Totals for the week:
Totals So Far:
Well, in hindsight, coming back to uni after my 3 weeks of hard training, having to readjust my body clock to uni time (i.e. not sleeping properly) reintroducing commuting into my week and reduced rest from work was not the best way to spend a recovery week! In all honesty, at times I was pushing my over-training and illness boundary from sheer exhaustion, though thankfully I now know my body enough to keep on the right side of the line and avoid it. Though on friday I was dead! I am definitely going to have to start to having sports massages to help myself recover! This next week, hopefully I won’t be as tired, as I sleep properly and get used to commuting.
It looks like it will be a week of milestones as well, I shall surpass 100k in swimming, 2000k in cycling, and 500k in both running and commuting. The last one is especially meaningful as when I started training seriously for this I managed a week of 24k before my knees gave up and I spent the next 10 weeks trying to recover and catch up. Now fully caught up, I am running more than I commute on my bike! I am also seeing a surgeon on friday to find the root of the problem, and if the signs from this week are anything to go by, (I have had barely any pain from my knees), I may actually be able to run the marathon! Overall the running this week has been good, my pace has been high, especially off the bike, which I am pleased about, though Sunday was quite a tough run due to knackered legs, and dehydration (the last part I should have fixed!)
My swimming has been reaping the benefits from the solid training I put in dodging little kids over the holidays. I have moved up the ranks in the tri club swim, going from last in the 2nd lane (worst out of 4, the people in 4 I swear are fish!) to top 2 or 3 on thurs. I have smashed my 3k PB by 4 minutes, down to just over 54 minutes, which puts me on track for sub-1 hour 10 for the IM swim, and possibly sub 1 hour 5 with a wetsuit and 14 more weeks of training. I shall have my technique looked at when I swim with the tri club next to see where I am losing any of my effort in the stroke and just go from there.
I think I have finally cracked my nutrition strategy for the bike! I finally formulated a plan for the long ride, having a gel and choc/energy bar an hour and 1-2 bottles of GO every couple of hours. For once I didn’t feel absolutely dead at one point, didn’t have stomach problems and felt great on the run! With all the hills I may need another gel and ensure I drink a bottle an hour, but so far it is looking good.
I have 1 week of heavy training before I back of a bit to have a mini-taper for my race next weekend (finally!). It will probably be the first time in about 18 weeks I won’t have tired legs! I may even have my race wheels to test out by then…
I have also tested a lot of kit this week: I have switched my saddle to a tri-speciic saddle (fi’zi:k Arione tri 2 for those interested) to make 6 hours in the aero position slightly more bearable. I tried a 2XU Endurance tri-suit, which although the chamois isn’t as thick as some of my usual shorts, I can swim and run in it, saving me lots of changing. I spend over 3 hours testing the 2 together on the weekend on my long ride, and they were remarkably bearable! Though I still need to get used to it if I want to be able to do 180k with them and be able to run a marathon after! I also changed my shoes to tri-specific ones as the race season approaches, these have big single straps so I can get in and out of them easily, rather than having to fiddle about trying to get my shoes on and off in T1 and T2. So far so good. This week I will have my back race wheel, still seeking a front one for a decent price, but they should be FAAAAASSSTTTT…….
Well I am now half way through all my training for the IM, scary thought! I have spent the last 3 weeks enjoying the holidays by spending pretty much the entire time by training! Over the 3 weeks I managed to clock up:
Swim – 26.5k
Bike – 531.59k
Run – 152.6k
This brings my totals so far to:
Swim – 85.5k
Bike – 1736.81k
Run – 419.5k
Commuting – 427k
The little training camp was actually quite good fun! Despite having pretty much the entire day to train for the most part, I discovered I still have an uncanny ability to do it all late, even managing a weights session at half 3 at night at one point! On the plus side, it allowed me to spend much more of the day recovering, rather than commuting into uni, working all day at uni, going out and any other stuff that usually eats into my recovery time during term time. This allows me to push myself harder and longer in training as I know I will recover quicker.
My swimming went quite well, despite all the problems faced in the local leisure centre. Boy I missed the aquatics centre in manchester! Having to contend with silly opening times, families who ‘didn’t seem to notice you’ and little kids who thought it would be funny to get in the way so I would wack them over the head, it was definitely the most stressful part of my training! For the most part I was still feeling quite, getting used to the big increase in mileage from my base period of the season. But I have a good 3k swim test (58.26) and was really starting to enjoy the longer pieces. I was also noticing that my technique is starting to hold up, I am getting much more relaxed during the stroke, and am generally getting better (though the ever-evasive tumble turns are still not perfected!). I am looking forward to some solid training in the 2nd half of the lead up as well as speed work with the tri club, open water swimming (finally!) and some races! On the plus side of having to use the leisure centre, it did mean I had access to a decent gym with some decent weights, so my legs took a good battering compared to usual, which should help develop some power to hold higher speeds and power myself over the hills on the bike course.
Speaking of the cycling, what can I say…. wow! I think I found my favourite road in the country! There is a section on the B4961, where after you have passed over the first big climb on Bala road, there is a long snaking downhill part, that twists round the mountain, with some sharp descents, amazing views and the best part is a brand new road surface! I managed to hit some stupidly high speeds in the Welsh mountains and improve my cornering technique. But the views and climbs were amazing! I could ride for a could 3 hours without hitting a junction, climb solidly for 20k, and take on the best the Welsh mountains and Snowdonia had to offer! On the 2nd last day I did a 120k ride followed by a 7k run, with equivalent climbing to what I will have to deal with in the IM and it was actually quite nice. Granted, the run was a BIG shock to the system, but I felt quite good, and although I screwed up my nutrition a bit, I was holding a good pace. The long rides (which build up to 6 hours or around 180k) are there to practice what will happen during the race, so I can be confident I can do the distance, run afterwards, and have a solid nutrition plan that is tested. It is also my favourite part of the sport, and cycling around that area is just amazing. (Though trying to do an easy bike ride can be tough when there are hills whichever way you go!)
For someone who has knees that no one can work out what is wrong with them, I think 150k of running is pretty good! My running is getting better and better, and I am really starting to get into the rhythm of the long distance running. On the last day I did an 18k run at nearly race pace and felt great during it, knees held up well and I reckon come race time I should be on track for my sub-3:30 marathon (though after 180k it could be a different story!). I am getting used to running of the bike and with tired legs, and find that in the shorter brick sessions I am no longer affected on the run, and with long bike sessions, I can find my running legs after about half an hour or so and then hold a good pace.
All in all, everything is looking good (touch wood!), I have amended my projected times/goals (from the original sub-12hr), to a 1 hour 5 min swim, 6 hour bike, and 3 hour 30 marathon. Now this would give me a sub-11hr IM which would be incredible, and with more bike work and race wheels this could come down further (depending on the course, which I will reccee soon) but this is my first IM and you CANNOT underestimate it. It is the hardest single day endurance event on the planet, and there is no telling how my body will hold out after 8/9/10 hours. So my goal is still to get sub-12 hours, if I can do this I will be happy and satisfied. If I go sub-11 hours, or even sub 10:30 I will be exstatic! We shall see how I feel after another 15 weeks of training! The next 15 weeks continue with increasing the mileage until I am clocking up 25 hour weeks at my peak I suspect, and along with this there is more speed work to up the pace, increase my muscular endurance and reduce my times. Also I am finally racing!!! I live for racing, and it has been tough this year with only having one A race of the year and only another 2 built into the training plan. But I can race more after my IM. Currently lined up are Wimslow sprint tri at the end of week 18 (10th of May), which is a definate, I would have liked to have done an olympic with an OW swim, but there are none close on that date. Also I have a half-IM on the 7th June, end of week 22, and it looks like this will be Weymouth Middle Distance Tri. Was hoping to do the Dorney Middle Distance, though it appears this has now been cancelled, so Weymouth it is (if they sort their online entry problem out!). This includes a sea swim, which could be fun…
I now have a rest week, with a reduced mileage to recover from 3 hard weeks of training, and then it builds up again. Thats all for now,