June was a busy month with lots of notable moments in my triathlon career. I ran my first 5k race, swam in the open water for the first time, got my first flat tire (and then a second one), had my first bike wreck, raced my second triathlon, and completed my first swim of more than 3,000 meters.
Aside from those highlights, my training has been pretty steady. Despite some family schedule changes that have affected my workout routines, my volume has been up in both running and cycling, with my biggest running month of the year and my second-biggest cycling month (behind the 30-day challenge in April).
My swimming has been majorly impacted by the closure of my regular pool and then my backup pool. However, this hasn’t bothered me nearly as much as it would have, say, three months ago when I was really learning the basics of swimming. My stroke is pretty solid now, and, while I won’t be winning any swim contests, I feel confident covering longer distances comfortably. I am beginning to think that this is the most I can hope for from my swimming, at least this year, and I’m OK with that. I continue to focus on improving my stroke, but I feel like I’m approaching a swimming ceiling that won’t be breached without the outside help of a coach. For that reason I’m happy to just get in one swim a week – as long as I stay comfortable in the water and keep pushing to cover longer distances when I do swim, I’ll be OK.
In a way, I feel that my cycling has hit a plateau as well – I just can’t seem to hit that magic average of 20 mph for an entire ride. But this week is the end of my six-week weight regimen, and once it’s over I plan to start incorporating more drills into my cycling workouts. I hope that this helps to translate some of the strength I’ve gained in the weight room into stronger performances on the bike. The main thing I want to focus on is speed-interval work that I sprinkle throughout my longer rides.
My running continues to be pretty solid, and I’m in a good place to pick up the start of my half-marathon training plan next week. Two weeks ago I ran 9 miles at a 7:35 pace and a few days later ran 5 at 7:09, which is right where I want to be. I’m discounting the lackluster 5k from my most recent triathlon – at a 7:44 pace it was one of my slowest runs of any distance this year – for reasons I discussed in this post.
With no races scheduled in July and August, now is the time for me to focus on my training plan and really attack my workouts. What I accomplish in the next two months will be reflected in my goal race for the year – the Olympic triathlon in September. My goals for this month include more brick workouts and more structured bike sessions that focus on building endurance and speed. I have to start training my body to handle longer and longer sessions. Another goal will be to regularly practice nonstop 1,500m swims and attempt to bring my time for that distance to 30 minutes or less.
Here are this distances I covered in June:
Swim: 7,645m (4.75 miles)
Bike: 161.6 miles
Run: 52.3 miles