Monday, April 2, 2012

March 26-April 1: Targeted Half Iron Prep

I haven’t discussed this very much here, but I have a half iron tri on April 21. This is pretty early in the season for this, and because of that, I’ve been a little concerned about the concept of biking 56 miles and then running a half marathon right after since mid-January. This was particularly anxiety provoking when I was so run-focused in February in preparation for a major PR at the B&A Trail Half Marathon. I was still scared of my tri bike. I hadn’t done any bike-run bricks since October. I was very slow on the bike and figured that biking 56 miles might take me 4 hours.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten in a good deal of biking in the past month, and have done a bunch of bike-run bricks, so I’m much less concerned. This week included a sizable 4 hour bike-run brick that solidified my confidence in my ability to finish a solid 70.3 miles.

Other things I did…

Monday: Rest day, including a meeting with coach to go over the big plan for the rest of the season through IM Louisville and the mini plan for the half iron tri in Charleston later this month.

Tuesday: The return of the run commute! 6.3 miles at a 9:34 pace with beautiful sunrise views.

(No, I did not stop constantly to take photos, I just snapped that one while stopped at a red light.)

After work, a non-run commute up to Wilson for a relatively easy 55 minute swim workout in the evening. I mean, relatively easy if you ignore the almost 2000 meters of shoulder-killing paddle work.

Wednesday: A 50 minute morning strength and stretching session, followed by a random-distance speed workout of 4 miles total in the evening, holding an average pace of around 8:00/mile for the fast chunks.

Thursday: A mashed-up 19.2 mile morning bike workout with Rachel, starting with 20 minutes of playing around on some hills in our neighborhood, followed by an exciting and partially terrifying trip through downtown streets to get to Hains Point, and finishing up with 3 windy loops at Hains Point. The coolest part of this, besides scaring Rachel riding down Connecticut Avenue, was getting a better handle on urban riding and hills on my tri bike, which no longer scares me. The 5 mile commute home in the evening, which involved all those hills on Reno Road as well as serious urban riding. No panic attack. Victory.

Friday: A morning swim-run brick, starting with a 1.2 mile swim in 29:37 and wrapping up with 4.1 miles of 6 minute run-1 minute walk per the half ironman race plan. The pace averaged out to 9:51, and I’m still surprised at how little time I lose with the walk intervals. Then there was a half-assed 30 minute weight session after work, too.

You can’t win them all.

Saturday: Rest day, which was gobbled up by 6 hours of driving to and from Newport News and 5 hours of coaching our 10&Under swimmers at a meet there. I was conscious of drinking lots of water to avoid dehydration for the planned Sunday training session, but didn’t exactly get a real lunch because the really inept host team had no food whatsoever for judges and coaches, who have to be at the pool all day. I even got to go fetch a granola bar for a sick judge who was about to pass out!

Great job, guys. Way to make us feel appreciated. It wouldn’t have been that much trouble to go spend $30 at the grocery store to feed the judges who WORK FOR YOU FOR FREE when you are hauling in $30-40 per swimmer entering the meet.

In case it isn’t obvious, the people hosting the meet are ignorant jerks. Yes, I’m posting this on the internet where they can find it. And I hope they do because they deserve to feel ashamed and terrible.

End rant, back to training recap.

Sunday: The big prep workout for this month’s half iron tri. 3 hours of biking followed by an hour of running (well, 6 minute run-1 minute walk intervals). Sarah, Jason and I packed up our bikes at 6:30 am and drove out to Cambridge, MD to check out the Eagleman course.

See that route above? That’s the Eagleman course. Now see the route we did.

We wound up covering the majority of the course anyway, and managed to not bike into the Chesapeake Bay, but we did come close. More importantly, we held a nice 17.9 mph average for just under 55 miles, ran at around a 10:00/mile pace for an hour right after, and I generally got in a good practice of the race plan for later this month. On Thursday, I’ll talk more on the specifics of how this all went. Because I know that you all care.

Worst part of the week: Either basically phoning in Friday’s weights workout, or being starved in the middle of an 11-hour day dedicated to coaching.

Best part of the week: A solid 4-hour training session for this month’s race.


  1. Honestly, I know Cambridge, and it's ALL THE SAME anyway.

    That food situation at that meet is ridiculous.

  2. Congrats on not biking straight into the water! I can, uh, see how that would have been easy to do. Also, sweet biking pace.

  3. Whoa cycling speed!! That's impressive!!

  4. DAMN that is some fast cycling. I think maybe I went that fast once on a quarter mile speed interval. I also did a 3 hour bike/one hour run Sunday, except I covered so fewer miles than you. By a lot. Nice work! Now that I know what a tri-bike is, why is it scary?

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  6. Ha. our route looks like we were smoking crack and I am so impressed by how fast we went!!! I'm still excited about it today.

  7. I thought the food spread at your meet was quite impressive. Now I am even more impressed knowing that other teams provide nothing.

    Congrats on the speedy cycling on Sunday (and not riding into the bay)!