I was swimming last saturday. 1.5 hour masters swim, great workout. After we were finished and sitting in the hot tub I was speaking with Correen a coach at the WAC and she started talking about long course nationals and how she had qualified and was going to Myrtle Beach for Halfmax in October. I mentioned I hadn't qualified and was going to Alabama (cue banjos stage left).
Apparently the qualification standards for the long course event are different. I had no idea. It is a time qualifier as opposed to placing in the top 10% which I had missed by a few spots. So I looked and the qualification standard was a 5:05 for my age group. At Racine I did 4:53 and therefore qualified.
I spoke with Aimee about it and we're pretty sure we're going to go to Myrtle Beach and I'll do the long course race. There are several reasons.....first its Myrtle Beach and not Alabama. That much is obvious.
Second, the half iron distance is more appealing to me at this point. I had a lot of fun at Racine and did really well for me. While I enjoy the OLY distance, I just don't have the top end speed to really compete at that distance.
Lastly, in the off chance that I do really well and qualify for the ITU World Championships, the long course event is in Vegas for 2011. The Oly World championships are in Bejing. I think I know where I'd rather go.
Moving on...I am happy to get into a rythm with my training again.
For the last two weeks I've gotten in 4 solid swims per week. Minimum yardage has been 2600 yards on a short day. Otherwise I'm up over 3,000 on weekday mornings and near 4500 on Saturday. From a speed standpoint I can already see the difference. In my last blog I mentioned too much racing, and I really suspect that was the problem. My training had really suffered. On Wednesday this week, after some solid training days last week I did my swim test - 10x100 w/10s rest. I finished with a 13:02 which is a 1:09 average.
My biking has been okay. I am still struggling from a training plan perspective due to my run focus. So while I'd love to get in 4 swims, 6 runs, and 4-5 rides, that's just not realistic at this point. Especially when i watch the impact on WKO. I simply can't recover. So for the last two weeks my bike volume has really suffered with only 3 rides. However I made up for it with a Killer trainer ride on sunday. I did the TimeTrialPalooza DVD and made sure I was aero for the entire ride. I wanted to make sure my new fit really took hold, and I wanted to guage my power while aero. I have not done an FTP test in a while, that will be in about 10 days.
Anyway, I started off the 20 minute set at 290. I wasn't really sure where to start aero, but 290 is just a hair below what I've done in Oly races. I held that without any trouble. For the 15 minute set I held 300 watts. I was happy with that as I had struggled to hold 300w in the past. For the 10 minute set I was a little over 305 and for the final 5 minute set I held around 315. Overall I was really happy. Next time I'll try to bump my first couple sets by 5 watts. Based on how I felt I should be able to handle that.
My running has come around a bit as well. I've been more focused on running than biking the last two weeks, so the volume has been pretty good. Unfortunately due to the overzealous nature of my training plan I did miss a run or two...but I need to re-arrange my weekday workouts. I also need to make sure my recovery workouts are done at a recovery pace.
On a training note, I hit a milestone yesterday in training. It was a beautiful day, a touch under 80 degrees and lower humidity than normal. I went out to do a long run and decided I wanted it to be a harder long run and set out to break 1:45 for a 13.1 mile run. My first mile was a bit slower and I was worried off the bat, 8:11. But my 2nd mile was 7:48 and made up for it. After that every mile was between 7:57 and 8:02 with the final mile being a 7:35. I finished with an average pace of 7:58.
Last weekend I rode with my buddy Brian. We didn't go real hard, and I felt completely wasted from the start. But I ended up riding a little over 70 miles at 250 watts. I had no power on any hills all day. I think I was a bit worn down from the day prior when I did a really tough interval run on the treadmill. I hadn't run on the treadmill in months and forgot how tough an interval run can be.
My biggest problem was forgetting my nutrition while riding with friends again. I took in 2 fewer water bottles and 200 fewer calories despite a longer ride. I could feel the difference immediately as I started running after the ride. It is critical for me to drink about of 2 full water bottle per hour. Racine was a perfect example. I took in 4 water bottles plus my nutrition liquids. Thats 5.5 bottles in 2:30, about perfect and my run went great as a result.
This weekend I plan to do another long rind and a 30 minute easy run. The following weekend is more of a rest weekend. I think I am going to do a hard race simulation. So I'll do a 60-65 mile ride, ideally closer to 260-270 watts followed by a hard 1 hour run. The goal is to see if I can run well after pushing those watts on the bike. I held back at Racine and stayed with about 250 watts due to a lack in confidence. I'd like to know what my fitness will truly allow for prior to race day. Should be fun.
At this point I have zero races until nationals. I think I am going to keep it that way as I am enjoying consistent training and diet again. I'm down to 197lbs and hope to be a bit under 190 on race day.