TRAINING FOR KONA – WEEK 3 OF 10

Back into the regular routine this week after last weeks trip to Berlin. No key sessions this week, just maintaining consistency in my swim and bike whilst slowly building up my run distance.
Ignore the bike distance in the Training Peaks chart below as distance is not measured when I’m riding on the turbo indoors.

Weekly totals

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Monday

We travelled back from Berlin today and I did think about doing a session in the evening but I was tired from the journey and the weekend so did nothing instead.

Tuesday

Up and at it again this morning. I was up early so cycled to the pool, which is an easy 30 minutes ride along the canal, to swim at JCC. It was one of my worst swims for a while as I had a horrible tightness in my shoulder/upper back that really restricted my stroke doing front crawl. The set was mainly IM so I managed most of it but as soon as I got to 2km I got out early.

After leaving the pool I rode home, dropped my bag off and carried on riding for another 2 hours. I planned to do a set of above threshold intervals today but my power meter was on my TT bike at the bike shop so without I just did a hilly route and rode hard up each of the hills (Aswkith Moor, Cow and Calf and East Chevin Road). I got PB times up the Cow and Calf and East Chevin Road.

Swim= 40 mins
Bike= 3 hours (1 hour easy and 2 hours of hills)

Wednesday

Almost a carbon copy of the ride last Wednesday, covering just over 4 hours on the TT bike on a very similar route. Similar focus to last week but this time increasing the total time at IM pace (2 x 45 mins @ 75%  instead of 1 hour last weeks) then finishing with 4 x 20 minutes of (5 mins 75%, 5 mins 85%, 5 mins 90%, 5 mins easy). I wanted to ride 4.5 hours but misjudged my turnaround points and ended up getting back into Leeds and having to do the last block of 20 minutes on a road with traffic lights and roundabouts which was really frustrating.

 

This was also the first ride on my new TT bike – Canyon Speedmax. I’ve been tempted to replace my TT bike in the past and decided that as I was haemorrhaging money paying for Kona, adding another few quid to the bill wouldn’t really matter. Fortunately, Bron agreed with me and I’m so pleased with the new bike after the ride today. I loved the old Cervelo P3 I had before this, but the Canyon feels a lot stiffer and a better power transfer. I also had a bike fit done by my physio yesterday which really helped me stay comfortable and I didn’t have a tight back or shoulders like I’ve suffered with over the last few months.

 

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Ready to roll. (breaking the rules taking a picture with the chain not in the big ring!)

I hadn’t run since Sunday, so in the evening I went for a 20 minute jog along the canal to stretch my legs and included 10 minutes of drills. With just over 7 weeks until Kona I now need to start building up my run distances and get used to running at race pace again. I’ve had no niggles after running in the past 2 weeks so I’m now going to increase my mileage and start to include more interval work to get back to race pace.

Bike= 4 hours, 142km
Run= 20 minutes

Thursday

I only had time for a short swim this morning as I had to be in Sheffield for 9am for work. It meant an early start and I made it to the pool for 6.45 and I was one of the first in the water. That’s unheard of as normally I jump in just in time for the main session starting at 7am. After my own warm up of 2 x 400m I started the main session which today began with a straight 1km swim. I just nipped under 15 minutes for the 1km which is a significant PB and I didn’t feel I was giving full effort.

After delivering a workshop to new PE students in Sheffield during the morning I had a 3rd consecutive day of riding. Again, a repeat of the ride I did last Thursday, which was 90 minutes at 80-85% on the turbo using Trainerroad. Replicating sessions is the best way to measure increases in fitness and I felt like today’s ride was easier than last week. Like last week, I finished the last 45 minutes of the ride alternating between 60 cadence and 90 cadence. Aerobically, I find the big gear riding a lot easier, my breathing rate reduces but my heart rate stays the same. Straight of the bike I got changed and ran 20 minutes at a fast pace. I want to get adjusted to running on tired legs, and as I haven’t yet got the run conditioning to do long runs, increasing the intensity is a more effective way for me to build strength in my legs.

Swim= 30 mins
Bike= 1h45mins
Run= 20 minutes

Friday

I had a full day of work today and after 3 hard days back-to-back I planned an easier day. I went to the gym in the evening and as I got there a pilates class was just starting so I joined in with that. I won’t be going to the class again as the instructor was terrible. The instructions were woefully confusing and I’m not sure how anyone was able to follow what she was saying and perform the movements correctly. I’m going to seek out a better class instructor and try to continue getting to one or two pilates classes a week.

Saturday

Another mammoth swim set to start the weekend with a bang. I committed myself to the top lane 2, which is 3 lanes above where I was at the start of the year. Coach Alan, such a motivator he is, tried to deter me from the lane by reminding me it was a fast lane but I was in it regardless. The strategy I’ve had for improving my swim has been to get in a faster lane and kill myself trying to hang at the back and gradually building up.

I can’t actually remember what the first part of the set was but essentially it involved a lot of swimming (just shy of 3km) with very little recovery. That first part isn’t the good stuff anyway, that’s just there to bring on the fatigue ready for the main set. The main serving today was 6 x 400m on 8min30. The long turnaround doesn’t mean we can take it easier, it’s a sign that the 400m have to be swum hard. Today, they were broken 400m (10 secs rest every 100m). My total time for each 400m and rest intervals was around 6min20 for the first few. The last few 400m in the set I had to take an extra 50m recovery mid set as my arms had run out of juice!!

Later in the afternoon, after I finally psyched myself and stopped procrastinating, I set myself up on the turbo, plugged in the laptop and brought up my ride to complete – 4 hours!!! Yep, 4 hours of sweating over the floor in the lounge and watching a film and cycling coverage. There are many benefits of riding indoors, including safety from cars and drivers, not having to stop for traffic, reduced risk of punctures etc etc. I think its key benefit for Ironman though is the mental and physical resilience it creates as there is no where to hide and you have to just get the work done. Another side benefit is being within walking distance from the kitchen meant I could raid the cupboard and fridge for a pit-stop mid-way through. That’s how Bron discovered the last pitta bread had gone! The intensity of the session wasn’t high, and I sat in a steady aerobic zone between 60 and 75% of FTP throughout the session. For anyone interested, I ended up with a NP of 252W and an IF of 0.68.

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Fuel for a long one

 

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Steady away for 4 hours

After the ride I did a 15 minutes yoga routine from Youtube to stretch out my hips and back which generally get tight on the bike, especially indoors where I don’t move around much. I was really pleased with the sessions today and a solid 6 hours in the bank.

Swim = 1h50mins
Ride = 4 hours
Yoga= 15 minutes

Sunday

Time to start cranking up the run volume. The run I planned was 9 km along the canal with a negative split and an easy first 5 km and building pace throughout the second half. My legs held up well but I could feel a shortage of recent harder running towards the end especially with my breathing. After the run I did another 20 minute yoga routine from Youtube.

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Negative split and building pace in the last 4km. It’s been a while since I’ve seen splits like this.

I spent an hour in the gym in the afternoon focusing on my legs and core. The routine included deadlifting, box jumps, functional stability work on the BOSU and some core work using the cables and TRX.

I’m keeping my nutrition low carb in an evening when I haven’t trained any me recovery food tonight involved a home cooked steak with mushrooms and grilled broccoli. And some red wine.

Run = 35 mins
Gym = 1 hour
Yoga = 20 minutes

 

 

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