Saturday, January 14, 2012

Going Long

I found this week to be a busy one for me. In common parlance, I experienced a ‘long week’. This weekend will be no different for Coach has designed my program to comprise longer sessions, with immediate runs off the ride, and longer running sessions. I have been tossed the ‘bricks’ (two disciplines done back-to-back).

This morning, with minimal sleep for the last 48 hours I rode 4.5 hours (easy/moderate/hard) followed by 45 minutes of running in the pool. I coincided my ride with friends from TriFam (Desmond, Hui Koon, Matthew, Craig, Robert and Conrad). I caught up with them after my late start, and did three loops of Selarang (30K each with some mild hills) and the dreaded Hendon Road hill (a nice spanner to thrown in after hitting Selarang Hill). I was supposed to run on the road, however decided to play it safe as I was not sure of the physical condition of my left heel (residual plantar fasciitis?). By far, in the last two meso-cycles today has to be my longest session I have undertaken. I missed a similar cycle last week as rain wiped out any chance I had for a similar hard ‘hit’.

I have found that riding solo (save for other riders I meet on my ride) develops my sense of independence and alertness. It is also a useful simulation of race-day conditions: no-drafting and keeping to 7-10 metre rule; focus on nutrition and pacing; playing its strategically, as it is all about the marathon, not the ego.

On Sunday, I will have two sessions for running: A two-hour morning run (with intervals), and a shorter afternoon/evening (with short bursts). I look forward to the discipline in my pacing and accessing how my body holds after a 15-hour week (within a tight working schedule). Coach focused me on running stronger off the bike, as that has been my relative weakness within an Ironman race. He believes I can hold a 4:50-5:00 minutes/K pace, and score a sub-4 hour marathon that has eluded me for years. I have my work cut out for me for the remaining 6 weeks till I arrive in Lake Taupo, Auckland.

Leadership Lessons: What is your comfort level about working alone? How well do you take to autonomy? How do you take to prolonged projects? How do you respond to extensions on deadlines? How tolerant are you of delays, distractions and indecisiveness? Endurance, tenacity, persistence and determination are values to latch on when going long and far.

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