August 19, 2007

Back to the training

It seems like I did the Steelman long ago. I could not believe it was only last Sunday. After the race I took one day off on Monday as usual and then slowly eased back into the training week. It was a long one (9.5 hours), especially the weekend ride and run. Saturday was a bike day and it was the toughest ride ever. I did 3.5 hours in fairly strong wind. On this course I usually cruise 60-70 miles at average speed of 19.5 - 20 mph, but this time I was much slower - only 18.5 mph over 67 miles. After two loops - around 40 miles I was debating whether I have enough energy to keep pushing for another lap. In the end I did push through and had opportunity to play with different positions to optimize the aero position. I tried everything, but on the down hills with strong wind I was unable to get to speed above 40 mph. Normally I descend that hill at 45 - 48 mph. So the wind was definitely a huge factor. Also my average power during the ride was about 30 watts higher than even during the Steelman race. As you can expect I was quite tired in the end.

Today was run day and I was debating whether I could last for full 2 hours while keeping good pace. The plan was to try running the first 6 miles and then decide what to do - easy return back home or push for 13+ miles. First 4 miles were not easy - I was quite dizzy and could not get into the zone. At mile 5 I took GU gel, got into a good pace and kept pushing sub 8:30 per mile pace which is fairly good. On the hills my pace slipped a little but I was always doing better than 9:30 pace even on hills. At mile 10 I got second breath and passed another runner up-hill while doing 8:15. That felt good. Then I took long way back home and on the uphill back home my computer showed 14 miles. So the long run was in the end a good one and I averaged 9:01 miles. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but I'll take it. Not bad considering the 67 miles ride the day before and sleep of only 6 hours. So training saga continues. Next week is another long one before short week and then the race week. Oh yeah the race is very, very close.

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