Back in 2011 when I was training for my first Ironman I put in weeks upon weeks of big training. I thought that was what it took to become an Ironman. Looking back I think I was wrong. I now believe that most of the race day fitness comes from what is done to prepare in the last 2 months. This does not discredit the need for a nice base however I don't think 100 mile rides and 20 mile runs are necessary for months and months ahead of the race. I think this is especially true now that I've put my body through 7 of these events and multiple years of training. With kids growing older I now must find ways to maximize my training in limited time throughout much of the year until the race gets closer, and that is the time I begin putting in the bigger training. The time has come.
For my past few Ironman races I have followed a plan that puts in big training from 8 weeks out down to 2 weeks out before tapering off and getting the body rested and ready to perform at peak fitness. This big block began in week 11. For the week I ran 61 miles, biked 300, and swam 8,800 yards. My swimming will not see big increases until 4-5 weeks out from the race. The biggest change during this 6 week Ironman prep block will be that I take more days off of running during the week so I can get quality long sessions in during the weekend. I've been running 6-7 days most weeks but during the Ironman block I may run only 4-5 days so that I can be better prepared to have solid long rides and runs and still recover quickly. I still put in 2 quality interval sessions riding and running each week. During the 6 weeks almost every weekend includes a long ride of 100+ miles and a long run of 18-22 miles. I try to get at least 4 of those long rides/runs within the 6 week block and also a key Ironman test workout. During the long rides I do a long sustained part of it at my goal Ironman wattage which for this race is 225-230 watts. For Chattanooga I was at 235-240 but I don't have the big base in the spring that I would have in the fall. In order to bump my goal to that wattage I would have to prove through my training that I'm ready to handle it. My long ride this past weekend was 101 miles which was my longest of the year. I did 56 miles of it at my Ironman wattage. I followed that up on Sunday with an 18 mile run and felt great. I ran the first 6.5 miles solo before Jen and the kids joined me for the next 4. The kids were on their Specialized Hot Rock bikes and they have no problem keeping up with a 7 minute/mile pace any more. Owen wanted to go a bit further and stayed with me for 3 more miles after Jen and Payton stopped. I finished with the last 5 miles alone.
I've done a great job monitoring my nutrition lately and my weight was the lowest of the year this week at 157 lbs. I had my body fat % tested at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care on Monday and it was 12.5%. This is a good % for me this year in the year. Last year on nearly the same date I tested at 15.7%. I'll test again after my 6 week block of training and hope to be under 10%.
This past week we received an iHope corporate contribution from Cannon Riverview Dentistry. Drs. Chris and Matt Cannon do a tremendous amount of charitable work in the Dentistry field and also our community. Next Wednesday evening I'm going to present the first Evelyn Lehman iHope Foundation scholarship to a graduating senior. This scholarship is named after my grandma who left me with some money I used to start the foundation after her passing. I was thrilled when I read the scholarship application of the recipient our high school guidance staff selected to receive this scholarship. If you'd like to help fund the next iPad or scholarship gift you can click one of the links near the top of this page.
Last week the junior high at Pleasant Valley had an Elite mile run after school for all boys who had run under 6:00 for the mile and girls under 6:30. They had about 30 students choose to participate and I ran with them. It was awesome to see so many of them running fast. We had about 15 boys run under 5:30 for the mile. I ran 4:50 and it was a bit painful as my body is not quite used to anything at that pace. This upcoming weekend I plan to ride long on Saturday and then do a 1/2 marathon as part of a longer run. I'll push the 1/2 marathon a bit to see how my legs respond the morning after a really long ride. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!