Monday, September 7, 2015

"The Kona Block"

As I alluded to in one of my previous posts, the summer vacay put a hit on the training.  The week I got back, I had a good long ride and run.  But my intervals were horrible.  I just couldn't hold pace/power and basically couldn't complete the workout.  It is what it is after two weeks of just running every other day.

So I felt I really had to do well in my final 3 week block before Kona.  The goal was simple: Nail every workout.  The mentality is that every workout is hard.  Expect that.  Don't think for one second that something will be easy.  Beast Mode.  Get out there and just do it. "Don't think, it will only hurt the ballclub." The final 2 week taper will take care of everything.  Don't even let the word "rest" enter your mind.  Simple, yes.  Easy, no.

I was hoping to get in 900 miles on the bike and 165 miles on the run.  The first week went smashingly well.  I had in just over 24 hours of SBR.  I felt really good in my long 21 mile run as I averaged 6:58 per mile.  I don't think I had averaged under 7 in a 18+ mile run since 2011.

My long ride was tough, but I got in just under 138 miles at 192 watts for a 21.1 avg. My tempo ride that week was ok.  I didn't try and overdue it and did 25 miles at a 244w average.  Although, I had a really good brick run off of that: 7 miles at a 6:40 pace.

Week 1 of Block
S: 7,450 meters
B: 303.5 miles
R: 50 miles
Total SBR Time: 24:07

The second week we did not have any masters swimming practice. So being the devoted swimmer that I am, I didn't swim at all.  I'm OK with that.  Let's just say I won't be surprised when I exit Kailua Bay in a buck twenty.  Anyways, I had some family obligations in the evenings that week, so I shifted workouts to the mornings when I would normally be swimming.  The second weeks of my blocks do not have long rides or runs.  My run intervals went swimmingly.  Three minutes at a sub 6 pace.  I did some longer bike intervals, 8 minutes, and nailed my wattage target on those.
8 Minute Intervals

Saturday was Triple Brick time.  This isn't actually in my workout program, but I think it's a good workout.  I did it last year as well.  You end up getting a lot of miles in, but doesn't hurt you like if you ran that much straight.  With all the transitions and bike stoppages, it's almost an 8 hour workout.  I've said before that if you're gonna race for 10 hours, its not a bad idea to do an 8 hour workout.  It's also a good test of your nutrition.  Evidently that's working for me as each run got faster, with the final 6 miler being at a 6:48 pace.

Sunday Tempo Funday! 40 miles at 245 watts in the morning followed by 6 miles at a 6:15 average pace in the afternoon (plus warmups and cooldowns).  Nice strong finish to the week.

Week 2 of Block
S: A "Blutarsky" 0.0 meters
B: 314.9 miles
R: 55 miles
Total SBR Time: 21:51

And so it begins.  The biggest week of the biggest block.  Although I cheated.  Well, kinda.  I usually do my long rides on Saturday morning.  The Saturday of this week was my son's first high school cross country meet.  With the timing of that, it didn't really give me time to get the long ride in on Saturday.  But since it was Labor Day weekend, I moved my long ride to Labor Day Monday.  So I kinda made this week 8 days long.  Although day 1 was just 2,000 meters in the pool for an hour long workout. It took a few days before I started getting my second wind.  My run intervals on Tuesday went well (4 minutes at sub 6 pace), but I felt really tired on Wednesday and Thursday.
I moved my long run to Saturday afternoon in hopes of running it in 90+ degrees.  I did get a 87 degree afternoon.  I felt sufficiently melted on the second half of the run.  But I persevered and finished with the last few miles hovering around the 8 min mark.  I felt warm, but never overly hot.
4 x 20

My 4x20 tempo ride went pretty well.  I was able to hold about 90% FTP, which after running 22 miles the afternoon before, seemed pretty good.
So then it finally came down to the last workout: The Long Ride.  I surely didn't have all my mojo.  I was pretty tired at the end of this block.  That became evident pretty early on.  I started out at about a 180w average.  I thought maybe after I got warmed up I could start averaging 190w, but I just kinda sat there at 180.  On the plus side I didn't fade out near the end, as I could just kept hanging onto 180w averages on each 5 miles split near the end.  But, it was the longest ride I've ever time either by time or distance.

"Week" 3 of Block
S: 9,000 meters
B: 311 miles
R: 60 miles
Total SBR Time: 26:52

So if you take the last 7 days ending on Labor Day, I had 25:52 of SBR.  So then also over a 21 day stretch I ran 165 miles and biked 929.4 miles.  I'm particularily happy with that bike mileage, as that's a 309.8 avg per week.  My previous single week high was 308 miles.

So the massive block comes to an end.   I'm utterly exhausted, but I guess that's the point.  "That which does not kill me, will only make me stronger".  33 Days to Kona.