Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ironman Training Review: June, 2014

Normalcy. It's what I have been wanting to have in my training all year. Normalcy, in my world, is swim-bike-run-eat-sleep repeat week in and week out. When the winter weather breaks, with a few exceptions, training is done outdoors, and my basic week looks the same. Week, after week, after week. Not that I don't like change ... but I really don't like change when it comes to my routine.

I love my routine!!!

And the routine I oh so love, well, it has evolved into what it is over the past 15 years or so. Really, since I started training for my first Ironman in 2006 things have/had been steady, consistent. I take Rule #2 very serious.

After dealing with the crappiest winter we have seen in Pennsylvania in a long time, then injury, the first five months of this year were less than consistent to say the least. June, however, changed all that, hopefully for good. I've been back at it on a regular basis, even raced a bit.

Here's how June worked out:

Swim: Three to four times each week I was at LA Fitness, in the pool. With Ironman CDA off the table I backed off my weekly volume, opting for shorter, harder sessions. I didn't test this month so I kept my CSS pace at 1:21/100. It has been there for a while now, which I'm totally OK with. Normally when bike and run volume pick up I struggle in the pool. Tired legs and all. This year it feels a bit different. I don't know if it is the lower run volume coming off the layoff, but my swim pacing hasn't deteriorated. In fact, I PRed a few of my standard workouts this month. Whatever it is, I'll take it and call it a win in the pool.

Jonathan Soden - Eagleman 70.3
Eagleman 70.3
Bike: My riding has been pretty darn good. I pre-planned my DNF at Eagleman 70.3 on June 8, riding within myself at a PR time of 2:22:xx. I didn't/couldn't run, but felt great coming into T2. If I could have physically run I feel like I had a good run in me. Could it be the limited run mileage? Maybe. Could it be delusion? Maybe, but I don't think so.

This season I have done two things with bike training a bit different than in years past. First, I have taken interval training seriously. I really enjoy riding my bike and, in years past, would get a lot of miles in. Those miles tended to be more exercising than training, if you know what I mean. Last season I decided I needed to train more and exercise less, so intervals became more of a regular presence. At the Great Six Flags Triathlon I broke a long standing PR at the Olympic distance (40k) on a technical course that featured 1000 feet of vertical that I attribute to the interval work (race report). It seemed to work so I kept on doing it.

The second thing I have done is more climbing, even though it's not my favorite thing. In the past I have shied away from a lot of climbing when I am on my own. If I have a choice between doing some nice steady-state riding or up and down all day, put me in the aerobars and let me go. Not that I'm a bad climber ... it's just not my preference.

On most Wednesdays and Sundays I have been out on group rides that force me to hit the hills. Even better, one ride meets in Easton, riding mainly in Western NJ, while the other group rides in Lehigh County, PA. The Lehigh Valley and the surrounding area has some great roads for riding with climbs of all sorts. These two rides have really been a big help. As an added bonus: I get to suffer while making others suffer with me!!!

Overall mileage and intensity has been good, consistent from week to week. Let's call this a win.

Jonathan Soden - Eagleman 70.3
Eagleman Pre-Race
Run: Coming off knee surgery I have been slowly reintroducing the run back into my routine. In June I ran 2-3 times each week, separating runs with 1-3 days. As the month progressed I was able to lengthen the distance from 1-2 miles up to 4 miles each run. Reality is I don't want to have any setbacks so I have not been aggressive. My fear has been that after four months with little to no time on my feet there is a real risk of problems other than my knee. I would rather slowly gear it back up than suffer a calf strain or hamstring issue that keeps me from running for a few weeks.

Overall mileage is low and runs are of the just gettin' it the miles variety. Not what I would like, but better than it could be at this point in time. Not there yet so I call this a draw.

Overall: Fitness is coming back. When I raced Eagleman I really raced on base fitness. By the end of June I feel like I am starting to get into better shape and will be prepared to start my Ironman specific prep for Ironman Florida on time. July will be a continuation of June, building strength and rebuilding fitness.

I have two races planned for July - Firecracker 4-Miler (run) and Steelman OWS (swim) - and then two Olympic distance triathlons in August (Steelman and TriRock Asbury Park) to test my fitness and durability.

Train hard. Stay focused.

Related Posts:

Ironman Training Review: April & May, 2014

Ironman training Review: March, 2014

Ironman Training Review: February, 2014

Ironman Training Review: January, 2014

2014 - The Year for Ironman Racing

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