Sunday, April 12, 2009

Malibu Training Weekend/"Secret" Training Protocol Revealed

10 Weeks to Ironman Coeur d'Alene!

While my Seattle friends are patiently gutting out a nasty extended-winter, conditions in Malibu on Saturday were
perfect for riding! Or anything else outdoors...

The day's ride covered 90 miles through the Santa Monica mountains, with over ten thousand feet
of elevation gain. The route was Malibu Civic Center parking lot-PCH-Topanga Climb (34 minutes), across Old Topanga to Mulholland, Mulholland all the way to PCH, PCH west to Yerba Buena, Yerba Buena Climb (47 minutes), across towards Latigo, turnaround and back down Yerba Buena to PCH, and PCH back to the car at Malibu Civic Center/Pepperdine University.

The plan was 5 hours, or 90ish miles with 10,000+ feet of gain. My goal was to keep the Heart Rate under 150 on the climbs, and in the 130s on the flats (what flats?!). I am training my body to tolerate 5 hours of Steady pace riding, followed by a strong run. I used Vitargo and nuun for my fuel as always and was able to complete the day feeling strong with Zero low spots. About 6 minutes after the ride was a marathon-pace 5 mile brick run through Malibu along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)

"Arousal Control" is important in Ironman distance racing and is one of my weaknesses historically that I am fixing in 2009. I know, insert joke HERE....But seriously it is easy to get excited when you are feeling strong, or depressed when blood sugar drops during a long training session or race. Proper fueling strategy and cognizance of this tendency will ensure a more even pace and power output. On Saturday, I managed to do just that and finish the workout feeling strong (and Stoked!).

Sunday's highlight was my return to long runs!

Since my mystery foot injury over the winter (undiagnosed "foot pain" by 2 podiatrists) I have not done a single run over 2 hours since November's Adventure Racing National Championship. Now that I have been pain-free since late February, it's finally time to start ramping up the long run for Ironman CDA. The long run is the bread-and-butter of run training, and under 2 hours just doesn't cut it, especially when the goal is a "fast" marathon.

On Sunday the plan was to run 2 hours with a narrow heart rate window of 145-149, or the middle of my "Steady" zone. (My #1 goal in Ironman training, or any endurance training, is to log as much volume as possible at "Steady" each week, while recovering enough to absorb it. That is the name of the game if you want to know the truth about endurance training.) I ran on the infamous verrrry soft "Wood Chip trail" that connects Redondo and Manhattan beach. The surface is extremely soft which is easier on the joints, but much slower than a normal hard-pack trail. I was able to keep the heart rate in check and managed just under 17 miles for the workout. Just like Saturday, I felt fresh at the end and felt like I could go longer and faster. With 10 weeks until the Ironman, that's a good sign. I am STOKED to be back to normal run training and ready to finally start ramping up the mileage after a long break.

Just gotta keep it rolling for 10 more weeks!



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