Monday, June 28, 2010

Training For A Half

In the middle of the season, 2009, I decided I was going to put in place a two year plan to race in Ironman WI in 2011.  Correction, "participate" in Ironman Wisconsin.  The idea was to do a couple half marathons/20k's, a couple olympic distance tri's, a half iron, and end 2010 with a late season marathon.  That plan was on course until April 10, the first long running race--the Fetzer.  ITB issues resulted.  However, I got back on course due to some serious stretching, and changes in racing plans (switched from teh MedCity 1/2 to the 5 k), as well as some other alterations to training sessions.  I posted some pretty solid finishes Trinona and Rochesterfest and feel like I am back on track.  Still, I've only run 6.2 miles at one shot since the Fetzer 20k.  It was time to steadily increase the running distance or time, but here we are, June 28, just four weeks from Chisago Half Iron Distance Triathlon.  Will I have enough time?  I believe so and at this point, its not like I have a choice if I want to do Chisago. I have to give it a shot, right?

My longest brick training session ever was last season, a couple weeks prior to the 2009 Rochesterfest Tri.  That brick was 2 hours 45 minutes. Yesterday was the start of a steady, but risky increase in not only running distance, but overall workout time.  I figured I need to stress my body a little bit prior to getting on the bike, so I ran.  This would serve two purposes: 1) warm-up so I could start on the bike a little closer to what it would feel like getting out of the water, 2) add some running mileage/time to the workout.. 
For the upcoming half iron, I not only have to train to ensure that I can last the duration of the race, but I also have to nail things down from a nutrional standpoint.  Here's what I planned on for this workout session:
  • about 20 oz of homemade sports drink: 1 part cherry/pomegranate juice, 1 part water, a couple ounces of lemon juice concentrate, little bit of sea salt
  • 20 oz bottle of water
  • 1 gel flask of homemade energy gel* (agave nectar, dates, zest of lemon, zest of lime, ground dulse)
  • two homemade energy bars: blueberry-cocoa*, and mango coconut*
  • 7 oz. of homemade sports drink for the second run + about 6 oz of water
    • * recipes are from Thrive by Brendan Brazier, but I've linked sites that have them posted
Here's how the session proceeded...

Run 1- 23:38, 3.3 miles (7:09 pace)
I started at about 11:30am.  I slathered on some sunscreen (sweatproof, sport-type stuff) just before I headed out because the sun had come out and it was getting hot.  Plus, I knew I was going to be out for a couple/few hours so better safe than sorry.  It was hot--maybe a little too hot.  By the time I was 15 minutes into the run, I was shiny and wet.  I ran at a steady, fairly easy pace, 3.3 miles.

Bike- 2 hrs 8 seconds, 39.45 miles (19.7 mph average)
I cruised into Rochester following the main stretch that the MedCity Marathon followed--Co 34.  This was a nice smooth road with some gentle rollers and a long descent into Rochester.  Once there, I cut over to a bike path to break things up.  I drank only the sports drink from the aerobottle on the way, but then had the mango-coconut bar while riding easy on the bike path. My average speed until I hit the path was 23.0 mph. I wasn't working very hard to get to Rochester as I had a tailwind just about all the way there--logging 23 mph while only pushing zone 2 wasn't to difficult.  The sweat was just pouring off of me throughout the ride.  It would stream right down off my elbows on to my legs/knees, then find its way to my feet.  That's a nice feel.  I circled thru Roch then found my way back to the same route I followed to get there, minus the bike path.  Now I had to climb up the long descent.  I finished off the sports drink then emptied the waterbottle into the aerobottle and headed up the climb.  I took it fairly easy and it went pretty well.  Once at the top I started sucking down the gel.  This particular homemade gel is pretty sweet and could have used more zest to tame it down, but it did the job.   I never did get to the cocoa-blueberry bar, but should have. 

Run 2- 47:21, 6.48 miles (7:18 pace)
I ran the same old trusty route that I knew would get me at least 6 miles: the sunrise-sunset trail that is just out my door (one end of it).  I put the bike in the garage and knew the little flask of sports drink wasn't going to cut it on the run so I ran inside and drank about 6 oz of water, then I headed out.  The sunrise trail is not the easiest of runs. From my house, you have to follow the road for about 1 mile before you hook up to the far side (the Sunrise section, but the trail ends just a block from my house so it works out nicely for a loop).  The first mile and a half is flat.  Then you have a couple easy rolling hills, but each brings you further down. Then you run a pretty long descent until you are at the river in Mantorville.  Here you are at about 4 miles in.  Mantorvilles elevation is 150-200 feet less that Kasson's.  So, with that said, I now had to spend 2 miles on rollers--each one going up further than the last.  By this time, it was about 90 degrees, sports drink was down to about 2 oz, but I had to press on--what else could I do...?  The heat was bearing down, there was no shade, and I could feel that the sunscreens protectional properties were non-existant at this point.  Vultures were circling overhead just waiting for me to drop.  Briefly, the sun ducked behind the clouds and I swear the temp droppe 10 degrees, but within minutes, the sun was baking me again.  Finally, I got to the end of the trail, a block from the air conditioning in my house, and had right around 3 hours 12 minutes on my watch. I figured I could put on 3 more minutes to make it an even 15 minutes.  Down the street for a minute or so, then back.

When I was done, I was SPENT!  I was just about right on the fueling, but since it was so hot, I lost more water than I planned for.  As the runs get longer I'll use a running belt, which I was planning on for the 1/2 iron anyway.    Next time I will take down that other bar too.  The mix of the energy drink was perfect and the gel sat well too.  Hopefully, at a higher intensity it won't cause any GI issues. I have been using homemade sports drink, gels and bars all season without any major issues so I hope that continues.  As for the sunscreen--not strong enough for the time I was out, or I should have applied it again before the second run.  Now I have a tri-top jersey outline on my back. Very stylish.

As for my big IM WI plans, those may be put on hold.  I am barely able to train 9 to 9.5 hours a week--and that's a heavy week.  A full IM would mean hitting 15-20 hours a week for a couple months prior to the IM (with some lower R&R weeks in there).  Time will tell...

1 comment:

Joshua Grenell said...

Have you heard of CrossFit Endurance. Those guys are training IM and ultras in 6-10 hours a week. Thought I would drop it in your comments just in case you hadn't heard of them.