Then it's onto e-mail, where we keep our business organized and professional. Making flight arrangements, keeping in touch with sponsors, organizing with our group to be together on trips and filling in everyone on the latest deals. Greg seems to be our rock in this area, being very good about contacting the race directors for support and information, as well as beginning the process with the travel agents, as that is never a quick job! E-mail has also become a main source of social life when traveling, keeping us amused for the hour before we are off to take that morning nap to prepare for our midday session.
Session number one for the day is over (not including breakfast); only two to go. An easy day tomorrow, I have to just keep focused on the remaining workouts today. Its been a big week and the thought of being "normal" for a day sounds perfect. Our coach, Lance Watson, sets up our programs with the whole squad in mind; however, due to our varying competition distances, there definitely are specific elements to each of our programs.
In general, we have structured into our program one day off (Mondays) and a legs day off (Friday). The next session time is organized after the previous one, as to get the most possible rest between each.
Time in the Saddle
We are on our bikes, and the Ironman athletes will join us for warm-up and then continue for a long base ride. We (the short-course athletes) will do a 40K time-trial on hilly terrain. My body has not recovered as much as I had hoped. The responsiveness is at a low and on the hills it is hard to find rhythm. On days like today--with last night's hard tempo run still sitting in my muscles--it is important not to focus on PRs but to visualize myself in these conditions in a race and how I might stay on top of my game.
So even if the times are not there, the imagery and positive self-talk are being worked. Coach Watson has staggered us appropriately so once again we can look to our training partners for getting that little extra out of ourselves.
One More Workout
Today's run session, the last of the day, is on our own. Usually on a three-session day we would meet at 4 p.m., but today the early nightfall puts the pressure on getting our next workout in.
We have the National Park at our disposal, which does not make cruising afternoon runs that hard to motivate for! In this situation, having the training environment and your training partners around to motivate you is not as pertinent. You do not need that push out the door quite often. It's nice to just be alone and take in the beautiful surroundings.
It is so peaceful in there, and it gives you that chance to remember how much you enjoy your life. You have great people around you in the most challenging parts of your day, to encourage you and bring around their enthusiasm. You share your experiences, chatting about the tough training you overcame that day, and how you learn so much each session.
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Laura Bennett is an Olympic-distance triathlete and three-time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year (2003, 2005 and 2007).?She qualified for the U.S.?triathlon team for?the 2008 Olympics Games by placing third at the ITU BG Beijing World Cup in 2007.?That year she finished the season?at 7th in the ITU World Cup rankings. She is married to pro triathlete Greg Bennett, and the two are known as Team Bennett.