21 April, 2012

First Ironman Training "Progress Report"

This IM training is difficult to schedule! I mean, I knew it would be, but being already at upwards of 15 hrs/wk, I find the impact on family time is remarkable compared to even half distance training; I'll clearly need to take more care scheduling things as Build & Peak stages arrive. Up before 5 this morning to squeeze in my first ever 4 hour ride - the 1st hr was in the garage on the trainer due to darkness. Something like 727m elevation change in the 3hrs outdoors. It was only about 4*C (39F) with a fair windchill, so I felt the full brunt of numb, frozen toes & hands... I could tell I was still pedalling because I wasn't falling over, and my shifting was a crapshoot! I know I may regret wishing for warm days come June and July, but this "Dude can't abide" with the way my feet thawed in the shower - not since childhood when we'd stay out 'til dusk on an icy pond curling with frozen dog turds have I felt such a burning sensation as I defrosted.

I'm lined up to do IMMT as my first, this August. I've done several sprints, an Oly, and a HIM in prior years, with numerous running events from 10ks thru marathon distance. I am lucky enough to have dodged injuries so far, and ungifted enough to have dodged the podiums (by a wide margin) as well. I'll be in the 50-54 AG @ Mont Tremblant.

Currently wrapping up my 7th week of following Matt Fitzgerald's Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide. I chose this 24-week plan because I had good success (for me) using his HIM plan to prep for the hilly Muskoka 70.3, so I figured if it ain't broke...

For those familiar with it, I am using level 4 for the swim and level 9 for the bike & run. My reasoning is that given how much I dislike swim training (though my attitude is improving in lockstep with my endurance in the pool) I don't want to invest the amount of time that would be needed at this stage to improve significantly. It's a bang for the buck consideration; I see my late-onset swimmer "style" as something of a finger print that I won't radically alter in the next few months, so while I will still keep up with my coached club swims and work on drills, I'm resigned to focus on increasing my distances to build up fitness & I'm pretty satisfied with that.

I will be looking to up my bike mileage whenever possible. I came to triathlon from a very modest biking background.

And since running has been on a steady rise through my three years in multi-sport - picking up speed & endurance without any injury (knock on wood) - the level 9 distances are not intimidating given what I've been used to in the past year+.

I splurged on a Castelli Free Aero Race bib - very nice... the Progetto X2 pad was absolutely "invisible." Thanks to folks on the Trifuel forum advocating bibs from their first-hand experience, this is now one less worry as I approach the longest of training weeks. After the ride I felt excellent - no screams in the shower when water hit the Joy Zone, and I never once had to do the R&R (Rise & Reposition) thing at any point in the four hours.

I'm not using a power meter - not that I am opposed to it, just can't justify the cost right now. I have had excellent results in the past three years solely based on RPE, with a touch of HR now and again as my version of a poor man's reality check. Fingers crossed I can carry this sense through the 140.6

Simple Pleasure this morning: I was reminded of that extreme feeling of thirst quenching I get from a glass of plain water ~ 20 mins after the initial recovery drink & shower. It's like the perfect moment of desire meeting with satisfaction.

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