June 23, 2007

Finishing week 2 of the Half Ironman training

This is the second week of the official 13 weeks half Ironman training I started as preparation for my race in September. Last 2 weeks were fairly easy - about 8-10 hours of training and it consisted of three sessions in each sport with Monday as free day.

The runs were extremely easy so I extended them by 15-30 minutes each and also increased the intensity. My swimming is getting much better - I can keep going for an entire hour with very minimal breaks and my breathing is where it should be - three strokes at a time and breathing on alternative sides. I'm really proud of the improvement - I think the tri specific wetsuit is helping a lot. I hope I can use it during the races. I keep doing swim drills with not much focus on speed, just as suggested in most books for beginning triathletes. And bike - yeah bike is getting good as well. I started biking even before my half marathon in April and it really helped me improve my running and my bike specific strength is getting better as well. According to power meter and tracking software I'm improving and I just moved out of the untrained category to cat 5 which is not great, but it is a progress. In the past two weeks I did most workouts on the bike trainer, I guess that near miss with the car scared me enough plus the bike trainer is very convenient I can ride in the evening when everyone is in the bed. Each of my bike sessions was between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. Today I decided to go out and test ride the road around lake Nockamixon where my two races will be held. I got up very early and got to the lake before 7am. It was very beautiful morning and the ride was very enjoyable. I was not sure what to expect as I was unable to get the route elevation profile on-line. I was very pleasantly surprised - the road is very nice with mostly rolling hills and three larger climbs. The enclosed picture shows the elevation profile (note that it shows the route twice I did two laps) and also shows the speed, heart rate, power and other details. Overall I'm very happy with the ride, I can keep going 19 mph on average for both laps which is little faster than what I estimated I could do. Now I need to keep training so I can get the route done three times and see how I feel then.

There was only one issue today and that was the fueling. I had reasonably small breakfast - coffee and some pastry. It was not too light or too heavy, just right for the ride. I took two packs of GU and plenty of water with me. After the first lap I downed the GU and some water. I kept drinking water the whole ride before and after I had the GU. For some reason after the second lap I was feeling very tired and dizzy - similar to my feeling during the half marathon when I did not hydrate enough. Now I'm puzzled if I just got dehydrated or if I also had low sugar in the blood. When I finished the ride I ate three cereal bars and it felt soooooo goooood. I need to keep trying different fueling strategies and read some recommendations. If you have proven fueling strategy for 2-3 hours bike ride after which you will run half marathon let me know. I'm looking for anything that works - I have only 11 weeks to fine tune the refueling.

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