I wanted to touch base briefly to explain what my training has looked like with the 3 short weeks between IM Whistler and Mt. Tremblant. This is the first time I have ever attempted to race 2 IM’s in 3 weeks, and thus it has been an experiment. As everyone can imagine it is a balancing act between recovery and not losing fitness with a situation like this.
Frankly, my intention was to focus much more on the recovery. I found I recovered extremely well after Whistler. I went from the day after waking up not being able to walk and by the end of the day had a good spring in my step. Day 2 after the race I spent the day at the spa and had energy for a 2 hour ride that evening. No pain or even hardly any fatigue whatsoever. Day 3 I woke up feeling great and did a 16-mile trail run. I will say that my feet were a bit sore after this—but all in all it was the best I had ever come around from an IM.
After this, I drove across to Kelowna to partake in my “Kelowna Training Camp😊”. The rest of the week I found myself sleeping like crazy. I slept till 10:45 in the morning one day!! Frankly, the purpose of the whole week was to give my mind a complete mental release. I find it is far more important to have this mental release than the physical release; and that the body follows how the brain feels. I couldn’t have spent the week in a better area and in better company. I found myself feeling energetic and completely motivated and stoked for another IM. The Monday through Sunday after the race saw me riding 6/7 days, swimming every day, and doing 2 runs (for 23 miles). I trained a total of 24 hours in this period. But the best part it was that it felt like I hadn’t trained at all. Most of my swims were in beautiful fresh water lakes. Many of the bike rides were done on a mountain bike and when they weren’t I rode with other people at a comfortable pace taking in new scenery and stopping for poutine whenever it called. In other words, nothing was forced, and it just flowed.
I went into week 2 (of 3 total weeks) of this training block with a high confidence level that things were progressing better than I had ever imagined. With this week I decided I would do my usual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, training block. Tuesday, I did a local 10 mile TT at best effort. I did this because it tells me if I am in fact recovered and feeling as good as I think. I hit my peak 20-minute power of all time; providing me with more confidence I had come around well.
Wednesday was my only key run session of this training block. I did a 31K run with 20K moderate, 10K maximal, and a 1k warm down. Just 14 hours after finishing my all out 20-minute TT, I closed the final 10k in 33:33. My best time ever for a 10K. I finished the day with an open water 3.8K swim done in 56 minutes. Thursday was a slightly easier day with another good ride with a 30’ TT at 340 watts. I then just did an easy recovery swim, confident that I am fit enough to race.
That brings me to today (Friday 8/10) which is the start of my taper. I will do my general taper however I am modifying two things. I am going to do a 2.5-hour ride on the Wednesday of race week but very very easy (175 watts). The idea is to keep my engine running and the body moving. I will also do a hard swim Tuesday of race week (20x100). Other than that, everything will done as per normal with a decent run this Saturday and some VO2 intervals done on the bike Monday. Everything else is short, easy and has an occasional pickup. There is not doubt race day will approach quickly!
I am very excited for what the race will bring. I am going in with confidence. This doesn’t necessarily mean I will not explode—only race day will tell. But I’m excited for the unknown and look forward to the challenge. This block as also grounded my belief that the mental approach and mindset, does, in fact, outweigh physiology (or at least manipulate physiology). I never could have done the same training I did one week out if I had written a training plan, had looked at it as “training” and had been forcing it by doing my usual routes, roads, routine, etc. Finally, training, racing, and getting fit is best done when you feel you are living your fullest life and are very happy. I am currently in a very god state of being and I believe this is shaping me as an athlete.
Thanks for the read,