Although it is nearly the weekend, I can't help but think back to last weekend, which included two quality training sessions and some TDF (Tour de France) watching.
Both workouts were Bike + Run, however, each workout had its purpose. Each workout had a different pre-training snack/meal and each workout was followed by some TLC hip stretching and recovery protein drink + recovery meal
Even Campy did his share of resting with his favorite Iron Girl Aflac duck
On Sat I biked down to watch the BFAST #3 triathlon race and after an hour of spinning my legs (which was a very exciting warm-up I must say), I was ready for the main set.
3 x 20 min tempo intervals. 5 min LT (above threshold), 10 min tempo, 5 min LT. I train with a power meter so I was able to focus on my zones for all three intervals. After the 20 min interval (which was tough but went by quick), I recovered for 10 min and repeated the set. Karel gives me a lot of sets were he has me pushing at, slightly above and slightly below my LT threshold with the idea that in time I will increase my LT threshold, while increasing my cadence and keeping the same HR. Rather than doing lots of long rides at a low intensity, we used my IMWI training to play around with the concept that it was possible to become more powerful on the bike without putting in lots of hours/miles on the bike. We don't believe in doing lots of 100+ mile rides but rather becoming more efficient and powerful at mid-distance (3-4 hours). I do believe in doing long rides but last year with only 5 rides over 5 hours (3 of them were 100-110 miles and 2 of them were in the hills, around 85ish miles) last year, I felt much more confident with my weekend workouts and a lot less fatigued for upcoming workouts. Thus, by race day, I felt as if trained with quality in mind and never reached burnout or experienced an injury. Also, we don't worry about speed since power is the relationship of force x distance divided by time. Therefore, dependent on the wind and terrain, I should be able to move my bike over a specified distance (112 miles on Oct 9 in Kona, Hawaii) at a certain power, for x-amount of time. Because I will never be able to beat the wind and the heat will affect my heart and ability to shuttle blood to the working muscles, I want to train in a way that will allow me to focus more on my given efforts and nutrition, so that I can be as consistent as possible with my training.
With 4 Ironman finishes behind me, I really enjoy the structure and purpose of our training, most specifically because I am not placing lots of unnecessary hours of training on my body.
After a 3 hour and 20 min ride, I grabbed my fuel belt (filled with heed) and headed out for a 4 mile run. The purpose of my transition run following a long ride is to get in a zone, focus on form and to be steady. I did 4 miles at a comfortable 8 min/mile pace and had a few honks from my friends who were coming back from the race. That always makes my day :)
Then came a quick .6 mile run with Campy and it was time to refuel and recover.
Sunday was a bit different as the focus was on the run, rather than the bike. I warmed up an hour on my bike, nice and easy at a high cadence, just spinning the legs.
I grabbed my fuel belt and another bottle filled with Heed (for refueling my flasks) and started my garmin.
With all my experiences with my hips, I have learned to focus more on running off the bike rather than just running. Rather than having a "long run" where the focus was to run x- miles, I gave myself a main set to accomplish within those miles.
I warmed up 3 miles and started my set:
4 x 5 min IM pace - 30-45 sec, then 1 min easy jog. This was a very tough 20 min set but I know my body is not ready to do a 20 min "pace" set. Also, with my longest run being in December, I am wise not to progress too quickly...even if my friends are running much longer distances than me. I know where I want to be on race day and I am sure to follow my plan which is designed just for me (Thanks hubby/coach Karel).
The set was tough but I managed to put in 9.3 miles and not feel completely fatigued. While it was a hard effort for 20 minutes, I didn't feel the wear and tear that I remember while training for IM #1, 2 and 3. It seemed as if I could never fully recover from those long runs. I find myself always running strong off the bike (than just starting a run from nothing) and I also feel more capable of keeping a higher cadence while running (with better form) when am not so focused on achieving x-miles...can't stop until I get to x-miles.
Once again, the workout finished with .6 Campy miles and we both happily finished our first Kona weekend by stretching, eating and relaxing.
As for my post workout breakfast on Sunday. YUM!!!
Omelet made with brown rice, fresh basil, eggs (2 whites, 1 whole), cheese, tomatoes and chives) cooked in olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. With a warm piece of fresh, non-packaged bread from a bread shop.
Not pictured....a tall glass of milk (mixed with 1/2 scoop whey protein) with a handful of cereal - consumed while stretching after my run.