Before I get into the MAF Experiment this week, I am needing some input. If you find the blog informative/entertaining, and you read it regularily, please let me know. I am trying to determine if the work is worth the time. Thank you.
MAF Experiment ideas this week: Workout highlight: Run off the bike, or “brick,” workout. Nutrition highlight: Tea Tree Oil. Words of Wisdom highlight: Two good words.
The warmer weather has been so nice. The junk I was going through with my toes is almost non-existent. All of the workouts felt really good this week. I was almost, by one second, able to keep my tempo run in the 7:00-7:15 minute mile pace. One more next week before a complete MAF week to recover. Then, I plan to try to drop the pace if I can. I am hoping to drop pace each of the three months leading up to the race. We will see if that happens. This week was also the first of the three tempo runs that did not have my calves hurting after. Adaptations!!!
This week’s work:
Tuesday- 30-minute Bike Ladder Intervals for 16.41 virtual miles
Wednesday- 30-minute tempo run (4 minutes at pace, 1 minute recovery) for 4.7 miles
Friday- 30-minute MAF big gear ride for 16.08 virtual miles
(4 minutes in big gear, 1 minute easy spin)
Saturday- 60-minute MAF ride for 28.17 virtual miles. THEN 15-minute easy run at 7:43 pace
Sunday- 45-minute MAF run for 5.38 miles at 8:22 pace
Swim on Sunday: “40x25s”
(16×25, with every 4th fast, 12×25 with every 3rd fast, 8×25 with every other fast, 4×25 fast)
When I look at different things I make, or use, I notice a common ingredient. Tea tree oil is found in my deodorant, toothpaste, and morning coconut oil pulling. It has been shown to kill germs, bacteria, and fungi. There are even more uses for this amazing oil that I have not even explored yet, but I will highlight the ones that I do.
In my toothpaste and oil pulling, I use tea tree oil because it kills the germs that cause bad breath. It also reduces inflammation, which is something I have worried about with my gums. I used to hate going to the dentist because I would have pockets in my gums. I have had such high numbers that I had some not-so-fun procedures done to try to fix the issue. The procedures did not work, but I then heard about oil pulling. Adding tea tree oil to my pulling routine has helped keep my gum inflammation down and also worked on killing the bad bacteria causing the deep pockets. At my last dentist visit, all of the pockets that used to be sixes and sevens, (Dentist term. I am not sure if there is a unit of measurement to go with that.) were now down to threes and fours.
I use tea tree oil in my deodorant because it kills the bacteria that causes body odor. Sweat is not what stinks. The sweat combines with bacteria on your skin to create the smell. Using tea tree oil’s bacteria killing properties, I can have a chemical-free deodorant that keeps me smelling good, or at least not stinking up the room.
As I enter this final phase of training building into races, I have added a bit extra to my Saturday morning routine. After I finish my one hour MAF bike, I throw on my shoes and go for a short run. In triathlon terms, this is a “brick” workout. That is, you stack two disciplines on top of each other. By doing this, I make sure my body is ready to handle the race transition from the bike to the run. I don’t do this hard, but I also don’t focus on my heart rate. I have been going out and doing this at a conversational pace. Right now, I have been taking a leisurely time going from one to the other. As I get more comfortable with this transition, I will try to make it as fast as I can to simulate a race.
I used to like to do “brick” workouts differently. My bikes were done at high intensity and then I would go out for an “easy” run trying to go as fast as I could. That does not fit with the definition of an “easy” run. I considered it easy because there were no intervals; it was just a steady run. Using this new method of training, I feel much better and my legs are not as spent. I can do my long run on Sunday, where I used to have to take Sunday as a weight lifting day. Better methods are leading to better training!
Wisdom of the Week:
Two words: Believe and Gratitude
These are the two words I focus on during training and racing. When I focus on “believe,” that means I am keeping my mindset focused on positive self-talk. I make sure I find ways to shift my focus to doable tasks. Rather than think of the entire session, I am breaking it into smaller parts. That helps me be able to sustain the same, or better, pace throughout an entire hour bike workout. This also helps during my races. I believe I can do well because I have put in the work I need to put in.
There are many scientific benefits of gratitude During my training, I like to think about the fact that I am actually able to do these sessions. There are people who can’t do this, so I am very grateful that I have the time and equipment available to do this. Also, especially for the running sessions, I have a colleague who loves to run but can’t because she is going through cancer treatment. She is unable to do something she loves. Reflecting upon that, I can’t help but be grateful. That bit of gratitude gives me a little extra motivation.
During races, I make sure I thank every volunteer out on the course that I can. I had to laugh at one race when I thanked a volunteer at the end of a long run, they turned to their partner and couldn’t believe I was the one thanking them as I nearing the end of the long run. Having that gratitude made the end of that run much more tollerable.
That’s just a bit of my experience. Have a great week.