Monday, 19 August 2013

Feeling oh so fresh!

My bike setup for the race. The Dark Knight is ready to be a climbing machine on race day!
The taper week has been great. It started with a 3km swim set on Monday morning. Felt kinda weird with 1km less than my usual set, but it was most welcomed and I got to work 15 minutes earlier than usual. Tuesday afternoon I ran for 75 minutes, with some fast/easy intervals. I was feeling really good and was able to average 4:27 per km upon finish. It has been a while since I held a sub 4:30 average for my long runs.

On Wednesday morning, we moved offices to Victoria Hospital, about another 6kms away from where we used to work. It's a good thing that this move happened at the tail-end of my training. Means I didn't have to adjust too much. In the afternoon, it was Splash N Dash at Lake Whittaker. It was the final one for the season. The turnout was pretty low. Greg and Clare were at Mont Tremblant for their big race on Sunday. I was pleased to come out of the water with a girl who normally swims much faster than I do. I passed her when we started the run and maintained a steady pace without going out too hard. Just over 47 minutes I did, only 30 seconds slower than the PB last week, very pleased with that!

Thursday I did a 2 hour bike ride going through Prospect Hill road and onto Evelyn Drive. Had more stops than my usual route and it was pretty windy on the way back. Managed to clock 64km. Friday morning, I was meant to have a full day of rest but I was scheduled in for a VO2 max test for a PhD student at Western. I've done a few of these tests before, all gave different results. But I know I roughly stand in the 60+ mark. Anyway, this particular test used the face mask which was much more comfortable than the ones I used before, where my nose were clipped together and I had to bite onto the mouth piece and with joining tubes at the sides.

After a brief 5 minute warm up, my blood pressure was taken and it was time for the test. The speed on the treadmill was in mph, something I'm unfamiliar with. We started at about 5mph and 1.5% incline, I got up to 9mph and thereafter the inclines were added 1% every 2 mins or so. I stopped at 4.5% incline after running for about 12 minutes or so in total. My VO2 max reading was at 67, which is in the ball park of where I expected it to be. There's always a feeling that I could have done better, but I thought since it was my off day and I have an Ironman to do in about a week's time, I didn't want to kill myself. Don't get me wrong, I did give it a pretty hard effort.

The weekend came and the load was significantly less compared to the previous weeks. On Saturday, I rode for 3 hours and did an hour brick run after. I did a full dress rehearsal with my trisuit, race wheels and aero helmet. I felt good in the run and was surprised to clock 13km. Sunday I had another 75 minute run. I tried to replicate the same pace I did on Tuesday but I guess having ran the day before made it a bit more difficult. Still, I came very close at 4:28 per km average. In the afternoon, I went to the pool and did 2 x 2000m - one set swim, one set with pull buoy. Surprisingly I felt quite fresh and was able to clock some decent times - just over 33 minutes for the swim and just under 35 minutes for the pull buoy.

It's a good feeling to know that I'm tapering well - I'm feeling fresh enough to nail these sessions without going out too hard. The sessions next week aren't really training sessions in my view, more like warm up exercises for the big race. I've sent my bike for a tune-up, booked in a massage appointment coming Wednesday and Li-Ann comes back later today. So everything is all set. We fly out to Vancouver on Friday morning.

My next post shall be the race report, hopefully it'll be good one!

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