Monday, October 31, 2011

Countdown to Ironman, Week 34: Reflecting on the Un-Season and Getting Down to Business

This week I start my official training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I've spent the week looking back on this year's "Un Season", both the bad (broken arm, lack of training) and the good (fun "Un" events like the Amazing Lake Waldo solo trail marathon, and my epic Crossing of Crater Lake with my Masters Swim Group.), not to mention getting my black belt in Karate in March (that seems so long ago!) Although it's been a very unusual year, sometimes it's good to take a step away from your routine and those things that you always do (whether it's a particular race, or a training routine, or even a favorite running route) and do something completely different.

So in that vein, I've decided to go with the Endurance Nation team and throw my hat into the "train Fast then Far" training crowd with one of their Out-Season plans for the winter. That means that instead of leisurely building lots of slow easy runs and trainer rides where I spin while watching movies, I'll instead be doing much shorter intense weeks in the coming months.

The very first workout of their plan was a 40 minute time trial. I decided to go out to the flatlands north of town to the route used by our local cycling club Time Trials in the spring. I've done these TT's before so I had a good idea of my time. The weather was looking decent, and I decided not to include my race wheels or Pointy Helmet of Speed, just use my regular gear. Typically, this route takes me about 40 minutes and change.

I guess I'm a bit demoralized now because it took me 46:30! Yikes, talk about lack of bike fitness. Then again, my Odometer on my bike computer shows a whopping 181 miles ridden this summer. And to be fair, it was very windy and rainy now in late October (the good weather disappeared about when I pulled up and a storm rolled in!), they just chip-sealed the road (which made about a 2 mph difference between that and the small section that still has the smooth pavement), and I didn't have any of my faster wheels and such. So probably the difference would be more like three minutes and not six, I'm trying really hard not to be too depressed.

The main goal of this pain fest was to extract my heart rate, which averaged 155. Honestly though, my legs hurt so freakin bad, I really couldn't push up to a point where heart rate was the limiter. So I guess I'll wait until Wednesday's 5k run (Oh Joy!) to see what that gives me for HR.

I guess I can use that as motivation to plant my butt on the trainer seat and hit the intervals hard this winter in order to be ready for IM CdA's infamous hills come June!


cherelli said...

hey it's nice to have something to work on! I'm sure you'll be back where you want to be in no time. I'm interested to see how the Fast then Long training works for you - I like the idea behind it - plus it's more manageable over Winter. I hope your 5km run time is a pleasant surprise for you :)

Miles of the Journey said...

I know the feeling of the bike disappointment. Seems like I am riding like an old fat man. It will get better though and I can revel in the progress.

I have an EN dvd I ride to sometimes. It is "Four Keys to Long Course Triathlon." The information in this is so practical, common-sense, non-tech, that I have toyed with the idea of going with them myself for my training. Fast then slow seems so counter-intuitive for the LSD habituated.