Last big bike weekend

Saturday Ride:

Lac Des Arcs

90 minutes of rolling hills prepped me mentally to tackle “the seven bitches” after Richter pass . It’s a tough deal to pace rolling hills well, but I was very pleased that I did this ride well, feeling good strong and efficient. Last year after riding the Ironman course I identified a need to get better at riding on rolling hills before tackling them in the race. The rolly section of IMC comes at a crucial point in the race. You’ve just had a little break coming down from Richter’s pass, you’re still less than 3 hours into the bike ride and are likely feeling strong. If you pace this section poorly by going too hard you’re going to get kicked in the face in about an hour either on the out and back section of the ride from Keremeos to Cawston when you cross into the start of your fifth hour of racing, or maybe a bit later on the gradual ascent towards yellow lake. If you ride poorly on either of those section you’re giving away a lot of time. The alternative of riding easy on the rolling hills is a nightmare when you consider what that does to your average speed. In my opinion this is a cruicial section of the race at IMC, and I’m confident that I’m going to ride it perfectly.

I followed the ride up with a progressive 90 minute run where I was aiming for race pace through the second half hour and aiming to push it a bit in the third half hour. I found myself absolutely flying along and worried that if I’d actually push it a bit I’d be spending fitness I want to save for Ironman so I just gave the effort a nudge instead of a push. Consistent splits around 4:30/km are certainly not bad for just a little ‘nudge’ of effort.

Sunday Ride:

Norquay

Sunday’s ride gave me an opportunity to fit in some final climbing practice into my schedule as well as to do my last long IMeffort intervals. I was given 2x30min at IMeffort and 4x15min at HIMeffort to fit into the long ride. I opted to get in the first IMeffort section on the ride out to Banff, then ride Norquay twice, approximately 20 minutes each and aiming for HIMeffort, and finish with a climb up to the Nordic Center in canmore, modifying the 4x15min into approximately a 3x20min to suit the length of the hills I had at my disposal. I really cruised on the IMeffort intervals, evidence that I’m in good shape and once rested I’ll be fast on the bike. The IMeffort intervals netted me 37.7kph into a gentle headwind at 136bpm, and 40.7kph with a gentle tailwind at 137bpm. The hill climbs were nice as well, I felt very strong on them, balanced the seated and standing well, had no aches or pains, and suprised myself with good climbing times at Norquay considering the fact I was averaging a pretty conservative hill climbing effort. The Nordic Center hill proved to be far shorter than I anticipated, or I was just too fast, the jury is still out. Sunday’s ride was cut short due to the scheduling need to get everyone home to Edmonton. I followed up the four hour car ride with another hour and a half of steady but controlled riding once out of the car to refresh the legs.

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