Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kona Prep Update

It's been about a month and a half since my last post. My training went into a bit of an overdrive as I made the final 6 week push to Kona. At the same time, the new school year started up. Needless to say, I fell a little behind and my new year's resolution to have a higher commitment to social media outlets. Unfortunately, it was one of the things that had to take a back burner. I finally hit "hump week" and the overall training volume is starting to slide back downhill. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I am finding myself with a few minutes of free time this week so decided it was time for an update.

I could not ask for training to be going any better. Michelle with OutRival Racing and Tim with Magnolia Aquatics Club Masters successfully brought me to my knees training wise without getting me hurt. I flirted with a touch of Achilles tendonitis for about 2 days, but that was the only issue I had besides the constant soreness and fatigue. I am only two days into my recovery week and I am starting to feel great. I am trusting that their plans will have me ready to peak when it matters...October 12.

Since the addition of the two coaches, my training has changed dramatically. Working with Michelle on the bike and run legs has given me much more direction with the workouts I am doing. The main changes with my new plan in these two areas include much higher bike volumes and a more brick workouts. I had a few long "race simulation" days as well which were a high volume/race intensity bike and run. I feel much more confident in my bike fitness than I did going into previous races. My plan had me doing multiple 130 to 140 mile rides and mixing in tempo and sprint work as well. I have actually been showing gains during the run as well. I have been pretty happy with the way I have ran all season, but I realized I was just being content. Michelle has pushed me beyond that and into a state of always wanting more. I've had a few sub 2 hour 20 mile runs during a brick workout during the build and have very high expectations for the run leg especially for Kona.

My swim training has changed dramatically. Tim has instilled a paradigm shift in me. Basically, you get faster by focusing more on efficiency and technique during shorter sets and not just by putting in yardage when fatigued. I have done more anaerobic sets in the last 6 weeks than I have combined in three years of training. He has helped me make a few mechanical changes in my stroke that seem to be helping me reach the goal of swimming faster for longer. I admit I was a little skeptical at first but the results won me over.

I still have a ton of work to do in all three areas, there is no doubt about that. Especially if I want to be a competitor at the next level rather than a participant. However, I am excited about the improvements I have made this year, especially over the last 6 weeks. I am going to spend the next thee weeks putting a few more deposits in the fitness bank (especially in the pool) and getting my mind and body ready the the big day. I left Kona two years ago happy for the experience but not satisfied with the day. I hope when I board the plane on the return trip I won't feel like I have unfinished business.

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