I booked a week off work at the lab last week with the sole purpose of giving myself an opportunity to give my body a massive aerobic overload while at the same time removing all of the rest of life’s stress to give myself the best chance of absorbing as much of the training effect from all the exercise as possible. I located myself at Crimson Lake near Rocky Mountain House for the week as it afforded a few important things:
- No internet connection
- A lake that would be warm enough to swim in with a wetsuit at any time of day or night without getting swimmers itch
- Good roads for cycling with some real hills when compared to the ‘fake hills’ around Edmonton
- Trails to run that would be easy on my feet and knees compared to running on asphalt
- No need to drive for hours on end to get there and back
I planned to station myself at the lake from Sunday afternoon through ’till Friday evening and basically do five things… swim, bike, run, eat and sleep. It worked pretty good. I led into it with one of the toughest rides of the year so far, an overdistance ride with Stefan at approximately race effort on Saturday followed by a brick run. Sunday morning I snuck in another easy 3.5 hours ride and then headed to the lake where I rode again and ran for an hour. Monday I logged an hour in the lake, four and half on the bike including quite a bit of IMeffort intensity, and a brick run. Tuesday kicked off with another hour in the lake, six on the bike and an hour transition run. Wednesday I took easy in the lake with a half hour splash, then ran a challenging 3x10km workout aiming to run race-pace for the final 10kms and see how it felt. I had been pretty scared of doing this workout while tired during my rides and runs on Monday and Tuesday and had gotten nice and nervous about it while I anticipated it and while I ran the first two 10km loops getting ready to unleash “IMpace” at the end of it. In the end it felt great and so did the 2hours aboard the bike afterwards to loosen up the running muscles. I had crossed halfway mentally in the week and had a couple tough rides left before I’d have to tackle another IMpace run on Friday. Thursday was to be a big day, I logged an hour of IMeffort swimming, hopped aboard the bike quickly and logged an hour of IMeffort riding and then continued on to net 190kms on the day including a little race against an impending thunderstorm placing another hour of IMeffort in at the end between 4.5 and 5.5 hours as though I were finishing off my ride into Penticton in four weeks time. I finished the day off off with an easy half hour jog after supper to make sure I hit all three sports in the day. Friday started out in the lake for an hour and then I netted four and a half pretty hilly hours on the bike with the last two at IMeffort where I racked up a total of 74.8kms when riding my rather tired body down the road. My heart rate wouldn’t come up like it should, an indicator that I had successfully tired myself out, but the speed was still good so I kept at it and hyped myself up on cola to keep trucking along. When I hit the transition run I sucked back some more coke for another caffeine boost and ran 12.4 kms in 60 minutes, a goal IM effort brick to wrap up the week. Pheuff, it’s tiring just typing it!
The effect of all these shenanigans was that I reached the highest Acute Training Load I’ve ever done in my life (50 units). I also got my 7day volume up to 45.5 hours at one point (shy of my 51.5 hour record). I also got my 7day bike distance over 1000kms which is a good confidence booster as well, I managed to ride my rear tyre all the way down through the rubber to the bare casing while I was at it. Somewhere along the way, I’m not certain exactly where, I acquired the confidence that I’m getting ready to race in Penticton and I think that’s really the main point of this blog post. I’ve got another couple weeks of working hard but I feel like I’m ready for them and then things are starting to back off as I taper for race-day.
Here are some cool graphs – the first is a meteoric rise in training stress (purple-acute, red-chronic) indicating I will race in Penticton in the best racing shape of my entire life (green-race readiness):
Thursday’s ride: (T=(0->1hour and 4.5->5.5hours at IMeffort)
Friday’s confidence boosting 1 hour brick run at IMpace after 2 hours IMeffort on bike: