Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A heavy week

Last week was a tough one! I hit 20 hours of training and it looked a little like this:


Weights set in the am and a 1500m sea swim in the evening. The previous Saturday and Sunday were heavy days so I wanted an more recovery day on Monday.

Tuesday: I had a 2km swim (drills) in the morning, then has a snooze and a 60km bike ride in the afternoon. I had another snooze and followed this with a 21km run. I hadn’t expected to go so far but on the way home I went to meet Jenn and Moley but they had gone a different direction so I ended up ding an additional 4km ran for 1hr 42min.

Wednesday: Committee meeting tonight so I just about managed to get in my speed bike, tough session, boy did I sweat. Held a high gear, and was happy with the session.

Thursday: Speed run. It took 65mins and I covered 12km, great session, legs heavy to begin but they loosened up as the session went on. Managed to get home in time to do the swim session, 2km, mainly drills, cramped at the end…. I though I had hydrated enough but obviously not enough electrolytes….

Friday: An easy day at last…. Had this one planned, rest day in prep for the weekend. However I ended up going down to the harbour in Wicklow for a 2km swim and it was GORGEOUS. Perfect conditions, no wind, little current, no chop. There was about 6 of us in total and we went around the boats out by the block to a buoy, down to the corner out to Marine house and back to the block and back around the boats. Not cold at all. I really enjoyed the swim, felt great.

Saturday: Big day Saturday! On my own today, Paul went to a wedding. I decided not to go as I didn’t know the couple and didn’t want to upset my training Plan. With that in mind I decided to test my fitness as I was going to be on my own. The session planned was a 5.30hr bike and a 30min brick run. I wanted to simulate some of the conditions I am going to face in Florida, so with that in mind I set my route, 4 laps to Kilmacanogue and back, then make up the additional time with a small loop. I set off at 8.55am, and headed to Ashford and onto the N11. The first lap was great, stayed in the aero position for all of it except the climbs. I used this period to stretch my back out. I’m not flexible enough to last an entire race in the aero position so the plan on the day will be 25mins aero, 5 up and stretch. After1 hr 20, I was back in Ashford and say the lads going out for a spin, had a quick chat, was tempted to go but stayed true to the session and cycled off on my own back up to kilmac. Again a good lap, pretty much the same as the first, back in Ashford for the second time I turned at the roundabout and off I went again, one pee stop, removed my gilet and off I was again, 3rd lap, still ok , maybe not as much in the aero but speed was high at 32km/hr at 110km. When I got back to Ashford after the third lap I stopped for a bottle of coke and a Bounty, bumped into my mum and dad (they think I’m crazy, they just don’t get what motivates me!!) and off I went, neck was sore at this stage so aero was an adhoc affair. Still as my speed was high, I have motivation to keep it there, in aero or not. I arrived back to Ashford as the lads finished their cycle. I’m glad I stuck to my plan as they had a lot of punctures and breaks. While they got 80km completed, I had 120km in the same time, albeit on a flatter road surface. 35mins remaining so I headed out to Coynes Cross and then out to Glenealy and back home to make up the time. I covered 182km in 5.34hr, I was chuffed. Transition was quick, and off I was for my 6km run, usual route, 4 climbs. I wanted to hold close to 5min/km, at 2km I was ahead, 3, 4 5 and 6 km I stayed ahead, I ran at 4.30min/km. On reflection that was too fast a speed for the first 6km, legs were sore at the end. It would have been better to hold back a bit. I stretched for 10mins, especially the glutes, hammers, calves and back. Compression tights and socks were on for the evening. I fed myself well and went for a sleep for 2 hours. I took the night easy as I had a big run on the Sunday with Liam and Siobhan in the Phoenix Park. A place I have never run before.

Sunday: 7am came early, had breakfast and coffee. I had my gear ready from the night before so I had minimal to do just eat and go. I drove to Liams and we headed off to collect Siobhan. I was nervous, why? I knew my legs felt heavy and Liam is a fast runner and Siobhan’s pace I wasn’t too sure of. I suppose I didn’t want to be left behind. We parked at the rowing club, got changed and away we went for a 32km run, two laps of the park. I was trying an IM top to see how comfy it was (it wasn’t, too small and restrictive on my breathing). Once we got into the park I was in new territory so just tried to stay with the guys. I was told it would be flat, it wasn’t, but it was gorgeous, lots of different terrain, woodland, grass, footpath, GAA fields. Your eyes were looking at the ground a lot to ensure you stayed upright. We had deposited drinks around the course which was great as they were ideally placed and we passed each bottle drop point twice. My legs were feeling heavy but manageable. I was curious to see how I’d go. I expected to be tested as I was running with Liam who is so much faster than me. Lap one finished in 75mins 15km, 5min/km, perfect pacing. This would be a sub 4 hr marathon. Legs were heave but I managed to hold that pace all the way around. I have 2 gels in total and a few jelli beans and power shots for nutrition alon the way. I should have had another gel but hey you live and learn. We picked the pace up for the last 5 km ad lost Siobhan, we turned back to catch up with her at the end and used it as recovery. We didn’t find her so assumed she had gone back to change. She has fallen on the first lap and he elbow was cut and knee bruised. Liam got us to pick up the pace right at the end to flush the legs and to remind them what speed was!!!! That hurt. All in all we completed 32km in under 2.40mins. On tired legs….. u gotta be happy with that! We stretched showered , changed and went into town for lunch. It tasted so good……… it was late before I got home but I had a bath to relax and had a great sleep that night. Then Monday came and the week started again……. Race hurry up…. I need a break.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Training for IM Florida - Update

Wow, its been a while since I updated my blog. So what’s happened…… well it’s just been all IM training for Florida to be honest. I have been getting in 3 bikes, 1 turbo, 2 x road), 3-4 runs, weights x 2 and some swimming. I’ve eased off on the swimming, not too sure why but I need to pick it up again as there is only 6 weeks left until race day.

Weight training. This has been sporadic, finally I’m getting 2 sessions in a week. I started slowly and build up to 2/3 sets of 12/15 for the 12 exercises I have been doing. This week started the power phase, which is split over 2 sessions and increases the weight for 6 of the exercises at a time, doing reps of 10, 8, 6, and keep the other 6 exercises at 12/15 x 2 reps, then on the second lifting day you lift heavier on the remaining 6 exercises.

Cycling: cycling started off slowly once we got to 5 hours plus…. The first 5 hr went pretty badly for me. I think it was due to the weight session 2 days previous, I felt very lethargic. Because of this I went out on my own the following week for my long cycle to build a bit of confidence. It worked, I had a great cycle, with the exception of a broken spoke 2 punctures and a buckled wheel at the end of the session and I had to walk 3km home. Since that I have been getting in a min of 3 sessions per week, 1 turbo, 1 LSD (not so slow though) and 1 2-3hr road. For the last 4 weeks I have clocked approx 250-270km per week. I’m happy with how the bike is progressing but I only fell about 80% ready. I hope that’s a good thing….. don’t want to peak too early!!

Running: This is going fantastically well for me. I finished the tri season with my best 5 and 10km runs and its just getting better. I’m running 4 times a week, inclusive of 1 brick, totalling approx 50-60km per week. 1 LSD, 30km, 1 speed, 8-10km, 1 brick 6km and I mid week run 15-21km. My form is really improving and I feel my aerobic efficiency has increased. I’m trying to keep my HR under control and below 150 for all runs. I’m not doing too bad at this, definitely improving. Currently I’m at 2.30hr runs, best run being 31km in 2.25hr.

I’m also including a big day Tuesday…… where I do a swim set at 7am, then a speed run and weights set in the evening or instead of the run and weights a bike and run split over the day (if I’m off work). I’m at the 18hr per week stage of the training plan.

In addition, I’m eating relatively well, have cut down on my dairy intake (believe it can be bad for digestive issues), practicing the number and timing of taking on nutrients in the form of gels on the runs, so far so good. This is an area which has caused me concern for the last 2 IM, not enough fuel taken on during the run. IM Florida will be different. I know I’m capable of a sub 4 hr run and it is one of my remaining goals for the season. I was out by 8 mins in IM Lanzarote. Based on my long Sunday runs (day after 185km on bike) projecting out my time for 30km and allowing for slowing up I could possible achieve a time of 3.40hr. Now I’m not holding myself to that but with a great taper and a good bike and run its achievable. We’ll see how it goes. I might regret writing this down….. Sub 4hr is the goal anything else is a massive bonus.