Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Friday, October 10, 2014

Building Blocks

Had a few people ask what I am training for at the moment. The reality is at the moment is I do not know and it is actually been a fun and refreshing time.

Lots of ideas in my head but at the moment are not committing or focussing on anything long term. Instead I have taken the approach of 4 to 6 weeks at a time and setting mini goals for each of these periods.

This week marks the end of the second of these such blocks and it has been fun to enjoy training again and not being stressed out about my current level of fitness or goals/races many months away.

A recap on these two blocks and some future plans

Block 1 - Creating Routine

One thing I had been struggling with is the creation or routine. So for my First Block form August to Early September I focussed on this with a priority focussed on running. This ended up being 25 runs in August and then 32 runs in September.

Add to this I have now found a workout schedule that works for me. The big part of this for me was moving my long runs from the weekend to Friday's. Fridays I am in control of my schedule and rolling out after work seems to work perfect for me.

The upside of this first block was started to enjoy training again and through a focus on running have got my run rhythm back.

Block 2 - Building Momentum

Block 2 as I have called it ends this Monday with the Turkey Trot 10km. This has once again been focussed on running and really hitting workouts as planned. This has involved learning to suffer on the run again and the last few weeks of this block have been some of my best training since over 4 years ago of BK (Before Kids). Through finding a routine that works in terms of what days to do what workouts - getting out for easy runs when a window opens up and having fun have found a balance which has been nice.

Not expecting anything ground breaking time wise on Monday but feel like are setting a good foundation for future goals and fitness. This last 4 weeks has involved a focus on some consistent running workouts. All my long runs have involved some interval work as well which adds some variety for the 2hr sessions.

What's Next Block 3 - Layering

So next up is block 3. This one will be 5 weeks in duration culminating on Nov 16th with the MEC Marathon that starts and finishes 500m from my house in Steveston.

Even though this block concludes with a race my aim is to take the 26.2 as a extended long run so will likely not be trying to go full gas but rather have a strong effort. The race is pretty low key and on the gravel dyke which can be exposed to the wind even though it is pancake flat. Not too mention November could bring any type of weather but it will be good to have a focussed hit out.

Having said that the main goal of this block for me is to start to layer in some consistent swim and bike on top of the run. not looking for perfection on this front but trying to build a schedule that will work for me going forward. 

By moving my long runs to Friday's has opened up some more flexibility on weekends for the bike and getting in a long ride. Given I normally commute around 100km a week if I long ride on the weekend and get in another spin at some point getting my mileage up is pretty straightforward. The focus for this block will be getting in the long rides and ensuring most of the work is aerobic to allow for strong run workouts.

The big challenge this block will be layering in the swim. Part of this has already started in terms of focussing of going to bed earlier. I am a big believer in 8-10 hours of sleep as my standard so if I am to swim with a group (which I need to do) I need to be asleep by about 9pm on a consistent basis especially when swimming in the am. My goal by the end of this block is to be swimming 4 times a week with a view to hopefully expand this in coming blocks to 5 or 6 swims a week.

So in short here are the goals for the next 5 weeks;
  • Run consistently and maintain momentum around structured sessions.
  • By the end of the block be riding long once a week and have a non commute bike session during the week.
  • Swim 4 times a week with 2 of these being in a group environment

What Follows?

If I am successful in this block then block 4 will be focussed on solidifying the above habits and schedule throughout December.

In terms of goals still working through these but at the moment are focusing them on specific times or test sets vs. big A races. Some of these goals are easier to achieve where as some may take over a year. The idea is that once achieved they then can be replaced but a subsequent goal.

These are still tentative and my aim is to form these over the next few weeks. Based on some test sets and current fitness my plan is to create some intermediate goals with the below. Once I have worked this out then I cans tart to organise my blocks to focus towards getting closer to these goals

Run - Sub 33:30 10km or 26:30 8km (VDOT 64)
Swim - Sub 25 min 1500m (LCM)
Bike - FTP of 4.5 W/kg

So the next part of the goal setting will be getting baselines of where I am at and setting intermediary goals whether that be times and/or process related for each training block.

Favourite Photo from the Last Week

So this last week my second daughter turned 1 - Kona race day will fall on her 20th birthday  so no pressure form that perspective :) (or for dad trying to qualify in the 50-54 AG)

Been a fun year and now we have a bit more routine going in the household looking forward to building some momentum with my training like I have been doing for the past 10 weeks or so.

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