Let the taper begin! Man, I am so excited to say that. After training for now my 16th Ironman over the last 10 years and third World Championship. I can absolutely say that I have worked harder in this season than any other and I do believe I am the fittest I have been overall.
This past week was Build 2, Recovery week. Trainig reduced from 20hrs to 14.9hrs but run volume peaked at 50.3miles, my biggest since February, 10 weeks ago when I was runnin 55M-63M per week in preparation of my 3:07 mararthon at Mesa, Arizona.
Fionas family is in from Australia. So the Ironman and marathon count of the household just increased dramatically. Jennifer Collier has done multiple Ironmans and her boyfriend Paul has done 10 marathons as well around the world!
Saturday was an early 5:45am wakeup to drive from Sahuarita, AZ to Himmel Park in Tucson for the free ParkRun 5K. This is the only one around and this week brought in 41 runners including a soon to be 90 year old… NINETY… YEARS OLD. This was my 8th ParkRun since it came here in 2018 and I set a PB of 20:19. This was a significant improvement over 6 weeks earlier of 21:14 and my GPS was again stuffed up so wasnt sure of pacing throughout but on the 2nd of 4 loops, I went through in 10:05. I definitely slowed down slightly but worked hard and hardly saw the 1st place teen who went 19:06. Fiona got edged out by Paul 21:42 but she improved over the 6 week hiatus in her training to 22:07 for the San Diego marathon and Jennifer ran in to finish as well. After, they took Mom to Sabino Canyon for a hike on Phoneline trail but I headed to Le Buzz cafe at the base of Mt Lemmon.
My goal was a 20min FTP test to beat my prior 345 20min which is equal to a 328FTP at 95%. But my goal was also to try and set a Mt Lemmon PB of 1hr51min for the 21.2mile climb of 4.9%. But I saw the watts held on that ride in March 2020 of 293watts and I thought “How the hell did I do that? I mean sure I can do that up Alpe du Zwift and my Sweet Spot intervals this season but for twice as long?” But I just focused and worked on the pieces and adjusted.
I rode super easy at 150watts from Le Buzz, to the stop sign and even then was thinking, “I gotta double this for almost 2 hours?” I had a second RedBull prior to arriving and a gel. At the stop sign, I pressed Lap and took off riding up to 370watts. After 5min, power started to drop to 357watts from the fatigued legs of the 16 weeks of training. I tried for 10min and when power dipped below to 350, my confidence too began to adjust to 340s. At 30minutes I averaged 328, which is my FTP and is also the test I always did before this season. With a quarter done, I thought lets try to maintain above 300watts and get that number by the end. I was drinking every 5 to 10min, HR stuffed again but sonewhere in Threshold range, heat was manageable in the 60’s and I was passing a fair bit of cyclists. The wind was OK. After an hour, I averaged 313 watts which is Threshold zone and above sweet spot which is 88%-94% of FTP. I breathed in the cedar thinking of Sam Long talk about it in his videos. Shortly after, I was passed by a pro triathlete wearing TEAM NORWAY on his back. At this moment, I was pushing out 305watts and this ITU/Olympian? passes me. I could literally feel his power, it was wild. Passing palisades, I knew sub 1:50 was going to be close and didnt realize I got 1:49:40 until later by holding 300watts. I continued on and up to the summit all the way to the observatory because, if you’re going to climb 7,000′ whats another 1,000? Fucking painful and definitely why I am getting smaller gearing for St George. I got to the top 2hrs 48min after the start averaging 259 watts, 79% IF and 203TSS. At 9,110′ I climbed 7,161′ which is about what I will climb in the Ironman but over 112 miles… not over 32.5.
I descended to the Cookie Cabin and had a fantastic Oatmeal cookie after going to the general store for a 44oz Coke.
I descended fast between 35mph and 40mph but actually only took a bronze PB. Total time 4hr9min, 257TSS, 206watts/258NP., exactly what I planned for the day. Off to Baggins to see the family and some quality time with Mom at the nurseries. I skipped my swim which went to shit this week since our 25m pool at Rancho Sahuarita was closed M-F. Chipotle for dinner and a firepit that we got to share with our family guests. 3 beers and some Hells Kitchen set me right but I slept like shit and resting HR was 3BPM higher than normal, duh.
Sunday wakkiewakkie at 7:30. 2 eggs on english and a RedBull. Some gardening and the pool with a bottle of gatorade at 9am for a 10x400m mostly to myself. A PBJ sandwhich and half banana and another RedBull. Then we drove Paul and Jennifer to the top of Madera Canyon for them to hike Mt Wrightston while Fiona sagged for me as I ran my 2nd and final 20mile long run up Box Canyon.
Box Canyon is where I trained for my 2nd 50miler setting a 2hr30min PB in Vegas 2020. Its a dirt road from Madera Canyon to Sonoita, the Arizona wine Region. I start at 3,600′ climbing up to 5,200′ where the Arizona Trail heads to the border and up to Utah. The 1,900′ ascend is mostly on the out 10miles and covers the 1,700′ I will cover in St George over the 26.2mile Marathon. During the 3hr7min run (9:21/mile) my HR avg was 121. Starting at 1pm meant 90F start, 85F at the Summit, and 97F on the decent. A gel every 3miles and an Endura Electrolyte Endurance capsule. At the top I switched to 2 cans of coke drinking every mile like race day and some water over head. I went through about 4 bottles and it wasnt enough, duh. My sag ran out right at the end where I had 2 more cokes and a Vega Recovery and plant based protein with almond milk, frozen fruit, and half banana. It was a great lunch. I also live this run because its one of Eric Lagerstrom and Paula Findlays favourite runs on That Triathlon Life. It has also been featured in Heather Jacksons training diaries as well.
If Jennifer and Paul werent so slow on their 10mile hike up to 9,700′, I would have done an hour recovery ride, NOT, and Just Kidding!
I am quite happy the BIG training is now done. I really want my body to absorb all this training.
My plantar fasciitis was a 5 of 10 pain and my 2 herniated discs in my neck have come back because of the 151mile 8hr30min ride up Mt Lemmon 4weeks ago but time and taper are now on my side.
Trust me, this IS actually fun. Nothing great comes without pushing yourself out of your confort zone and to levels you sometimes doubt are unatainable. 20 days till THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ST GEORGE UTAH.