Jun 3, 2007
OVERALL TRAINING: B
Good Points: More focused training. More consistent training.
Needs improvement: While a "good" point is consistent training, this is where I need the most improvement. Mental improvement at races. Ability to "push" during a race.
The following race report is a good way to sum up the 1st half of the season.
20 Mile Running Race - It was just a "C" race. Nothing more, nothing less!
I got up and ate a bit more than in the past. I did this at Wildflower and decided to do it again for my 20 mile Syttende Mai point to point race. I felt a bit better at the starting line again. I think a few more calories early before the race helps me feel better at the start. At the starting line I sat on the curb and thought about what Coach Mike said. "Stu, I want you to start out completely in Zone 1. The first 5 miles MUST be in that zone. This is a "C" race. Remember that. The next 5 would be a bit faster, the next 5 faster, and the last 5 hard. HUH? What? So, I'm to run a 20 mile race negative splitting each 5 miles? I have to tell you that this 20 miler is a very difficult, very hilly race. If you take out the massive one hill at Wildflower, this course was harder. Without it, I think they are about the same.
I started out at about 9min pace. It was actually hard to run that slow, and almost EVERY person passed me. I was laughing as I knew I would repass almost 95% of the people passing me. If I stuck with the plan, I would see all these people again. My goal was 45 min to mile 5. I was 1 second off, as I passed the 5 mile mark at 45:01.
Right on pace. I was in control and ready to pick it up a notch. I was going to drop to 8, but thought since the hills start about mile 5, it would be better to hold back to 8:30. I tried, and tried, but could not go that slow. I was hitting 8:19 pace for the next 5 miles. At mile 4.99 I stopped to go to the bathroom. It was a 2 min stop, so my pace looked slower for mile 5-10. Without the bathroom stop I was at 8:19 pace.
So here I was. I was using the same nutrition plan as Wildflower. To make it even easier, I put NUUN and Carbo Pro in a blender and mixed the powder together. I have these bottles that will mix with 2 bottles. I carry 2 of them in my pocket - and basically can carry my entire nutrition plan with me. Yes I do have to mix it, but I also get to skip many water stops as I have my own bottle. I really attribute part of this years success to the nutrition plan. I have to send a huge thank you to Bold for hitting me over the head early in the season with nutrition planning. Many people have asked about my plan. It is simple. I cannot do the "sugar" tasting stuff. For short races, not a problem, but after 2 hours, I just get sick of drinking Gatorade stuff. I can't get down GU or ANYTHING else - I have tried. Believe me when I say that I have tried it all. No problem for short races, but longer races do not do well for me and the sugary stuff. For whatever reason, NUUN just works for me. It might be the "fizz"? I'm not sure why, but it even allowed me to go to the bathroom. Yep - Nothing in the past has. Nothing. In ALL my marathons, or Ironmans, I NEVER went to the bathroom. NOT GOOD. Like all things in sport, some things work for some, and not for others. The bottom line - this will be what I use at Ironman Wisconsin.
So back to the race. I'm here. Mile 10. I have 10 to go. I need to drop into the 7's. So, what I did was drop to about 7:40 pace. It was easy. I was in total control. I was waiting for the ball to drop. When this thought came into my mind I would "snap" the rubber band around my wrist. I know it sounds corny, but the interview with Dr Walker seems to work. Anytime I start to think negative thoughts I just snap the rubber band. It worked. Anyway, I was passing people like they were standing still. It is so much fun flying past people. We were still in the very hilly section so some people that started too fast were just in pain.
I get to mile 15. I had put the 3rd set of 5 miles into the lower 7 pace. Now what? The only way to get better was to get into the 6's. HUH? To be very honest, at the beginning of the day, I was hoping to be under 8's for the last 5. I kept thinking about Coach Mike. He really thinks I can do better than I do. When I started to drop into the 6's for pace, I thought about Mike smiling. I can just hear him saying 'Stu - this is what you can do. I never had any doubt.'
I finished strong at 6:58 pace for the last 5 miles. I was tempted to run another 6.2 to get in a marathon, but wasn't sure how to do that.
Now let's take a look at the rest of the grades for Stu:
Good Points: More focused training. More time on the bike.
Needs improvement: Long rides. Endurance.
Here is all I need to say about my biking (FTP Power Numbers)
Nov 05: 167
Feb 19: 182
Apri 10: 195
May 20: 211
Good Points: More balanced training
Needs improvement: Speed and endurance
I have focused on the bike so much this year that my run has not improved much. I know Coach Mike has a plan to get me up to speed the last 90+ days.
Good Points: More pool time
Needs improvement: Endurance
A few weeks back I would say I have not done much improvement, BUT my last two shorter races I have a swim PR in both. In the last swim I even won my age bracket. That has NEVER happened. I still have a way to go, but the swim IS getting better!
Key to the last 90 days before Ironman Wisconsin? Follow the plan, have fun, be consistent, and prepare mentally!
See you in Wisconsin.