Week in review
When I look back and reflect on this whole race and training experience I think that this past week will be a turning point, where things started to become easier, the stress levels dropped and I started to surge towards the event.
My wife had her back operation on Monday night so I had Tuesday and Wednesday off work to help with things and bring her home on Wednesday morning. The operation went really well and pretty much as the surgeon had suggested it would. Her sciatic pain is gone and she can move more freely, sit down, walk around, albeit very tenderly due to the post op pain. But the main thing is that he has resolved the disc pushing onto the nerve, which was a piece of disc that was separated and pushing the nerve. She now has to rehab and recover from the surgery but things are much better and she is not in constant pain.
As far as my body is concerned it is in really good shape, no structural or muscular issues to report on which is great. I have built this preparation slowly and carefully to this point and have also worked hard over the past couple of years where my body is used has adapted to the workload and stress of triathlons. In previous preparations I have always had an achilles problem with swelling and soreness, but I had fairly intense treatment at the physio last year and once it healed it has been very good. I always build the running load slowly, am very careful when I decide to push the fast pace and always allow sufficient recovery from tough sessions.
The only issue which I have is I am trying to settle on which shoes I will run in at Kona. I bought a pair on On Cloudsurfers to try and have been wearing them in over the past 2 weeks slowly, and tried them on my long run last weekend. Since that run I seem to have developed a large blister on my small toes which I have put down to these shoes. This is disappointing as they a quite good shoes, but they might be ruled out as my race shoes I think. I have ordered a pair of New Balance Zante to try and will see how they go.
I have raced my past 2 IM’s in Nike Flyknit but they are a touch too light in support and I am finding that I get sore feet from them so I am looking for a bit more cushioning. Other options will be the Hoka Cliftons or the Saucony Kinvaras which are also nice shoes. I need to get this sorted in the next few weeks so that I have good shoes which will not cause any blisters or problems on the run and trying to do this 2 weeks out from the event is too late.
As for swimming I was back into the groove somewhat with two 4km sessions and a short 2km session so I am happy enough with that, more would be better but I can’t get any more time to do more. This is actually more than I have ever swum for a race ever, so I’m thinking that things are going well. All the coaches say you need to do 4 -5 swims per week, but for the professional person with a family I just can’t get there much more and try and do enough so that I get through the swim and onto the bike without being wiped out.
Riding this week was good, I increased the load and completed another good solid 5hr ride with relative ease. My riding threshold appears to be getting pretty close to where it needs to be.
I haven’t tested it for a while and I’m due to complete a 20min FTP test but haven’t scheduled one it just yet, I will try and complete one soon.
My running threshold pace is right where I need it to be and I am comfortable tapping out a good solid pace without too much stress on the aerobic system now. I now need to work on my endurance to be able to tap out 4:30 min/km anytime with ease and especially after a solid bike ride, something which I will work on in coming weeks.
My fitness level is good all things considered, I have reached the same level of fitness according to my PMC chart on training peaks which is great with 8 weeks to go!
I might discuss more on this next week, but basically you can see last years IM Malaysia peak and then a down period and a rise into Husky long course, then another down period when I had an operation and 5 weeks off. Then you can see my build into Kona, with one hiccup where I was on a mine site in WA for a week so couldnt get much training done.
I have managed to build it nice and consistently this time which has been a focus. Last IM I did a lot of long hard running to prepare for the run and probably over did that a touch as I was spending a lot of time recovering and this caused peaks and trough in my fitness gains. This time I’m trying to be more consistent and build steadily so I can keep training with purpose each session, rather than hard/easy.
I nailed my Wednesday run really well but probably over cooked myself and it took a few days to recover. I completed 7 x 2km intevals between 3:45 - 4min/km pace for a total of 18km session, which I am fit enough to execute nicely, however I needed 3 days of easier sessions to recover. This was probably not a smart thing to do and perhaps I fell into the old trap of showing off your fitness, which can often happen when you feel good.
Another negative would also be the fact that I missed my long run on Saturday afternoon. When I got home from kids netball and went to head out I was pretty tired, then it started to rain, I got 100m down the road and turned around and came home.
I just couldn’t do it, I think that it was a combination of physical and emotional stress building up from the past 2 weeks. My wife was resting on the lounge under a nice warm blanket, the kids were watching a movie in their room, it was raining and I just couldnt do it. But the rest and recovery really helped my recharge, I think that I needed it physically and mentally. It can come to a point sometimes, especially in winter when you just can’t face being cold, wet, sore and tired anymore so you just need to recoup so you can go again.
This week I am planning to increase the time on the bike further and execute a tough long ride where I need to get used to holding my IM power for a longer period. The long ride has 2 x 45km time trial intervals which I need about now to start to prepare for and adapt to being aero for long periods holding my target power.
Running will involve less intensity and more race pace focus so I can lock in that pace on auto pilot, but also allow me to execute the bike sessions properly without too much fatigue from running.
Swimming will be status quo, just keep knocking out the km’s and getting stronger in the water.
This week will hopefully see a slight increase in training load from the 15hr range closer to 20hrs hopefully, but we will see how the week pans out.