Base Recovery in Tucson

Base 3, Recovery Week. 11 weeks till Ironman Arizona race day. I split 17 hours of training over 27miles of running, 199miles of cycling, and 4.7miles of swimming (3x).

The swim consistency and volume is still not there but I’m hoping this week I’ll pull my shit together. I lifted on Monday at the 5,000’ gym here at Rancho Sahuarita which is included in our $108/m HOA fees. Fiona was coached by Fluid Movements to a 10KM run TT on Thursday which I didn’t do. Friday was my 9/80 off day and I had planned Fi and I to do a 20min indoor FTP test. But my legs felt awful so I delayed it a day. My power was low and HR super high so I knew I was still fatigued. So we moved it to Saturday.

Fi and I headed east along Sahuarita Rd towards Wilmot Rd. A road that we drove our new RV back from Tucson to Sahuarita. This road has the local federal prisons but then the road is smooth as butter and quiet. I knew this is where we’d test in the future. So we warmed up with the 25min ride to the turn and I quickly got to business. The 30min test was on the cards. Avg HR for the piece = FTP and last 20min of HR = LTHR. My last test was done outside for 30minutes back in Australia. I held 301 when not really pushing that hard; I was in the middle of a Strava KOM pursuit. But, with the stress over the last month I didn’t know what I was capable of. So, I started at 315watts for the first 10min, picked it up to 325, and then tried to get to 335 but was starting to feel and and held 330 or 323 as a new FTP. I’ve historically been in the 330’s at my peak and touched the 340’s and 350’s so I still have a long way to go but that is what training is for! My HR was about 4BPM lower than where it could be; I translate that to 10-20 watts; it was also about 100F.

The decent of the hill had me cruising at 27.9mph for the first 20minutes but even with that speed I was able to generate enough force. However, after the prisons and past RT10, the road turned to total shit. I then went through a traffic light and had to pull a 180 at the front of Davis Airforce Base (the boneyard). Then I had a red light and had to turn right onto Valencia finishing in front of the Air and Space Museum. Going forward, I’ll go out 20min and then 180 it back for another 10. But, outside and 30min test is best for me. I wouldn’t have generated this power inside for 30. And our testing has revealed roughly 20watts lower inside than outside. The test resulted in 2 KOMs… getting my legs back.

Later in the arvo, a 2hr15min run at 1pm around 95-100F degrees.

Sunday I went on a solo 103mile ride over 5hours. I went out hard holding IM race pace climbing 1,000’ past the mines on roads that thousands of Tucsonians ride on including the Pro’s. I found the course by following the likes of Pro Ben Hoffman and other locals through Strava. I climbed up A Mountain overlooking Tucson, up to the bike path in which Professional Triathlete Ben Hoffman was running earlier in the day and then headed over to the river path where Professional Triathlete Heather Jackson typically runs long. I’m completely in my element and absolutely loving it.

At the 3hr mark I downed 2 bottles of coke and a package of twizzlers. The 700 calories hated my stomach for the next hour and I puked a couple times. (I’m not used to being able to actually buy nutrition on long rides!). I filled up with more water 45min later from another servo. 

Today Fiona showed me Heather Jacksons ride up Pistol Hill from yesterday… That’s where we’re heading next week on our long ride. As we start Build 1, we still have a lot of work ahead of us but we have a plan and we know what to do. Our training room is getting a new wooden floor tomorrow and we just bought Fiona the Garmin Vector power meter and selling her old Stages.

In our season calendar below you’ll see we have our first Sprint Triathlon this weekend. With all the emails from them, the feel is very much like the Womens Only Triathlon Fiona and I used to RD back in Alice Springs where we brought the biggest ever fields. It should be fun. The rest of the week will be about quality training and we’ll run long on the river path after the race and then ride towards Pistol Hill on Sunday.

Additionally, my training intensity has never been higher (due to the 100+ heat everyday and runs outside), I’ve never climbed more in elevation (10,932’ and 11,766’ during 2 weeks over the last month), my run volume has come back down with increasing the bike and swim, and my ATL is finally climbing again after retreating over the last month.

Lastly, I have realized over the last few years that my biggest motivation comes from Strava; seeing a number and chasing it down. I’m visual. I see it. With 6 KOM’s in Tucson now split equally between run/bike, I’ve been selective as I build my strength and confidence but it’s incredible to see the names on these lists and all I can think of is that I’m riding in the shadows of some of the greatest cyclists and triathletes in the world. “Now that is badass.” – Sean Astin Kona.

Shoutouts to some of our good mates whom we miss: Rob, Shay, Dunc, Chels, Lynn, Pete, Deb, Karen, and so many others.

Sept 9, 2017 –  Tri for Act of Kindness Sprint Triathlon Tucson, AZ                                                 Oct 1, 2017 –  Barlett Lake Olympic Triathlon outside of Pheonix, AZ (RV) (6th oldest tri in west) Oct 7, 2017 – Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon                                                                                                Oct 22, 2017 – 70.3 Arizona (RV)                                                                                                                   Oct 28, 2017 – Patagonia Lake Triathlon Olympic, 1hr South of home close to Mexico (RV) (toughest tri in AZ)                                                                                                                                        Oct 29, 2017 – TMC A Mountain Half Marathon (w/ former US Olympian)                                    Nov 11, 2017 – Pecan Festival 5K Sahuarita, AZ                                                                                     Nov 19, 2017 – IRONMAN Arizona (RV)                                                                                                Dec 9, 2017 – Tucson Half Marathon

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