Friday, April 29, 2011

Packing and Gear Checklist for Ironman St George

Packing for Ironman should be an event. Two hours of sorting, organizing and packing everything up. My IM distance pool swim today in 61:45 (a new PB) seemed much easier by comparison.

Earlier in the week I did a wetsuit test swim with my new blue seventy booties and the thermal hoodie. The 2km swim was at Ironman intensity and I clocked a nice 30:40 which means I am definitely on track for a best time swim. Last night I did a 5km tempo run in 20:44 at above IM threshold just to get a bit of intensity in and then this morning a 20 minute water run.

Finally I am finished packing and can now rest and then get a good sleep before leaving to St George in the morning.

My Ironman Pack list

Bike Pump
Body Glide
Pre-race Food
Spare Bag
Old Shoes
Warm-Up Pants
Warm-up Shirt

Special Needs
Salt Tabs
Sweater (if Run)
Spare Shirt (if Run)

Swim cap
Wetsuit Booties
Wetsuit Hood/Beanie
Race Chip
HR Monitor Strap

Bike Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Short
Bike Shirt
Race Belt and Number
Water Bottles
Emergency Glasses
Tire Levers
CO2 cartridges / Bike Pump
Spare Tubes

Extra Socks
Running Shoes
Long Sleeve
Salt Tabs

Monday, April 25, 2011

12 days of taper to Ironman St George

Decided to use the Dave Scott taper program for this last two weeks before the race. Saturday I did the Run-Bike-Run (5km-43.5km-5km) in 23.5 minutes, 78 minutes, 24 minutes at just a little bit over Ironman Heart Rate Race Pace. Sunday as my usual rest day and then did my longest ride between now and race date today (a 131 average bpm ride on a hilly course). Was very militant about staying in profile position during the hills and wind and it paid off with a solid 1h 45m ride for 60km.

Friday, April 22, 2011

15 days to race date, taper started

Two weeks to race day as of tomorrow, so what's been happening.

First off, my last heavy week ended up lighter than planned mostly because by mid-week I was thrashed. Legs heavy, congestion etc so after the heavy Monday, and an intense Tuesday of a week and a half ago I just did a swim on the Wednesday. Still feeling fatigued I took Thursday and Friday off and then a HARD workout with Bernie on Saturday. Was not quite back into full health and despite drinking and fueling well the 2h 30m bike at 227 watts followed by 12 mile run and a 30 minute swim left me almost 6 lbs lighter than I started the workout.

Took the usual Sunday off, then shorter but intense workouts this last Monday, hard swim Tuesday and then got sick and missed work on Wednesday and took Thursday off working out as well to recover. Will do something today of moderate intensity as well as something tomorrow to wrap up week 1 of 3 in the taper.

Worried about the swim temperature as the lake is apparently still at 52-55 degrees F. Ouch. Not good for me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ironman St George bike profile and a MONSTER brick run

First off I need to give a great "shout out" and kudos to my best friend Bernie for his age category win at the Texas Half-Ironman (70.3) and his qualification to the world championships in Las Vegas for that distance. He won in a 1/4 mile sprint to the finish by 2 seconds.

While Bernie was doing that this last weekend, I was doing my monster brick session with a 6 hour ride followed by a 26 km run off the bike. Averaged a very strong 4:56 /km while at the Ironman heart rate of 136 bpm. Worked out the nutrition on the run and managed to down about 100 calories every 15 minutes with water when I could find some on my run route (about every 30 minutes or so).

Took Sunday off workouts as my rest day while I attended to other responsibilities. Monday was another huge ride for 6h 18min followed by a very short 1 km run to see how my legs and knees were holding out. I was happy with how that went. Today I tested my nutrition plan on the bike. Water and 100 calories every 15 minutes. In the early stages I was not working hard enough and because I wasn't sweating enough and needed to take a few more bathroom breaks than planned. Other than that it worked perfectly.

Over the next while I want to start really calculating the right heart rate efforts on the simulated IMSG bike course along with pace planning at the wattage that I need.

Profile of IMSG Bike Course

Friday, April 8, 2011

How a friend helps you swim harder, train harder

Most of this week has been pretty easy to manage the fatigue but I was / am quite tired today. Thursday was a hard workout day, moderate to hard intensity water run, then bike intervals followed immediately with a brick 5 km run. The bike intervals were a set of the 4 X 20 min efforts (231, 245, 241, 252 average watts in that order). The run went very very well as I averaged 4:48/km at 137 average bpm, which was much better than Tuesday. I would definitely take that pace / Heart rate at Ironman.

For my easy Friday workout it was a water run (easier), harder swim and easy spin on the bike. The swim was a tough session as I still felt fatigue in the arms from Wednesday's long effort. Thankfully Shannon of was at the pool at the same time. I did a 500m technical warm up and then into a hard main set of 3 X 7 X 100m on a 1:45 cycle with 2 minutes between sets. Overall average of about 1:29 or 1:30. Shannon swam the middle 7 and first 4 of my final set in the lane beside me and as a result I had a few 1:25-1:26 100m intervals in that one. Thanks Shannon for helping me out on a tough swim. I'm heading into Saturday with 16 hours already so should be on track to get 23-24 hours for this middle week.

Many of you have seen this video but it represents my mindset when it comes to this last 21 day training block of which 8 training days are left.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Halfway through final training block

No video today as I blog from the bike machine in the gym at work and can't find and embed them very easily on the ipad while spinning. Week two continues well with a water run yesterday morning, a lunch 3000m swim in 51 min, and an evening brick session outside. Wind was really strong (outbound section of 11 km took 31 minutes and return took 15 minutes) and as this was first outdoor ride since October and still up to 6 inches of snow on the ground so I stuck to a good highway that was well cleared for a 44 km ride followed by a 5 km run right off the bike. Ran it at an average 138 bpm and clocked just under 5 min / km.

Today was an easier day with a 4500 m pull buoy and paddle swim in 70 min followed by this easy bike on gym bike for 76 min. Did a bunch of work emails tonight on the bike as well as got ready for some duties at Church.

10 days of heavy training to go.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ironman St George course walkthrough video and new run workout

Celebrated the start of the 2nd last hard week with an easy 3000m swim in 61 minutes and then straight into a 2 hr hard run, both right after work.

Tonight's workout was intended to get me ready for this very tough run course. Check out the video here describing the Ironman St. George Course.

The hard run was a modified version of something my good friend Bernie did a couple of weeks back mixed with my usual mile repeats. After seeing that promo video I knew I needed to work more hill efforts in over these next two weeks. The workout was

1 mile warm-up

10 X 1 mile repeat on a 10 min cycle with 3 minute walk breaks at 3.0mph between
Elevation was 2.0% for the first four mile intervals, then 2 @ 2.5%, 2 @ 3%, 2 @ 3.5%
Pace was alternating between 7:03 per mile and 6:58 per mile, final mile at 6:55 up 3.5%

1 mile cool-down

Knee held up well, heart rate dropped to under 110 between each set, max heart rate on last interval was 170 bpm

Sunday, April 3, 2011

IMSG promo video and Ventricular Hypertrophy and T-wave inversion in Ironman Athelete

First off I want to share the results of my wild goose chase on cardiac anomalies Friday's run was the cardiac stress test that I was scheduled for. The T-wave inversion that worried the Dr.s on my EKG resolved to a normal shape and orientation after about 5 minutes of my "run". I think proceeded to get up to 20% grade and 5.5 mph on the Bruce protocol before I hit 150 bpm and they decided to not bother trying to get me to maximum, apparently very few even get close to where I was on the stress test and they said that was good enough to convince them that there was no issue with my heart under stress. My competitive instincts wanted to keep going :)They then did the nuclear medicine images afterwards and I go back Monday morning for the rest images and then finally this coming Thursday they will do the echo cardiogram. However, they gave me green light to push as hard as I would like in training.

Here are a few articles that relate to my type of situation
Soccer player with EKG abnormalities
Why ECG is not a good screening tool
Athletes Heart

So basically I fit the criteria and observations but they will proceed to complete the tests to make sure its truly athlete's heart not a cardiomyopathy. Now as for my last few days of training concluded with me 1/3 of the way through my last push towards Ironman St. George and I am very happy with how this last week finished off. Thursday got in another water run plus 2:10 ride, Friday was a swim, bike and the "run". Saturday I did intervals sessions mixed in with listening to General Conference on the laptop.

Good thing I have a computrainer. This was a friends picture of Calgary on April 2.
Did my warm-up followed by 4 X 20 minutes at high wattage (232, 240, 232 and 242) with 5-7 min breaks in between. It was a lot harder to go 20 minutes than the 15 minutes from last time. Next time I want to get to 5 X 20. In order to get my full training in for the day I did another 2:45 of moderate spinning (~29 km/hr) to finish the day at 5h 5 minutes workouts. This got the week total to 20.7 hours.

Goal for next week is to get to 23 hours as well as some good intensity workouts. For those interested here is an Ironman St George promotional video.