The half I did produced some good results and it was a killer time. lets see what happens this go round??
The Silverman triathlon is almost upon us now. After a full season of skinny armed bike racing I am hardly worthy of a half ironman. Its always a fun and daunting challenge to take one on with the clock ticking. I always get questions about my training, so I will highlight some key aspects and focus points. I have some very weak weaknesses, some very strong strengths and mixing them with not nearly enough time to prepare makes for some unique and interesting training. I think this is a good topic to write a training focused article on because many athletes find them selves in a similar situation all the time.
Coming into the race:
I had a full season on road racing in me, almost too full of a season. I was tired, stressed out from running my own business, buying a home and plain old run down. A visit to the doctors and a few weeks of rest had me feeling some what better in the average Joe sense but not the in elite athlete sense. I was far from 100% and had a lot of careful work to do.
Race Goals: With a $250 cash prize for the fastest swim, bike or run split I was instantly thinking “the bike is mine!” of course with Dave Scott and Chris “ironman man world champ” McCormick now racing its more like” I’m gona give it 100%”. Goal number two is to finish as best possible over all. This may sound contradictory but I can’t run fast. So if I were to… save it, for the run I really wouldn’t be “saving” much.
~Swim: With me now teaching spinning for the winter at Rally Sport in Boulder I have access to master swim classes and a great coach. My swim training will focus on building up some muscle in my skin and bones upper body and refining my technique to the point that swimming for 45’ is no large task. My speed will come from the bottom up. Meaning as my technique gets better and upper body stronger I will simply get faster for the same exertion level. This has worked well. Saturday morning swims have seen me put in a good 1hr with out to much trauma. One or two weeks I threw in 2 swims per week, fatigue was higher but still, I was able to complete the task. I have put in some serious time in the pool compared to the past. However, I think of my swim training not as getting faster but enabling me get to the bike in better shape and with more gas to burn in the hunt for my # 1 goal. Also a more efficient swim will help me get to the finish line strong which is inline with goal #2. The swim is not long in comparison, in any tri I realize, but swimming is tough! If you’re not up to a minimum level of efficiency you’ll come out of the water with far too much of a debt to pay.
~Bike: My training here was a slow build up. With the fatigue of a long summer just wearing off I didn’t want to jump in too fast. Instead I focused on short frequent rides until my legs came around. These rides were mostly alone. It would have been ideal for me to get in a solid block of on-the-bike strength work as I had lost some muscle mass but there was no time. Instead I opted for specific intervals. Intervals at my goal race pace (wattage/P.E./ HR) on hilly terrain as the Silverman 1/2 has a very hilly bike course. These rides felt better each time and culminated with a 56 mile, 2.5 hr ride at pace. This ride was key as it helped me really dial in how my pacing “felt” and how much gas I would have in the last 10 miles to really pour the coals on the fire. In this case I did not have enough time to work my weakness and then move on to race specific training. Because my weakness was not race specific and having limited time I skipped that step.
~Run: The last time I jumped into a half iron distance race I had even less time to train. 4 weeks, 3 really if you don’t count the week leading to the race. That time I focused on running as many times as possible before the race and not necessarily “long”. My 2 long runs that time were 1 hr. each. This worked well as I ran just as fast on race day as I did in training. I only really have 1 running speed. This time I abandoned the “long run” theory all together. Instead focusing on frequent quality runs. Running this time has felt much better, more control over exertion and less soreness after runs. And while I have not done one run up to an hour I have logged significantly more total running time, as well as many, many short bricks 10-30’ long. My theory here is that I have the fitness. Going hard for 5 hours is not the issue with this body, its being efficient at the 3 disciplines, or 2 really; Swimming and running. If you are looking to complete any type of event one must be technically sound in the movement it will require. With out this you are to paddling a row boat with you hands.
Race repot and analysis should be up in 36 hours!!