As the summer has gone along, my training volume has been increasing, step by step. Long rides get longer; runs off of the bike increase in duration, and stand-alone runs are also extended. When I look at my upcoming training weeks, they seem pretty daunting. But like most things, if you break it down into its component parts and tackle it one thing at a time, you find you can handle it.
Here's what I had for the week that just finished. It was a lot for me -- though I'm sure there are some out there who see it as pretty routine. On the other hand, there are some who probably think it's clear evidence of some degree of insanity on my part.
Monday: "easy 90' ride - zr -z1"
I'd just come off a race on Sunday, so an easy ride sounded good to me! "zr" means "recovery zone" -- low heart rate, a chance for the muscles to heal while staying active. "z1" is a steady aerobic training zone. Since my tri-bike still had the disc cover on the back wheel, I jumped on my road bike and took off from home after work. Got a chance to ride a few roads I hadn't been on for a while. A pleasant 24-mile ride in the countryside.
Tuesday: "Masters swim," "75-minute bike with hard intervals"
Masters swim was an hour at the outdoor pool, with the main set consisting of descending intervals -- both in distance and speed. Felt good in the water, despite the 80+ degree water temperature, and had a good edge on my lane mates today. About 2800 yards of quality work.
Did the bike at lunch time. Hot, hot, hot -- probably up to over 100 degrees. The hard intervals were 8 minutes worth of 20 seconds all out and 10 seconds easy. I was definitely gasping by the time I was halfway through. A good 23 mile ride.
Wednesday: "90-minute ride with 2x20' intervals," "40 minute run off the bike"
Hot again --well over 100 degrees at noon! The ride had two 20-minute intervals at 'best sustainable pace." In other words, go hard -- this improves your efficiency and your body's tolerance to hard efforts. Yes, it was a hard effort. Finished the ride flushed and wringing wet.
The heat cooked me on the run. I took along water, but after 10 minutes I knew I'd had enough. After all, people have been known to die in heat like this... Cut the run back to 25 minutes and took it in easy.
Thursday: "75 minute ride with 2 x 15' at z2"
"z2" heart-rate zones improve your speed for sustained endurance efforts. Joined the Tri-Club Thursday night ride and got my intervals in on the Sugar Hollow Course. A good ride, and ended up doing about 90 minutes in all.
Friday: "60-minute swim" and "Tempo Run"
Feeling pretty low on this day. Tired, thirsty -- all the heat and work of the week so far was catching up to me. Made the decision to sleep in a bit in the morning, and do the workouts after work in the afternoon.
Thunderstorms in my area cancelled the swim. The run was the running equivalent of the Thursday bike ride. Ran inside at my gym because of rain, nice to be out of the heat.Despite my fatigue in the morning, got through the run in pretty good shape. Off to bed early that night, because...
Saturday: "6-hour ride" with "45-minute run off the bike"
My longest bike so far in Iroman training. Went to Skyline Drive and rode an out-and-back course: north to Big Meadows and back; south to Loft Mountain and back; and north again to Big Meadows and back. This let me pick up additional bike bottles and food as I went along.
It was a drizzly, misty, rainy, foggy day, but the ride went great. Stayed in z1 though the first 4 hours, then gradually picked up the intensity over the last 2 hours. I practiced sticking to my drinking and eating schedule -- very important in endurance events -- and everything went great, including the run off the bike. A nice feeling of accomplishment to finish this!
Sunday: "2 hour run," "1 hour easy bike"
I've got a favorite 5.1 mile loop from my house, so I repeated that 3 times. For some reason I decided I wanted to beat my previous lap times on the third lap, so I picked up the pace third time around. Finished 15.3 in 2:11 -- a solid 8:33 pace on a muggy morning.
Finished off the afternoon with an easy ride at Sugar Hollow with Carmel. Nice to get out and ride with her!
Bike -- 198 miles
Run -- 28 miles
Swim -- 2800 yards