As I approach the final month of training, I am now in the new throws of agony: Speed Work. These workouts are not a priority for those hoping to see the other side of the finish line…But when your goal is to get a podium, these workouts are paramount.
I had some changes made to my training plan to shift over to improving speed.
Running Long Runs: The majority of long run is at a very low intensity. I personally feel like it is painfully slow…but I have a hard time pacing myself unless the pedal is down….so it is probably the right pace. I will put in the last 2 miles at race-pace.
Brick workouts: I used to have a half-distance bike and run workout. Because of my limited schedule, these workouts were previously my “easy” workouts. They are now done at my expected race pace. I am now completing half of the race distance at race pace in my brick workouts.
For the Bike portion of the brick workout, I use a simple bike route that is 2.5 miles in length. This route has minimal traffic and provides me the ability to focus on my cadence and my heart rate. There are two round-a-bouts on the path, and they naturally force me to “put down the hammer” and push through them to not impede traffic. The 2.5 mile route allows me to get a good “Back-and-forth” workout where I don’t need to worry about turns or navigation. It is actually very similar to swimming laps.
For the Run portion of the brick workout, I try to stay on a trail that I am familiar with. I have historically been running on gravel trail (this helps with strengthening all of my supporting muscles) but I have now switched over to pavement run courses. I am not going to use gravel anymore unless I am running with a group and that is the course.
Run intervals are still run intervals. They suck. They are intervals. There really isn’t anything else for me to add about them other than the fact that they suck so bad. Serious. I hate them. Sooo awful.
My long bike courses have all greatly exceeded the elevation profile of the race course. I am now trying to match the elevation profile of the race course. I am paying close attention to this because last week I rode a course that had 5x the elevation gain as the race course. That was silly.
My swim workouts are about where they are going to get with the limited time I have. I am able to do 1 swim workout a week. I am comfortable with my pace so I am not too concerned with needing more time in the pool. Would I be able to go faster if I did? Sure. My swim fitness is in that spot: Where if I want to see gains, I am going to have to invest much more time into it.
I have done one wetsuit pool swim to evaluate the performance difference. I will be doing my first OWS this weekend and will be incorporating them into my routines from this point on.
1500m Swim: 26:00 ( about 1:42/100m pace)
28 mile Bike Ride: 1:26 (19.4mph pace)
10k run: 48:36 (7:48/mile pace)
My original goal of finishing this race was 2:40:00. My performance level right now would put me right at that finish time. That finish time should put me on the podium. The only factor at this point that will change that is “who shows up to the race”.