Six weeks to go til my final race of the season and the last big goal I had set for my first triathlon season, my first olympic distance race. The tension in my training reminds me of the anxiety I felt in the months heading into my first triathlon at the beginning of this season. Gone are the weeks of serious but relaxed middle of the season training sessions, its time to get laser focused and prepared for the longest race I have participated. Of course I have a plan and I am sticking to that plan and relying on it to see me through to the end. My triathlon last weekend did not stop the training progress and so this week I pushed forward with that plan. The culmination of last weeks training was a weekend that has left me achy and sore but hungry for more. The quick rundown of this weekend: Friday I started with a 22 mile bike ride, Saturday morning I did a mile of open water swimming then later followed it with a 9.3 mile or 15k run(more on this in later paragraphs), Sunday I spent 2 hours mowing the lawn and then I went for an 11 mile bike ride (wanted more but the legs were dead). Overall a pretty good weekend.
Before I get into the details of my personal distance record run let me recap the rest of the week first. Since I work near a gym one of my goals has been to spend time on the basics and really work on cycling and swimming techniques. I figured 30-40 minutes on lunch would give plenty of time to complete these workouts. So on lunches I stationed myself on a spin bike with a mirror and did single leg drills, spin ups and pyramid sets. All the while working to smooth my stroke and the mechanics of my cycling. In the pool I purchased a tempo trainer and began working on my stroke count and becoming efficient in the water. Overall I think these technique lunch sessions might really pay off heading to my final race in October.
The biggest event resulted in large miles for my weekly long run. Last week I reached a new distance high mileage at 7 miles. This week I planned to add half a mile to that distance. I planned the run around a four and a half mile loop that had a tough hill or two but overall was not too bad. The best part of the loop was the fact that there was a place to refill and resupply water as I transitioned to my second lap. As the laps were 4.5 miles in length I figured I would run a little ways on the second loop and then turn around to give me the mileage I was expecting. Well, after five miles I guess I mentally checked out and I missed the turn around point. At that point I realized it was easier to just finish the second loop and walk if I got too tired. Well, I managed to run nearly all my run intervals all the way to 9.3 miles in 2 hours and 21 minutes!!!
Let me clarify my running technique really quick. A couple of months ago I started to follow the run/walk technique as a means of extending my running capabilities when I ran my first 10k race. I found that taking prescribed rest walks at a set interval from the start of the race gave me greater range and duration and it has even sped up my time a bit. So I have stuck with this method for all my runs. I often use a 1:1 ratio except on my 5k run days where I have been playing with a 1:30:1 ratio (oddly this is minutely faster than my 1:1 ratio). Without this series of prescribed run walks I do not believe I would have finished this run without walking the last four miles. Instead, I felt some added stress from my muscles but I did not feel unable to run and often felt eager to get moving again all the way to the end of the run. I know my end time was slow, but hey, I accidentally ran a 15k.
Things I Learned from My 15K run (Technically all these apply after the first hour of running or around my mile 4):
- On long runs, gels were my friend. I started to take one every thirty minutes or so and this gave me non-stop energy through out my run. Took one at beginning and three on the run.
- Electrolyte drink is a must when it is hot – I had an extra packet in my pocked that I mixed when I refilled.
- I carried a 20oz water bottle the entire run.
- When the shirt gets wet the underarms rub and bad rashes form – need lubricant
- sweat runs down into places and makes them uncomfortable
- The very roomy toe box in my running shoe no longer was a happy place as two toes rubbed themselves raw – need lubricant for toes
- An 11 mile bike ride the next day will be the most challenging ride ever. I planned for another 22 miler but my quads and hams said no.
- Need to put on sunscreen – forgot this and got a little toasty.
- Glad I ran around a loop with a ready supply of water. Took minute break between loops to pour on water and drink more water and refill water bottle.
- Slept like the dead for the next two days.
Hard to believe I just started running last year and while I am still slow, I am very close to half marathon distances in my running. Another solid week of work with a very busy weekend to top it off. Now onto a recovery week before I start to push another hard week. I am looking forward to a week of pilates, foam rolling and heavy stretching. Still, I ran 9.3 miles!!! Til next time.