Monday, 3 February 2014

Karen writes: Peak Ironman week - Stocktake time

Here's the thing, you think when you sign up, nearly a year out, that you have plenty of time to get the super-fit, super-lean, super-ready body.  But you don't.  Well, I don't anyway, and I can now claim to have had a bit of practice, being as it's the third time I have reached this point of peak training for Ironman.  Last week was my heaviest training week, I had the longest bike-ride of 165km, the longest run so far of 28km, plus the other stuff which meant that over 17 hours were spent in pursuit of Ironman fitness.  Now three weeks out it is time for a stocktake of how things are going.

So how do I compare fitness wise to previous years?  First of all, I'm 6kg heavier.  That is a real anxiety trigger, 8% extra mass must mean it will be harder to drag myself around the course. Next, my training hours per week over the last 2 months were on average about half an hour down when compared to last year, except for last week which was the highest I had ever done.  I've looked at this in several ways, always trying to figure out the angle to make it seem better, but actually it may not be the problem it appears anyway. Where I wasted hours last year sitting on the spin bike just turning over the wheels, this year the spin sessions have been shorter but all about real hard work.  Looking at balance between disciplines, cycling/spinning may be just a tiny bit higher in terms of time spent, hopefully this will translate into an easier bike-ride which was where I identified I needed to improve last year.  Swimming hours are down, I haven't been in a pool once, instead swimming at least weekly in the sea, just one lengthening distance a week, this is not the recommended training but it will be interesting to see how it has worked out.  Running, I have covered about the same distance, but considerably slower, see first comment.  Strength training...I managed a month of a core challenge doing daily planks and push-ups, which is probably better than what I did last year. On balance, I predict a slower event, but still well within the cut-off times.

Equipment - the new red Scott bike has two rides under it's wheels and now over 200km on the odometer, and I'm falling in love. The wetsuit is looking pretty battered, the zip is dodgy, but it should just get me through this race, not bad for something that cost me $70 off Trademe, it has lasted a year and several events.  Race gear, have plenty that will do the trick, I may be tempted by a new top for the ride and run.  Cycle shoes need new cleats and a bit has fallen off one heel but they will be fine.  Running shoes, pretty new, and to tell the truth I doubt I will be doing a whole lot of actually running on the day.

So the next thing to do is write up the plan.  THE plan. This is about minimising screw-ups, I make lists, visualise how things will go, write down intentions at each key point for the event.  When I actually get round to doing that it will make Ironman seem awfully is close!
From Ironman NZ - its less than 30 days now!