Signing up for Ironman St. George wasn’t as impulsive of a decision as it may have seemed. Granted, the only times I mentioned it was during a half-drunk post-swim get together, and in a post-run endorphin rush (my first run since my half ironman in September).
My last monthly training report was back in September, which wasn’t all that encouraging. My fitness was tapering down without anything to train for, and I was unsure about the status of my injury. After that I gained another six pounds. When the new year hit, I focussed on increasing my fitness and starting over again. It worked much better than I expected.
January 1: 162
March 31: 145
These seventeen pounds made all the difference in all three sports. Even my swim improved. My swim positioning was better, my bike climbing ability skyrocketed, and I was actually able to run. I was aiming to hit 150 pounds, but somehow I was on such a roll I accidentally dropped another five.
It’s actually been hard to maintain 145. Not because my body is trying to gain all the weight back, but because I’m having trouble eating as much food as I need! I haven’t been eating much garbage, so the actual volume of healthy foods is so high that I actually get bored of eating. Compounding that is all the training I’ve been doing. It’s a nice problem to have for a change!
Here’s my performance management chart from TrainingPeaks. If you haven’t read one before, the blue line represents the chronic training load. Basically the longer and harder you work, the higher it goes. It gives you an idea of how fit you should be. The pink line is also training load, but short-term. The yellow line represents how tired your body is. The lower it goes, the more susceptible you are to injury and overtraining. Ideally it would be close to zero. Anyway…
It’s been a steady climb, especially since I’ve started swimming three times a week. Mondays and Wednesdays are with Ayesha, and Fridays I’ve been working on my endurance sets. I usually do 1000m sets, ranging from 3500 – 5000 m total. I’ve only broken two benchmarks from last year though, but they were beat very well. I had a 1:28 100m and a 41:28 2000m. I’m still in shock about my 100m time.
This is the reason I signed up for St. George. If you see that spike in the middle of March, I had just finished a 160k ride, part of it with someone who had signed up for the race. The next day I did another 60k with an Ironman Mont Tremblant competitor. I was feeling pretty good on the Monday, and looked over the numbers. I would probably be in good enough shape for the swim and bike, and the cost was surprisingly low.
I’ve been feeling really good on the bike. On top of it, the race has my name in it. So why not? On the right of the chart you can even see Saturday’s 180k training ride to close out the quarter.
Well, it’s improving, right? I was feeling great when I first ran that 5k. So two days later I did it again, and ended up injuring my achillies. I really didn’t think I woudl be able to do much, but it’s been getting easier and easier with the lighter weight. I changed my shoes back to the ones I used in Syracuse, and that also helped.
The last couple weeks, I started with walk training. That has been working out surprisingly well. Last week I did two hours for 14k, then last Sunday I managed a 21.1k walk, where I hit up a few bike shops.
I’m feeling pretty confident that I will be able to walk the entire marathon now. 21.1 was hard, but doable.
My volume has really been ramping up. Considering I had a relatively slow start this year, I’m pretty happy with how well my body has taken to it.
Swim: 27.94 hours – 88.8 km
Bike: 74.9 hours – 1685 km
Run/walk: 6.3 hours – 47.6 km
Strength: 4.12 hours
Wow, 1685 km on the bike! For reference, last year I did 1999 km total. My highest-mileage year was 2009 with 2348 km. I will beat that total by May!
Weekly training volume.
When I finshed Syracuse last year I was tired, but I’m pretty sure I could have done another go round the course. Now I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. It only makes sense to take advantage of that. This is going to be awesome.