It’s the end of December and we’re in full preparation mode for the 2019 season. This time of year is a lot of time on the trainer and building the foundation for the harder training to come. This month, the weather has not been cooperative so there have been many more hours spent on the bike indoors than I would like. That said, I feel like the trainer makes you stronger, and my coaches certainly have me working hard on single leg drills, fast pedal efforts, and heavy gear work. I decided to make an investment and purchase a direct drive smart trainer. Right now, we’re using a fluid trainer by Kurt Kinetic. It’s served us well for the past 3 or 4 years, but it became obvious that I needed to upgrade the trainer in order to perform the heavy gear workouts properly. I’m looking forward to that arriving and the gains I’ll make in the offseason!
There have been many hours spent in the pool, and new toys to get acquainted with. The coaches have us warming up with stretch cords now before each swim. This is something you’ll likely see at the start of races when you’re not allowed in the water for a warm up, which is becoming very common at Ironman races. Smart thinking to have us warming us this way in training because, ya know, nothing new on race day! Other new toys include tech paddles and ISO paddles. I’ve been using the Finis Agility paddles for the past year. It’ll be interesting to see how the new paddles add to the training.
There’s been a lot more running on the treadmill this year compared to last year. Since I don’t have a treadmill at home, I have been using the treadmills at the Jeep Rogers YMCA after the swim, but it turns out that’s not the best way to go about it and I should have at least a few hours between the swim and run workouts. The caused a conundrum. The Jeep Rogers YMCA is the closest pool to my house, but it’s still a ~25 minute drive away (we really need a lap pool in the Lugoff/Camden, SC area!). Then driving in to downtown Columbia for work was another 45 minutes due to early morning school traffic. The hours spent in my car are frustrating, and really eating away at my available hours for work and training. Once I’ve been to the YMCA once that day, I’m not going to go back that way for a 2nd workout. So I’ll be trying something new in 2019. I’ve cancelled my YMCA membership and started a membership with Fitness Zone in Lugoff so I can use their treadmills and weights, if need be. And I’ll be starting a new membership at the Drew Wellness Center in downtown Columbia. It’s further away from my house (more like a ~35 minute drive), but it’s only 2 minutes away from my office at SOCO BullStreet. I am a creature of habit so having to change things up stresses me out a little bit, but I’m excited to be back at the Drew with its 25 meter saline pool. They’re changing rooms aren’t great, but the pool more than makes up for it.
Strength training is also very important, and our coaches have partnered with Erin Carson at ECFIT Boulder to provide an amazing, triathlon-specific strength program via mobile app. Erin is the strength coach for some top-level triathletes like Mirinda Carfrae, Tim O’Donnell, and Flora Duffy. I’m loving the exercises she has us doing, and I’m feeling stronger already. Strength is so important for injury prevention, and working those stabilizing muscles already has me feeling better on my runs.
Christmas is next week so I know I’ll have to be flexible with my training (not something I’m good at) as family arrives from all over the place. Trainer rides are likely to be replaced with social rides with my brother and sister, and my husband and I are running the Cold Winter’s Day 5k on December 29th.