train, tri life

Countdown to Ironman Mont-Tremblant: 24 Weeks {trust the process}


First of all, thank you all for your kinds words about my new blog design! It honestly means the world to me:)

Second, Happy March! I am very happy to be saying goodbye to February 2015… so.much.snow.

Last week was HARD and my legs were tired by the end. There is no way to sugarcoat it. I completed every single one of my workouts and my Training Peaks was all GREEN (i.e. all of the boxes were checked, even my strength training and stretching).

Why was it so hard?

Coach has me doing  a few weeks of ‘testing’ where I will measure things like my run speed, VO2 max on the bike, heart rate, etc.  We are figuring out levels that we will retest several weeks from now.  Since I am at the point where I’m healthy (I’m scared writing this because I don’t want to jinx myself), it’s a good time to do the testing. Up until this point, I was setting a base and now I am GETTING TO WORK.  And speaking of work, I need to increase my power input on the bike! Which means… more INTENSE bike workouts. There’s no way around it, time to get down to serious business on two wheels. Biking is my weak spot and I need to face this beast head on:)

Training Totals last week:

14:24 hours

11,600 yards swam
4:08 hours biked (~80 miles)
33.1 miles ran
1:45 strength training

Highlights of last week’s training:

Running on Heartbreak Hill + completing my longest run since IMMT in August 

Swimming feeling so natural and smooth

Feeling 100% after my virus

VO2 Max testing on the bike

Puppy walks outside in the sunshine


Monday 2/23

Masters Swim

3,100 yards felt heavy after running 14 miles on Sunday! I took it on the easy side and let the fast people go ahead of me:) Sometimes you just need to step back and not let pride get in the way.  Most of the time I try to keep up with the fast people in my lane, and even lead them… but there are days where you just need to step to the back of the line!  I wore ear plugs since my inner ear was still extra sensitive.


Strength Work

A combination of core work, glute & hip strengthening, hamstring strengthening

Tuesday 2/24

Bike: VO2 Max workout! 1:00

all of my zones (z) are done on perceived exertion at the moment i.e. Z4 is a RPE of 6-7 (out of 10)

WU: 15′ @z1, 5′ as 30 sec @z4/ 30 sec @z1, 5 ‘ @z2
MS: 6×1′ @ z5 (1′ @z1) + 18′ @ z2
CD: 5’ @z1
Sets 1-5 @ z5 avg power and for 6th last set go as hard as you can

This was a difficult bike workout and my legs were fried by the end!

“Hold the Vision. Trust the Process.”  I WILL get faster!


Run: 55 minutes

Hill Repeats! At this point, I was so sick and tired of running on the dreadmill, I just had to get outside.  I got home a little early, before sunset and warmed up on the treadmill for 15 mins.  After my warm up, I found a near by hill and did 3 out of 5 of my repeats sets there.  Once it got dark, I felt safer finishing on the treadmill in my basement.

Main Set of hill repeats looked like this:

5 x the following…

2 min @ Marathon pace, jog VERY easy back down as rest,

1:30 min @ Threshold pace (think 10K pace), jog VERY easy back down as rest,

45 seconds @ VO2 max pace (think 5K pace), jog VERY easy back down as rest.

* all three repeats count as ONE set.

The hill:



Wednesday 2/25

Master Swim 3,000 yards. Lots of stroke work, including a 300 breast stroke, thighs on fire!

40 minute easy run OUTSIDE:) Since it’s staying light out longer, I was able to run outside while the sun was setting. I took it nice and slow and just enjoyed my time running around my favorite spot.


Thursday 2/26

Corrective strength work. This set included bridges, planks and hip strengthening with bands.

Bike: VO2 Max Test, similar to Tuesday’s workout!

WU: 15′ @z1, 5′ as 30 sec @z4/ 30 sec @z1, 5 ‘ @z2
MS: 6×1′ @ z5 (1′ @z1) + 18′ @ z2
CD: 5’ @z1

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” Making it happen!


Friday 2/17

Masters Swim practice: 3,000 yards!

Run: 50 minutes (including a 1 mile MAX pace test)

Workout looked like this:

WU: 20′ @ very Easy pace, 5×20″ @ Threshold pace, (R: 40″ @ Easy pace
5′ of dyamic stretching
MS: 1600 run as fast as you can
400 very easy jog as recovery
2 min rest
CD: 10′ @ Easy pace

Since there aren’t any indoor tracks near me, I had to do this test on the treadmill.  What helped motivate me was my bright new Hoka Cliftons! I have been running in Hoka’s since September, after IMMT and I am in love with them! I was excited to get their newest color:)

My 1 mile all-out test on the treadmill proved to be disappointing.  First of all, I don’t think a treadmill is a good way to measure something like a one mile test. Or maybe I’m just feeling this way because I’m not happy with my time? Typically, on a track, I run a sub 6 min mile.  When I was in peak shape in September, I ran 2 miles at a 5:45 pace. On Thursday when I did this test, my time was 6:23. Ugh! Either it was the treadmill, or it’s just my fitness at this point. Trying not to get discouraged, since I know I am working on it!

Saturday 1/28

Swim 2,500 Yards

Swim included a Time Trial test of my 200 and 500 yard freestyle. I was excited to do this test since I have been swimming A TON and I feel like I’ve honestly gotten faster since last year. My legs felt tired in the water, but I pushed as hard as I could.  I was gassed at the end of each of these tests, to the point I thought I was going to vomit.  I guess that’s how you’re supposed to feel during a TT test? right?

Here were my results:

200 yards Free TT: 2:54

500 yards Free TT: 7:27

When looking at this hand dandy chart HERE I could see that my pace for BOTH was roughly 1:27/ 100 yards. I was very happy with the 1:27 pace, but perplexed that my time for both the 200 AND 500 was the same. It made me feel like I wasn’t giving it all that I had during the 200. Or maybe I just know ‘one speed’ which my coach says is typical of triathletes.  Well if I could hold 1:27 for my IM swim I could possibly break 1:00 Hour, that would be ridiculous and amazing!

After my swim, I ate a big breakfast and we took Oliver for a nice walk. Then it was down to the pain cave for a 2 hour ride!

Bike: 2:00 Hours

1st hour 4 x 10 min @ z2 + 5 min low z3
2nd hour 4 10 min @ z2 + 5 min @ low z4

I don’t know if it was the swim beforehand, or my tough week of workouts, but my legs did not warm up for about an HOUR! They felt heavy and I struggled through the first half of the workout.  After that first hour, I got in a groove and enjoyed the remainder of the ride! I watched the movie ‘Gone Girl’ which was SUPER creepy, yet captivating.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. This made the time go by, for sure!


Sunday 3/1

Long run day!

I was scheduled to run 16 miles, and the weather was good enough to take things outside. I had seen on social media, people were running on Heartbreak Hill (the hardest section of the Boston Marathon course).  The roads seemed pretty clear, so I decided to get in my car and drive 25 minutes to Newton, where Heartbreak Hill is! I bundled up, since it was in the teens when I started my run. I followed a loop course for about 11 miles, and then went up Heartbreak Hill a few times to add on the addition 5 (which ended up being more like 5.7).


It’s crazy running on this section of the Boston Marathon course, because having done it during the race, it all comes back to you! During the race, this section is at mile 20, so your legs have had ENOUGH by then.  The hill itself is not really that bad, it’s just the point in the course where you have to climb it that kills you.


There is a carriage road along the side of the main road, which allows runners to practice on this part of the course. There were a few icy/sketchy sections, but for the most part, it was totally fine! A ton of people were out running when I was, which was very motivating!. It’s also very humbling when people run past you going up this hill, probably doing a 6 min/mile or less! Talk about making me feel slow:)

The plan was to run 12 miles at 8:26 pace, and then do my last 4 at ‘marathon pace.’ I tried not to pay too much attention to my watch, and just go by feel.  For the first 12 miles, my pace ranged from the low 8’s to mid 8’s per mile. Once I got to 12 miles, I still had a lot of energy left in me and my legs felt great. I picked up the pace to about 7:15-7:30 per mile for those last 4 miles.  When I finished the run at 16.7 miles, I felt like I could have kept going.  I am also VERY happy to report that my legs (knees included) felt great the ENTIRE time. I have no had a long run feel this good in a very long time. Yipee!!!!

Total run time: 2:15

IMG_6246 (1)

After the run, I had to take a selfie:


This successful long run, left me with confidence that I might be able to run Boston this year after all.  However, I’m not getting ahead of myself and I’m just going to take it day by day. The truth is, I still don’t know what I’m going to do. We’ll see what the 18 and 20 mile runs feel like in the coming weeks:)

I’d love to hear how your training is going!


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  • Reply Jenny O March 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    24 weeks – ahhhh! Your count down to IMMT terrifies me, but it’s also exciting. I am looking forward to tackling my first full IM at Tremblant. I did the 70.3 there last year, and loved it. Beautiful venue.
    I would agree with you about the snow – I live in Ontario, Canada and I cannot wait to see the stuff start melting! There have been WAY to many treadmill runs as of late. Keep up the hard work, you are a big inspiration!

    • Reply Kristin March 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      You are going to LOVE Tremblant!! I might be a little biased, but I think it’s the perfect venue for a first IM, as you know from doing the 70.3! Now you just get to do that course twice:) Sooo many treadmill runs, I’m ready to see sidewalks again:) Keep up the great work Jenny!!

  • Reply Desiree March 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I love reading your training posts in the morning before I head out for my workout. Inspiring! Sounds like you are right where you need to be at this week. Glad to hear you got in some outdoor workouts too. I remember heartbreak hill. Coming from hilly Atlanta, the hill itself isn’t bad, but like you said the placement of it on the course gets ya. I finally made some positive strides in PT yesterday (she specifically found the muscles that are not firing causing my left stride to be completely shorter then my right) and now I have specific focus. I’m one to do my homework!! I can run 5-6 miles no problem but beyond it where I feel the pull and ache. My big goal is a 50K this fall. I have run in Mizuno’s with custom orthotics forever but wondering if another shoe may be the way to go. I have heard great things about the Hoka’s. Love the new blog design and glad you are coming back to hardcore training!! Body is happy. And happy March…Spring is coming, I promise!!

    • Reply Kristin March 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      This makes me so happy to read:) Thank you! I forget that Atlanta is hilly.. and yes the placement of the course IS what gets you with Boston. Some of those hills sneak right up on you! Glad to hear you are making strides with PT, that’s awesome… as long as you stick with your homework, you’ll be golden! A 50K would be amazing, that’s definitely something that’s on my bucket list. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Hoka’s! It took me a few times to find the right pair (the Cliftons) but now I’m never going back to anything else! I recommend trying them on at a running store and taking them out for a test run:) Can’t wait for Spring!!!

  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles March 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    You are doing a great job Kristin, 24 weeks feels like a lot but it will be here quick! I can’t wait to see you crush your goals because I know you will! xo

    • Reply Kristin March 4, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks Sara! I know, it’s going to go by super fast… eek!

  • Reply Kecia March 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    24 weeks…eek 🙂 I love the new look!!
    What a great week and congrats on getting the work done!! Going green in Training Peaks is such a huge confidence builder!!
    I’m so glad you are remaining strong and injury free!! Your quads look AMAZINGLY STRONG in Saturday’s bike photo…awesome shot!!
    Heartbreak Hill is a bugger, but you are lucky to live close enough to train on it. What a great mental and physical boost!!

  • Reply Kristin March 6, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Thanks Kecia!!! Going Green in training peaks is the best… you feel so accomplished!! Thanks for your comment about the photo… I have been working hard at my strength/rehab work and it seems to be paying off (knock on wood!). I’m always SO scared to admit when I’m ‘pain free’. I don’t want to jinx myself!

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats March 6, 2015 at 5:07 am

    Awesome week!! I can’t believe that you can work out that much and not sleep!!! Beast!!!! Sounds like you are making great progress. I am sure you will see plenty of improvement from this weeks test to the next time you test!! Keep up the good work!!!
    My training is good. I have yet to start my build to Victoria 70.3. It starts soon. I have been doing lots of training but it will be more of a schedule for 12 weeks!! 🙂 Excited to get back to work!!

  • Reply Kim March 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Awesome work, but please try to get more sleep!! We all need our rest 🙂 I absolutely LOVE running on Heartbreak Hill and I feel the same way about training there, I feel as though I am transported to Boston Marathon race day all over again! I am totally with you on the bike, I need to work on it too and HOLY god, I need to build up my power too. And yes, we should get together for a ride sometime! I know your parents have a place in NH, maybe we could ride the Timberman course some weekend?! Or somewhere metro west Boston, too! Awesome work with swimming! I’m so happy you are starting to see major results in the pool.

    Also, LOVE the blog design!!!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust March 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    That was going to be my first question – – are you planning on doing Boston? Can you pretty much decide at any time? That is SO cool that you can just go out and run parts of the course. I would definitely run the course and train on the course if I lived there. Next year – 2016!!!

    It’s great to see you challenging yourself so much on the bike! I have no doubt that all of your hard work and effort will pay off. I didn’t even realize that the bike was your weak leg. You always seem so strong on all three!

    Gone Girl would definitely make a long ride on the trainer go by quickly! What. A. Movie!

    • Reply Kristin March 13, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      eeeek still not sure about Boston….. I will know within a few weeks. The good thing is, my body feels great, I just have to decide if running Boston is the ‘smart’ thing to do. Training on the course is so much fun, lots of energy on the weekends out there!

      Ugh, yes the bike is my weak leg, as much as I hate to admit it. It’s where I get beat. It’s time to fix that and I’m determined!

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