As the title indicates I am well aware of the lack of sticking to my “resolution” of being more active in this space. The times I have sat down to write this post, or any post for that matter have been numerous. Needless to say there is always a million reasons to not do something and usually just one or two to do something. It is up to me (you) to focus on these reasons, to zero in on them with the pinpoint accuracy and complete them. So without further adieu here is what has been up lately in the world of Brent Hartwig.
TRAINING (STRAVA LOG)
Has been going very well. I find myself sticking to prescribed plans by my coach, the ever patient Daryl Smith, seeing better indicators of fitness, such as faster run, swim, bike times, and having time to recover for the next days session. I think we can hone in the intensity more, as I work a very active job already so I should be able to cut out some low intensity work, but I need to talk to him about that. Overall I have been able to improve my swim in large amounts by implementing some new techniques, namely ones in the podcast by Gerry Rodriguez called Tower 26, “Race ready podcasts”after I felt I had plateaued. I have implemented kicking and a few other ways to focus my tautness in the water. The results have been very encouraging and I think over time I will finally be able to match my bike and run level with my swim. The biggest plus from it though is that I now relish my time swimming, whereas before I would begrudgingly complete only the prescribed dosage. With my first race of the season being only two weeks away I find myself anxious to see it all come together. On the bike front I have been doing more and more trainer sessions inside without a fan as I find this much more mentally challenging when I am doing my intervals. I usually follow the mantra if it feels hard it is probably good for me. Running I have been doing some more Fartlek (Geschwindigkeit Spielen if you prefer) stuff lately and I feel some benefit in the leg speed turnover department but mostly continuing with the less is more approach as I have found this works well for me. I would like to play with some decreased volume and increased intensity since I am moving around all day as work but we will see if I can talk coach into it.
I have been doing a lot better at sticking to a more honest diet lately with of course the guilty pleasure here and there. Usually I try to get most of my nutrition from purely whole food sources as opposed to supplementing it with vitamins or supplements. Recently though I have been looking at changing things up just to see what happens but I will try out some new race fueling on Victoria 70.3 coming up. The last time I did this distance back in 2014, I was a much different athlete and was living a much different life, including diet, so my race fueling was much different. During training now I try to rely on whole foods, with my go to being dried fruit of pancakes with peanut butter and jam for my rides over 2:30 hours. It works very well but I have yet to perform at race pace continuously for over 4:30 hours, which is what I will be doing. I plan to consume a lot less then I did in 2014 but I think I will stick to about 300 calories an hour on the bike and run maybe more but the important part being staying consistent throughout the race. I am going to be trying something new after Calgary 70.3 in July, so stay tuned for food pics. Here is a great guideline video that I found very helpful in finding a good base to start from.
Continuing with the theme of doing better as time goes on, I have been doing much better of taking care of myself with periodic Yoga sessions, nightly roller sessions and the spontaneous massage from my significant other. I also have been keeping up on hydration consuming twice as much water as I had been and seeing great results. I need to be careful though in the race as peeing on the bike has yet to be accomplished by me.
In closing I would like to say that I cannot wait for Victoria, it has been a long time coming and there are times when I get discouraged and ask myself, “Why am I devoting these precious resources, time, money, health, and numerous other for a very selfish event?” but in the end it all comes back to that feeling. The feeling of flying down a road feeling fit, of running mile repeats and feeling like you are floating on air, and more recently almost feeling like I am resembling someone who is swimming and not fighting the water. These feelings are hard to put a price on but as George Malory once said, we climb the mountain “Because it’s there”. That is good enough for me.