That is a very meaningful term for me at the moment and hope it gains even more value in the weeks to come. Why? Well, to back up it was only four weeks ago that I returned to organised training after Ironman Ch. Four weeks ago, I did my first full week of training with a reasonable volume and moderated intensity structure that had about 15 hours of training in total. It was meant to be a decent transition to full training with about 75% of the volume I had planned for the next few weeks, and about 50% of the intensity. That week went well, and included a sprint triathlon where I took 4th overall, so the fitness was decent and I felt good. From that week, I wanted to do a 3-week block of 20+ hours of training with slightly increasing volume and moderately increasing intensity. For example, I wanted to do 4 climbs up Box Hill on the first of the three weeks, and then 5 climbs the next week, and then 6 climbs on the final week. Swim volume was to be roughly the same at around 16k over 5 swims per week, and my running included a long run of 90min, a track workout and a hard tempo run off the bike on my IM ride day. It was a daunting stretch, not so much because of the volume or intensity, as I put in bigger and harder weeks in my Ironman prep period, but with no Kona to drive me I wondered if I would have the mental strength to meet my goals day in day out.
I can count on one hand the number of workouts I missed or had to modify over the last 3 weeks, and each week was close to 100% of my goals in volume and intensity. Amazingly, I felt good each week and had more motivation as the days went on and in my last day, I did a very hard 4 hour ride, followed by a 1 hour tempo run then a solid hour in the pool. When I crawled out of the pool, very gently as my toes, feet and calves were all cramping or about start, I felt like I had climbed a mountain and wanted to give a war cry. As I was amongst less fatigued and out of their mind people, I decided to just pump my fist and head to the showers.
What do I expect to come from that 3 week block? I expect to come back next month and race fast and continue to enjoy this process as I work to reach a new level of fitness over the winter.
This week is a nice easy race and test week where I am doing another sprint triathlon and a power profile test, as well as giving a load of time to AC as it is her birthday and she deserves to hear other words out of my mouth than ‘I am tired’