I believe I am going to be talking to my legs many a moment in the next few weeks as I absolutely do my best to obliterate them into being the strongest, leanest most economically endurance sports orientated pins in the world. Well, my world at least. The aim is to build a bit more strength for the purposes of going up the volcano in Maui on the mountain bike, but for me the greatest gain I wish to make is more economy at slightly faster speeds.
In true style, I am even going to tell you how I plan on doing it. Then you will sit back and watch and if it works, follow the rules, but if I crash and burn, laugh and point… right? You with me sunshine?
I am going back to squad as of 1 August 2010. 8 weeks with squad should sort me out 1 shot in terms of open water swimming (by open water I mean in the sea with the turtles in Kona) for the Ironman swim. No wetsuits allowed, even if I will have an Orca RS1 Swimskin to help me along.
Last Kona I neglected my swim a little and I missed a key pack early on. 8 weeks of hopefully chasing the White Rabbit in the pool will make me a better man.
So apart from having what will be the most tricked out Ceepo Katana in Kona, as well as the most tricked out Morewood Zula for Maui, I actually need to work on the bike, as I will have to do for the next 5-60 years of my life. Work on the bike never stops, contrary to popular belief.
Some of the key components to building a faster bike (Maui):
a. Threshold training (AT)
b. Weight Loss
c. Mental coaching (the pain means its good, right?)
d. Bike skills (learn to bomb down a volcano in the big ring like a Caveman or a Gollywog (when he doesn’t shave for 2 days))
e. More ME work (endurance power)
They key components for the Kona bike are different to the one in PE, by virtue that the course has about triple the climbing in. So here are my focus points:
a. ME work (sustained power) for the rollers, of which there are MANY in Kona.
b. Aero climbing, so staying aero over the rollers by teaching the body to remain aero and get the extra power to be as economical as possible.
c. Pack riding. I will more than likely be in a group of 40 guys in Kona, not on my own like PE, so I have to practise a bit of pace variance as the advantage of the pack is huge.
d. Economy. The run in Kona is freaking brutal. I need to bike as easy as possible, but want to ride under 5 hours again. This means I have to be stronger than in PE, but also that it has to be sustainable for 3 hours after the ride.
I have enrolled in a testing program at the Sport Science Institute here to learn a little more about my running. I outran best hopes in PE by 5 minutes, and almost outran it by 15minutes if I had just known a little more about my running. I am hoping the lactate testing, VO2max etc will give me a better insight into how I need to be training to achieve what I want to on the run in Kona. I will continue to use all the things which have taken me from 3:52 to 3:15 on the marathon at PE but I wanted to try something new, so according to the smartest people around, we are going to work on my ability to run more economically, not necessarily faster. The speed will come as a byproduct. More than anything, I want to be able to run stronger over the last 10km than I did in PE. Not by much, all I am looking for is a 10% extra at the end of the race. I faltered in PE due to a bloated stomach (too much sugar) and ill preparation (Sani2c and Cape Epic limited running in the last 8 weeks before Ironman) and this time around there are no excuses to NOT have that 10%.
Maui – realistically, I am going to be hanging on for dear life at that point, running a super tough 11km beach/rock/road/mud run 2 weeks after Kona, but I am going to try and remain calm and rip the legs off it.
In the middle, during this big block of training, however, my legs will come and go. Today, for instance, it hurts when I sit still (mean new gym set on Monday being the major culprit). I have hurt them this week already, but now need to manage the recovery process to the weekend where 10 hours of training await the poor pins. There is planned massage and floatation planned, so I should be ok. If I do blow up, you will be first to know, saying “I told you so”.
If I don’t push the limits out, I will never know how good I could possibly be. I am willing to risk the occasional blow out to know how far the rabbit hole goes, if you know what I mean?