Friday, May 18, 2012

Training Update

It struck me the other day that I rarely use my blog in the way that most folks use a blog, i.e. to keep others up to date on the goings on of their lives. Probably because I coach folks who, I figure, are athletically much more interesting than myself J Still, as someone who is also on their own athletic journey, I’m thinking there may be some interest in my own strange split personality perspective as a self-coached athlete. In that spirit, I’m going to start providing occasional brief updates on my own training as I pursue my long term goal of qualifying for Kona.
The story so far…(A brief recap of 2012 training to date)
My big goal at the start of every year (whether talking about myself or the athletes I coach) is to be starting the year completely fresh (ditching the fatigue of last season) but also at a higher level of fitness than the previous year. This is the 3rd consecutive year that I’ve been able to manage that and I’m very happy about that. For the data-geeks (like me!) starting CTL’s (low points of the year) have been 36, 45, 48 resp.
I started the year with 2 months with a strength focus (December & January) with ~20tons/wk in loading weeks. Those who’ve seen me (& my DEXA scans) can confirm that I can afford to put on a little muscle so every year starts the same way – trying to add a little to this strength base. Results were positive with a kilo and a half of muscle added and a return to decent levels of strength for me.
February was a bike emphasis month, preparing for the Tucson camp in the first week of March. Nothing crazy as far as volume goes – 28hrs of cycling for the month (an hour a day), most of it on the trainer with a mix of intensities. Just enough to keep the fears of an upcoming 30hr week at bay J
March – Tucson camp. Best early season camp to date – 27hrs of total work for the week, 1852TSS, 13,193 kJ of work on the bike with some good quality – CP20 of 312W, CP150 of 249W & CP300 of 231W. I was feeling the positive effect of the strength work & exceeded all of the benchmarks that I had set for myself as ameasure of being ‘on track’. The CP300 was a life  best so very happy all around coming out of camp. Coming out of camp I was feeling fit so I ran an early season 5K as a ‘hit out’. It was a fairly hilly course with a few twists and turns but I was a minute off the benchmark that I had set for myself (22:19 vs 21:19). This, coupled with my first failed MAF test had me deciding that April would be a run focus month.
YTD Totals through to end of March:
Total: 162hrs (~53hrs/mo)
Swim – 15.3hrs (5.1/mo) – Yes, I need to swim more.
Bike – 79.5hrs (26.5/mo)
Run – 50.3hrs (16.8/mo)
Strength – 17.2hrs (5.7/mo)
Last block (April):
Focus has been run more, lose a little weight.
For the running more part I did 2x40+mi back to back run weeks in April, which is a solid amount of running for me. There was some quality in there as well, with a little bit of threshold, marathon pace and VO2 work in each week and I was happy with how I tolerated it (I would have been content to drop some of the quality if load suffered but it didn’t and it was fun to mix it up a bit).
Weight is a touchy one. There is a definite relationship between weight and run speed, at least for me. When I was consistently running around the 18min mark for 5Ks I was 158-163lbs (at 6’4”). This was before I had a power meter. Since working with a power meter, I’ve found that my highest bike power numbers consistently come at a weight of ~176lbs. I’ve also found that I get injured a whole lot less & tolerate the training a whole lot better when my training weight is in the mid 170’s. So there is a trade off. Given that the bike makes up 50+% of the total Ironman race, it’s important not to stray too far from your best bike weight. Similarly, given the importance of tolerating lots of training when preparing for an Ironman, it’s important not to deviate too far from your best training weight!
 Still, considering I need to be running 3:15 off the bike to reach my goal, I need to start getting on track for that and, with a 371W CP5 on the bike in April, I have some watts to spare at this point on the bike. My mean weight in April was 177lb, down from 179lb in March and results have been positive. MAF improved by 20s/mi and I ran a second 5K on a similarly hilly course 10s quicker. Both are still off my planned benchmarks but nothing a few more miles and a few less lbs won’t fix.

April Totals:
Swim – 4.2
Bike – 17.5
Run – 19.5
Strength – 3.0
This block (May)
This block is balanced base of an up-down nature, by hrs per week – 21/8/21/8 with a bit of run intensity and a run race in each of the low weeks. With ~200hrs down in the first 4 months and about 600 to go, it’s time to start seeing some of those 20hr weeks!
Unsurprisingly, the swim benchmarks are starting to get a bit tougher to hit, I’ve fallen off my target of 3K in <45mins so late May/June will have a bit of a swim emphasis. Fortunately, the local outdoor pools open this month and swimming outside on a sunny day is so much more palatable.  I’m hoping my muscle memory holds me in good stead until then J
Train Smart.

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