GENUINE HEALTH IRONMAN 70.3 TEAM: JUNE TRAINING UPDATE
Well folks. That’s it. The very last training update before the race. It has been an incredible journey with the team that began was sparked on a group cycle and morphed into months of commitment, hardwork and a lot of discovery!
We have been so excited to experience this together and have been so fortunate to have training oversight from Dave Galloway from the Performance Project and first class sports nutrition from Genuine Health.
The team will be headed to Muskoka on Friday afternoon and you can follow my instagram for updates of our adventures. They will be back for a final time next month to share a bit on their race experiences.
So how did the last month go? Well, if you don’t have time to read everything, basically Mark is slow and fat, Todd won a half marathon by accident and Clare cycles mountains without clip in pedals.
Highlights this month:
- I ran the Guelph Inferno Mile in 5:22 which was a tough change of pace as I have done limited speed work.
- I raced three other races in June and podiumed for all of them. I came second over all in the Phlox 10 KM trail race and the 12 Mile Creek half marathon. I came in third overall in the Wolfe Island 5 KM last weekend.
- I participated in a study put on by the University of Toronto and some of the stats I discovered from that are that I am 9% body fat and I have a 68 VO2max. I also ran a 17:48 5k time trial on the treadmill so I am excited to do some speed focused races following this race.
- I bought a new bike! (A Giant Propel Advance 2)
Training this month:
I averaged about 10-13 hours a week as this was the final push to the race.
SWIM – I did a handful of open water swims and am finding the wetsuit is really helping my legs that were usually dragging in the pool.
BIKE – I am logging 6-8 hours per week and with the new bike, I am finding the higher speeds to be a lot more sustainable. (Editors note: As the person who needs to chase him on training rides, I can attest to this statement.)
RUN – I am running about 4 hours per week and keeping the mileage low but doing lots of brick runs in the heat to simulate the ironman.
Ready or not, here it comes…
I’m admittedly terrified as I write this, as all along it seemed like we had so much time to prepare, get fit, get comfortable, and practice. And now I know there’s really nothing I can do at this point to help my performance in Muskoka, and trying to make up for lost time will only harm it really. Maybe it’s fear that my partners in crime have all seemingly done more to put themselves into place to succeed, or maybe the fear that I’m the only one without a wetsuit, or the only one who hasn’t tested out the bike course in Hunstville. Ah well, time to exhale – and I’ll explain why.
The above is very similar to how I felt when I entered my first marathon. The thing was, I did the work, I trained properly, and I told myself I would enjoy every damn step. I smiled, I took pictures with people along the way, and I didn’t care what my time was. And that’s what July 10th is all about. When I re-frame things in that light for myself, I instantly feel better.
All in all, June saw many positives – albeit a little bit varied and I had to get creative to get workouts in due to travel, nephew babysitting, and two weddings to attend, but here’s how I did:
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t bored of getting in the pool. Luckily, between a 5 day trip to Calgary and a 10 day trip to Ottawa this month, I didn’t have to go much. On my travels I was able to try out some 2K open water swims, and THANKFULLY, I seem to have a gift for swimming incredibly straight (one of the reasons I’m slow – lifting my head out of the water – assists with sighting, so you win some, you lose some). While I may not be motoring along in Muskoka, at least I won’t be wasting time meandering. I was only able to get 4 total swims in throughout June, but that’s not so far off my goal to go once a week (and I’d rather be wearing a bowtie than a swim cap, so it’s a trade I’m happy with). I’ve never swam with a wetsuit on before (I’ve rented one for the race), so that’s the only (slightly large…) unknown at this point.
This is one area where I’m starting to have more fun. Marky and I’s morning cycling club provided a nice weekly boost (complete with some delicious food – carb in, carb out, right?), and I did a few solo rides to get some additional mileage.
Thanks to my good friend and resident cycling expert @cmay2400, my bike has received a pre-race tune-up and is all set for July 10th.
As usual, my favourite of the three, and I’ve been a little bit spoiled in this regard. The month started off with some long runs and intervals along the Bow river in Calgary, saw us enter the Longest Day Ekiden Relay with a team of Achilles runners, and ended with some sunrise runs along the Canal in Ottawa. Can’t really beat that.
Well, unless you consider the fact that I completely unexpectedly knocked off a bucket list item and won a race. Yes, seriously…won. a. race! More specifically, I entered the MEC half-marathon on June 19th (right after doing a 90k bike ride – see last month’s blog for my planned race sim weekend), and found myself running in front after 2K. I couldn’t believe it (I’ve never finished higher than 5th place before), and ended up leading the rest of the way. It was a hot day (probably good practice for Muskoka) and I started ruminating on how hilarious it would be if the race leader passed out due to pushing themselves too hard in 30C heat. Luckily that didn’t happen, and it was quite a thrill and a nice cap to our spring of training.
Pseudo-famous Canadian exercise scientist (and multiple Ironman finisher) Dr. Greg Wells was the guest speaker at the Conference I produced in Calgary, and he gave me a lot of tips and tricks that put my mind at ease. For example, put bodyglide on your ankle tracker so that your wetsuit slides over it, or don’t wear your watch under your suit sleeve or you’ll get a hilariously large amount of water down your arm that will literally torpedo your swim, and lastly to take your time in transition and make sure you don’t leave anything behind or you’ll really regret it.
I’ve been peeping the weather (looks ok so far) and we’ve received the swim start times for the race. Interestingly, I get to go first (15 minutes ahead of the others), so my handicap in the water will actually mean that we should be getting on our bikes at around the same time, and should cross paths in the run more than I expected. So I got that going for me….which is nice.
As mentioned above, I don’t really care how I do. I think that will be a big advantage, as a lot can go wrong on race day and I should be able to brush it off (well, except for a blown bike tube. If that shit happens, I’m quitting). It’s been a fun and different adventure since January, and I’m glad that I agreed to do it. Hopefully I’ll survive and will have some good tales and memories post-race. And I’m most hopeful that this should provide a really good base for a fall marathon.
I was very VERY excited for June. I had visions of epic training camps, finally getting into clipless pedals and crushing 100km rides and everything just coming together and I would finally find my “triathlon gear”.
June Recap: My goal was to complete my first open water swim EVER and not die.
So I am here typing so obviously I did not die but unfortunately, it was not good.
People had been warning me about the cold, the things floating in the water, the weeds on the bottom, the dark, the waves, etc. Anyway I was well and truly nervous so my goal for my first experience was to get into the water, put my face in the water and just get comfortable with the situation. Jess and I went to Lake Placid with the Performance Project team (I was lucky that they allowed me to tag along!). So I was in the company of an amazing group of super talented and experienced athletes for my first swim. They were so encouraging and provided me with a lot of useful tips. So my first dip was actually a success and I even managed a couple hundred metres of swimming close to the shore.
However, that was as good as it got for the weekend. I couldn’t get my confidence going and felt unsure of my fitness and was struggling to get very far from the shoreline before getting very nervous and turning back. By the time we left the camp I was getting a bit more confident but knew I had a mountain ahead of me to get ready for Muskoka. My swim club, Team Atomica, holds open water swim sessions in Lake Ontario every Wednesday from mid- June. You can guess where I have been every Wednesday evening since then!
Even with the extra sessions I was still nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to swim the 1,900 metres, so I signed up for Welland long course triathlon last minute to test that out. And I did it!! The swim was 2,000 so while longer it was in the canal so the water was nice and smooth. So although I was one of the last out of the water, I did it and that was all I cared about! I completed my first ever triathlon!
Race Day Goal: To relax and get through it the swim.
June Recap: My goal was to do 3+ 100km rides and focus on HILLS. I pretty much achieved that at Lake Placid training camp alone! I do feel I made good progress on the bike this month and learned so much from my camp mates. We did this crazy 8 mile continuous climb up Whiteface Mountain in cold windy wet conditions and descended in even worse white knuckle conditions.
I even won an award for completing North America’s second hardest climb in Brooks runners and cages! The weekend of hard climbing and long endurance rides increased my confidence, however I never did get into clipless pedals and I am going to do the race in cages.
Race Day Goal: Climb the hills steady on the bike while trying to conserve energy and to take full advantage of the downhills.
June Recap: My goal was to reintroduce speed work. 100% fail! I am continuing to struggle with my running and to say it has continued to cause me stress is an understatement. I am trying to ignore the pace and run truly on feel not matter how difficult.
Race Day Goal: Minimise any walk breaks and ENJOY the final kms of the race!
Nutrition and Strength:
Genuine Health have been so good to us and I am very thankful for all the support and product they provided me with. The one thing I am not worried about on race day is my nutrition. Their products have fueled me through my works outs, tied me over in between work outs and between meals and aided my recovery.
I do not feel ready and would give anything for another month of training! The goal is to give it an honest performance and to give it my all and try to enjoy the experience. I am excited for the team as we complete our first half ironman. I have loved the process and have meet some amazing people in the pool and on the bike. Can’t believe the next update will be the race re-cap- where has the time gone!?!? OK, this is it!
Want to follow our team as events unfold? Follow along on instagram and snapchat: @lacesandlattes and @toddbertshannon
See you on the flip side!