So far I’m two weeks into my Cozumel training. I had three weeks of easy training/recovery and now I’m well into my first build cycle. I thought I’d write an update and talk about how it’s going and some of the changes I’ve made.
Intensity – I cut my hours and cranked up the intensity and so far I'm loving it and responding very well. I guess I needed a change. Typically I’ve spent a lot of time riding tempo on the bike and now I’m doing a lot more threshold and above threshold work. Last Tuesday I did one of my staple threshold workouts, the Spinervals Timetrialapalooza DVD, and hit numbers I’ve never really come close to before. This DVD has always been a good indicator of threshold for me (the average power of all 4 intervals combined is usually very close to my FTP) and this workout indicates my threshold is up about 10 watts to 310. I've also done some very high intensity work. I’m being careful with the running intensity. My hard workouts aren’t super intense, but they’re a lot more intense than anything I’ve done in the past two years. I’ve basically been racing on all easy base miles since 2010. Now I’m doing striders once a week and one workout that’s either long M-pace or a 20’ T-pace interval. No track workouts yet. My swimming isn’t as strong as it was early in the year so I have some work to do there, but I’ve cranked up the intensity there as well.
Core – I’m hitting the core work hard. Hopefully this will help with my swimming, but it should also help with my running because I think weak core/hamstring/glute muscles caused my injury and have been the cause of all my hip flexor issues. Mainly the core work is injury prevention and to help me maintain better form in the pool.
Efficiency – Since I don’t have a lot of time to build fitness, and a lot of what I’m doing is trying to get back to peak fitness, I’m putting a lot of emphasis on efficiency. I figure if I can be just a little more efficient and put more energy into forward motion, that could make a big difference over 140 miles. I’m working on running form/cadence. Prior to working on cadence, my natural running cadence was about 82. Now I’m averaging 88 on my runs and my legs feel better and I’m running faster on less effort. I’m putting a lot of emphasis on swimming form as well to improve my efficiency there, and I’m also working in more efficiency training on the bike such as one-leg drills and high cadence spinning on my recovery rides. It’s too early to say if I’m gaining anything or if I will gain anything. I figure it can’t hurt so I might as well give it a go.
Diet – I'm going to write up another post on that because I've made a few changes and don't want to make this post too long. So far I'm 7 or 8 pounds lighter than I was at my IMWI weigh in.
Recovery – I’ve already talked about this so I won’t beat it into the ground. I’m giving myself more recovery and my easy days are ridiculously easy. I don't think most people would enjoy riding with me on an easy day right now. The pace is way too slow. Sometimes I just tip over on the bike path I’m going so slow. I averaged 110 watts in my recovery ride the otherday. That’s about 37% of threshold. I did some single-leg drills and high cadence spinning on that ride.
So that's my update. Lower hours, higher intensity, more recovery, less food....and PRs. I'm feeling good and really enjoying the training.
Next up is another IMWI power file analysis.