A bit late on this update as I've been pretty busy over the last little while. Either way, last week went pretty much as expected. I did end up being busy on Tuesday with some family stuff, so I ended up pushing that run back to Wednesday morning, which meant that I missed the bike ride scheduled on that day. Weather wise, we were pretty lucky (there were a few days that threatened rain, but little came of it) so there wasn't too much in the way of unexpected problems along the way.
On Thursday I elected to try out a different pool to get a feel for the different options in the area. In addition to being a newer building, it's 25m pool was better optimized for lap swimming and they offered a 90m length session rather than the 60 and 75 minute sessions that other pools around here offer. Either way, I hopped in as soon as the session started and it was just me and a couple of others so we all had our own lanes to start. After about 15 minutes a few more people came out, so we had to shuffle around a bit but there was still plenty of room for everyone.
As before, I forced myself to take shorter breaks and take them less often which helped a lot in getting me comfortable with the sustained swimming I'm going to need for the tri. I did force myself to do a few 100m sets uninterrupted, and they went a lot better than expected (although I still did need a good break after them). For the second half of the session, I tried to make sure that I did at least two lengths (50m) before taking any breaks.
Unfortunately, for the last 30 minutes of the session the pool started to get a bit more crowded which slowed me down a bit - skewing the average pace a bit on the low side (averaged about 4:12/100m). As I don't really have any way to time myself outside of total time taken vs. total distance covered, it's difficult to get an idea of how fast I was going. Either way, I felt a good deal stronger and it's nice to have a little more time to get the exercise in (although I'd ideally like to find a pool with 2hr+ sessions).
Both Friday and Saturday's bike rides ended up going really well, maintaining average speeds of 31.4km/h and 30.6km/h paces for the duration of the rides (35K and 80K respectively). Thanks to the cooler weather and overcast skies, I felt strong for the duration and was able to successfully attack some of the more difficult hills without switching down to the small chainring. Unfortunately the threat of rain on Saturday meant that the group didn't get together again, so I was solo for both of those rides.
Sunday's run was scheduled to be a 16 miler with 10 miles at marathon pace, but as I accidentally did the MP bit during last week's run I elected to just do a normal LSD. While the temperature was reasonable (23C), the humidity was extremely high when I headed out (~68%) which made it pretty difficult. I think I didn't hydrate sufficiently after Saturday's sessions, as I was quite thursty for the duration of this run, which added to the difficulty. I drank all four 8oz bottles of Gatorade that I brought with me, and ended up taking in another four bottles of water (refilled them along the way), so it wasn't due to a lack of fluids during the session itself. Oddly it didn't seem to be correlated to speed, and slowing down seemed to actually make it worse - as such, I elected to cut off the run at 15mi and simply did the last mile or so at an elevated pace.
Either way, I felt fine as soon as I stopped so it didn't really end up being a problem. The sessions that I've done since have been fine, so it was likely just a bad day more than anything else. The one catch with doing all of this suplimentary training is that I have to keep a closer eye on hydration and fueling than I would if just running. The differing muscle groups mean overtraining isn't a huge concern, however with a 2.5hr/1600kcal ride on Saturday my water and glycogen stores have to be carefully managed.
Running: 71.2km (44.2mi)
Walking: 3.4km (2.1mi)
Cycling: 158.8km (98.7mi)
Swimming: 1.9km (1.2mi)
Total: 235.3km (146.2mi)
Year to Date:
Running: 1,597.5km (992.6mi)
Walking: 186.7km (116.0mi)
Cycling: 2,565.3km (1,594.0mi)
Swimming: 10.0km (6.3mi)
Total: 4,359.5km (2,708.9mi)
Starting this week, I'm going to try and get two pool sessions in to start stepping up the intensity and better preparing myself for the race. I'm seeing significant improvements now that I'm forcing myself to keep going for longer, but to keep the training pressure on I think that I need more than one session per week. I think a lot of my trouble keeping going is more psychological than physiological (ie as you get more and more tired, that wall is more and more tempting), so it's just a matter of forcing myself to keep going. Ideally I'd love to give a 50m pool a shot at some point, unfortunately there don't appear to be any of them in this area. There are three of them in Toronto proper, however two of them are closed because of the strike and the third (at UofT) is going to be going down for maintenance early next month so it won't help a lot either (and it's a pain to park around there).
Some open water practice would be ideal, but it's difficult to find a lake where you can swim for a decent duration without having to worry about getting mowed down by boats ;) I did run into a fellow swimming across Wilcox lake (it's too small for proper powerboats) during my ride on Saturday, however he didn't appear to be particularly happy with the water quality so I'm not sure if I want to try that one out ;)
Mon 35K Ride
Tue 8mi (12.9K) GA w/10x100m, 1.9K Swim
Wed 30K Ride, 5mi (8K) Recovery
Thurs 8mi (12.9K) GA, 1.9km Swim
Fri 50K Ride
Sat 100K Group Ride, 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Sun 12mi (19.3K) LSD