[075] Back with a brick, and books

Swim: 0 m/70,500 m

Bike: 30.8/488.4 miles

Run: 4.7/129.3 miles

Yesterday I bit the bullet and jumped back into my triathlon training with a solid brick workout. It had been more than a week since I had been on a bike or run hard, but it felt good to get back out there. My paces on both segments were right where they had been before my vacation, so I was pleased to come back without having lost too much fitness. I did the workout in the afternoon, and the heat was rough. I kind of miss those winter and early spring days where I could get out later in the day without having to worry about the heat and sun. But summer’s around the corner, so I better get used to earlier, or hotter, workouts. (The specs at the top of this post also include a nice 22-mile ride this morning.)

In other news, I celebrated a birthday during my vacation last week (sadly, I’m still in the same age group as far as racing is concerned, but now I’m at the high end of the 30-34 spectrum). My wife got me a couple books that I am excited to start reading:

The first book is “Run Less, Run Faster” by the folks at Runner’s World. I’ve read about the FIRST program that the book espouses and it looks intriguing. The book promises that runners who follow the program will decrease their times while running only three times a week. That’s good for people who want to avoid overuse injuries or those who have limited time for running – for instance, triathletes who want to run fast but also have to devote time to two other disciplines. (The plan also calls for cross-training on at least two other days of the week).

As you can imagine, those three runs a week have to be high-quality in order to see improvement. The program prescribes a speed session, a tempo run and a long run every week. There are no junk miles. The book also sets up training plans for people who want to reach goal times for certain races (focusing on marathon distance), laying out the pace at which all of the workouts need to be completed. It’s pretty comprehensive and perfect for someone like me who likes some direction when it comes to training plans. I don’t mind the running, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what kind of running I should be doing for a given workout.

This book will be great as an overall motivator, although I intend to use the advice not so much for the benefit of my triathlon training but for the half-marathon I’ll be running in November (a couple months after my Olympic tri in September). Last year I set a PR at this half of 1:41, and I fully intend to break into the 1:30’s this fall. Hopefully this book will help me reach that goal.

The second book I received is “The Runner’s Body,” also by the people at Runner’s World. This book explains the physical science behind running and offers advice for nutrition and other aspects of overall health. It should be a good and informative read  – I like to know what makes things tick, and hopefully I can use that knowledge to make myself a smarter athlete.

So I’ve got a lot of good reading ahead of me. The sad thing is that I haven’t even finished my two books from a couple months ago, “Total Immersion” and “The Triathlete’s Training Bible.” In my defense, those books aren’t meant to sit down and read all the way through – they’re more like workbooks to consult as you reach certain milestones or need advice on a particular subject.

Between the books and the actual training, I’m guaranteed to not have a free moment for the next six months!

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2 Responses to [075] Back with a brick, and books

  1. David H. says:

    The “Run Less” book intrigues me, but I still need some convincing that running just 3 days a work would be good. While I despite the term “junk miles,” I think all miles are important. Those 3-4 miles after a long run for a recovery after a race or a long run seem so important. Different things work for different people though and I’m always interested in learning more from these books. Check out Matt Fitzgerald’s books if you haven’t yet.

  2. HudsonHero says:

    The Running book(Run Fast, Run Less) intrigues me too but because running is messing up my body! I love training for triathlons but my back doesn’t hold up well for the runs. I wish they had swim/bikes. 😉

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