This past weekend wrapped up week 12 of IM Mont Tremblant training and I couldn’t have done it in better fashion. With 12 weeks to go until race day, it is time to get my game face on and get ready to tackle Ironman number 2.
On Saturday, despite the recovery week, I took the opportunity to do another long bike ride so that I could work on my nutrition plan. (Hi, my name is Kevin and I am addicted to the bike.) My first two century rides of the season ended with some major bonks that left me unable to even think about doing a run off the bike. This weekend, however, was totally different. The ride started off with some questionable weather, but I pressed onward despite ominous looking clouds. Thankfully, the weather held off and it turned out to be a gorgeous morning for a ride.
Less than 3 miles into the ride, two guys in a pickup trunk pulled up next to me at a red light and rolled down their window. Ugh. Barely 10 minutes and someone is already going to harass me. Thankfully, that was not the case. “How much does that bike weigh,” one of them asked? I replied that it was about 18lbs or so (pulled that number out of my ass, but some research afterwards shows I was pretty close). “Wow! That is one sleek looking bike,” he replied. You are damn right it is!! Whew. It was too early in the morning to get in a shouting match over cyclists’ rights.
Any ways, the first hour of my ride got me to KCR & AD’s house where I met up with them. They had a 3 hour ride on their schedule so it worked out great. We hung together for 60 miles or so before I dropped them back off at home and continued on to get in the final 25 miles of my ride. Still feeling great, I pushed the pace for the final 25 miles. I was able to keep my average about 20mph for each of the final 5 mile splits which led to a negative split for the entire ride.
When I got home, I was feeling awesome so I did quick transition and headed out for a speedy 4 mile run. My legs felt amazing and I had almost no brick feeling at all. I quickly fell into a 7:10 pace and was able to maintain it until the end. AND! I did the entire brick workout sans-socks with no blisters. Gotta love the TriSlide and K-Swiss triathlon shoes!
So, what was the key to the successful brick workout? Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. While I could go into the specifics of what I ate and when, I don’t think that is exactly responsible for my success. What I think led to my success was not sticking to my plan. Wait, what? NOT sticking to my plan? That’s right. My normal plan is every 15 minutes I drink and every 30 minutes I eat. However, what I noticed on my last ride is I was that after 60 miles, I was getting thirsty sooner than every 15 minutes and hungry sooner than ever 30 minutes. Despite feeling thirsty/hungry, I held off drinking/eating until each predefined 15 minute interval for fear of running out of food/drink too soon. Bad move. I should have just been listening to my body and eating when hungry and drinking when thirsty. In the end, the 15 min/30 min strategy worked well for the first 60 miles. After that, I needed to switch things up to a 12 min/25 minute plan. This means that I may have to carry a bit more food/drink, but it should lead to a more successful bike.
After the brick, Jennie and I walked up to Ramona’s Table for a late lunch. After a morning of liquids, gels, and gummies, real food was a welcome relief.
And then spent the rest of the day relaxing.
I have another century (or 140 miles if I can find some riding buddies) planned for next weekend. This ride, however, will be organized so it will hopefully be easier to work on my nutrition strategy with lots of stops to refuel.
Sunday wasn’t a huge training day, but it was a tough one. I spent pretty much all day on my feet doing chores. Mowing the lawn, power-washing the entire garage & house, cleaning the garage out, etc. By the time I finished up my projects, it was after 6:00 and I still hadn’t gotten my run it. Sunday is generally my long run day but because it was a recovery week, my “long run” was only 7 miles.
With Jennie by my side on the bike carrying water, I headed out. Thankfully the 90* heat of the day had subsided a bit. Still, it took a long time to find my legs. It wasn’t until 5 miles in that I started to feel comfortable. It was a good mental training day though. Despite the tired legs, I was mentally strong and didn’t get too down on myself.
After the easy Sunday workout, it was back to full swing on Monday. The morning began with an early open water swim – my first of the season. About 12 people from my tri club met at a small lake out in Caledonia. From the boat launch, straight across to a floating dock on the other side was just about 400 yards.
In all, I did 4 laps for a total of roughly 3200 yards. The first 3 laps I did with the wetsuit and then did the final lap without it. It was great practice because I forgot how much faster the arms/shoulders tire when wearing a wetsuit. And, I got to work on my stroke and body position without
cheating getting the added the buoyancy of the wetsuit during the final wetsuit-less lap.
I rounded out Monday with a hard 1:15 bike ride. I was scheduled to do 2×14 min at Z4. I changed it up a bit though and decided to structure my ride around Reeds Lake. I did 1 lap warmup, 1 lap fast, 1 lap recovery, 1 lap fast, and 1 lap cooldown. I went all out on my fast laps because I needed to redo my HR zones for the bike. I was hitting zone 5.8 and even a nonexistent ?zone 6? at at times so some tweaking was necessary.
Mmmmmm…. data…. (with the newly adjusted HR zones)
I was sooooo close to getting my lap time down to under 11 minutes (11:09), but got slowed down by a Jeep that was attempting to parallel park (and then gave up). Without that slow down, I think I might have made it. It all depends on traffic and the stop lights though. The 2nd lap was 11:42 because I hit two lights. Even with the slower time, I felt stronger and faster on the second lap.
We spent the rest of the day lounging around and trying to stay cool.
I’ll leave you with one final picture from the weekend of an unhappy Bailey who desperately wanted to join the game of Bocce. He was not happy.
How was your Memorial Day weekend???