Post-Raleigh, Pre-Syracuse

I was unsure how my body was going to react after Raleigh 70.3. I raced very hard there, so I was expecting to be pretty fatigued for a few days after the race. Fortunately, I rebounded quite well. I had a massage about 20 minutes after the race, so I’m sure this helped. The day after the race Erin and I drove the 13 hours back to Hamilton, and I went for a 30 minute run on one of our stops. The next day I did a moderate volume day, and then the day after that I did both a hard run and hard bike workout. I think the high volume I was doing going into the race definitely lessened the impact the race had on my body.

This next period was definitely a good learning experience as to how much training I can expect to do after a hard race, but with another big race on the near horizon. This coming Sunday I am racing Syracuse 70.3, which will be exactly three weeks after Raleigh. That is not much time, especially considering I thought I would need at least a few recovery days after Raleigh. Fortunately, I felt pretty good and was able to commence regular training just two days later. This allowed me to put in a solid two weeks of training.

Things have went surprisingly well in this block. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started tinkering with the recovery phase of my stroke, and this left me feeling very unrhythmic in Raleigh. I was questioning myself after the race as to whether mid-season was the best time to begin tinkering with my stroke. The reality is that 26:xx is not adequate to compete on the world scale at half-ironmans, and so mid-season is no worse time than any to begin tinkering with the stroke. Fortunately, I am finally beginning to groove the new recovery. Miguel Vadillo is a genius, as the more relaxed and rhythmic recovery has changed my stroke completely. I am starting the catch further out in front of me (in order to be more relaxed and rhythmic in the recovery). My feel for the water is improving as I am beginning to feel when muscles are on (during the pull) and off (during the recovery), as opposed to always on (as was the case previously). And he has taught me that you can breathe out through your mouth (it may sound obvious, but I did not realize this), making swimming feel much more like running and biking for me. As Miguel has cautioned me, it will likely take a year to a year and a half to fully grasp these concepts, but even the tiny bit I have begun to grasp them has been very eye opening. I have never been so motivated to swim, nor has swimming been so relaxed and enjoyable!  I should point out that his company logos are now on both the side bar of this page, as well as on my sponsor’s page; here is a link to his site as well.

I used the CompuTrainer for almost all of my bike workouts within this two week block. The reason for this is that my biking has deteriorated immensely since I started doing all of my bike workouts outside. Back in early February, at the C3 Mega Day, I held 350w for 40 straight minutes. Now, I am struggling to hold 330w for 5 minutes, under the exact same conditions (i.e. on the CompuTrainer, on the same bike, with the same 20 minute warm-up of the tire, and a very similar calibration setting). The only reason I can think of is that the quality of my bike workouts deteriorated once I got off the CompuTrainer and onto the pavement. I also switched to the Garmin Vectors at this time, and I do not believe that the numbers they were reading were the same as my CompuTrainer (I believe they were higher than what the CompuTrainer would have read) and so I think I slowly began unknowingly losing fitness. Anyways, it is better to have caught this now, than in the off-season. That being said, the vast majority of my bike workouts from now on will be done on the CompuTrainer. As I said in a post long ago, the CompuTrainer is singly the greatest bike training tool I have ever encountered. I should mention, that I will only do my bike workouts on the CompuTrainer; in order to maintain my shifting and steadiness of pedal stroke, I will continue to do my easy rides and long rides outside, on the hilly terrain. All I can say about my current bike fitness is that it is a work in progress.

As for running, things are looking much better. I have been doing some of the best workouts of my life. In fact, on Saturday I had an off-the-bike 5k PB. The workout was:

2x (30 minutes on the CompuTrainer at 300w to 5k run) with 8 minutes recovery in between.

The bike portion wasn’t too bad. I am usually a severe grinder (pedalling with a low RPM) and I am trying to change this. For the entire 30 minutes on both portions, I maintained an RPM between 85 and 93. After the first bike, my girlfriend Erin was waiting on her mountain bike and we went for a winding loop through her parent’s neighbourhood. I felt pretty good and ended up running 15:50. That was a very controlled effort though, so I told her that if I was still feeling good on the second one that I’d like to open it up a bit. Inside, I knew that my current off-the-bike PB was 15:46, which I ran a little while back in Tucson, so I figured I had a decent shot at breaking this. The second 30 minutes on the bike went by a lot quicker and then we were out on the run. I put in a solid effort from start to finish and ended up running 15:32. I am most proud of the fact that my last kilometer was the fastest of the entire workout: 3:03 (something that has taken me years to master!). Here is the data for those interested:

Run PB Data

All in all this short block of training has went well. I did not get as much training in as I would have liked, but this was probably the busiest couple weeks of the entire year for me. I had the C3 Kids of Steel race to help out at, the C3 golf day, as well as spending some quality time with my dad. Life is all about balance, and I think these last two weeks can be summed up as well balanced, so I feel it has been a success. Tomorrow I begin to rest up for Syracuse 70.3 on Sunday. It looks to be a strong field, so I am excited to get out there and compete. Eventually, race day coverage of the race will be found here:

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/live.aspx#axzz34ppbwTdy

Thanks for reading and following!!

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