Is it still March....I mean really - considering how time flies these days it seems like February was an awful long time ago and April still lurks over the distant horizon that is this Friday! I am however of course not complaining, one does not mind that March still has plenty to play for and that with this beautiful weather we've been having the 'here and now' is a quite lovely place to be!
So as for last week - it was always going to be a struggle as I was away for the weekend and had lots of other stuff booked in so...
Monday - nafffink (rest day)
Tuesday - Swam in the morning, Achilles was back to square one so all pulling
Wednesday - this was supposed to be a cycle to work day but as the girlfriend was sick I checked she was all okay rather than shooting off early doors, I then felt rough in the evening and couldn't face swimming! It may have been sympathy sickness but she had a bug that was going around her office and stopped her dead for 36 hours so any sign and I was relaxing!
Thursday - still not great but went for kill or cure cycle to work, it was pretty steady and I couldn't quite get going even with a push in the middle, looking at last year I was faster then with the same heart rate (17.6mph ave, 135 bpm ave) which left me a bit confused! However I guess it showed that I wasn't 100%, but it cleared out the bug, on the way home which is net up hill I easily smashed it averaging 19.6 mph with HR at 137 - who knows what was lurking in my system!
Friday - had the day off so after sorting some stuff out I went for a 52 mile, 3 hour ride - not very fast but lots of good climbing and superb weather - I'm getting used to riding on my own for longer distances now without getting too bored - its all about the weather (cold and rain = can't be arsed = get bored quickly), that and concentrating on Ironman pacing!
Basically over the last week I have been doing a lot of research on pacing for the bike, how it should feel etc - whilst everyone is different, a successful amateur triathlete that I follow always keeps his bike HR around the 130 mark, which is about 70% - so I have been concentrating on keeping it within this range but also making sure that my perceived power (i.e. how hard am I pushing the pedals) remains even and not too aggressive. The general outcome seems to be that I average around the 17.5 mph mark, obviously that is hill dependent and it may be a bit faster on the Forestman course as whilst there are plenty of hills only one will really hit the speed hard - however we will see, I'd rather err on the side of caution! That would give me a 6.5 hour bike split (plus a few minutes here and there for aid stations, cups of tea, passing out) - that is more than reasonable! So I will continue to concentrate on that pace/HR and see where that brings me in a month or so's time - if by the time of the race I can bump that closer to 18mph thats all good - however its only 20 minutes faster over 112 miles so may not be worth it at the expense of surviving the run!
As I keep reminding myself - its purely about finshing the race, so all this research is to enable me to finish not to hit any specific time (other than 15.59 hours) - so a 1.25 hour swim (inc T1) and a 6.5 hour bike puts me nicely at 7 hours 45 minutes up tot T2, so say 8 hours coming out of T2 and I have 7 hours and 59 minutes to complete the marathon....lovely stuff!
Anyway a bigger week this week beckons so all good stuff - lets hope I can start running again this week, its the London Marathon in 20 days!