Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 15-21: Mont Tremblant Course Preview Time

It’s 26 days until Ironman Mont Tremblant. That puts those of us slated to race there in the middle of peak training.

And where better to go for peak training than the race site itself?

Thursday, I drove up to New Jersey to grab Beth for a fun-filled weekend of training in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. We were rained out of our original plan, but we managed to put together some amazing swim-bike-run action before driving back home on Sunday. We saw the entire bike course, more or less the entire run course, and had an awesome time.
Minus the windy section on the bike course.

I plan to detail the course preview in a later post, but will leave you with a few gems of wisdom from the 13 miles we spent riding into a headwind that must have been 40+ mph (or 60+ km/h, for you Canadians who we loved so much this weekend).

“I think we’re going downhill, but it doesn’t feel like it.”
“I know. This is definitely a decline, but I’m in my small ring.”
“SO AM I.”

(At mile 84 of a 104 mile ride) “If the wind changes directions when we turn around so that we have a headwind on the way back, too, I am quitting the sport of triathlon.”
“Right there with you.”

Luckily, that level of misery didn't follow us ALL weekend. The rest of the week was much more reasonable.

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: 45 minute recovery spinning on the bike trainer in the morning, then 3400 meters of swimming, including 20 100s around 1:30/100m.

Wednesday: 45 minutes of strength training in the morning, then a 4.75 mile track workout in 96F temperatures in the evening. The workout included 3x(800 threshold-400 easy-400 threshold). The threshold stuff was 3:58-1:57, 3:55-1:56, 3:57-1:59. Not the speediest, but better than I expected given the heat.

Thursday: After driving up to Mont Tremblant, a 3.2 mile shakeout run around the village and parts of the run course.

Friday: 13.1 miles of running on the Ironman Mont Tremblant run course in 2:06 exactly (9:37 pace). I was beating myself up for not being faster, because we were ALL THE WAY UP NORTH IN CANADA and that’s the pace I hold in hot, humid DC summer weather.

Then we got back to the room and I found out that it was 81F with 82% humidity. Super.

Saturday: 104 miles of biking on the Ironman Mont Tremblant bike course, including one full 56 mile loop, the 44 mile long section of the loop, and a few extra bonus miles. Immediately followed by 20 minutes of running at 9:05 pace, which has GOT to be the fastest I’ve ever run after a 60+ mile bike. I started out giving myself permission to cut it short, but kept feeling better and better and finished it out nice and strong.

Sunday: Started the day off with about 12 miles of biking on the short part of the Ironman Mont Tremblant bike loop. Short, however, does not mean “fast” or “easy.”

Finished off our training weekend with 1.9 miles of swimming in Lac Tremblant before driving home.


  1. It's like you brought the heat and humidity with you. I think it's great you take the time to preview courses honestly. I have thought several times about driving to NYC for one of the long runs they host but it doesn't fit into my schedule. Lame.

  2. This traveling-for-a-weekend-of-training thing seems like a triathlon thing, but I think it sounds fun! Maybe I should plan a weekend of trail running?

    Anyways, great workouts!! You are going to kick butt. When does your taper start?

    1. Since you move so fast on the bike, it's really useful to "know" the course so that you can take descents and turns at an appropriate speed and not lose speed or risk crashing.

      I start tapering way too soon. I hate taper. Always have. I have to watch my diet even more closely because of the reduced training volume. It's the worst.

  3. Um, well, at least the elevation isn't 7000 feet... that's all I've got.

    Sounds like you got some kick ass training in.

  4. I'm glad that I'm not the only person who threatens to quit triathlon at least once during a windy ride! But what a great weekend, even with the challenging conditions!

  5. Sounds like a fabulous weekend of training! woah headwind. you're going to kick butt in 26 days :)

  6. I'm loving everything about this post--minus the headwind. Hopefully, it will be non-existent on race day, so you'll be able to take full advantage of those downhills and flats. Oh, and when it's windy, I always question my triathlon life choices. Always.

  7. I know it wasn't really a sight seeing trip but I have always wanted to go to Quebec! How is it that freaking hot even in Canada though?

  8. Nice post! weekend is always amusing but with triathlon shorts and other short wear, facing challenge add an extra feeling to the weekends. Amazing, really amazing. Thanks for the post.