Monday, July 28, 2008

Triathlon Crash Week and Mt Lemmon Intervals

No. I didn't crash; knock on wood. It's time to further dial-in exactly how I best peak. With the big races on the horizon, I have a great opportunity to test out/simulate what my coach, Brian Grasky, and I think to be the best lead-up with Ogden, the Xterra Mountain Championships, as a guinea pig. I am roughly three weeks away from the race and am embarking on a "crash" week. The bottom line on crash weeks is to push harder than normal (volume and intensity are levers to pull to encourage this) so that significant fitness gains are recognized a couple of weeks down the road. The simulation will extend beyond this week and will actually run all the way up to Ogden. With a careful eye to what has/has not worked all season thus far and this new/soon-to-come info, I should have a pretty decent picture of how best to get my body firing on all cylinders for Tahoe, the Xterra USA Championships. The trick for the next week get all things focused on training. Everything has been streamlined. Pantry and fridge are packed with good food. Clothes for work and workouts are all clean and ready. Equipment is organized and functional....and....the training plan is locked-in. So, here we go.

Coming off of super solid training since my mid-season break has me so excited and ready to race. Today, for the first time ever, I had a rush of adrenaline thinking about the swim. I was picturing myself at Ogden launching out from the start and settling into a crushing swim pace. This was followed by an "ease" of getting into a similarly crushing bike tempo headed on up the long climb. Weird, but good.

I've blogged about Mt Lemon before, but it is so great I have to talk about it again. I did Mt Lemon with Tom O'brien, a fellow AZ Xterra triathlete, yesterday, Sunday. After grabbing a breakfast consisting of two super sugary treats from Starbucks and a grande Americano, we met up with the Phoenix Tri Club a couple of miles away from the base of the climb and cruised with them for a nice warm-up. I had a gnarly set of intervals lined-up for the day and knew that I would be pretty much solo for the entire climb, with the exception of Tom rolling along. We did the following set up Lemon:

Do this entire set 2x:
3x5min @ CP 6 @ 80-90rpm; 3min recovery b/w reps
10min rest
3x5min @ CP 6 @ 50-60rpm; 3min recovery b/w reps
10min rest
3x3min @ CP12 standing; 3min recovery b/w reps

Actually, the set was so long, we ran out of mountain to climb....and....there was 26 miles of mountain. It was hard to push less than Zone 2 on the recovery, so this set really added up.

I love climbing.

A quick follow-up on the other sports. On swimming, I have comfortably increase volume slightly and have been seeing some notable increases in both speed and muscle endurance (as noticed by the ability to maintain speed over longer stretches). Positive. On the run, I and still banging heads with the track. It'll come around and this past week was better than the week before. I was actually able to push a little bit towards the end of the 8x800s vs. falling of the face of the earth. My recovery post-track workout was an issue two weeks ago, but I think I solved the dilemma by shifting some training around. The track is still way hard and I have to breath deep when I see the workouts, but it's worth it.