Ultra Man prep block
I had a lot of interest in what I was doing to get ready for the big day(s) ahead so I thought I would list out my last block of training starting from the end of Xterra Worlds. I still have not finished my race report from Worlds (lots of interspersion from that one!) and I have been swamped since the race and in a hurry to get back to Kona so I can start the slowing down early. Ahh…. The relaxing down comes natural here and it is good to be back!
Leading up to the 3 day race, Gordo had me on the true secret sauce training of . . . J F T! I really like this type of training! For an ultraman block, my training did not have a lot of ultra volume and in fact there are a lot of people train a lot more for an ironman but I had to realize what would be a moderate increase for me without getting me tired but still keep me fresh heading into a three day race. I had to remind myself about what Marylin McDonald had been telling us. By now we have a season of volume and training in us and we need to resist the urge to do more and more. I am sure I would always think I need more and more heading into an ultra event and especially when it will be my longest swim, longest bike ride and longest run ever but I feel ready and content with where my training finished off for the year. It may not always be at the pace I want but I am confident I can go the distance each day because I am confident in my team and my spirit . I have learned after just a few talks with the other Ultra people here that what is between your ears is the most important to keep going anyways.
So with that, here is how my training has gone.
The day after Xterra Worlds I had an easy ride and got to hang out with Lesley and her family (very cool people) before flying home…Only I got to LAX and had to catch another flight to Vegas to go to a week long network nerd conference. Not the best recovery! The benefit was I should have had time off my feet and in a cool room most of the days. I swam later that day and then did an easy trail run into the dark out at Blue Diamond.
The next day, I headed out for a quick lunch ride but realized the rear hub of my bike had fallen apart somewhere between the airport security taking my bike box apart again and again. Sucks! I opted for an easy hike/run and it was cold so I kept my jeans on and added a couple shirts on top. I was only planning on a quick jog on the trails no need to change and I didnt have warm clothes coming from Maui. Well, to make a long story and a long run short I ended up pulling a classic move and getting a bit lost… I headed up a ridge and just felt so good running that I kept it going. Somewhere around 16 miles in I realized there were no other trails to hook up a loop and I was too stubborn to just turn around and run the same trail back. I headed down an old dry creek to a road to another creek to the top of a mountain where there was a power line road. There was safety in the road in case someone found my body and I didnt make it back… Three hours and counting but still plugging along. I was dumb enough not to bring water because I was just going for a quick hike. Lame! I ended up finding my way back after just under 23 hard miles, soaked jeans and heavy legs. Pretty dumb! I missed the rest of the conference that day so I sucked down bottle after bottle of water and headed to the pool to float but ended up with a solid 3K swim and swam it non-stop to get out in time to meet an old friend for dinner. I should have stopped there! After meeting up him I spent the rest of a very long night out drinking (not recovery drinks) and on my feet. VERY dumb! This is something I am not stoked about and I promised not to put my body through again (the night part) and I was on the edge of getting sick and felt . . . like I should have felt the next day. Thankfully, my body bounced back after a fun ride the next day in Bootleg Canyon on my buddy Mikes bike and another swim and ride the next day in Vegas before finally getting home. I ditched my flight and stayed with some good friends and it was the medicine I needed! We all drove out to Huntington Beach the next day for the annual Halloween ride.
This basically started my next block that included working up to the last day I could and some last minute schedule changes. I was going to plan a trip to the IMSG course to log some miles but work and a camp sort of fit together better than I would have ever planned. Lots of training time, lots of friends and lots of new places…FUN!
my favorite pool in Santa Barbara
Chuck’s tour de SB
After heading up to Santa Barbara and having a good weekend with some good friends, I ended taking some days off work to go up North with Trevor for a little camp at San Luis Obispo. Having Trevor to train with and give me a tour while getting epic food and relaxation from his family was more than I could have ever ask for. I was absorbing the training and loving the training. Zero stress! The block ended up looking like this
strength 30min, run 27min, Halloween ride 6hrs30min
masters swim 4,700yds, run 60min, ride 3hrs
open water swim 2.85miles, run 36min, masters swim 3,400yds
masters swim 3,600yds, Big Gear ride 90min
masters swim 8K yds, ride 2hrs, run 45min
hilly run 60min, open water swim 3.42miles
hilly ride 6hrs, hilly run 2hrs45min (got lost AGAIN running in the dark-further than expected)
run warmup + half marathon pacing Monique 2hrs(she PBd by over 12min!), swim 3,300yds, ride 30min
ride 2hrs40min, swim 2,700meters, run 40min
hilly ride 5hrs30min, run 37min
swim 6K meters, trail run 80min
swim 3,600meters, ride 6hrs, run 34min
swim 3K meters, ride 2hrs
swim-double masters 5K sprints!, ride 2hrs30min BigGear set, Run 1hr tempo
masters swim 3,500yds, ride 1hr45min, run 50min
hilly run 2hr, ride 1hr easy
I continually cut back my volume and had to remember not to focus on the numbers. We had planned to ride the century route in Santa Barbara but after we were already riding over 5hr we decided to cut it short and head back. Trevor and I were originally planning on riding ~130miles from SLO to Monterey and back with a day split between but we opted to stay local in SLO and we cut our rides short. I focused more on time limits and high quality rather than miles and I have yet to ride over 100 miles since Kona…and it was over a month before Kona the last time I rode over 100 miles.
Trevor showing me his stomping grounds
dream crusher crew heading for the hills
After getting back home I go to knock out my last long run in the hills with the dream crushing crew before diving head first into work, meetings and more travel before unpacking/packing for Kona. As much as I was all over the place I really feel like this has been my best training all year because it was absorbed and mentally just got me more and more excited about JFT. To get my swimming endurance up to par, I had a lot of help from Michael Collins and the coaches at Nova for some super sets and even got to swim with Mike on some sets. Rendy also got me and Monique up to speed on some feeding and support in open water distance adventures with some tips that I know will be huge on race day.
I am pretty stoked with the way things turned out even if it was not an Ultra Camp to give me a super compensation fitness boost. I never got to the point where I was shelled or even felt like I was getting behind…I enjoyed eating my face off and spending time with everyone and always wanted a bit more but saved it for our three days on the island. Its been a long year but I hope to finish strong. I know looking back that I could not do this consistent of training heading into Kona because I was still behind from July and the adventure race 6 weeks before but now I know… That will not happen next year! Still, I feel like this type of race is more my style and after meeting some of the ohana (family) I am excited just to be a part of it all. There are those things that you just cannot plan and this is what I feel lucky about for this prep. I got a lot of luck behind me the last month or so and I am happy to get to the starting line healthy, happy and niggle free. Tomorrow we all get togeather for Thanksgiving and there is a lot to be thankful for…Happy Thanksgiving!
Today we picked up our race packets, swag and ready for three epic days of fun that starts on Friday!