Well, just like last year, I started losing motivation a couple weeks after spring break. I really wanted to avoid that this year because I put in some hard training during the winter and made some good progress. But last week, I felt the motivation waning a bit. What better way to get some motivation than create some charts so that if  do the work, I can see a nice chart?!

So I put together all the data in my excel spreadsheet and got some good charts using the Slowtwitch points system, This is a way of calculating volume and makes goal setting a bit easier, if not just something different to look at. 100 yards swimming is worth 1 point. One mile on the bike is worth one point. Each quarter mile running is one point. The idea is to be able to accurately equate swim, bike, and run workouts to provide a good relationship for setting volume breakouts each week.  For example, if I wanted to focus on the bike, my bike points would be 60-70% of the overal points. If I wanted an even breakout, about 33% volume for each, then I my points would be equal at the end of the week. It works really well, and it’s much better than just volume.

Added to that is that I’ve finally made a “workout menu” with prioritized, key workouts for swim, bike, and run. This is really helping with scheduling, especially now that I’m outside and the weather plays a part. I can look at the workout menu and easily plug-in the key workouts for good weather forecasts (or not in bad weather forecasts) or in accordance with family and work schedules. I found that it is really helping me hit the key workouts.

What are the key workouts? Swim, bike, and run all have three essentials: short and powerful sets, a race-length TT, and a long endurance (swim doesn’t have a long endurance because of time, I’m making up for that by total weekly volume). Starting with the bike: one 40k TT, one hill repeats workout (usually a lunch workout) and a 40-miler for endurance. I also have a 15-mile recovery ride. For the swim: a 20×100, variable sets of 1×800, 1×400, 3×200, 5×100; a 3×800, and a 1×2000 (all short course yards cuz that’s the pool I swim in).  The run has track work (2×800 + 2×400 for starters, working to 4×800 + 4×400) or hill repeats, a 6.6mile TT route, and a 9 miler easy run. Run workouts also include easy three-milers to fill in the schedule when I need to take Paul with me.

My overall points goal each week is 240 now that summer has hit. In the winter, I was averaging about 150 with no swim. The charts make it really easy to see if I am doing what I want to be doing. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to put a chart from Excel into this blog (but I will figure it out!).

For an example of how this helps with scheduling….last night I looked at the weather forecast – supposed to be nice and sunny today and tomorrow, then rain and snow(!) later in the week with obviously cooler/cold temperatures. So I front loaded two of my bike workouts that I want to do outside and two of my run workouts I want to do outside. I won’t have good recovery time, but I’ll get the key workouts in. Prior to this method, I would have just figured out what I want to do the day prior for the most part, and probably change it when the time came (and then waste time getting my gear together!). It really does work well!

Pool today was 87degrees! Ouch. I did the 20×100 workout, leaving at 1:40 in that heat, and it nearly killed me. It definitely hurt. I finally dug through some of that pain and continued on, telling that voice in my head to “just go away, you’re wrong, and you’re stupid!” when it told me to just get out of the water cuz it’s too hot. I think that little mental victory will go a long way in future workouts. Once you give in the first time, the second, third, and so-on are that much easier to give into.