Ironman Lake Placid Training Week #15


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Week Fifteen Recap Header

As the training plan progresses, I am getting into some unfamiliar territory with distances I have to complete. This week included the longest bike ride I have ever done and a run distance that I have only surpassed once. These are the times I try to think about how far I have come in the sport of triathlon and not all the work that I have left to do.

How Far

Monday 5/19

PM – 2800-yard swim – I felt pretty good during this swim. The main set included intervals that I have done several times. Just as time passes, I have been required to do more of them. This session was 14 of these intervals…100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 fast/:30 sec rest. I did a decent job of pushing myself (the 100s were at a “moderate plus” effort) and I held the pace pretty well. For most of my 100s, I was able to maintain 1:48-1:49 average pace. The last few took a lot more to stay within my range, but I held on as best I could.

Tuesday 5/20

PM – 2 hours 15 minute run – This long run started similarly to my last long run. I got going, but was not really feeling great or into a groove. It is especially difficult when you start a long run not feeling like you want. It makes you wonder if the feeling will continue the entire time…you can only hope that you get to feeling better and can fall into a pace that is comfortable and sustainable. Around 4.5 miles, at my first turn around; I took a very short break and took a gel. Just as I was starting back, I saw Tony. The plan was for him to join me on the greenway around mile 9, but he opted to jump on the mountain bike and meet me sooner. As always, I was happy to see him. I keep chugging along and was updating him on how I felt. After another mile or two, I gradually felt better. (I told Tony that he was my good luck charmJ). I knew I still had a lot of miles still to go, but was relieved to be settling in.

The run was in the late afternoon…it was a little warm, but not hot. I was trying out my new Nathan Hydration Pack that Tony surprised me with.

Nathan Hydration Pack

Nathan Hydration Pack

In the past, I have used a hydration belt, which I like a lot, but with the longer distance, I needed access to more water. With this, I will add that on runs I am aiming to take in gels and chews. I try to eat at least every 2 miles and will take a gel around half way (if not sooner). I was going with this plan, but will modify since this run. I need more calories than what I have been taking in.

I started to fade later in the run. The last 15 minutes were a tremendous struggle. I just had to focus on finishing and nothing else, other than drinking. After I stopped, everything from the waist down ached! YIKES! I walked slowly to the car and could not wait to sit. As we walked back, Tony was noticing how much salt was on my clothes and my face. I had not taken any salt tabs, as I would typically plan to do when it is hot outside. I did not feel that I had sweat excessively, but I sure did sweat out a lot of salt (I saw after I got home and looked in the mirror at my face). So, the conclusion from this tough run and how badly my legs felt after I finished was that I was cramping due loss of sodium. Going forward I will take salt tabs to help prevent this from occurring, even if I think it is not that hot out! After we got home and cleaned up and ate dinner, I spent lots of time stretching and foam rolling, which seemed to help a lot!! My run totals were 14.54 miles at an average pace of 9:17.

So Very True!!

So Very True!!

Wednesday 5/21

AM – 75 minutes on the bike trainer – I had another early morning on the trainer after a long run. SURPRISINGLY, my legs felt decent. Sure, there was some soreness, but I think I did a REALLY good job of stretching and foam rolling. YAY me! 75 minutes of hard gear and low cadence. I had 5 minute intervals with 5 minutes rest. Heart rate stayed pretty low. I certainly worked hard, as evidenced by the sweat dropping off my body, but stayed in a good range. Nothing too exciting to report…I did watch the season finale of Amazing Race which helped pass the time!!

PM – 2500-yard swim – I don’t have the opportunity to say this very often, so when I do have the chance, I take advantage…I had a GREAT swim!!! Woo hoo! 2500 yards and I was super pleased with my session. I had a slight “ugh…I have to swim” moment when I was walking out to the pool from the locker room, but I knew this session would feel short in comparison to the 3500+ yard sessions I had tackled. Plus one of my motivator songs came on my ipod just as I was sliding into the pool for my warm-up…perfect timing!!! My 3x300s to start were good time wise and then one of my true tests was the 3×200 slow/mod/fast. I have mentioned before that I had struggled with having distinct differences in my speed. This is an area I have improved upon and I think I rocked it pretty well here. The slow is easy…just stay in the zone and think about form. The moderate is a comfortable effort, but it is easy to push past. I often times swim at a “moderate plus” effort because I feel I need to extend my effort more. Then the fast is a challenge. You definitely want to push yourself hard but not too hard that you run out of steam before finishing the set. I think I hit the efforts pretty spot on and I was rewarded with the times I saw on my Garmin. The main set ended with 12x25s alternating easy and fast pace.

Thursday 5/22

AM – 55 minutes on the bike trainer – The main set included 2×15 minute intervals with alternating cadence between 85 and 95 (lactate threshold efforts). I was able to keep my heart rate within range well…started to creep up during the last 5 minutes, but overall, I was in the zone! I enjoyed watching “Revenge” (I think it was the last episode before the season finale) and get another bike session checked off the list.

PM – I had a 45 minute steady run on the treadmill. I was feeling good early on, so I added the extra tenth in speed that I have been toying with over the fast few runs. I was able to keep this pace for a little more than half the run. I could have probably held on, but that was have been pushing it more than what I needed to do for this workout. I ended up with 5.54 miles and 8:07 average pace. I was pleased with this considering it was my last day before rest day after a very full solid week of training.

Friday 5/23 REST DAY!


Saturday 5/24

5 hours on the bike – I must admit, I was a little nervous going into this ride. The 4.5 hour ride I did before, I had some tough moments. I really wanted to have a good ride and I just did not know how much I would have to overcome to get in my five hours. This would be my longest ride to date.

I had two major goals for this ride. The first was to eat ALL that I planned to eat. Last long ride I am certain that I did not take in enough calories and it is super important that I get this piece of my race plan dialed in more as I approach race day. The second goal was to finish the five hours and feel somewhat decent. I knew it would take a lot out of me, but I did not want to be totally wiped at the end of the ride.

For the day, I planned two 2.5-hour routes. The first route, I was joined by two friends, Susanne and Neil. We had a good ride on one of my usual routes. I stayed focused on eating and drinking and we were holding a fair pace, but not pushing too hard. We rode back to the house for a quick rest/re-stock and for Tony to join in. Susanne and Neil decided to continue on with us as the second route we had planned is great in that it is easy to get in good miles, but you are never really too far from the house. They accompanied us for an additional 15 miles or so and then it was just me and Tony to finish out the 5 hours. I continued to focus on my nutrition and how I was feeling. Tony suggested for the last hour that I when I had the pull, to really push hard. He wanted me to hold it just as long as I could, whether it was 5 minutes or 15 minutes. After I gave what I had, Tony took the pull for me to get some recovery. This worked well and I felt better that I had anticipated. This is somewhat like what I will plan to do on race day…take the first half of the bike easy and then ramp it up a bit for the second half. I finished the five hours with 86.24 miles and an average pace of 17.3. Most importantly, I ate everything I planned and felt decent when I was done.

Sunday 5/18

We had a last minute invite for a day trip down to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach. It is nearly impossible for me to pass on a chance to visit Wilmington since it is one of my very favorite places. We accepted the invitation, but I knew I still needed to get in my training. I awoke early Sunday morning for a speedwork session on the treadmill. I had 4×10-minute intervals with 2 minutes recovery between sets. This was a tough one! I really had to mentally focus to stay strong and hold on to my pace. At one point I thought to myself how crazy it was for me to be doing speedwork the morning following an 86-mile bike! I was happy to finish up because that meant I was that much closer to heading to the beach!

We were having a super great visit, but after enjoying lunch and some relaxation on the beach, I had an open water swim to attack. The swim was on my plan and I had scheduled another open water swim at Falls Lake. Since we were headed to the beach, the venue shifted to the Atlantic Ocean! I wanted to get in an hour…BUT…plans changed a bit after we felt the conditions. The ocean was rough and I was not sure how much I would be able to get in. I told myself to shoot for a mile. While I have swum in the ocean a few times for some sprint triathlons, they were relatively short distances. Somehow I held on and got in one mile. It was super tough and I was pleased with my efforts. Due to the waves and chop, I changed my typical swim pattern from bilateral breathing to breathing on just one side. Despite the change, I still took in plenty of salt water, but it was better than what it would have been otherwise. Tony swam with me for a bit, but after a while he decided that he was not having fun and walked the beach as I swam. I would have done the same thing, had I not been training!


Time: 14 hours 33 minutes

Swim: 7,060 yards

Bike: 111.5 miles

Run: 28 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: I did pretty well this week!!

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