This past week was Week 8 of Ironman Texas Training. This week included my new longest bike ride of 101.4 miles, beating out last week's 80.4 mile ride. This week was a recovery week, so my workouts were curtailed a bit to allow some extra rest time for my body. Even so, it was still a solid workout week, coming in at just under 13 hours.
Here is how this past week of training breaks down:
Swim - 5700 yards, 2:17:48
Bike - 101.4 miles on roads, 6:14:34
Run - 18.4 miles, 3:51:34
Other - stretching specific or other training workout, 0:35:00
Overall training time 12:58:56
You might be thinking that this seems like a lot for a "recovery week" and I would be inclined to agree with you. I did drop one bike workout to get some extra rest during the week. Also, my longest run workout was just over 7 miles this week. The highlight of my week was my first scheduled 100 mile bike ride. Starting out at the house of a training partner who lives just off of the Ironman Texas bike course around mile 8 of the course, we rode primarily on the course for about 40 miles and then we looped back to do a second 32 mile loop around the toughest part of the course (i.e. most of the Iron Star half iron bike course) before riding back to the start point. The weather was good, though the wind picked up in the last hour or two, and I held a better than expected pace through the ride at an average speed of 16.25 mph, not fast by most triathlon standards but good for me at this distance (a pace which would actually yield a PR for me on a 56 mile half-iron course!) Unfortunately, I really pushed too hard for a long training ride because I felt good, so as a result I took it easy on Sunday's training run due to some light muscle soreness.
This week completes 40% of my training program. Next week is the start of the next 3 week build/1 week recovery cycle. I think these next 4 weeks may be the toughest mental part of my training because they will include some increasingly difficult workouts--though not the toughest of the program, but my race is still too far out to be my sole focus. In addition, the next build cycle will also include my tune-up race at the Gateway to the Bay Olympic distance triathlon (technically now renamed to the Kemah Triathlon) which will help divert my attention during that period.
However, I do have one side event coming up next weekend. I will be running the Texas Independence Relay from some close family friends next weekend. The race website describes the race as "The course starts in Gonzales, TX, where the Texas Revolution began, and it finishes at the San Jacinto Monument, where Texas Independence was won!". Ironically, this may be the easiest weekend workout I have had for a while.
On a side note for my Ironman training, I am coming closer to working out the details of my final nutrition plan. Some experimentation over the last few weeks has led me to calculate that I will be better off to put all (or at least almost all) of my bike nutrition in bottles in liquid form. Specifically, I am looking at carrying 2 bottles with enough calories for 4 hours in each bottle--not that I plan to be on the bike for that long, but partly as a hedge against not wanting to lose my only bottle with any nutritional calories if one bottle should manage to fall or otherwise get lost.
83 days until Ironman Texas...