Saturday, November 12, 2016

IM New Zealand - 18 weeks til race

A liitle late - but better late than never.

18 Weeks until Iron Man NZ and a non typical training week this week. Tuesday of this week was Melbourne Cup Day and for any international readers I might have that’s pretty unusual in being a horse race that somehow gets a public holiday here in Victoria. On top of that if you’ve got Tuesday off, who on earth is going to come to work Monday so I took leave that day also. The upshot is having a work free Monday and Tuesday meant I could squeeze in some heavier work this week.

My coach took advantage of this flexibility in my work this week to program a hilly three hour ride on Monday and another 2 hour spin on Tuesday plus short jogs and swims. It’s funny, I can say I’ve got the day off work and can do whatever I want but don’t assume that means training jumps to the head of the list. My wife also had Monday morning off and the possibility to have a morning together was irresistible so I shouted us (ok mostly me) a small sleep-in, breakfast and then (and only then) a late morning ride in the hills past Frankston.

Now the riding past Frankston isn’t like the Dandenongs, these aren’t mountains by any stretch, it more rolling hills. However, the Olivers to Overport (for example) climb is a tick under 4 km long of going up so in the 3 hours of riding it’s pretty easy to go over 1000 meters of climbing which is pretty representative of most Iron Man courses I seem to be doing these days.

And all in all this day went well. I’m just three weeks into the serious prep for NZ, 18 weeks to go and I’m riding Sharkbike in close to full IM configuration and I returned times for most of the major climbs in the top ten of my best efforts on strava so I was feeling pretty chuffed. On top of that it was a glorious day with bright blue skies, temps in the low 20’s, not a lot of wind and it all finished with a roll down Oliver’s hill before pulling up almost immediately at the car and a drive home. 

Oh – what is “Sharkbike”? Well until recently my Tri Bike (that you can see above)  has been known as ‘Shaz the Shiv’, a name I had no intention of changing. Recently however, when the bike debuted its new paint job at IM Austria it (not me – I have no illusions on that) got plently of cheers and had people calling out “go Sharkbike”. So, with that, Shaz is out, and Sharkbike is in.

Most of the rest of the week was pretty standard with nothing particularly noteworthy. Some routine riding to work, some runs and 2 km swims. Nothing to write home (or in a blog) about.

That said, Saturday was a big day. Not big as in a lot of work done, but big in terms of its importance (to me). On the program it was nothing really special, 60 spin on the bike – 5km park run – then another 60 min spin. Things didn’t quite go that way. I gave myself another weekend morning with my wife and move the workout to the early afternoon. Sine I’d missed the organised park run, I swapped it for a TT at a local running track. Well the easy spins were, well, easy spins – no biggie. But the 5km TT turned out great.

In the last blog I posted how happy I was to be chipping away at my 5k time. So far in the past 6 or so weeks its dropped from just under 25 minutes to around 24:20. This week I sliced almost a minute off that dropping to 23:33. To put that into perspective, my best ever 5 km time is 23:25 and I was hoping to beat that before going to NZ in Mar 2017. That run hurt like hell but PB’s are supposed to hurt.

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