A tough treadmill session

Sunday, I hit the treadmill for my last long run before Puerto Rico.  The PR 70.3 run course is a two-loop out and back with a big climb that you eventually hit four times.  Then there are some rollers, which I believe can be short and steep.  

The best I can tell, you get a little more than 100 feet of climbing on that hill.  I figured mimicking the course exactly would be tough, so I just focused on overall climbing rather than trying to match the grades.  I came up with a set that was 3.5 miles and then repeated that 4 times, similar to the run course.

I ran this mostly at 7.7 mph (7:48 pace), which is about my typical long run pace.  The first half mile was a warm up as well as recovery on the start each rep.  Then I stepped it up to a 2% grade, which made my graded pace equivalent to about a 7:30 pace.  Then a bit of "recovery" at 1% followed by a mile at 3%.  That bumped my graded pace up to 7:13, which is about my goal pace for Puerto Rico so I was kind of getting some goal pace work in as well as hill work.  It also gave me more than 150 feet of climbing.  It wasn't steep, but it got tough in the later stages of the workout.  Then more "recovery" at 1% followed by a 5% grade at 7.1 mph, which gave me a graded pace of 7:14 so again right about goal pace.  That was a tough half mile, giving me more than 130 feet of climbing.

All total I had 8 "climbs" of more than 100 feet and ended just short of 1600 feet of climbing in 14 miles.  The pace wasn't really a challenge, but the climbing really wore on me.  It was a tough set, but time went quickly so I enjoyed it.  I've been doing hill repeats on a steep hill by work so I'm hoping those help me handle the steeper grades on the PR run course, and this workout helps prep me for the overall climbing. 

As of writing this, I'm 12 days out.  Today I ran at lunch and did a workout that had 8' at 8.3 mph (7:14 pace) slowly increasing the incline from 1-2.5%, then some short hill repeats and finished off with a half mile at 9.3 mph (6:30 pace) at 1%. I did the same workout last week, except this week I cut all the work intervals in half.  I'm feeling some fatigue from the last two weeks of training so this wasn't an easy set, but it wasn't really tough either.  I should recover fairly quickly.

After work, I had what might be my best distance swim set ever.  Last week I did 2500 yards straight in 34:50.  I was really happy with that workout, and this week wanted to extend it to 3000 straight.  It went really well...better than I expected.  I managed to negative split it swimming each 1000 in 13:55, 13:52 and 13:49.  I think I hit the 2500 yard mark at 34:42 so a bit quicker than last week.  

I just bought a Garmin 920XT so now I have swim data...

I still some work to do, but I'm starting to taper a bit.  I have one last big bike workout Thursday, 10 days out.  Then things get pretty easy.

I'm nervous about this race, but getting excited too. 

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