Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 23 Training Summary

Only 4 weeks to go until Ironman St. George...I had a great week of preparing myself for the race. My biggest focus since San Juan has been to get outside on the bike and the weather has been cooperating nicely for me. For the week I ran 53 miles, biked 230, and swam 7,000 yards. I also lifted weights twice this week and did speed drills, strides, lunges, and jumped rope. As stated however my biggest emphasis has been on the bike. Tuesday I rode up Wilkes Hill in Davenport 12 times and felt stronger than ever on the hill. I feel stronger each time I'm on this hill early in the year. It's crazy how one week to the next can make such a difference. Wednesday was my favorite group ride ever! There were at least 60 riders who showed up for this one and there were some great riders in the group. I knew it was going to be a fast ride. About 10 miles in the pace got going really hot. I stayed up front taking turns with about 12 guys leading the way through the paceline. After we came to a halt at about mile 15 I decided to work on some triathlon specific riding and stay 10 meters behind the last guy...the legal draft distance in the pro races. I noticed within a couple miles that the leaders were really starting to push the pace and the peloton was getting shelled. I kept moving up to pass the guys who were falling off. We were going nearly 30 miles per hour and I was struggling to stay in contact. Just when I looked up I saw three guys make a break off the front. I was way back and knew I needed to try to close the gap quickly or I'd be left behind. I floored it for about 5 minutes and came up about 40 yards short of those three riders before running out of gas. After 8 miles of time trialing and killing my legs they let up and I caught them. Before the ride was over there would be another 9 mile stretch of absolute killer pace. Two of the riders got away from me and I stayed with the next group of 3 about 30 seconds back as we finished the ride. This group ride was awesome because I felt like I was in a stage of Tour de Quad Cities. It was a great workout.
Since the day I decided to do an Ironman I had planned out a key workout that I wanted to complete about a month before the race. I wanted to go at least 120 miles on the bike and follow it up with a 10 mile run to see what my legs would feel like after such a long ride. The weather cooperated beautifully and I picked Saturday to be the day for this last big test workout. I did something similar before my first 1/2 Ironman 2 years ago but then I was only riding 60 miles before the 10 mile run. I began the day Saturday with a 3,500 yard swim workout. When I got home I packed my nutrition for the ride and set out solo for 120 miles. In the 120 I did 10x 10 minutes at Ironman effort followed by 10 minutes of normal mileage riding pace. My nutrition plan worked to perfection and I actually was feeling stronger near the end of the ride than when I began it. I looked at the clock when I hit mile 112 (an Ironman distance) and I was at 5 hrs. 14 minutes. I was really surprised by this since my goal in St. George is 5 hours on the bike. I couldn't beleive I was only 14 minutes off in a training ride with most of the miles at a really easy pace. I do know however that even though I chose about the hilliest route I could find it will not compare to the huge hills I'll be climbing in St. George. Immediately after the bike I took off on a 10 mile run. I picked the hilliest run I could find from my house for my best St. George simuation. The 10 miles took me up and down 14 hills. My legs felt great. I went through the first 5 miles running each of them between 5:58 and 6:04. I was 30:10 at the turnaround. On the way back I was getting really thirsty since I didn't carry anything with me for the run. I suffered a bit without nutrition and finished the 10 miles in 61 minutes 32 seconds...about 6:09 pace. It gave me great confidence that if I can keep myself from riding too hard in St. George I should be able to get off the bike ready to run a good marathon.

Sunday I was pretty sore from Saturday's big effort but my entire family got together to celebrate birthdays and my 3 brothers who are preparing to do a triathlon together this year all decided we should run a hill workout. I couldn't pass up the chance to run with them. I think it was the first time the four of us have ever worked out together. We ran to a hill not far from Justin's house and did 6 hill repeats. On the 2nd one I felt something pretty painful in my glute muscle. I should have probably stopped but I didn't want to back out on the chance to work out with them. I don't know if I pulled my glute or if it's just really sore from Saturday's workout. I'll have to monitor that this week and also make sure I keep the volume low to recover from that big day. It was awesome to see my brothers all running hard up the hill! They have really inspired me.

Jen won another race on Sunday morning in the QC. She actually only got beat by 1 guy in the race! She was under 18:00 again for the 5k. It was great seeing so many runners from the QC at the race enjoying the warm weather Mother Nature decided to bless us with. Less than 4 weeks to go...I'm really excited about this race. I think about my strategy every day. I plan to swim pretty hard early to see if I can hang with any of the guys. I hope to be under an hour for the swim in my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit. On the bike I'll make sure to ride the 1st loop pretty comfortably hoping to keep my average speed around 22.5 mph. I would like to come off the bike in 5 hours but more importantly is to have my legs ready to run so I can go under 3:05 for the marathon. That isn't too fast of a time but this run course in St. George is ridiculous from everything I have read about the race.

One last thing to massage therapist, Laurel Darren is entered in a Max Muscle "Best Legs in America" contest and she needs your help to win the vote. Laurel is working incredibly hard to prepare for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race and is in great shape. You can vote here. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!

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