Despite some unpredictable weather this week, I was generally pretty lucky with all of my workout sessions. The week started out with a successful 21.1km LSD run, followed on the next day with a half-century (50mi/80km) on the bike. Both of these were important milestones, and did a lot to buoy my confidence for the race in a couple of weeks. Next week we are beginning the taper, so this week signified the peak of this training session and going out on a high note like this helps a lot.
Fortunately, the weather on Wednesday was quite nice so I upped the morning ride to 50km (instead of the planned 30km). With the extra distance, I did a bit of experimenting including giving the road I've been using for hill training (350 meters long at a 10% grade) a try on the bike. The way out (going down the big hill and back up a set of smaller hills) was quite a nice ride, but the way back was a lot of work. I made it up the hill, but the last 100 meters took a lot to keep going. While I've certainly come a long way on the bike, it is obvious that I still have some work to do with respect to hills.
Aside from those sessions, the rest of the workouts this week went great as well. The weather did force me to split the 80km ride on Friday into two, but I did manage to get the full mileage in once the weather cleared. Naturally that wasn't ideal, however it did allow me to push a bit harder than I would have been able to on a single ride so it did have some advantages.
As mentioned above, we are beginning our taper at this juncture so the training volume will begin to back off this week. The long run tomorrow will fall back to 15K, and I'll cease increasing cycling mileage for the time being. The following week will see a much more significant drop in mileage, but we'll work out the details in our race prep session at the clinic on Thursday. It's certainly been a long road, but all that training appears to be reaping significant benefits and hopefully that will carry through to the race!
Sun (AM/PM) 15K LSD/11.5K Walk
Mon (AM/PM) 80K Cycle
Tue (AM/PM) 11.5K Walk/6K Fartlek
Wed (AM/PM) 30K Cycle/8K Steady
Thurs (AM/PM) 11.5K Walk/Speedwork
Fri (AM/PM) 80K Cycle
Sat (AM/PM) 8K Steady/30K Cycle
Longer term, I'm beginning to work out the details on how to handle the race itself. As the half marathon begins at 7:30am, the logistics of getting down there were pretty significant. I'm about an hour away from downtown Toronto, and when you mix in parking and getting to the start line it would have meant a very early morning. To avoid all of this, I elected to reserve a hotel room downtown and will share it with my instructor to help keep the costs down. That will place me about 500 meters from the start line and should leave me a lot better prepared for the race.