So, I thought I'd give y'all a play by play for the beginning of this coaching gig. It's so new to me, but after one week I'm like 'Why didn't I do this a long time ago?'
My coach and I have been in touch every single day and it's very personalized, which I love. My training is updated to Training Peaks which is a website and an app on my phone which gives my workouts and he gives details on how to do each workout, and then I give him feedback on how things went. I have set up Garmin Connect (username Katiesfitscript if you want to follow along) so that he is able to actually see the workout, which is intimidating but also accountability like woah. I am tech challenged, so it took me a bit, but I've got everything set up now. I had to figure out also how to use my heart rate monitor for my Garmin. Turns out, you put it around you and it records your heart rate. HOW GENIUS RIGHT? ;)
So, Alec Blevins is my coach (through Complete Human Performance if you didn't see that previously). I will have a separate coach (Mike Fenik) for when I begin training for my full ironman. Alec has been so great, and is an ultra runner with many wins to his name. He's also a pro spartan. How cool right? haha! He's also vegan and has muscle, so I find that incredible too. He also honestly has just made me feel encouraged, and like that I have potential to be faster. He has given me assessments to do, and I have been shocked at the times that I was able to do.
I told y'all last week but the one 30 minute assessment, I was able to do 4.95 miles.. That's a 6min/mile pace. SAY WHAT? Then, I had to do a test similar to Yasso 800 which just tests your marathon readiness, and how many 800's you could do with increasing speeds. Mine was 12 rounds and I got up to 10.1 mph (I started at 7.9). If you have never done a speed workout like this, just be ready to die. I can run 10.1mph easy on the treadmill, but at the end of this workout I literally thought I could not. It felt as hard as a marathon but I wanted to get 12 rounds in. He told me that from my testing, I should have a 3:05-3:15 for the Charleston Marathon (it's a flat one), and I'm just over here like "GOT JOKES!!!" hahaha! No really, that would be awesome but I'll believe it when my little legs take me there!!
I'm doing the 30 minute assessment again today because my mph was all over the place, and he wants to see if I can keep it steady at 10.2-10.3 for the entire time and get over 5 miles. We shall see later on today. I am nervous because I feel like I'm doing a lot of hard stuff leading into my marathon, but I know I will be fine. Every other day, I have a really slow day and heart rate assessment.
Assessing your heart rate at different speeds really allows you to see where your fitness levels are. I won't go into all the math of it, but there are different heart rate zones. Let's say that your heart rate was 130 while running 8min/mile pace. Well, that would mean that you could probably go faster because a heart of around 150-160 is generally going to be the place that you will be able to hold right under threshold. If you are running 8min/mile and your heart rate is 180 then that could mean that you are past that threshold and would need to slow down to be able to hold that pace.
The plan for me right now is to do this marathon, and then my mileage is going to stay high. For the coming months, every single week I have 50-60 miles per week and then one week of 70 miles. I'm training for a 50K in February which means that I'm going to have some weekends where I do back to back long run days. I finished up Chrissie Wellington's book called "Life without Limits" today which is somewhat of my life motto. I found it so amazing all the things that she has done, and at the end of the book she said something that really spoke to me in this time in my life where I'm trying so many new things. We always have this assumption of what our limitations are, and then we get to that place, and we realize that we could go further. That's always what happens with me. I get to these places, and I think 'Well I could be faster. I could go longer. I can do more." and theres always that lingering emotion of "What if" and I don't want to live my life in the What if and never try.
You have to be willing to really let your mind wander. You have to be able to get past the fear, and the discomfort of your present moments and to do it more than once. You begin to trust yourself, and your body that you can push through those moments, and you will get to the other side. Those moments will come again but you will have faith and you will have courage because you've been there before.
My mileage will taper just a little going in Charleston, and after Thunder road (Nov 14), I'm going to kick back up my tri training. I'm going to keep a base of one day per week of both swimming and biking until next year. I will of course have some strength training in there as well. As I've become more and more of an endurance athlete, I've realized that I can't do as many leg days, but honestly at the end of the day, who cares? I know that I want to keep my muscle, but at the end of the day aesthetics is so far from my mind, it's not even funny. I just want to perform, and see how far this endurance sport can take me.
I'll keep you guys posted as I learn more and more as the weeks continue with my coach! :) He's either going to kill me or make me faster is what I keep saying! I'm hoping for the latter.