Friday, July 9, 2010

Training Update

Hello all,

So things seem to be getting back to normal. Last week was pretty tough with all the time off. I quickly regress into depression when I feel like I can't train. Often when one sport is compromised, the others suffer. Last week was especially tough since my pool was closed for maintenance, I couldn't quite run yet, and I couldn't bike hard either. I spent some time doing light stuff on the trainer, but that was it.
On Thursday or Friday I started ramping it up a bit as the soreness in my knee went away. I had originally planned two long rides and a long run over my 4-day weekend figuring I'd be able to take naps and recover. Trying to prep for Racine. That just didn't happen as I didn't want to risk the knee for a race I don't really seem to care about.

But starting this week everything has been back to normal. Got in some solid rides on Tuesday/Thursday and even ran for 1:15 on wednesday. I hadn't planned to do a long run, but the temperature was as mild as it was going to be. It started at about 83 degrees with the typical sweltering humidity. But it dropped during my run and started to rain a bit. It felt so good I kept running. The knee held up just fine.

I've noticed that I hurt my knee doing the dumbest things. I dove into the water Tuesday morning and just about started to cry. The snapping motion from my jump must have hyper extended it. That hurt. But other stuff that you'd think would hurt, like running, doesn't at all. So I am fortunate in that regard.

This weekend I'm going to do a pretty heavy load to make sure I am prepped for the Racine 70.3. But in all reality, I just don't care about this race. I am questioning why I even signed up. Perhaps it is nerves as I have not done a 1/2 Iron in 7 years or so. In that race I pretty much died and it wasn't pretty. And for this race I just don't feel like I am prepared. I think I would have been better off doing an August 1/2 Iron to give myself more time to build up my mileage. I have been so focused on interval sets and building speed and power that I just didn't do the long rides I need. And the times I did, they really wiped me out. So I am pretty sure I'll struggle during this race.
Originally I wanted to break 5 hours...possibly go as fast as 4:30 on a great day. I don't see that happening.

Assuming an accurate swim with good conditions I can do 25 minutes. Say 27 to be safe.

The bike is where I am not sure of myself. I can hold 290 watts at the OLY level and still run well. So my thought is to hold about 240 watts for this race, at least for the first half. At which point we'll see how I feel and maybe pick it up to 250. But I want to be conservative on this ride so I don't walk the damn run. Big goal is to run the whole thing.
At about 240 watts I'm cruising at 21.7 mph according to the calculator. That seems too fast to me, even with Racine being a fast course. So let's knock that speed down to 21.0mph. That's a rough time of 2:40. In any case if I hydrate and my nutrition is good, I should be able to run well after 240 watts on a flat course with very few power spikes.

Then comes the running. I'v done several 1:45 runs and been fine. I've done a lot of 90 minute runs and been fine. I have not gone beyone 1:45 yet. But I've gotten in a LOT of miles compared to what I am used to. So realistically pacing is the question here. I have the fitness to run the whole way, maybe not the confidence.
At the 10k level I am running 7:10's or so. In training I've held 8min/mile pretty consistently on long runs when I am having a good run. In a stand alone half marathon I believe I can hold quite a bit faster than 8's, but have not tried.
So my thought is to hold 8:30's for the first half, and then evaluate how I feel. For now I'll assume 8:30's the entire way. That's about a 1:52 run time.

That leaves me with a grand total of:
Sw: 00:27
Bk: 02:40
Run 01:52
Transitions: 00:04 (never seen racine's transition area, just guessing)
Total: 5:03

All of that seems perfectly reasonable as I sit here and look at it. But this assumes a decent day, little wind, lower temperatures...and of course, me not falling on my face or causing other bodily harm to myself.
I guess I just find some of this pacing hard to believe, especially the bike. When I rode the course with Jeremy we averaged near 20.7mph...but my average power was 260. Plus I was drafting the whole way and was wasted after that ride. Granted we had to stop and made some wrong turns, but the garmin tracks that too. So while I really do think I can hold 240 watts and be able to run. I am not convinced 240 watts = 21mph.
We'll see, I am racing by wattage, not mph. My suspicion is that my bike split will be closer to 2:50, possibly 3:00 depending on conditions. Wind and heat will slow it down quite a bit. If it is 85 and humid I'll possibly back my wattage down to 235 to be safe. Better to lose a few minutes on the bike than walk the run. Realistically I think I'll be happy if I am under 5:15, especially if it is hot. If things go well perhaps I can run faster and get 10-15 minutes back that way and possibly break 5 hours. If I walk through a couple aid stations, so be it. But I refuse to walk more than that.

I plan to follow a simple nutrition plan. One bottle of 700 calories, Heed and Perpeteum. Plus several gu packs with caffine. The bottle is for the bike. Towards the end of the ride I'll take a gu for a pickmeup. So that's about 900 calories. I am going to take a 16-oz bottle of water with me on the run and use it with gu. My tendency on the run is to not take enough fluids/calories. I hate carrying a bottle while running, so I think that will serve as a good reminder to get the fluids down. I probably won't take calries on the run until mile 2 just to be sure the stomach is okay. Obviously this can change depending on any problems. I'll using course nutrition for most of the run, but want to make sure I get in fluids prior to running. That was a big mistake in my previous 1/2 and last year at IMWI.

I'll be doing tri-ing for Childrens the weekend after Racine. So I'll have to recover quick. Lots of GG's will be I'll place like crap. There will be NO flying mounts or dismounts there. I've embarrassed myself enough and want to be sure my knee can take it before I try that again. I'll set some goals for that race soon. But ideally I'll be more motivated for that than I was for Pleasant Prairie. I'd like to break 7min/miles on the run. Both bike and run are flat.

I had two good training rides this week. Not sure how to interpret the results.
A while ago I noticed that I lose a lot of power while aero vs sitting up. So I set out to do a lot of trainer riding in the aero tuck to make sure I got that form back. Tuesday I did an hour interval ride.
1x20 @295 watts.
1x5 @ 306 watts.
1x5 @ 306 watts, 5 min rest between all the sets.
Overall I was pleased with that.

Yesterday I went outside. It was pretty hot, and I had done my long run the day before. I hit my favorite little TT area which is about 3 miles and wanted to see what I could hit for average power over that time...I managed 345-335 for the two attempts. (roughly 5 minute intervals)
I was extremely happy with those splits as it is way above my previous attempts. However it is more in line with what I was able to do on the trainer while doing a lot of intervals (sitting up).
What I don't understand is how I could hold that high a wattage outside, but not on the trainer. I'd expect higher numbers outside...but not 40 watts higher.

Perhaps this isn't just about being in the proper aero position and holding power. Maybe it is also about bike handling outside and gaining confidence while really working well as focus. I have noticed that I lose focus on the trainer more, lowering my wattage. But outside, I lose wattage due to bumps, potholes, hills, etc. I have to work through those things.

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