Training update

I was out today for the second bike ride of the season. This kind of sucks because I only have 3.5 weeks until Ironman Arizona All of my bike training so far has been inside on the mag trainer. You don't realize how much harder you work outside until you get out for your first ride. Now that the weather is so-so, I'm going to try to get out for as many rides as I can over the next 2 weeks.

Other than that, I think I am ready. My running has never been better - higher speeds at a slightly lower heart rate. The reason is because of a trick I discovered about running more efficiently and I'm not telling. Yet. I need some more data, more time and one good race (Arizona) before I can really speak about this. I will tell you this though - at a heart rate of 135-140 bpm, my old pace was 8 min/mile. Now it's 7:30 min/mile at the same HR. My PR marathon (marathon-only, not an Ironman marathon) time of 3:17 could theoretically drop as low as 3 hours. It's been a dream of mine to run a sub 3 marathon, and I think I just may be able to do it someday.

I would be thrilled to do a 3 1/2 hour marathon at IM AZ. We'll just have to see what the day brings. You can't be guaranteed anything on Ironman day. I know that all too well. Anything from forest fires, to freak wind storms, to sweltering heat waves can happen.

My bike seems to be pretty good also - hard to say. The reason is that my watts/heart rate is higher than it's ever been, meaning that my economy is improving, but like I said, my first outside ride last week was an eye opener! I'm not sure what kind of muscular endurance I have in my legs to push 220 watts for 5 hours straight. I certainly wasn't there last week, nor was I any where near where I need to be today.

My swimming is very average. Well, poor in comparison to where I really should be, average compared to old ladies and toddlers, but pretty good relative to previous levels of fitness. I did a 1500 meter time trial with the wet suit on the other day and hit a personal best time of 25 minutes, so that's not bad. Again, my swim volume has been fairly low - averaging only 2 to 3 hours per week, so I don't know how that's going to effect me in Phoenix.

Comparing my training schedule to last year, I was surprised to see that I have put in less training hours since Jan 1, as last year at this time! I think this year my training has been of higher quality. I've dropped out all of the low and slow stuff. Most of my rides are steady state without any coasting and no recovery rides (inside mag trainer work), my runs have all been FAST - minimum 8 min/mile pace, and well, swimming is just what it is...

2006 Swim=34.15 hours, Bike=136.4 hours, Run=66.95 hours
2007 Swim=31.38 hours, Bike=122.3 hours, Run=50.5 hours

My race day goals? Well, I'm not stressing the swim - I can do a PR in 1:10 or an average IM swim of 1:15 which is only 5 minutes difference. I would like to repeat my 5 hour bike leg from last year, and like I said, I would be thrilled if I could do a 3.5 hour marathon. If the plan materializes on April 15th, it should get me pretty close to 10 hours and possibly 1st or 2nd place in my division. I placed 4th last year in Arizona. But like I said before, I know anything can happen on race day, so if this goal is out the window, then my second goal would be to qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona again - typically, this requires a top 8 finish in my 45 to 49 age group. If that fails to materialize, then I would like to break 11 hours, and if that doesn't happen, my last goal would be to simply finish the race.


1 Responses to “Training update”

  1. # Anonymous Bryon Howard

    Hey Greg. Best to you these next few days ... before your taper.
    I'll be rooting for you on race day.
    B. Howard  

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