So with the Leadman officially behind me, I need to really start to focus on the next round of training. I am in my 5th week of Base Phase training… and, having now tested myself on a truly tough course, I have a sense of my areas of relative strength and weakness — and have identified areas where I could use some focus in my training.
Other than race management lessons (see my Leadman Race Report post!), the biggest lesson I think I learned about my progress / training is that I could really use some more power on the bike, to drive up the hills. The Tremblant course is going to be hilly. Of that, there is no doubt. And as far as I can tell, the amount of climbing on the two course is roughly comparable (1900m in elevation gain in Tremblant vs 2100m of elevation gain at Leadman) … Though the Tremblant course has it spread over 180 kms of riding, vs Leadman over 110kms.
So over the next few weeks, I’ll be spending a significant amount of time focusing on leg strength…both on the bike / trainer as well as at the gym. Adding strength exercises to build up the raw power I can output will ensure I don’t have the same experience in Tremblant — or going out too hard, pushing my heart rate too high in the early stages of the bike and running out of steam later on in the bike and having nothing left over for the run.
On top of this, I need to continue to ramp the volume of my training program. Getting out side as the weather improves – especially to ride – is going to be critically important. The Leadman race went surprisingly well on the bike considering the difficulty of the course and the wind, since it was my second ride outside this year! and only the third ride EVER outside on this bike. And probably one of a about two dozen outdoor rides I did in the last 18 months (cause of my back injury in late 2010). So, ramping up the length of my rides to ensure my skeletal system and core / stabilizing muscles have gotten used to having to hold me in place is really going to be important to ensuring I have a solid race – both in June (at the 1/2 Ironman) and in August (at the full Ironman).
And finally, I also clearly need to work on my intensity / speed work. Going long is one thing, and is the core area of focus on events like a 1/2 or a full Ironman, but adding in the intensity will help my body make the physiological changes required to push a little harder without crossing over the anaerobic threshold and end up burning out too soon in the race. This will come more in the later phases of my training…. as I go through the build and into the peak phase… but some intensity now will be worth doing for, if nothing else, to get my body used to doing it before I am doing it with regularity later.
The bottom line is that I now need to get back to the schedule I have for training. The recovery is “done”…. and it’s time to take the lessons learned and put them to use in motivating me to get stronger, and faster, for the next race!