The first 4 weeks of the Ironman training are now complete, and I've just come off my first recovery week. The extra sleep sure was nice, and the body appreciates the bit of backing off it was allowed...even with 8hrs of training done in that week.
I'm rather proud of myself for still getting pretty much everything done that I want to - that means that I've adapted my training schedule well and moved things when I needed to. It also means I've "manned-up" and worked out when I really really really didn't want to. Really. So far, the hardest motivational day I had was last Saturday when I needed a longer ride. I just plain didn't want to be in the workout room watching Coach Troy again...for some reason I just couldn't do it that day. So I made myself a deal - I'd do the ride in front of the XBox and play Fallout 3 (aka My New Addiction) while I did the ride as long as I could maintain Z2-Z3 the entire time. Stealing a chapter from Matty O, I moved everything into the family room, started up Fallout 3, and pedalled away while I explored post-apocalyptic Washington, DC and blasted away mutants. The end result was a solid Z2-Z3 ride for the full duration, wobbly legs, and two Level Ups in the game. :)
My aerobic base has certainly improved, and it should. For the first time in my life, over the countless years I've been active, this is the first time where I actually keep the HR and intensity where it should be. In only 4 weeks, there's a substantial difference in my aerobic capacity and aerobic endurance. I'm pushing myself harder in the pool, I'm getting stronger, and the confidence is building. It all certainly helps me stay motivated and keep doing it. Not many aches yet either, but I need to keep up with the stretching - I can feel my back and hamstrings getting tight even as I sit here typing this. I felt this last year when working towards my first marathon, and I must stay on top of this...or it'll be like I'm running on stilts.
The next 4-week block has started today, and it introduces more lactate-producing work - speed and hills. Not sure what I've got for hills near my house, so I may need to get imaginative. Like doing plyometric squats before runs, or swapping a hilly ride for Spinervals "Bending Crank Arms." Or if I really want to suffer, I could do BodyRock before a workout...or in the middle of one. Either way, these legs are going to get strong in preparation for the lovely hills at Mont Tremblant, and that starts today - I've got 1hr of "short hills" tonight according to the plan. Might need some power music tonight.
I was lucky enough to get a gift from my mom recently - the poor woman is so worried with my doing an Ironman that she wants to make it as comfortable as possible for me (since she can't prevent me from doing the race). :) She has blessed my butt and "The Boys" with a squishy ISM Adamo saddle. I've seen these things a lot, and now that I have one, I can certainly vouch for them. They do take a bit more fiddling to get them setup right, but when you do, it's shocking how big of a difference they provide. No numbness, no discomfort, no chaffing.
And no excuses. :D
More later. Thanks for reading!