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It's Ironman Lake Placid Race Week!

2013 Ironman Lake Placid - Karel's first Ironman.

It's been a long time coming.

It's finally Ironman Lake Placid race week. 

My last Ironman was in October 2019.....the Ironman World Championship. Although it feels like forever ago since I've raced in an Ironman, I have participated in all different types of endurance events, from gravel racing and the 6-Gap century ride to a 3-day coast-to-coast, Xtreme Triathlon event and off-road running. 

Every Ironman triathlon journey is different. Not just the training, but how my body responds to the training in the context of my life.

With only 5 days until Ironman Lake Placid, I’m incredibly grateful to my body for allowing me to consistently train for my 17th 140.6 mile race. I never take a start line for granted, especially when I am healthy and injury-free.

I no longer feel like a beginner but I still have great respect for the Ironman distance. I know how important it is for the body and mind to work together as you can’t make your body do something that the mind doesn’t want to do.

For me, Ironman race day is a day of self discovery. I love that you don’t have to be fast to have a successful day, you just have to be really good at not slowing down.

The Ironman is all about staying present, being proactive, troubleshooting, nailing the small details, focusing on the mile you are in, keeping the body fueled and hydrated, not letting your mind get overwhelmed by the distance/weather/competitors and most importantly, always finding a way to move forward until you reach that finish line.

Here's a look back at some of my 2021 training stats: 

Longest swim: ~6300 yards
Typical weekly swimming yardage: ~13,000-17,000 yards. 
Primarily long course meters (as of May).
👉Favorite goggle choice right now: TYR Special Ops 2.0 (clear and polarized)

Longest bike: 2 x 105 mile rides
  • February 20th: Thomasville Clay Road Classic (6:47, ~4000 feet elevation gain)
  • April 25th: Meals on Wheels recon ride w/ friends (6:12, ~8000 feet elevation gain)
👉Typical weekly biking hours/miles: ~8.5-9.5 hours/130-150 miles
👉Average "long" ride length: ~4 hours
👉What type of bike did I train on? Triathlon bike ~55% of the time/Road bike ~45%/Gravel bike ~5%.
👉Most memorable rides: Overcoming two gravel crashes (within two weeks) and completing 7 of the 8 GVL WBL group rides. 

Longest run: 
  • June 20th: 2:12 (16 miles): Ironman Pacing, race simulation run. MS: 90 min as: 1 mile IM effort w/ 20-30 sec walk/reset between). 
  • July 4th: 20.6 miles total (double run day): 13.3 miles (1:47) in AM (MS:1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1,5 min faster tempo w/ 1 min rest, jog or walk between), then 7.34 miles (1:04) in PM.
👉Average weekly running mileage: ~40 miles/week (~5.5 hours)
👉I almost always run 3 days in a row, but never more than that (except at our camp I ran five days in a row). One to two runs a week are stand alone runs (no bike before) and I do at least 2-3 runs a week off the bike. I always include walk breaks when I run.
👉Current favorite running shoe: New Balance Fuel Cell RC Elite.

Biggest Training Load week:
👉June 21st
20 hours and 24 minutes
17292 yards swimming (4 hours and 25 minutes)
10 hours and 12 minutes biking (172 miles)
5 hours and 48 minutes running (41.9 miles)

Racing block (April - June)
👉3 x 70.3 distance events in 7 weeks (two of which were within 2 weeks of one another).

Most difficult brick (bike/run) workouts
June 19th 
👉4:25 ride/75 miles (~5500 feet elevation)
1st hr: aerobic warm-up
2nd hr: Alternate 10 min moderate-strong / 10 min aerobic
3rd hr: 20 min Ironman effort/ 10 min EZ x 2
4th hr: climb Saluda grade
Everything after: Steady strong 

Run off the bike
👉1:06/8.29 miles (~1100 feet elevation gain)
WU: ~15 min form focused running
1 min walk/jog then:
MS: 3 x 1.5 mile at strong and sustained effort w/ 2 min EZ jog/walk in between.
CD: EZ jog


June 23rd
👉1:36 trainer ride: 
15 min EZ spin
10 min build the effort by 2.5 min to Z3+.
2 min EZ spin
6 x 5 min at strong sub threshold effort (Z4) with 3 min EZ spin following each.
20 sec all out spring/very fast cadence / 2:00 min EZ spin
CD: 8 min EZ spin to flush the legs.

Followed by: 
👉1:21 (10 mile) run
MS: 3x
3 mile descend #1-3 to and over IM effort (by mile), each with 1 min reset walk in between each 3 mile segments. 10 sec walk between each mile. 
CD: EZ jog

Personal Accomplishments: 
  • Maintained normal hormonal health (regular monthly menstruation).
  • No sickness/illness.
  • No injuries/physical setbacks.
  • Maintained joy for training.
  • Consistency with training.
  • Met new training partners and strengthened friendships with current training partners. 
  • Purposeful and structured training.
  • Kept training fun. 
  • Listened to my body. 
  • ~80% workouts outdoor (bike/run).
  • Stayed up with daily mobility. 
  • Never felt like training was taking over my life. 
  • Used sport nutrition for every workout, no fasted training (ate before every workout).
  • First gravel ride (and race), first trail running race. 
  • Overcoming two gravel bike crashes.
  • 2nd overall female at Roanoke 70.3 (by 2 seconds).
  • 3rd overall female at Chattanooga 70.3.