A Quick Update Before Cozumel

I thought I'd give a quick update on my training before I leave for Cozumel tomorrow (yeah, last minute).  

My training was quite a bit different from my Ironman build the past couple of years.  I typically hit 20+ hours on my peak weeks, and for Wisconsin this year I topped out at over 30 hours on my solo MN training camp.  For Cozumel, I maxed out at 17 hours.  Intensity was higher, but overall hours were lower and so was my weekly TSS.  It makes me a little concerned about my endurance, but I wanted to try something different.  

Despite lower volume, I still did some big workouts.  Three 5-hour rides, a 20-mile run, long swims, a 70-mile/16-mile bike/run brick, etc.

Some bike highlights:

I set a PR on one of my all-time favorite threshold workouts- Spinervals Timetrialapalooza. 

I got in some high intensity, a workout I haven't done in years - Spinervals Suffer-o-rama. 

I cracked in the last 45' interval on this ride, but still got in 5 solid hours.  

For the first time in 2 years I was able to put in a solid block of running.  My knee appears to finally be 100%.  I never ran faster than 5K pace (other than some 20-second striders once a week), but the past two years my training has included almost no running faster than a 7:00 pace because my knee couldn't handle it.  I changed things up and started following Daniels Running Formula and as a result, I took 25 seconds off my 5K PR.  Some highlights:

A very solid M-pace run.

A good T-pace run.

Another good M-pace run.

Lake Geneva Turkey Trot - 3rd OA, 1st AG - Course was long, but I FINALLY ran a sub-6 pace (been chasing that for 4+ years).

 As for swim training, I did several 4x1000 workouts at a 1:25 per 100 yard pace.  My best ever is 4x1000 @ 1:24 pace and I've only done that once so I'm not far off that.  

Overall, I feel like my training was pretty solid.  The big surprise was my running which improved weekly.  Typically, I'm all about the bike when approaching an Ironman but this time around I can't wait to get off the bike and run.  

One of the biggest changes in my training this time around was mental.  I was very relaxed about it all.  I didn't put any pressure on myself to hit any pace or power goals.  I took rest when I wanted/needed it.  I never thought about a Kona slot.  I just had fun with it.  I still used training stress and the performance management chart in TrainingPeaks, but I didn't obsess over the numbers as much.  I think I found a good mix of training by feel and training by the numbers.

As a result, I'm going into Cozumel with a very different attitude than Wisconsin.  In Wisconsin, I put pressure on myself to qualify.  I had to or the race was a failure.  That's a bad attitude.  This is supposed to be fun, an adventure.

So this time around it's all about fun.  I just want to have fun, race hard and push my limits.  If that gets me a ticket to the big island, great.  If not, there are a lot of other races out there I'd like to do (I've been itching to focus on short course for a few years so maybe I'll go that route). 

I'm well into race week and feeling much better than I did in race week before WI.  My taper has been a lot different.  It's a shorter taper, but has included a lot more rest. Menally, I wasn't ready to race Wisconsin.  My legs were really sluggish race week and I was wishing I had more time to recover.  This time around I can't wait for the gun to go off Sunday.  I feel good and am itching to test myself.  I hope that means I have a good race headed my way. 

For anyone interested in tracking me, my number is 2404.  You can go to www.ironman.com and then click on coverage and select Ironman Cozumel.  They're in the central time zone.  Race starts at 7 am.

We're staying at the Iberostar.  I can't wait to get there.





Mike said...

That's awesome your knee is 100% great attitude going into the race. Todd luck and have fun! I'll be following along.

Ken Wood said...

Jack Daniels in lieu of Lydiard? What were the differences in your weekly run structure between the two?

Mike said...

Not a lot of differences between the two programs, Ken. I think I prefer Jack Daniels. The program is very similar, but it's not so vague. The paces are all there in the VDOT charts. With Lydiard you're always wondering if you're doing things right with "best aerobic pace" and paces like 1/4 effort, 1/2 effort and 3/4 effort. I would say my progress came from long M-pace runs and T-pace runs (before I was doing a lot of easy running because my knee would hurt if I pushed the pace so I was almost always at 1/4 effort which was slower than Daniel's E-pace). I lost about 8 pounds too so that helps. I shortened my typical run from 45 minutes to 30 and did a 20' T-pace or 60' M-pace run on Wednesdays (alternated weeks) and a long run on Sunday mostly at E-pace but I worked in some M-pace efforts when I was feeling good. Every other day I ran 30 minutes at E-pace with striders once a week. I ran 5-6 days per week. Simple program, but it worked.

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