July 8, 2007

Week 4 complete, 9 more to go

This past week was quite good - it was the short R&R week. I had only two short 45 minutes swims, few runs, some biking and first official brick of 2 hours (more about that later). To make my training more interesting I started to follow the 3plus2 FIRST program that makes all 3 runs in the week quite challenging. One run is intervals on track or treadmill, second run is tempo run and third one is a long run. It sounds quite OK and almost the same as my previous program, until you look at the pace that the program prescribes based on 5k finish time. I had to get my intervals pace up by almost 1 minute per mile, tempo runs by about 45 second per mile and long runs by about 20 seconds per mile. Yeah it is challenging, but it is also a lot of fun. My runs started to get little repetitive so this is a welcome change.

Swimming has been going quite well and I did two swims without the wetsuit which is much, much, much harder than in the wetsuit. I also finally found good ear plugs that do not leak and I do not lose them. So I'm quite happy swimmer. Will see how much better I can get by doing drills and focusing on being fluid in the water. I'm no master swimmer, but my freestyle at least resembles a real freestyle and I can keep going the whole 60 minutes which should carry me through the Half Iron swim quite ok.

Biking is getting really good - I had to replace tires on the bike and I went with the recommendation of my store and bought 700x23c tires instead of the 700x20c. Wow what a difference - I do not feel avery single stone as I did before and the tires held well during the entire bike ride on the weekend. When I replaced the tire I blew up last week I saw a big cut through the whole tire (not only stem) and realized that whatever I ran over while doing 50 miles was very, very sharp. Every time I ride that hill I keep closer to the road to avid repeating that experience. This weekend I did a long brick with few guys from around Quakertown. I really enjoyed the ride in the group - it was much more fun to chat with people while riding than to ride by myself.

Oh and the fueling on the bike went well. This Saturday I downed one PowerBar before the ride and then had one gel every 40-45 minutes. I bought another bottle holder and hydrated the whole ride. This carried me just fine through the whole 90 minutes on the bike and over 40 minutes of running.

So there are another few weeks before the first race - Lehigh Valley Steelman Olympic. That should be fun race and a good introduction to the sport for me. The venue is really nice and there are only few hills. None that I would call nasty so it should be fairly manageable race. The Half Iron will use different route around the lake and it will have more hills - one of them is pretty steep and we will have to do it three times. I know I can do it twice and I guess next weekend I'll see if I can do it three times. I have 2.5 hours to figure that out.

If you are from around Quakertown, give me a haul and we can meet-up for the ride.

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