Tuesday, September 8, 2009


32 days until Ironman

Wow! Race day is getting close. I can't decide if I'm more excited or scared. Either way there's lots of adrenaline.

Training is getting longer now. Nearly 25 hours last week was spent in the pool or on the road. Two more weeks of building then the taper begins. This week I'm adding something new to my training: Speed work. It's new because I don't have speed. So for me to say I'm doing speed work is kind of funny.

Over the past several weeks, as my distances have increased I've noticed my pace has slowed, both on the bike and running. I guess I figured I needed to slow down to be able to make it the whole distance. Whatever the reason, it has become a bad habit and I need to break it. Thus, speed week.

I've also noticed that my average heart rate has been getting lower. A big indication that I should have the power to go harder. So this week is all about speed. Monday I did intervals on the bike, which is kind of new to me as well. I usually just pound the pedals at a constant speed. So to go all out for a set time then rest for a couple of minutes then all out again proved to be pretty hard. Maybe more so mentally than physically. But that's just what I needed.

Today I ran 10 1-mile hill repeats at the Energy Lab. The road to the Energy Lab really isn't a hill, it's more of an incline, but combine that with the heat and the fact that it is at mile 19 or so of the marathon course I'm sure it's going to feel like the Alps on race day.

My training today was to run the mile-long road out of the Energy Lab to Queen K - the up hill portion - at 80 to 90 percent, basically as hard as I could then back off slightly. Once I was at the top I would run at about 50 percent effort back to the bottom. Take a quick water break (about 2 minutes) then go again.

I've found that doing speed work on a slight up hill route reduces the pounding on the legs but still allows you to go all out with less leg stress.

I was surprised at how fast the 10 miles went by. I was also surprised to notice that my hard mile pace was getting faster with each repeat. By mile 8 I was doing 7-something minute miles, which is fast for me (and don't forget that was running up hill). Even my cool down mile (mile 11) was an 8 to 9 minute mile. I was having so much fun that I really didn't want to stop running. I don't usually run at this pace so it was a great day. I think today was just what I needed. A little boost in confidence that I do have more in the tank than I think I do.

I'm excited for my long bike and run days later this week just to see if I can pick up the pace on a few of the miles near the end. ZOOM, ZOOM!

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