Monday, June 13, 2016

Muskoka 70.3 specialization plan: week 4

Four weeks down, four weeks to go. Time to really dial in the nutrition and pacing plans for the race, and work out key details like how to carry my flat kit on the bike, what I'll be wearing, etc.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: TR Sisters -2 (60 min threshold intervals); 2200m swim
Wednesday: 9k run
Thursday: 1700m swim; TR Leavitt +2 (1:20 tempo/sweetspot)+ 4k brick run
Friday: 8k run
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 2k swim + 60k bike + 14k run (half iron effort)

So, that was fun. Lots more rest than usual, capping it off with a race effort workout in all three sports.

Trainerroad, as usual, took the so-called 'recovery' week and laughed at it. OK, only doing 3 x 6 minute intervals Tuesday was kind of recovery compared to 4 x 8 minute intervals the previous week. Still tough, though!

Cool looking sky leaving swim Tuesday night.
Running felt good again this week, probably due to the temp dropping about 10 degrees and the humidity blowing away. So that was good for my confidence, but not really helpful for the whole heat acclimation thing. How the run ends up going at Muskoka is going to be really dependent on the weather I suspect. But it's heating up again this week so I will continue to slog away outside and hope that at some point - preferably before the race!  - I adjust.

Running on the rail trail on Friday. I think the purple flowers are an invasive species but they are so pretty...
The main event of the week, though, was my tri club's Muskoka training day on Sunday. I was really looking forward to this as a good way to test my fitness, try some nutritional strategies, and have a little fun with my teammates, too!

I'm fifth from the left, orange cap. Thanks Coach Nancy for the pic!
We have a big group (someone said 17 people!) doing Muskoka this year, and a huge turnout for the training day. Not everyone who came out Sunday is doing a half, so we also had people practicing for their sprint and Oly tris. When I got to Gullivers at 7:30 I actually wondered if there was another tri club also doing a sim, there were so many people there - but no, everyone was from either the Iron Canucks or one of Coach Nancy's other programs, the Tri Chicks! It was such a good vibe having such a big group.

My swim was solid. Two loops in 39 minutes, again. That's fine, but it's getting a little frustrating that I seem to have only one speed in open water. I was trying to go a little harder but it didn't really translate. That said, though, I'm significantly less fatigued after 2k of swimming compared to last year, which can only help on the bike and the run. So although I'm not seeing a big speed gain in open water compared to my greatly improved pool times, I've definitely got improved endurance. Next open water swim I'm going to take a little more time to get the wetsuit on exactly right and see if that makes any difference.

Then it was off on the bike.

Hands on hips, LET'S GO ALREADY.
Oh yeah.

I don't think you can see just how huge my smile is in this picture. 

No question on the gains on the bike. There were some wicked cross and headwinds on this ride, and 422m of elevation gain. And I averaged 30.3 km/hr. Which includes having to slow down a few times for stop signs.

I was a little bit pumped up after that ride! And the best part was my legs felt totally amazing. No tiredness at all. Could  I have maintained that effort for another 30k? No doubt at all in my mind.

Awesome ride calls for pulling out the guns. Thanks to Natalie for the pic!
The run went pretty well too. The first few k felt pretty sluggish and ugh, but then I warmed up to it and eventually was knocking out a pretty solid 5:40/km pace. Very pleased with that, and although I was glad to get back to Gullivers and stop running, I could have kept going. So overall, a very confidence building day!

Now my legs are a little tired today, but I am so darn pleased with myself it's a bit ridiculous. But it also isn't race day yet - a few more weeks of quality to really sharpen up and be ready to tackle the beast.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: swim; TR Elwell (70 minutes of WTF I CAN'T EVEN. What the hell is that, TR?)
Wednesday: run; open water swim
Thursday: TR Polar Bear (2 hours tempo) + brick run
Friday: run, TR Townsend (90 minute aerobic)
Saturday: longass outside aerobic bike ride
Sunday: long run, hopefully swim

This is one of those complicated and hard to schedule weeks. Hopefully I can find a way to shoehorn another swim in there. Just have to take it day by day and see what happens!

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