So with that, on to my second big day "report"
My first "big day" of training occured just three weeks ago, in week 8 of my 20 week build.
Now, three weeks later, here we go again.
The plan was originally to swim 1 hour, bike 4 hours, and run 1 hour, the same as week 8. I got a better offer though. A local charity ride, pedaling for kicks, was running this Saturday. It topped out at 67 miles, but I talked to the folks putting it on and they said I could ride the 67 mile loop and keep going on a second loop. It was a perfect opportunity to get some serious bike time in! So, I changed the plan to a 6ish hour bike with a 6 mile brick. I ran the idea past RnP, the endurance nation coaches and they said that would be an "epic" day. I like the sound of that, and I'm on board for epic.
I was a bit worried about holding my race pace target for the entire 107 miles at this point. I've come a long way in my training, but I have alot of fitness to build still. So, I knocked it down to .68 IF from .7 IF.
Here's how it went:
Breakfast was coffee and a PB&Honey on wheat bread at 4am, as I drove out to the ride. I really dig the sandwich for early morning training. It's easy on the tummy even with intense training, and it goes together the night before.
As stupid as it sounds, I've learned a great trick for the PB&Honey. If you apply PB to both sides of the bread, it keeps the honey from soaking into the bread in the fridge over night. Very important!
I've gone through alot figuring out what works well for me. I needed salt. I needed caffeine. I did better if I had BCAAs. I needed sugar. I needed LOTS of water. I ended up with a few different plans that were all wicked complicated.
Then lasts weekend I tried concentrating EFS from First Endurance. It worked REALLY well. EFS has the aminos I was after, the calories, and it has enough sodium that I don't have to take salt stick if I'm drinking it. I'm calling out EFS here because it worked really well for me and they deserve alot of credit for making the most advanced sports drink on the market IMHO. They don't sponsor me (although they should!).
Here's how I did it:
1. I marked a 24 oz bottle at 8oz, 16oz, and 24 oz, filled it with 7 servings of EFS, and then added watter to the 24oz line.
2. I drink 8oz of this mix every hour, which is approximately 2.5 servings. This gets me:
750mg of sodium
5g of aminos!
3. I'm very careful to drink lots of water with this mix, and drink more if my stomach feels wonky at all. I'm a 1.5ish bottle / hour kinda guy.
I've ridden with this mix twice now, including this ride, and I've felt really good both times. I picked up a mini bagel with some PB half way through for some solids, which was nice but probably unnecessary. It's very likely I'll use this strategy for IM.
My typical Saturday is a 4 hour ride with HARD intervals, netting me 80+ miles, with a 30 minute brick. So, honestly, 6 hours at 68% was pretty easy, even with all the fatigue this training has piled on me. Thats ok though, easy is good, and a huge confidence builder.
The biggest struggle of the ride was maintaining focus. Without intervals to break things up, it was hard to stay focused. I was totally alone the first 3 hours of the ride. I didn't see a soul on a bike or in a car until I stopped to refill my bottles.
After the first 67 I met up with some friends and they rode with me for 40 more. That made things way more fun, and I was able to chat most of the time while holding my desired power level, which probably means I've earned the right to ride 112 at 70% on race day. That's great news. Also, BIG BIG thanks to Mark, Jessica, and Seth for keeping me company on those last few hours, that made it so much easier!
I did really well at riding steady power uphills. Thats a good thing too.
I did coast way too much...and I found myself loosing focus far too often. I will have to work on that, but I also know from my HIM experience that won't be as much of an issue on race day.
By the time we were finished the temperature had gone up from 66 to 98 (according to my Garmin, in the sun...probably wasn't that bad).
The ride started at a country church and there was no shade. The sun was pretty oppressive. I decided I'd ride home and run on the trail there, and have an air conditioned car ride as T2.
The break was nice, but maybe a bad idea. It was really hard to get started again after I had stopped. I ran 6 miles, very very easy, and honestly it was hard. Can I run a marathon after 112 miles of biking? I dunno, maybe, but not yet. I was visiting the pain cave after about 4 miles.
Quick Summary - "State of The Training Block"
- Training fatigue right now is VERY VERY high, I'm right at the edge of failure on most workouts. I have some recovery coming this week though.
- Nutrition is spot on
- All things bike are going very well, but I can focus better.
- The run...ehhh...I dunno.
- Swimming? Well I don't sink.
- If I can stay healthy until IMOO I have a good shot at finishing strong. Anything can happen, so no predictions, but I have come a long way and I'm really starting to surprise myself with the amount of fitness I've put together in the last few weeks.