My training so far has been interesting. It definitely feels a lot more compressed than my run up to IMFL ’09 – since my early season training was a bit ‘thin’, I really only truly started getting serious about the whole thing at the beginning of August. The good news is I’m a deadlines kind of girl… the more urgent the better!
And I’m happy to report that so far, it’s going pretty well. My focus has been really really simple – get the workouts in as prescribed.
Comparatively to Iron Dad, we’re pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum. My eyes gloss over when reading the calculations in his posts – very much like my Economics 101 textbook in university which felt like I was learning a second language. I admire the detailed analysis.. I really do… it’s just not for me! I have a HR monitor which I’m pretty sure is about 10 beats off at the best of times, and even then, it’s based on my training zones from 2 years ago which I haven’t re-tested (confession!). So – am I maximizing every ounce of my training? Not likely. Would I do it differently next time? Likely. But in truth what I have committed to in terms of time and energy is manageable, and when it starts to become unmanageable is when I overcommit or overshoot what I think is possible.. .and then, well, I just don’t do it.
Without a coach this year, I felt I needed some extra eyes on my swim technique as the more I swam, the worse it started to feel! I am in my second week of a course through a great local company called Sea Hiker – with Founder/Director Peter Scott as our coach. What I am finding particularly valuable in this type of coaching is not only the overall and individualized attention to form – but learning to relax my stroke, paying attention to how each element of my stroke feels in the water, and the most valuable is the timing of my breath – I had no idea how off I was until now! It’s actually pretty fascinating how much impact small movements can have on your relaxation and efficiency, and ultimately my time out there in the Gulf. The hour I spend in the water with Peter (over an estimated 700-1000m distance) is proving to have a much greater impact on my swimming success than an hour spent thrashing my way through 3000m. So much so that I’ve canned one of my ‘distance’ workouts in favour of an extra day in the pool with Sea Hiker.
My focus on the bike has been spending as much time as possible in aero position. I have a new aero set-up on the bike, and am trying to teach my body to enjoy it! It’s actually been surprisingly comfortable so far, although as I mentioned to my Dad recently, I don’t think I’m getting my max power out of my current set-up so I think perhaps it’s time to revisit my bike fit before it’s too late.
The run has always been my nemesis.. although it’s definitely feeling stronger as of late. I have typically had a no-fail, slow but comfortable, 8.2km/hr pace (run/walk combo).. which if I could maintain that over 42.2 km I would be THRILLED. My recent 21km run naturally inched up a bit in speed .. and I actually used the extra cushion room to walk for an additional 30 seconds at a time. Definitely not looking to push the run in the least… I would be delighted with a 5:15/5:30 marathon time on race day — certainly a huge improvement from the 7.5 epic adventure in ’09 – how often can you say that you’ve shaved 2 HOURS off of your marathon time?!
Overall feeling pretty on track! 1 or 2 missed workouts due to ‘life stuff’- but nothing that seems to be setting me back. The logistics of training continues to be perhaps my biggest challenge, more so than the workouts themselves. My BIG training weekends (7+ hours) pretty much rule out a social life with any flare…it’s hard to stay out past 9 on a Friday/Saturday without effecting the next morning’s workout. But certainly no pity party here – I’m happy to be healthy and consistent in my training.. and hope I can keep it up as the hours and commitment continues to build!