Friday, December 10, 2010

Road to St George - Week 5

Sorry this is late, been a hectic week.  Week 5 was decent, again a couple of 'planned' sessions never happened but there were a couple of bonus workouts in there so I was on the whole pleased.  Here is the training week in detail:
  • Swim - I managed three swims this week and two of those were masters workouts.  I missed my normal post swim4tri workouts due to the pools being closed at Samena so to get three sessions in was pleasing.  I swam approx 10,000 yards and am starting to feel decent in the water.  Monday's Masters session was pushing the envelope for me with super tight send off's, I normally hate swimming like this as I feel my stroke falls apart however I believe there is some value in challenging yourself in the water sometimes (with a tight send off) provided you get the opportunity to re-set and bring your stroke back during the session with some well timed drills and easy swimming.
  • Bike - Again the big downer here is the lack of a decent outdoor long ride.  Time to re-evaluate my schedule and look for a day that is a better fit for this.  I don't have the flexibility to just get out when the weather is good and need to factor in my ride leads at the Performance Center with any other planned riding.  Five rides and a total of 6.5 hours of ride time, all on the CT with a decent amount of work at/around IM watts.  Introducing more and more NM work into my rides now and am feeling the benefit.
  • Run - An interesting week!  For the first time in a while all my runs were on technical trail with two of them being in the pitch dark.  Not sure how many of you have run off road in the dark with a head torch but it is challenging.  Biggest concerns with this are rolling an ankle and then being out of action for a while, can't afford for that to happen but still got to get the runs in.  I did indeed roll my ankle on Saturday evening which meant I missed my planned run with the team on Sunday but it was not a serious sprain fortunately.  The big news on the run side this week was winning one of the much sought after Western States 100 lottery slots, more on that later!  Total for the week was three runs and 3.5 hours of running.
  • TRX/Core - Another good week here and feeling the benefits of hitting these workouts with consistency.  Three very solid 30-45 minute sessions with lots of functional movements.  Helping the body co-ordinate movement patterns and improving NM function makes for a more balanced athlete and a more resilient one, I will build to five sessions a week here and start mixing some TRX into the middle of my bike and run workouts over the next couple of weeks.
Total training time for week 5 about 14.5 hours.  Relatively well balanced but definitely missing two key things, that long outdoor ride and the forth run.  Will try and remedy that this week but looks like the weather might be against me a little.

So as I promised in last weeks blog here is some detail as to how my year will shape up with regard to planned races, training camps and 'big weekends'.  Having key BT (breakthrough) workouts/camps/prep races on the calendar really helps to break up the year when training for an early season race where inevitably you have to train through some rather inclement weather. The more things you have to look ahead to the more focused you will be on your intermediate goals, and the more likely you will be to hit key workouts and get to the starting line mentally and physically ready to toe the line:
  • January 8th Bridal Trails 50km - This will likely be a game day decision.  If conditions are good (would prefer cold snow covered trails or dry conditions, slim chance) then I will likely run if not then maybe the 10 mile race will be the way I go or talk Cindy into the pairs race!
  • January 16th Rock n Roll AZ Marathon - I will leave on Friday evening, and return on Monday.  My plan is to run long on South Mtn Trails on Saturday and race the marathon on Sunday.  I care not about the outcome of the marathon the goal is come out of the weekend with two solid over distance runs healthy and injury free.  I will still however run as fast as my legs will allow me.  Would be nice to go under 3:10 for the marathon.
  • February 10th-13th - Tour de Palm Springs Century ride.  This will be combined with a moderate duration ride the day before with a short t-run, the century on the Saturday and a long run and swim on the Sunday.  This will probably be the first real opportunity to get in a solid long ride outside on the tri bike since training started in November, will be good benchmark as to where my riding is as I will aim to ride the century (where congestion etc allows) at goal IM power.
  • March Tucson Training Camps - Week 1 will be dedicated to bike volume with at least one key session dedicated to work at LT.  As the focus in on the campers though it will be a case of simply getting in what I can while ensuring everything runs smoothly and the campers leave happy and fulfilled (read as completely shattered from all the training ;)).  Week 2 will be a hardcore training week as I shall hopefully have Cindy along to do most of the support duties and as this is labeled the 'elite week' the quality of the athletes in attendance should ensure I get adequately smashed in training.  Would like to rack up at least 300 miles a week of riding, 40-50 miles of running and 12-15k in the pool.
  • April 13th-17th - St George and Rage - Plan is to fly to Vegas on Wednesday early morning, drive up to St George and ride one loop of the bike course followed by running a portion of the run course.  Thursday will be full ride of the course followed by a loop of the run course (big day).  Friday, early swim, then drive to Vegas and register etc for the HIM on the Saturday.  Saturday will be interesting if nothing else. I will 'race' to the best of my ability given the fatigue I will be carrying into the event.  Sunday will be a chilled day with perhaps a recovery spin or more likely a short open water swim (opportunities to get in open water will be limited before race day so makes sense to take advantage while I can).
  • April 21st-24th Ironman Coeur d'Alene Camp 1 - This is now two weeks out from IMStG and will be my last week of significant volume.  I won't train a lot during the camp but will execute on some final key sessions to ensure my race plan is dialed in and my power/paces are locked in.
Adding this kind of structure sure helps focus the mind and gain a little more commitment.  You can't show up to a century for example without some bike miles in your legs so the drive this provides to get some riding in before the event is very useful.  The same goes with the Tucson camps.  Without some condition I will not be able to do the volume I desire and more importantly would compromise my ability to recover and absorb the said training.  One thing I don't have margin for given the volume of my typical 'in town' week is to miss any training through injury/illness so it is imperative that I balance fatigue cost of my workouts and structure adequate rest and recovery between some of these key events that I have planned.

The big addition to my 2011 race calendar is the Western States 100 trail race.  If you like this is kind of like the Kona of trail running in that you have to qualify (unlike Kona however it is not that challenging) however unlike Kona once you qualify (along with 1600 or so others) you then have to register and wait for the lottery which this year was on December 4th.  Only 220 or so runners get selected so as you can see the odds are long.  I entered more because I was proud of my race at Whiteriver and less to actually get into Western States but as 'luck' would have it my name came out of the hat!! It will not influence my St George prep other than I might try and get a couple more longer trail runs in than i would otherwise have done and then after the ironman it will be run, run , run and run some more!

The blog now has good reason to continue after Ironman St George so keep reading.

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