Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rest; A Triathletes Best Friend

The Xterra triathlon season is long and hard. Now, with Nationals and Worlds on the line, is not the time to compromise training. The length and intensity of the season is no excuse. If anything, this is the time to bring-it with a greater level of focus, grit and power than at any other time.

So, here is exactly where I am at with my season. I am tired. Not exhausted. Not over trained. Not unmotivated. Not unable to complete extremely challenging workouts. Just's OK. I've been hitting it hard for the better part of 10 months with the next 6 weeks in mind. I am getting faster. I've broken out of a plateau on my swim. My form, speed and focus are good in the water. Open water has become my partner in crime. I've never produced more watts on the bike over any duration or terrain - short, middle, long distance - hills, rollers, flats - road bike, mountain bike. I relish the thought of racing up to the top of Lake Tahoe. I've never run faster as a triathlete. My ability to transition into the run post-bike is becoming second nature. My track workouts are paying off with higher top end speed and the confidence to run hard and fast.

Tired, fast and focused. Weird combo? Not sure. All I do know is that it only works with a focus on getting quality rest and eating quality food. Rest I break down into going to bed early, taking naps when possible and scheduling workouts so that I am as fresh as possible for key workouts. The workout jiggering are the responsibility of Coach Brian Grasky of Grasky Endurance who, by the way, is so totally to thank for...well...much of the good stuff to come. On the eating end of things, it is pretty simple. Eat a lot of good food. Sounds simple, right? Maybe I will share a food diary of what I eat one of these days.

Tahoe is two weeks away. I am eager to keep up the good work between now and then. Today, I hit Mt Lemmon in favorite climb. For the first 14 miles of the climb I focused on maintaining a high tempo wattage. From miles 14 to 26, where there are some "rollers" from 6,000ft elevation to 8,500ft elevation, I pushed the uphills at a LT+ wattage. Good stuff to get this type of work at altitude. Totaled about 4hrs of riding and around 6,500ft of climbing. Tomorrow, I have some 8min mtb intervals followed by a transition run where I am basically going to go as fast as I can for as long as I can.