I got officially registered this week for Ironman Chattanooga. I wiped everything off my racing schedule except a duathlon that is part of the Scheel's Series next weekend. I wanted to be able to devote a big chunk of training towards 1 goal date...September 28th.
My 3rd week of Ironman prep was a big one by design. I continue to make the bike my main focus in training. I will increase my swimming a lot about 4 weeks before the race. I only swam 7,500 yards. I ran 43 miles (in 4 days of running), and I biked 350 miles. I did hill intervals Tuesday, longer intervals on Wednesday, and Saturday was my long ride. Saturday's ride I did 117 miles with the first 55 easy and then the next 56 at my Ironman goal wattage which is 235-240 for this race. I hit my split to reset my average wattage every 7 miles of the 56 mile portion. My watts for each 7 mile segment were 241, 240, 241, 241, 243, 245, 243, and 237. I had almost 2,000 feet of climbing over that 56 miles. I kept my normalized power within 2 watts of my average power on each segment. Normalized power takes into account hard accelerations and these are what I intend to avoid. I want to keep a steady smooth effort both up and down hills so keeping the normalized power close to the average power is important. What I was most excited about is my 56 mile time was 2 hrs. 25 minutes. This is about what I need to average speed wise to have a shot at breaking 9 hours. I did it in a training ride with my training wheels, road helmet, and big saddle bag on the back of my bike. I found at Challenge Atlantic city I was riding 1-1.5 mph faster during the race with my race wheels, aero helmet, and bike stripped down at the same wattage I had been training which at that time was 225-230. This is a big confidence booster. I also hope to pick up more speed as I reduce my body weight allowing me to get up hills faster without increasing my wattage.
Sunday I ran 20 miles and I felt as good on the 20th as I did on the 1st mile. I have run 15, 18, and 20 the last 3 weeks respectively coming off long rides of 110, 120, and 117. This next week will be my only week without the long workouts until the week before the race. After this approaching weekend I'll have 5 more long rides/runs. 3 weeks out of the race I plan to do a long brick of 100 miles on the bike with the last 1/2 at Ironman wattage followed by a 10 mile run at goal pace of 6:30/mile. This week I only dropped 1 lb. which was frustrating. On Thursday morning I was down from 165 to 160 but may have been dehydrated because by this morning I was back up to 164. I'd like to be 150 by September 20th. Lots of work to do.
I was thrilled this week to get word of 2 VERY generous contributions to the iHope Foundation. Huge thanks to Mark Nagan and Daniel Westbay for helping with the foundation. I'm hoping we can award 3 more iPads and $1,000.00 scholarships to low-income students that display outstanding character and work traits this upcoming school year. If you'd like to help with the iHope Foundation click here. Speaking of Daniel Westbay I've been having fun coaching him this year. I'm amazed and inspired by how much he has improved. He placed 11th in the Crossroads Triathlon this year on Saturday morning moving up from 32nd last year. His swim time improved from 9:14 to 8:11, bike time from 43:25 to 41:21, and run time from 23:09 to 20:51. Overall he dropped 6 minutes 20 seconds. I am super proud of the commitment he has made and the hard work he has put in to see these substantial improvements. It shows when you are willing to work and DREAM BIG incredible things will happen. DREAM BIG!