Back in January I started counting down until IM Boulder. This morning as I write, there are only 89 more days (roughly 12 weeks) until race day. If you calculate rest days (at least one a week), plus a few other days where I know I won't fit in training due to travel, other commitments, etc., that number starts to drop to about 70 days of training. Oops! I forgot to factor in tapering. Let's make it about 65 days when all is said and done (and that's assuming I'm not sick or injured during the next couple of months). For the last several months, I've done everything I could to get in position for some serious Ironman Training. I think that's the difference moving forward. If April was the start of transitioning to more "race specific" (read: longer endurance) work, May launches me head first into that world. But before I delve into what's ahead, let's take a look back at the last several weeks to see what April was like.
Overall: In April, we were blessed with a lot of nice weather, and this gave me an opportunity to get in some longer rides outside. I continued to use the trainer each week, but at least three of my four long rides were done outside. The last, was an 82 miler I did the last weekend of the month. I also did a bit more running this past month with a couple of long runs of 8 and 10 miles (today is 12 miles) as I begin to ramp up the running again. So for the month of April I swam 13,000 yards, rode 412 miles on the bike, and ran 42 miles. I completed 30 out of 33 planned workouts for approximately a 91% completion rate.
Swimming: In April I swam a bit less than March, but continued to stretch my morning workouts a bit. With only two swims a week, there's still something to be desired, but they've stretched from 1500 yard sessions, to around 2000 on most days. I will continue to shoot for some longer swims in May, leading into the summer.
Biking: I cycled 3-4 times a week, depending on what my running plans were. The average time and distance increased while the frequency remained the same. During the week, I usually had a couple of 1 hour sessions done using Trainer Road. One was interval focused intense trainer ride, and another was more of a "sweet spot" workout. On the weekends, I alternated between two consecutive long rides (around 55 miles each) or one longer ride followed by a longer run the next day. The bike course for IM Boulder was also revealed a couple of weeks back and that will have an impact on my training choices. The new course has about 5100 feet of elevation gain, with short punchy climbs. While the gain in elevation isn't drastically different than the year before, the brief "ups" and "downs" will certainly be different.
|2014 IM Boulder Bike Course|
|2015 IM Boulder Bike Course|
Up Next: In May, I'll be adding more long workouts on the weekend. A typical ride will now be at least 50 miles, and this will often be followed by some longer running off of the bike. My "during the week activities" will stay about the same. One thing I'm going to definitely do however, is build in a recovery week after every third week of training. At the end of April, I had one built in, and I was so thankful that was the case. Going into the week, I felt completely spent and the quality of my workouts was suffering to the point that I had little energy to put into them. I didn't even manage to make it to the pool in the morning, and so I was grateful that I didn't have a bunch of key workouts scheduled that I would have had to scrub. Taking it a bit easier for a week means I now get to start the next phase feeling refreshed, motivated and ready to go. A month from now, I'll be at the start of June and with it will be the beginnings of Summer "Vacation" (I'll still be working quite a bit, but without the same frenzy that the end of the school year brings). The month will be challenging, but I feel ready to go to the next phase. Bring it on!