Week 27 was the middle week of a big 3 week block of training I am putting in prior to a one week taper I will put into effect in an effort to race my best at Ironman Racine 70.3 on July 15th. The week was not quite as big as I had hoped for mainly due to the aweful heat we've had here in the midwest lately. I think the heat has actually been terrible all over the US lately. I hit my swim goal by putting in 21,800 yards and also hit my run goal but logging 60 miles. I came up short on my bike goal by riding only 180 miles last week. I was hoping to hit 250 miles but the heat kept me from doing a long ride outside this weekend. I was glad to get 180 miles on only 4 days of riding and they were all quality. 3 of the rides were tough interval sessions and the 4th ride was our weekly QC group ride which is always a good effort. My total training time for the week was 25.5 hours. I'll be spending more time on the bike this week regardless of how hot it is. If I must ride indoors on the trainer I'll get the work done there. I actually really enjoy riding on the trainer. I have a great one, the Cycleops Powerbeam Pro which allows me to program in my wattage and adjust it with the click of a remote so it is very easy to simulate outdoor riding wattages and workouts when I'm doing intervals. If I want to keep the effort low at a base effort I'm also able to easily do that to make sure I don't ride too hard. When riding on the trainer I never have to worry about cars coming too close to me, bird attacks, drivers who are texting...etc.
I've begun to feel the increased fitness with this recent block of training. I've noticed that I'm recovering very quickly from 5 hour training days and I'm able to put 3 or 4 of those in a row without feeling too tired or fatigued. That is a good sign for me that my Ironman fitness is coming along without doing any 100 mile rides or 20 mile long runs. Last year I did 12 century rides...this year my longest ride has only been 80 miles. I'm not worried about missing those because the cumulative volume of training has been higher this year. I just checked in on where I am now vs. the end of last year. I'm averaging 165 miles/week on the bike through the 1st 27 weeks while last year the year end total was 158. My running is just slightly higher by about 1 mile/week but the real jump has been in my swim training. While I averaged 13,000 yards a week in the water last year I'm at 17,000 this year. I have done 4 straight weeks over 20,000 yards so I'm hoping to see a nice drop in the swim at Racine. Last year I was 5.5 minutes behind the leaders after the swim and 1:30 back of a nice sized chase pack. This year I'm hoping to cut the gaps to the leaders to 4-4.5 minutes and be within a minute of some of the chasers. I'll get out hard in the swim and stay on the chase pack for as long as I can...hopefully until the end of the swim. With all the hard intervals on the bike lately I've really felt that is where I've made my biggest gains during this 3 week block. I took Monday completely off of training and felt amazing on Tuesday while putting in over 6 hours of training. It has me excited for when I really allow myself to rest. The day off was only my 3rd in 27 weeks of training. I will be taking more of those as I get into the big races starting next week when I have 2 days off planned. My hope is that leaves me feeling stronger than I have in a race yet this year. I haven't done much backing off for any races yet so it's time to take advantage of the work I've put in by taking some rest starting next week. On Saturday I did a relay leg of an adventure triathlon a friend asked me to do. I ran 12 miles prior to my 5k leg and then ran 17:18 out by myself as it was a small race and really spread out. It was hot of course so I was happy with that pace coming off a 12 mile run beforehand and a tough 5x5 interval workout I finished around midnight the evening prior. My days of this campaign may be winding down so I'm really looking forward to having my best race ever in Racine next Sunday. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!