Its been a while…

Actually it hasnt really been that long.. but for some reason that line from a song by Staind just jumped into my head as I opened blogger.
There’s a band I havent heard in a long time.
Todays blog post is brought to you by “stream of consciousness”

No overriding theme for this post, just a general update.
My last post was the end of February. Its now mid march, so I can update on the last few weeks which have continued with the February theme…
Training is going well.
In the first two weeks of this month, Ive manged to get in 4 swims, 7 bike rides and 3 runs.
This isnt really ideally balanced, but its the base period and I’m doing the sensible thing and training my weakness.
Im not the worlds best runner, but I already have the capacity to run pretty long and run pretty fast. So for the moment Im just focussing on maintaining that by keeping the aerobic base with long runs and a bit of speedwork.
Im not really focussing on swimming per se, but I am trying to get consistent with 2 swims per week. Ideally I would be swimming 3 times a week I guess, perhaps later in the season I will do so.
Last week was a bit of a breakthrough week. On sunday I managed to complete a 50 mile bike ride in just under 3 hours. For me this is fast. My target for the Half Ironman distance is to complete the bike leg in around 3 hours. Obviously Im still a good bit off that pace, but I now think it is achievable. The race is still 5 months away and 5 months ago I think my longest bike ride had been 35 miles.
Generally speaking, on longer rides, Ive struggled to get my average speed much over 15mph. On this ride, however, there were a few variable.
Firstly.. I discovered my bike was set up wrong. Not going to bother with details but basically the seat was way too low. Idiotic rookie mistake. Its now fixed. That helped.
Secondly, nutrition. I havent done enough longer distance riding to really judge need for nutrition and the little experimentation Ive done has been with gels. Last week my wife made me some homemade energy bars. These things are phenomenal. Normally on a long ride I spend the last 30-60 mins obsessing over food and arrive home and eat everything I can get my hands on. For this ride I ate an energy bar before leaving and another one at the halfway mark and it made a huge difference. My average speed for the first hour was 16.9mph. The second hour was 15.2. Normally my last hour slows down significantly due to fatigue and lack of fuel. On this occasion my last hour average speed was 18.6mph. On a few occcasions I was even pushing over 25mph on the flats.
One final consideration was that I went a different route that doesnt have a few miles of climbing at the end. Overall this helped my speed at the end. I think the other factors were probably more significant though.

Final note.. last week was also a breakthrough as it was the first time I actually manged to do over 10 hours of training. Yesterday was a rest day and I NEEDED it. This week is going to be another > 10 hour week.. then a recovery week.

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