The volume did come down. No more 4, 5, 6 hour bike rides. No more long runs or long swims. However if something is taken out you can be sure it will be replaced by something else. In my case the volume was replaced by intensity.
So I've had a couple of weeks of sprint sessions. Things like 200m sprints ... x10. Then there's been bricks (bike/run combinations), for instance bike 10 minutes then run 10 minutes ... x3.
For someone who doesn't do fast (this is why I'm doing Ironman and not sprint triathlons), I have at least been able to show a turn of speed on foot, albeit for short bursts. To put it in perspective, though, my standard run pace is around 6min 30sec per kilometre. I managed to pick this up to a pace of 4min 30sec for a 200m sprint. Over a marathon distance that 4:30 pace would translate to 3 hours 10 minutes.
But get this, the 2010 Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae, ran her marathon in Kona in 2 hours 53 minutes...! So even if I sprinted as fast as I could I still wouldn't be able to keep up with her - and I was stuffed after 200m.
Anyway, enough of my abundance of slow twitch muscles.
Tomorrow the bike goes in for its pre race service and compulsory ironman check. Race wheels are on and looking fab!
The lounge is looking like a triathlon shop as spare gear to take to Taupo is slowly finding its way downstairs - spare tubes, CO2 canisters, swim goggles, drink bottle, helmet, bike lock, bento box etc etc etc.
My remedial swimming lesson also wasn't so bad. A very minor change to my stroke had Coach Dave happy as a clam however I did have to reaffirm last night that 13 days out is too late for him to think I can change my running form. He had seen me running for the first time yesterday and realized that I run like a boxer (tight upper body, arms held high rather than low and relaxed). It's something I've been aware of my entire running career but have never managed to fix - one of my unique quirks!
Yesterday was also my last significant open water swim. And even at this late stage it provided a new experience in my ironman journey. The experience of a 1m swell. There was dragon boat racing on at Lake Pegasus and so we headed out to Corsair Bay for my 45min swim. Corsair Bay is usually sheltered and calm and for this reason the favoured Saturday morning swim venue of the Canterbury Tri Club. Yesterday, however there was a southerly coming right into the shore and so calm made way for 2-3 foot high waves, making it a real challenge to swim in. I was getting tossed around and several gobsful of salt water were swallowed.
I'd have to say it was good to have the Canterbury Tri Club in the water as well - they were reporting that the juniors were feeling a bit jittery out there and I don't blame them. I don't think I would have been particularly happy about being out there on my own. I probably didn't do much more than about 1200m in the 45min but I did it and can be sure that no matter what Lake Taupo throws at me I can handle it!
Finally, last night my riding buddies got together last night for a BBQ to wish Curly and I good luck for Ironman. I hadn't seen some of them for a few months, as my recent training has been all about solo rides, so it was great to catch up and their support has been amazing. Curly has also been under Coach Dave's guidance and put the whole event into perspective when I asked him how he was feeling as our training winds down.
"Ironman?", he said, "it's just a long training day".
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