Just wanted to give a mid week update. My training is really starting to ramp up. Following the 5,000 calorie 6+ hour effort on Monday that I previously blogged about I am feeling drained but in a good way (if that makes sense). Typically after a big effort like Monday, I will get a day off to recover and give my legs time to repair the damage that took place. Basically fitness is a constant tear down and rebuild of muscles over an extended period of time. Rest is important to give your muscles time for this repair. Rest can come in many shapes and sizes but right now, I am in the "build" portion of my training which is designed to get my body and mind mentally ready for the huge effort of the race. To this point, I have never and will never give an effort for the length of time needed on race day however, big efforts on taxed muscles help prepare for the race. It is walking that fine line of high level of training and not getting hurt.
With all of that said, I had an 8 mile run scheduled on Tuesday which I was wondering if I should be resting but I did it anyway. Surpisingly, the run went well. It was an aerobic run with a series of "striders" which conist of 20-30 second sprints spaced throughout my run. The purpose of this run is to continue to build my aerobic capacity (long slow aerobic efforts) but not at the expense of speed (the short bursts) with giving my heart and lungs an opporutnity to go from "taxed" back to aerobic throughout the run. The run actually went great and as tired as I was when I began it quickly went away and my legs responded well and I was able to maintain a high pace while keeping my heart rate in the aerobic zone.
Last night I had a swim and an 1.5 hour "tempo" ride (tri speak for slightly higher than average effort) think of "tempo" as the stage above aerobic. Last night it was a cool night so the lack of heat helped keep my heart rate down meaning that I had to work that much harder to get my heart rate into the "tempo" zone.
~ As a sidebar, the great thing about working with a coach and specifically TriSmart is that every zone, every workout is defined. There is no guess work for me. My workout will say tempo bike ride for 60 minutes and I know that my heart rate needs to stay between 142 and 148 beats per minute to stay in my tempo zone. These zones have been determined specifically for me through tests that Coach Jen has me do every 3-5 weeks). If it is too low, I pedal harder or faster. If it is too high, I am working too hard so I back off a bit. It seeems really complicated but it really isn't. There are days that I feel better or worse and without these hard numbers, i would exercise by feel and come to find out, my feel is often wrong. Like most people, I have limited time to train so getting the most out of EVERY training session is key and training by the numbers allows me to do this. Where some Iron athletes will have peak training weeks of 20+ hours a week, I train 15-16 but train very specfically.
Last night my legs felt great. I really was able to push a lot of power (also measured) while keeping my heart rate in a fairly low zone. This was great to see because this leads to efficiency which is very important on very long efforts like my race. I had an hour swim planned but shortened it to 30 minutes. I was pretty tired and know that I have a long rest of the week so I did make the conscious decision not to over do it. Plus, I wanted to see my family knowing that I probably will not see them but only for a short time tonight.
Tonight is a 13 mile run that are always tough mid week. If it is pouring rain I will have to do this on the dreadmill which is HORRIBLE but it has to be done. If it is raining or raining lightly I will take my chances and do it outside. NBB has his first football scrimmage tonight that I really want to see but I don't know how I can get it all in. It is important that I get this run done but it is also important to him and me that I get to see him scrimmage. This is one of those times that are really really tough on me as a father because I need to do both but just can't. That last sentence really sums up the sacrifice needed to commit to an IRONMAN. My family suffers just as much as I do and without them, this goal is not possible. My only hope is the short term loss is a longer term gain for them and the example I am setting will make more of a difference in the grand scheme. I am still not exactly sure what I am going to do and a lot of it is going to depend on weather. It may end up being a 2 hour run in my basement after the kids go to bed and a short night of sleep? We will see.
All of now, have a great rest of the day.