Tomorrow, I will fly off to Auckland before heading out to Lake Taupo on Wednesday. Then, final preparations begin for my race-readiness at 7.00am, Saturday, 3 March.
With one week to go, I still have to taper properly. This is a crucial week that can sabotage your efforts, if you are not diligent. This week, I had gradually-reduced mileage, including short runs, rides, and swims. Today, I ran one hour (90-94rpm cadence @ 5:15-5:30K/minute pace) along the beach route, and did a 45-minute pool session (pool-buoy sets and sculling). Yesterday’s 2-hour ride is a weaning off the 4-6 hour sessions that I completed weeks ago. My calves are now sore, as my easy ride included 40 minutes at half-Ironman race pace. Thanks to Nicholas who kept me company over several Saturdays. Hopefully, tomorrow morning’s sports massage session will help release residual muscle tension and knots in my legs.
Some cumulative, positive signs in my third attempt at this series include:
1) I completed about 75 percent of Coach’s weekly training prescription. And, he is happy about that.
2) I finally completed a few 13-15 hour training weeks, which are achievements for me. I am, naturally, averse to physical activity - but I enjoy racing.
3) Swimming much more regularly, with strength-specific, sessions. Thanks to support from triathletes (buddies of Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2008/2009), Marco and Kenneth!
4) I feel more confident of my swim fitness and technique in my open-water, wetsuit swim last Saturday. I progressed to the middle of the pack with more upper-body control.
5) I am more patient and mindful of my marathon pace, opting to use both intuition AND my Garmin 310XT monitor and stick to my race pace of 5:15-5:30K/min at a cadence of 90-92rpm. I take more, smaller, steps now, without being winded and still maintaining my race-pace.
6) My switch to Hammer Nutrition (Coach’s suggestion) after weeks of experimentation led me to my confidence in its products. I will use mostly Perpeteum endurance drink, gels and Endurolytes (salt replacement) as my main source of nutrition. I will carry less nutritional load, but nutrition-loaded supplements.
7) My ride sessions (with strength-based training, short time trials, and race-pace sets) have given me more confidence on my bike. I can take hilly routes better now.
8) Unlike 2010, where I lost swim and ride fitness due to a car accident (I was hit from behind by a taxi), I am more race-fit and determined to do my best. Third time lucky?
9) The fact that I got my replacement Elite Custom Razor frame in (I thrashed mine when I hit a stationary truck) four weeks ago means that I have a custom-crafted and custom-fitted bike to allow me to ride comfortably and accentuates my fitness. Only concern is that I rode roadie style for four weeks and did not do much by way of the aero-position.
10) I am almost race-packed, so none of the troublesome worries that comes about from poor travel planning and preparation.
I will post more upon my arrival.