Last Bank holiday Monday the brick session was aborted due to a temperature with wind chill of -2 centigrade. Yesterday, Sunday only 6 days later it was 25 centigrade at 18.00 hours and likely to have been higher through the middle part of the day. That’s a good news bad news story. It is excellent training conditions for what is likely to be a hot Austria in July but it did mean the session was hard due to the heat and humidity. The session was completed by Zac and me and we planned to do a 1 hour swim, 5 hour bike ride and 2 hour run. We did actually complete the timings planned but I would have liked to do more mileage. I clocked up our distances at 2.1 mile swim, 86 mile ride and 13.1 mile run. Quite a bit too slow to achieve my Austria target but there are many variables.
The swim went pretty much according to plan. I used my new wetsuit for the first time and the lake was mirror calm.
Austria is likely to be choppy due to the other 2,500 people in the water at the same time and that’s without the intervention of weather which may affect the water conditions.
The cycle leg went OK but our average speed was slower than we hoped for. One of the things which will make a huge difference to me achieving my target time in Austria is the road surface. Here in the UK there are many poor road surfaces for cycling. You probably don’t even notice in your car but on a bike with no suspension, very thin tyres which are inflated to 110psi (a car would be about 32psi) and a saddle with no padding you tend to notice every bump and crevice. More importantly, all this bumping around slows the bike down a lot. So I am still hoping that Sunday’s average speed of just over 17mph translates in to the required average speed for the 112 miles in Austria of 20mph as they have much smoother road surfaces and there’ll be no need to stop at junctions etc. So, whilst it’s not a certainty I am hoping to achieve my bike leg time.
The run was another story. Both Zac and I found it quite tough and our pace was way off my target time. It didn’t help that we ran through some grass meadows which were slightly flooded and so we got very wet feet and I also think it was probably the most humid part of the day. I need to be doing a 3 hours 50 minute marathon in Austria and our pace for the half we ran on Sunday equates to a marathon finish time of just over 4 hours.
All in all Sunday’s session was excellent training and the closest thing we have had to race weather conditions to date. Only time will tell how the race goes and I must admit after the session on Sunday I started to get a bit twitchy. There’s nothing unusual there, in fact nerves can be a good thing and its about now that I would expect to start to feel slight pangs.
I’ll share some stats with you about Sunday’s session:
Swim – 500 kcal [estimated] (240kcal per mile)
Bike – 4,319 kcal (50 kcal per mile, 864 kcal per hour)
Run – 1,488 kcal (113 kcal per mile, 726 kcal per hour)
TOTAL – 6,307
Calories consumed during exercise 1,807
Liquid drunk (not counting the lake water ingested during the swim) 4.5 litres
It’s nice to burn off calories to the tune of nearly 2lbs of fat, and it doesn’t matter how much I try, I just can’t consume that much on a hard training day. Although by the end of the 8 hours of exercise I get fed up with drinking water and taking in chemical flavoured carbohydrate preparations and even though I also take on the bike bread pudding, date and honey bars, fig biscuits and malt loaf. Much of which Leigh bakes, once I have finished the training session I just want some ordinary savoury food, but can’t actually eat much. The body is a funny old thing eh!
Today is a rest day but the rest of the week holds in store two sessions per day except for Friday which has only one. Next weekend consists of a brick of a 70 mile ride and a 30 minute run on one day and the other is a 90 minute run. Then there are three weeks of taper. As of today there are 27 days before the event and I am sure they will fly by. I’ll need to watch my weight gain isn’t too horrendous when I taper as I don’t want to carry “excess baggage” around the Austria course.
All for now, I’ll update you again soon.