Saturday February 25th, 2017. Park Royal Hotel, Melbourne International Airport.
With one more day to go in the Peak Phase heading into my tenth ironman I look back at the last two weeks and today with current thoughts on Race Day, six days from now.
The 19 week season totalling nearly 380 hours has been split across 18% swim, 53% bike, and 29% run. I built more cycling base with 7 rides over 5 hours and 4 rides of nearly 200km. But the run has largely been accomplished outside, in the extreme desert heat with nearly all of it on trails. Averaging more than 24 hours of training per week during the Base and Build phases fatigue was running high and I had a long way to go. But, I remained committed to the plan and have been rewarded over the last two weeks with success and confidence.
So for the last 2 weeks I maintained my coached swim sessions with Rob and the max of the plan found in Joe Friel’s book Your Best Triathlon. This has been my bible since 2013 and led Fiona, Karen, and myself to Kona. It also enabled multiple other local athletes I work with to personal success.
There was an hour run including 4x8min with 2min rest on 6:40/mile or 4:08/km and there was a 6x5min bike set that I did on the trainer at 301 watts w/ 4min rest the next day.
Then I had the first major brick of the season: 40min trainer ride with the last 20min at 260watts, 125HR at Race Goal Power. Then I ran 90min at race pace HR of 136 on technical trails. The day after that Brick #1 I ran the Intersport 4k put on by the ASRWC. I just went at tempo effort or goal IM Race HR of 137 and held 7:15/mile or 4:30/km. It took me 18:26 to go the 4.1km and felt great.
Fatigue was running at moderate but the recovery swim after the run included 5×100 in 2:15 in 1:31, 1:30, 1:30, 1:31, 1:30 in a 50m pool.
The end of the first week was 17.8 hours after the prior 19hrs (recovery week), and 26.6hrs (Build 1 Final week).
So on Monday I nailed Brick #2 of 2hrs at goal race pace 260NP and 130HR on the trainer. I then ran into the dark for 30minutes at goal race intensity sitting on 133HR and 7:17/mile 4:31/km. I found this interesting since I ran basically the same pace but at a much lower HR of Z2 vs Z3 from the race above.
After 2 days of recovery, Brick #3 on Thursday was even better with the same 40min trainer ride with 20min at race pace of 260watts and 135HR with a 60min run off the bike on technical trails with HR of goal race HR of 137.
Friday, more packing for NZ and a “Processed Dinner”: frozen shrimp tempura, frozen pizza, frozen berry desert. Fi didn’t get a full glass of the Sauvignon Blanc I was drinking so then opened up a bottle of Merlot and finished that bottle. Obviously I woke up at 6AM with a hang over from the 1.5 bottles of wine I drank but a processed muffin, monster low-carb energy drink and I was out the door at 6:30 running the 15min to the Intersport 4K race series #2. I saw lots of my friends and caught up. I didn’t know what I was going to do on this “recovery run” but starting back several rows of the close to 200 athletes I was behind someone that I would not allow to beat me. So I said “F*** it” and took off. This put me right into Zone 5 above lactate threshold. But, I felt surprisingly good. By lap 2 I was about to make the pass on Jarrod; a good mate who finished his first Busso following our Joe Friel Plan in 11:09 and someone I really respect as a runner and athlete. But I mentally toughened up and made the pass. Mile 1 was 6:18 or 3:54/km, Mile 2 was 6:25 or 3:59. I started feeling it in the legs but was sustaining Lactate Threshold and HR was manageable from the quality running in the desert heat all summer long. 6:21/mile or 3:56/km for the final KM and I crossed the line in 16:05 which was 2:21 faster than the week before, an 18second improvement from 1 year prior on HR of 153 vs a 155 signifying improved Economy and my fastest run since I went 17:37 for a 5K on a treadmill 2 years ago.
Eggs at home (as you can see we are not vegan or vegetarian this season). Our bestie brought us to the airport and we catched up. I made my Race Plan on the plane, ate the vegetarian pre-chosen selection of beans on a toastie, and had a vitamin C tablet.
Then, during our 8 hour layover at Melbourne, we came to the Park Royal Hotel which I just love. I had seen that you could come here for $20 and get 4 hours of free internet, gym access, and 15% off food. So that’s what we have done. Fiona has been studying for her Masters of Physio and missed out on the day spa activities that I had the luxury of enjoying. But I did grab her a doughnut from outside of a meeting room that was left over and an apple from the gym. I then swam recovery for approximately 800meters in the 10meter pool (it took me 10-15 seconds to get from one side to the other). Then, 10min in the hot tub, then 3x10min in the Sauna at 75C or 167F which reminded me of the sponsorship we received from Mombassa Day Spa in Alice Springs during out Heat Adaptation for Kona last year. Then, I tried out 2x6min in the Steam Room but that was way too hot for me and I failed on the 2nd attempt. A waterfall shower and I puts the lotion on the skin.
So, life is damn good right now and I’m really coming into a good spot mentally. If I can hold goal HR on the bike and run, I should have a good race. Stay tuned.