This week was jam-packed. With only 9 weeks to go until CdA, things are really heating up and I’m starting to understand why they said you give your life up outside of triathlon for the last two months of IM training. Here’s how the week went!
Week of April 16-22
Monday – After a very long day on Sunday, I wasn’t thrilled about waking up at 5:30 a.m. to go to swim. However, once I was in the pool, I found that it wasn’t too bad. I was surprised that Sunday’s ride wasn’t taking a toll on my endurance or speed in the pool. In the end, I completed 3,500 yards of swimming.
That evening I came home and did 1 hour 20 minutes of P90X Yoga. The workout is actually 1 hour 35 minutes but I skipped the Warrior 3 sequence (a killer on the legs) and the balance postures. My legs were definitely feeling the ride from Sunday, especially during any Warrior poses (i.e. lunges) but in the end I felt great for having had a good stretch and core/upper body workout (lots of push-ups and plank!).
Tuesday – The morning that everything went wrong! I woke up feeling like my body weighed a million pounds. I did NOT want to get up. Mike and I planned to do 8 x 3 minute run intervals on the beach. We walked to the lookout and checked out the conditions – the tide was pretty high so the sand was soft but Mike said we should still go down there. As soon as I started running I knew it would be a bad workout but I was hoping that my led-filled legs would suddenly lighten up. They didn’t. After 4 super half-assed 3 minute intervals (at around a 8:15 pace and the last one at nearly 9 min/mile pace), I gave up (which I never do) and went up to the street where I could run without slipping and sinking in the sand. The remaining miles weren’t much better and I came back to the house after 5 miles of running feeling defeated. I ended up going back to bed for 2 hours and then coming into work late. Worst workout ever.
The extra rest worked miracles because that evening after work I was ready to go on the trainer again. We had scheduled 1 hour 50 minutes of spinning on the bike, and I told myself I’d see how it went and then cut it short if I needed to and skip swim the next morning if necessary. I really didn’t want to get into some over training slump! However, I surprisingly felt pretty fresh on the bike. Mike recently got a heart rate monitor and he has found that his heart rate is really low while he spins and I started realizing that I have also been letting my HR stay in zone 1 during my spins. After the warm-up, I focused on keeping my heart rate in low Zone 2. I was surprised at the wattage I had to maintain to keep my heart rate this high (it was 10-20 higher than I usually do these spins at). However, I was able to maintain this power for the entire ride. With warm-up and cool-down it definitely wasn’t my highest average watts, but it wasn’t even close to my lowest either. I was happy with it.
Wednesday – I woke up feeling better this morning. We got to masters swim just a few minutes early so I was able to get in a full 500 yard warm-up. After the main set of 6 x 50 base + 5, 300 base, 6 x 50 base, 300 base, 6 x 50 base -5, 300 base and the second main set of 2 x 50, 2 x 100, 2 x 150, 2 x 200, 2 x 150, 2 x100 and 2 x 50, I realized I was already at 3,900 yards. So I went for one more 100 adding up to 4,000 yards swam in total! I was thrilled to achieve this milestone. It took me just over 1 hour 15 minutes to complete. This gives me some hope that I can complete the 3,862 meter (4,224yards) in under 1 hour 20 minutes at the Ironman.
After work Mike and I did an easy 60 minute spin. I really took this one easy and I think it was a good “recovery spin.”
Thursday – At 5:30 AM Asia and I started our run. We ran 8.3 miles and when I got home I did 20 minutes of ab/core and upper body strength and stretching. Although I did not feel like getting out of bed when my alarm clock went off at 5:10 AM, the run itself wasn’t too bad.
Thursday evening I did 1 hour 25 minutes of biking intervals with the help of The Sufferfest cycling workouts. I felt really strong on this ride and my overall watts were the highest ever.
Friday – Complete day of rest including 9.5 glorious hours of sleep.
Saturday – We set out early (7 a.m.) to get in our 83 mile ride. Although this course would be hilly, it was the same climb/mile as CdA and not nearly as hilly as last weekend’s Beast ride. Also, we decided to just do loops that we were familar with which made it a lot more comfortable. We did a variation of two loops of our “Pizza Port” route and then added on through Del Dios (which we call the Big Pizza Port loop). According to MapMyRide this was supposed to be 85 miles but it turned out to be just shy of that. The four of us met up 4 times throughout the route – Mike added on 11 miles and Jeremy added on 6 so they wouldn’t have to wait so long for us.
I felt pretty good on this ride. Although my Garmin died around mile 78 or so, my average pace including all the slowing for stop signs and traffic, etc was over 15 mph. I am hoping that I can maintain this pace for the rest of the long rides, even as we get to 100 miles. That will give me a good feeling that I can complete the bike course at the Ironman in under 7 hours 30 minutes.
I ate my peanut butter banana sandwich a little late in the ride (half at mile 45ish and the rest at mile 65 ish) and I think going forward I need to eat it earlier because after the second half, my stomach was feeling full. I laid off the nutrition after that and it ended up feeling just fine after a while.
After the ride, we did a 3.6 mile brick run . My legs felt really heavy, as expected. The heaviness went away after a couple miles and since my Garmin was dead I couldn’t tell our pace. Asia said it was around 8:45 when I asked her – as usual, we run faster than we think off of the bike!
Sunday – We like to “sleep in” on Sundays so we didn’t start our run til 8:30. I was glad because I was able to get in over 9 hours of much needed sleep on Saturday night. I woke up with tired legs and during our warm-up, I could tell it was going to be a rough run! For about the first five miles of our 14 mile run my legs were heavy and my energy was fairly low. Around mile 5 I said to Asia, “I feel pretty good now – only took 5 miles to warm up!” I always feel a bit out of it for the first mile or so of a run, but this was definitely longer! Surprisingly, the run went pretty fast and overall wasn’t a killer.
After a very light breakfast, I got suited up and headed over to Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach to join the Tri Club in a 1 mile swim (1,760 yards) in memory of a Tri Club member named Dave Martin who was attacked and fatally wounded by a shark while swimming in Fletcher Cove in 2008. I’m going to write a blog post about this event. In addition to the swim, there was a hosted lunch afterward where we actually had the chance to be social!
- Yards Swam: 9,260
- Hours Biked (door to door): 11.25
- Miles Run: 30.9
- Minutes of Core/Strength: 100
- Total Time: 21 hours
Great job!!! I’m facing another build week. Thanks for the inspiration!! One thing I am realzing through the training is to expect mental road blocks, but to attack them and finish no matter what.. I had that happen yesterday while running. Asthma attack on mile two of a 10k race. The thought of stopping was there, but in all the books I read this is only to be expected, so I kept that in my mind, and gitted it out. The mental vitcory was one I will always remember. A foundation being built for any that may come in the Ironman… Keep running your race!!!
Thank you and you’re welcome. I’m glad to hear that you got through the race despite your asthma attack! That is some mental strength!
wow, killer week! i have to say, reading your recaps really makes me wonder about my training. i’m nowhere near your distances, especially on the bike, which makes me quite nervous at 9 wks out. i keep telling myself to trust my coach, but at the same time i can’t help but feel unprepared. your approach to training is smart, endurance is definitely key, especially for a first IM. keep it up!
Don’t be nervous – I am self coaching and you have a coach – if anything I bet I am over-training but I guess I’m just on the mindset of more is better. Your coach obviously has a lot more experience than me! After this week I am definitely going to kick it back a notch b/c I think I’m a little ahead of myself. You’re going to do great – just trust in the coach!
WOW, you are doing great. I am reaching burn-out but I am ready to refocus and train hard for the next nine weeks!
Change of Pace
Wow- that week seriously blows me away! No wonder you didn’t feel like getting out of bed some mornings!
My mantra during my biggest week was to keep my eye on the prize.
You said it though, if you won’t put the effort required into a workout, you’d be better off sleeping or catching up on something you’ve let slack.
Good luck with this week’s training!
21 freaking hours?!?!?! Oh my god, I’m getting nervous for those training weeks, but seeing that you are handling it with such grace is encouraging. Great week!
It is bizarre how normal it feels to work out 2-3 hours each weekday now. I joke that I’m not going to know what to do with myself after the Ironman! And that I’m going to get fat because I have been eating everything in sight and loving it!