That’s what I told my friend and NAU teammate, Tim “Rube” Freriks, that my training plan would look like while recovering from knee surgery in March. It’s kind of like one of those clich??s — “An apple a day keep the doctor away.” Since I already love apples and eat my fair share of fruit each day, my mantra to getting healthy and back to what I consider normal was, to be specific, “two hours of aerobic activity each day”. . . or about 14 hours/week.
After reading about my recent successes in triathlons, and sharing that I had been been pushing well beyond that 14-hour level, Tim asked that I elaborate on what my training has looked like this summer. Because I like to get specific, I have decided to make a 4-part series on what my summer triathlon training has consisted of. This post, Part 1, will serve as an overview of my recovery from surgery, beginning full time training and what a typical week looks like. Parts 2-4 will focus on swim/bike/run specifically.
First and foremost, I have no doubts that surgery was the right answer. I suffered with knee pain from December until March, and was often limited to five or ten minutes of running at a time. Rehab began just one day after surgery with quad strengthening exercises. In the coming days rehab included range of motion exercises, massage, and eventually squats and lunges.
As I was promised by the doctor, I was able to resume running within a couple weeks of surgery, but at a much lower volume than I had anticipated. Still today I am running quite a bit less than my normal volume from before the knee pain began.
Full Time Training
Since my surgery, my training volume has slowly increased. It began with 20 minutes on the elliptical and peaked a couple of weeks ago at 19 hours, well above my 14-hour target. Below is a chart of my progression this summer.
When reading about professional athletes, one of my favorite insights into their lives is how they structure their days and weeks. Now that I am getting involved in triathlons, I have learned that balancing all three sports with appropriate recovery is no small feat. I, of course, am no professional and don’t have a coach, so I have done my best to create a schedule that I think meets my needs. This is an ideal week, and consists of about 18,000 yards swimming, 110-130 miles biking, and 60 miles running for a total of 17-19 hours:
- Monday – For the second consecutive summer I am working as an Intern at ITT Aerospace Controls in Valencia. I get up around 6:30, eat breakfast and make my lunch, and arrive at work around 7:30. I get off about 4 and head straight to the gym to get in a swim workout — usually 5000 yards. Then it is home, dinner, and on the bike trainer for about an hour.
- Tuesday – Go to work until 4. After work I do a 10-11 mile running workout.
- Wednesday – TGIF; last day of work for the week. Regular run of about 9-10 miles and an unstructured swim of about 3000 yards after dinner.
- Thursday – 8am: 8-10 mile run in the morning followed by a large breakfast. noonish: 5000 yard swim. 4pm: 20-25 mile bike ride.
- Friday – similar schedule to Thursday.
- Saturday – Long run in the morning, 14-15 miles.
- Sunday – Long bike, 50-60+ miles. After the ride I refuel and rest for a little while and then run 6-7 miles.
I am glad Tim gave me the idea to do this as I know I will be delighted to read these posts in the future months, as I finish my collegiate running career, and years, as I continue as an aspiring triathlete. Expect the next three parts in the next week.