This weeks training started well with Fran changing my weight training to power training. This eased the pressure on my calf muscles and my legs felt better overall.
I had my massage on Monday with Michelle and my legs were feeling the best so far heading into my three hard ride sessions and run. First training was the swim and my confidence was better after completing the 1500 m swim last friday. I focussed on technique, in particular, trying to get my body into a side on position as I pulled through with my arm (like a fish). The second session was swimming 500m, 400m and then 200m with short rest periods. I am finally starting to feel the breathing easier in the water and I can complete longer distances. I had to revert back to the 17.7 m pool and hope to get into the 33 m pool more often.
The first bike session of the week involved 10 sprints up the steepest hill in Richmond called Kingston hill. I really pushed hard and I got my heart rate up to 85-90 percent of my heart rate. I noticed each time my chest was starting to hurt. I was thinking it could be my heart and on the 7th repetition my legs slowed up completely and I felt faint.
I watched my heart rate monitor and could see my heart rate was lowering and raising in a normal fashion. I decided to take the last 3 repetitions easier and kept my heart rate around 80-85%. My chest pains calmed and my breathing was better. It still took me 1.5 hours to complete the training and it shattered me for the days work.
The very next day I ran 1.15 hours around Battersea and my legs felt better as they were looser. The first lap was stiff but the second lap I really picked up the speed. Fran my coach gave me advice on using my arms to help pull my legs along and it made the biggest difference I have ever noticed with running.
I was trained to keep my arms lower to conserve energy but Fran says keep them higher and use my chest and arm muscles to rotate my body and facilitate leg movement. I completed 3 laps of Battersea Park and my legs felt strong and free. Using my arms has given me some control over helping my legs to run.
I made a big mistake with the following days bike ride. Fran gave me instructions to ride at a relaxed 90 RPM for 30 minutes with a 10 minute warm up and cool down. I misread it as maintaining 90% of maximum heart rate for 30 minutes. I thought Fran was crazy and how did he expect me to maintain this heart rate for 30 minutes.
I trusted Fran and took on the challenge to ride at 90% MHR for 30 minutes. I struggled to get the heart rate to 90% and when I did I could only maintain it for 10-30 seconds. I felt defeated but did repetitions of 90%MHR with little rests in between. I called Fran and told him he had set an impossible task. He corrected me on my training plan and warned me I may have overtrained for the week.
He was right as the next day I decided not to run and two days later my legs were stiff and sore. I went for my long bike ride this morning and my legs felt tired as I was leaving the house. I had 3.20 hours to ride and this was not going to be comfortable.
The first 2-3 laps around Richmond felt tiring and my quadriceps were fatigued. I eat pieces of power bar and drank my SIS carb drink every lap (20 minutes). On the 4th and 5th lap I felt better and my riding got stronger. I am not sure if the energy from the power bars helped or my body just responded to the riding. I could climb hills strongly and on the flats my legs felt better.
On lap 7 I started to fade. My legs got heavy and all I wanted to do was get around the course. My cadence stayed the same but my speed dropped as I stayed in higher gears. By lap 8 it was the furthest I had ever ridden. I misjudged the distance around the park and actually rode 3.40 hours.
My body was fatigued and I imagined being at home lying on the floor under the sun and resting. I got home and to my surprise I had ridden 95 km. This is half Ironman distance and longest I have ever ridden. It was a major achievement and milestone to hit this distance.
I know I must double this distance for the Ironman but I am now hitting distances my body has never experienced before. I like this idea and I can learn what happens to my body and how it adapts to different training strategies.
I will use my GPS to track some routes out of Richmond Park for the coming rides. Fran will be taking me out next Sunday for my long bike ride.
I have my compression garments on and I am feeling good after the long bike ride. I am enjoying this experience and hope my body continues to adapt in a positive manner.
I have added in a stretching session on a Wednesday after my runs. I stretch on a mat and also use the power plate to massage my legs and stretch. The combination of stretching and massage is helping. I also massage my own legs after the long bike and stretch.
I can see training is starting to pick up and the distances are fast becoming a reality. I must keep a positive mindset for the training and event on the 25 July.