It's now just over 2 weeks since my last race and I'm in a heavy week and one of my last for this season. Whilst most others are either off altogether or just tipping away I'm training more than ever and feel I'm making even more progress ahead of my last race of the season in 4 weeks time.
Run volume has increased steadily for me and I feel this has helped my progression.
It does feel almost that it's only now that I understand form and have the strength to cope with this properly and achieve the benefits associated hopefully.
Biking is also slightly up and more intensity recently to try make another gain ahead of last race.
I'm still loving the training more than ever, and perhaps enjoying running even more (not that I didn't previously) lately as I think I've made progress and it feels that way... We shall see come race day.
1 - Fizik Arione Tri 2 Saddle in Black and Red - same saddle I had just now better colour coordination!
2 - Specialized Sworks Trivent Bike Shoes - yes, the heel clip out ones and damn are they comfortable. I didn't realise it but my previous Shimano's were actually squashing my toes and these trivents suit my feet perfectly and offer a very comfortable fit.
I'll throw up some pics and a proper review shortly in a seperate post. I have them over 2 weeks now and have put in some decent miles to warrant a proper opinion.
3 - Adidas Adizero Boston Runners - not much to say here, needed a new pair of training runners and popped in to Kev as usual in Base2Race/Amphibian King.
These and the Kinvara 3's were the options but the Kinvara's had too much toe room and space for my liking and feet. The Adidas feel more suited to my feet profile and are very comfortable.
I do have a pair of Adizero Adios's also from a while ago which I'm going to start using on my faster runs to see how they go. Currently used Kinvara 2's with no issues but liking the Adidas fit a bit more at the moment.
4 - Garmin 910xt - this was a needed replacement for my 310xt sitting somewhere deep in Galway Bay. I haven't used the pool swim just yet but have played around with the settings. I particularly like the alerts and hope this will aid me towards a 5:45 400m in my next attempt!
No issues with this watch yet at all other than the instant pace being a jumpy jumping bean and the battery life indicator seemingly showing less than should be remaining.
I let this drop to the warning low battery life on a recent run and popped it on charge to see 10% was still remaining - so near 2 hours??? Strange. I'm now tracking the use by hours to see as I'd like to know when I do need to charge it exactly without worrying it looks low and charging more than I'm used to.
Well, ahead of Miami 70.3 in 4 weeks time I've started to think about my goals and also my approach to next season and what my aims will be.
I'm very ambitious and determined to continue my upward performance curve and this will be key to my similarly ambitious goals for next season. My race calendar will be different and primarily made up of 70.3's with prep for Vegas in September.
Back to this season, and Miami 70.3 then...
Well firstly I intend to approach this race differently than my 2 previous 70.3's. Namely by pushing the bike in particular more and seeing how that affects my run. I think I've more to push and give in 70.3 bike split without losing on run speed, and in particular I also feel I've more to give in my run split as well.
Miami is a flat bike profile and a run that goes up and over a windy bridge with flat thereafter.
With this in mind, I'm hoping of posting faster bike and run splits than my previous races.
So that would be sub 2:24 on the bike and sub 1:26 on the run.
I will likely target an average as close to 38/39kph as I can, followed by running at 4min km's to start with hopefully. That elusive 40kph will be attempted but may be too much of a jump just yet... but I will get there!
It's hard to say which I'm targeting more - I know the run is the most important for my improvement and if I'm to catch up to the faster runners this is a must. I'd love to post a sub 1:24 and show more improvement ahead of finishing this season and go into a break with some more satisfaction and box ticked so to speak. I definitely feel this and more is achievable based on recent training and can't wait to get out there. Miami will definitely be full gas as much as I think is possible to complete the course with nothing left. I have age group aspirations also so don't want to blow up on the run, but do want to use the race as a learning curve in regards trying to find the limit more than I feel I have in previous races.
I haven't said much about the swim, it is likely to be a non wetsuit and is by a harbour so if windy will be a slight chop. I'll need to get on feet as much as possible to set myself up for a good day. My 2 previous 70.3 swims were poles apart in regards times with 30:xx for Groomsport and 34:xx for Galway. Not sure if Galway included much of the run to transition or not, but in a pure 1.9k sea swim I'll be aiming for 30 or below if all goes to plan. Miami transitions seem much smaller and faster than Galway so hopefully I don't see another 34:xx on the clock unless it's very choppy and I'm in the lead bunch from AG!
Oh, one slight negative.. my AG is off last... Yep, some 1:20 after the Pro's and should mean lots of traffic from the very start. Same for everyone though so just going to get on with it. Hopefully the bike is a nice highway to allow me to just power through in the over taking lane for most of it!
Obviously wind and weather can play a part so the above is based on a nice day with relatively little wind interference.
Early indications of next season...
My initial thoughts of next season currently are a focus on 70.3's ahead of Vegas in September.
There will probably be 1 x 70.3 abroad - ideally somewhere with 20+ degree's as a mini prep for the hotter climate though that won't touch Vegas obviously. I'm not concerned about the heat and feel I'll be able to cope but know it will require hydration and nutrition to be given strict attention. I did race Abu Dhabi short course in 38 degree's and had no issues at all - it was a similar bike at 100k but only a 10k run so this is different. Also nowhere near the humidity. Maybe I'll start turbo'ing in a sauna near you soon!!
Outside of that, there's a couple of Irish races I want to give a good crack at and will have hopefully improved enough to challenge for podium's. I do realise serious improvement in all areas particularly run will be required for this to happen and that's absolutely what will wake me up at 6am into the winter months for a thrashing in the pool!
I'll wait until the TI Calendar is posted before deciding exactly, as I'll hope to include the National Championship races in there if at all possible though suspect the Middle Distance Champs will not suit my calendar next year unfortunately.
The National Duathlon Champs is an interesting distance to have a go at. Nice and intense for near 2 hours and would fall relatively in line with a 70.3 focus having 15k of running in it.
Again will wait to see how the calendar pans out, but I'd like to give it a go along with a couple Irish 70.3's if possible. Tri and Mhi and Humbert are likely's if dates suit.
Hope everyone is enjoying their off season for those that are winding down. And I'm sure there are those that are back on the train and getting an early start!!
It'll be December before I'm back into proper training for 2013 and this suits me fine as I've been training since mid Sept'11 non stop and next season will be a long one hopefully.