Don’t answer that question. I may cry. Not really. So, it’s been a few weeks since my last post. No recent races and the family and I went on vacation. This post will be an odds and ends review. I’ve got a pic of my new toy, an update on the new tri-sled, and some training recommendations not for the faint of heart.
As mentioned in a previous post, another b-day passed. I suppose I’m officially middle-aged, i.e. if I’m lucky. My middle-aged crisis appetizer was buying a new bike rack. My roof-rack served me well but frankly is a little tedious to use. I decided on a hitch-mounted rack by Kuat. It’s a cool product with a few extras.
It is well made though a little heavy due to this construction. I can slap my bike on there in 30 secs and I’m ready to go. Much more convenient. It includes a locking cable system that slides into the tire tray. Another cool extra is the built-in repair stand at the base. You can do some last-minute preps before a race or ride. The rack tilts up when not in use or tilts down with a bike to gain access to the tailgate. It even as a neat anti-rattle cam to tighten the rack in the hitch.
My true middle-aged crisis is officially on order. Yes, I speak of the “Black Mamba”:
Interestingly, the black mamba is the fastest snake in the world, capable of speeds up to 12mph. Thanks to Dan T and my big sis for the new name. Chris Leven over at Bicycle Cove, Hampton Cove, AL set me up on the new tri-sled. I wanted the all black model but Trek is not producing that color scheme again this year. (Even though it is the most popular color) So for a little more coin, of course, I can get a customized paint job. All-black this time. Trek’s Project One build program lets you pick everything from color, drivetrain, wheels, saddles, and even grip tape color. Lead-time was just 2 weeks until I had to order the special paint. So, I’m looking at delivery in 4+weeks. I saved a ton of money getting the cheapest trainer-wheels and getting discounts on a few items I already own, e.g. saddle. The Black Mamba, i.e. Trek Speed Concept, should race at a couple of my late season triathlons if all goes well.
Last week was spent on the surface of the sun, or as more commonly referred to, the beach. Performance in my scheduled training was poor to say the least. We finally got a little relief towards the end of the week and I celebrated with a 11 mile run. So nice to run long again. The rest of the time I was trying to hold power on the bike. Running even at 0700 was brutal. I couldn’t make myself get up at 0400 just to workout, (not on vacation…even I’m not that dedicated). Sorry if I just disappointed my fellow triathletes. The heat bothered me but I finally realized it was just because the heat index was north of 11o deg most days. It finally occurred to me that this week was great for heat acclimatization. I went running when we got back and it was so much easier even despite 90+ deg weather here. So all was not lost.
I messaged to Coach about doing some tempo-paced bike-run bricks. I mentioned last post that I wanted to put my body in the hurt locker, physically and mentally. Perhaps I can adapt to pushing at pace and Zone 5 heart rate late in a triathlon. He scheduled a 2 and 1/2 hour brick last week. Plan was to do 90mins on bike including 4 x 10 min intervals at threshold/Vo2max then transition quickly to 60min run including 5 x 6min cruise intervals at threshold or faster. I survived the bike then blew up after 2 miles running at the beach. I’m blaming the heat, but it could easily be poor fuel or too many Newcastles the previous evening.
Trial #2 of the same workout was this morning. Much better but still a hard workout. I kept thinking, “Every mile I finish is another age-group slot.” It was warm but not hot today. I started out at around 0930. By the way, I worked the weekend on call, in case you’re wondered how I get to train this time of day. I went 80 mins on the bike pushing the power up to threshold for the intervals. Yes, that hurts when your legs are stiff. I T2 unto the run on the Wet Dog Tri course and finished 5 X 6 min intervals. I definitely got to the feeling where the face is burning, legs feel dead, and heart is hammering away. I always want to slow down or stop at that point. It was good to look at the Garmin files afterward. Despite the sense that I was slowing down due to lactic acid build-up, I was still holding pace. Now I just have to endure that pain during a race. A few more of these workouts will help. This is stressful on the body however so be careful and hydrate/fuel as in a race. Try it out and you may find another gear on race day.
For those of you that don’t train with a powermeter or GPS, I can give you some general guidelines. For the bike, do the intervals at your threshold-V02max heart rate (Zone 4-5). A good test for bike Threshold is to do a 30min time trial (as fast as you can go). Push lap button on your heart rate monitor at ten minutes. Then look at your average HR over the last 20mins. This is a fairly accurate number for your bike threshold HR. On the run, you could use the last 40mins of a 10k-12k run in training or a race. Look at the average HR and use that to hold pace minus up to 20secs as tolerated. Don’t go long at race-pace to prevent injuries ( at least if you’re old like me).
Until next time. Review of the Wet Dog Course and game plans.
Thanks for reading as always.