Thursday, June 19, 2014

Minimalist Training So Far, Workout Details Included

I have a few blogs in the works right now, but this one's most timely. In effort to be transparent with my altered "less than traditional" training approach leading into Vineman, I want to keep this blog up to date with what I'm doing, how I'm feeling, etc.

I won't lie, a couple times I've found myself a tad nervous about ditching the bigger "more traditional" volume and what that will mean come race day in terms of performance. But then those fears completely go away nearly every time I do a workout or I take a step back and see how I'm doing overall. Why? Because for the most part I feel phenomenal and on top of my game. I also am not holding myself to any strict schedule, I am not using heart rate at all (only power on bike and GPS), and I'm allowing myself the freedom to train how my body feels. I have loose overall goals I want to hit each week and certain intnesities I want to reach, but I just let it come and it's not foreced. Mentally this is really good stuff for me, and it's showing with the physical performances.

Here are 5 positives I've noticed so far since the shift in training:
1) Recovery between workouts is better than ever;
2) ...As a result workouts are QUALITY, and I'm feeling awesome 9 outta 10 times;
2) Drastic improvement in overall energy and mood;
3) Work productivity and mental focus are consistently solid;
4) Lower stress and namely I'm not sweating the small things. (Like if I can't train on a Sunday because we have family obligations or whatever, I don't stress out about missing a long ride. Quality of life improving...)
5) My body is adapting well. My muscles aren't as tight and locked up, and I've even put on lean muscle mass already! (Had a massage this week for first time in a while, and my massage therapist was like," whoa what's goin on?! You're not your typical tight and tense self.")

As for the negatives I've noticed? None. So far. That said, sometimes I miss those long weekend rides with my peeps, but it's not like I will purposely deny myself those workouts that I find fun and rewarding; currently I just haven't been able to ride long outside due to the wrist fracture. Eventually I'll still do group rides when the time is right and if I feel like it, but just not force it. Same with long runs. I love running long in the trails, and if the moment comes where that sounds fun, I'm in!
Speaking of fun... here we are playing around with the GoPro in Chesapeake Bay!

Ok so check it out...

Training Log
We're backing up a bit and I'm starting 8 weeks out from Vineman 70.3 (because that's sort of the timeframe for training that matters). Reminder: Broke the wrist on May 13.

May 19-25
Weekly volume: 7:23:58 
Breakdown of volume:

Swim- 10:00, first post-fracture swim attempt in ocean. Didn't go that great.
Bike- 3:06, 4 trainer sessions
Run- 2:22:58, 4 runs total
Strength- 1:45, 2 sessions
Full rest days: 0

Notes: This was the week after breaking wrist, and I was ready to start some light workouts again. My body did not feel that great overall yet, as I was only ~2 weeks out from some pretty gnarly training/racing that had me feeling depleted, rundown and overtrained. So that said, this is the week in which I first made a conscious effort to change my training style, decreasing volume to begin with. Then once the body felt better I'd slowly add in some intensity. But all my runs this week were easy, and bikes were easy up until Sunday when I felt ok and did this workout:

Bike trainer 1hr, with 4 X ~8:00 strength sets
15' spin + 5 X 30" SL drill (in aero)
Main Set
5 X 1:00 sprints/high cadence on 1:00 easy. 
Goal watts 200-250w.
~2' spin
10' @ ~70.3 race watts, 160-190w.
~2' spin
~2' spin
5 X 1:00 ME some out of saddle while in aero, goal watts 200-280+.
on 1:00 recovery.
spin until 1hr total.

May 26-June 1
Weekly volume: 7:00:19
Swim- 40:00, 2 ocean swims
Bike- 2:50, 3 trainer sessions
Run- 2:30:00, 3 runs total
Strength- 1:00, 2 sessions
Full rest days: 1

Notes: This was the first week when I started feeling GOOD again! Body was feeling fresh and a couple runs I was going sub-7:00 pace (one was a spur-of-moment progression run with John that went from MAF to tempo to threshold; the other was an hour run that had 6 X 1:00 max sprints). My weekend trainer session also had 10 X 1:00 max sprints on 1:00 recovery, and I was hitting 270+w, felt great (FTP is low 200s). I also had two great ocean swims, and thoughts that I could do Eagleman at one point. This week I also started ramping up strength training again within limits of wrist; here's a workout:

Strength session:
10min functional movement
Set 1
20 ea side, split squat jumps with 30" lunge hold
60sec battle ropes or shoulder/band work (my partner did ropes, I did band)
Set 2
Tabata (20sec on / 10 sec rest)
2 rounds of 4 sets each:

jump rope (doable for me!)
band pullaparts
box jumps (7 ea round = 56 total)
bridge/ham curl on ball
plank variations on stability ball

June 2-8 (Travel began June 5)
Weekly volume: 4:40:36
Swim- 32:00, 2 swims both in ocean (Pacific & Atlantic!)
Bike- 1:30, 2 trainer sessions (West Coast & East Coast!)
Run- 1:48:36, 4 runs total
Strength- 1:00, 2 sessions
Full rest days: 1

A glance inside my luggage essentials.
Notes: We flew to East Coast Thursday of this week; that morning I woke up super early and at least got in
about 20-30min running in pitch dark before flight out of LAX. Running before travel is the best. Lived in my 110% Play Harder Compression a lot during travel. Sunday was Eagleman; during race I ran on and off the whole time about 5 miles total and walked/stood around a ton. My training was limited this week with the travel and what I could do but I managed and did NOT stress it. Actually, I was able to borrow John's bike while in Maryland and used my client's trainer where we were staying to get in a bike/strength workout! Also of note was that I saw my HRV get back into high 80s upon waking (great for me).

Run with the boys to assess the land in Cambridge. Yup, it's flat.

Little road trip into Delaware to hit up one of my fave breweries. #dogfishhead

June 9-15 (DC Trip Monday until Thursday night; red eye home)
Weekly volume: 5:53:36
Swim- 50:00, 2 swims back in pool
Bike- 2:00, 2 trainer sessions
Run- 2:18:36, 3 runs total
Strength- 0:40, 1 sessions (2.5 miles SUP)
Full rest days: 1 technically, but that day included 5-6+(?) miles walking DC.

Notes: Again, training was limited because it was not the priority this week. Having a fun vacation with John was the priority. Monday we drove from Cambridge to DC and stayed there until leaving Thursday night. I only ran Mon-Thu, and our Tue/Thus runs we did "tourist style" in which we'd run to monuments and famous landmarks (kill 2 birds with one stone!). I did not stress the lack of training, especially with all the walking we were doing; each day at least 5-6 miles walking -- endurance training in itself! Once we were home I got back to swimming and biking. Swam in pool for first time since break, and attempted a few sets of 100s without the brace, with success. My bike fitness felt ok even with having only had 1 bike in 8 days while traveling.Sunday instead of a swim, bike or run I did some endurance SUP mostly because we were celebrating Father's Day the beach. Later that evening bowled with John's family, lol.

Run - tempo + strides
5.1 miles/40min
Here's an example of not knowing what to expect upon starting, then feeling good and going for it and making the most of it. This run was a blast! Day after EM, last morning in Cambridge, legs felt great!!
Dynamic non-run exercises, plus 1 mile easy running.
4 miles tempo (all sub-8:00 pace) AND during that including 1:00 strides done fartlek style.
1:00 easy jog, then walked it out to finish.

Picture taking during that run workout posted above.
Can I just say I love my new Katalyst top by 110% Play Harder?!
I wore it - black!! - in hot and humid Cambridge and it was cool,
comfortable and functional during this tough run!
Check them out here:
Use my code 110CoachTawnee for 10% and free shipping.

Bike trainer workout
1:15 total
~15 min spin, building effort.
Main set
Set 1:
6 X 1:00 hard/reaching max effort and big watts (110-150% FTP) on 1:00 recovery. Extra 2-3' recovery after the last one.
6 X 20" standing in hard gear/low cadence on 40" recovery. Extra 5' recovery after the last one.
Set 2:
Intervals of 8'-6'-4'-2' at high Z3/low Z4 watts (~80-95% FTP) on 2' recovery after each.
Easy spin to finish

Sight-seeing and running. Maximizing time!

June 16-22
Weekly volume: TBD
Swim- XX
Bike- XX
Run- XX
Strength- XX
Full rest days: XX

Notes: Week in progress. So far so good :)


If you know me and have read this blog for a long time you know I've spent year training and essentially building a solid base and foundation. So, I've gone into this new training phase comfortably knowing I have that base backing me. That said, this training approach is not something I'd advise for just anyone, especially someone newer to endurance sport. As I wrote recently on, developing endurance fitness takes time and there's no way around that (the other theme of that post is: if you hire a coach, give that coach time to develop you).

So with my current training, I'm NOT trying to find shortcuts, I'm trying to find my way out of a rut that I've put myself in a lot in recent years. It's really just an experiment and I'm making no promises or guarantees on how it'll manifest on race day at the half-iron distance.


Wrist Progress Report
It's doing well. I'm not sure if my healing is "normal", better or worse at this point but I feel like I'm on the right track. Tuesday, June 17 marked 5 weeks since the injury. As of last week, I found that I am now very functional without the brace and am comfortable without it on in safe situations. I have even done a couple runs and trainer sessions without it. When I'm home I have it off a lot more and sometimes I forget it's broken/healing. I can put pressure on it but only in certain positions; hard to explain without showing what I mean. I still swim with the brace on for 80-90% of the sessions, but I did attempt (successfully) a few hundred yards here and there without the brace this past week!

The only "bad side" I still see with the wrist healing is that it's 1) still swollen quite noticeably when compared with the right, and 2) very stiff especially flexion. I do need to get in and see and OT/hand therapist just to get evaluated on progress.


  1. I think this is awesome, you'll find your right balance, but in order to find it you've got to take risks and I know you love experimenting! I agree with you as far as this kind of schedule is really only manageable because you have such a solid base, me too. Knowing how to train properly and then following your intuition has worked out fantastic for me and I think you're going to find your stride here soon! Each workout I do has a purpose and if it doesn't then I don't do it. Sometimes that purpose is simply, mental clarity and that's okay too. I listened to Krissy Moehl talk and she said, "I just really love junk miles." If that's what gets you going, then it's fine as long as you can handle them both mentally and physically. :) Shoot, we can talk more in Whistler about all of this.

  2. Nice work Tawnee. Will be watching closely. Great attitude.

  3. Wow, I was surprised to see you wearing Hoka's in the DC pic. I would not take you for being someone to wear Hoka's!!!