for $3!

Special training partners, like Mom. Just as special is realizing
I have some good genes :)

Keeping it real with quality organic food; not your typical mashed potatoes and pasta...
Free-range chicken. Mashed cauliflower. Artichoke hearts in marinara.

Sharing a hoppy beer in my favorite glass after a hard training day.
And sunset, of course.

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