I'm sitting here at my computer working... writing schedules is pretty easy right now... seems like at least 1/2 my athletes are racing in the next few weeks so training gets very specific and the types of workouts they need to do are obvious and easy to conceive. Race specific stuff. Yep. This is the fun stuff!
I also did a rather race specific w/o this morning... a bike/run brick with a longish run at 1/2 IM race pace. Coach wrote in goal paces that were faster than what I have been able to pull off in a half ironman in the past so I was unsure about whether or not I'd be able to do that run as written. I mean, to do it right would require a PR on this loop by ~3 minutes. Was coach crazy?? Nope. I programmed my garmin to show me avg pace instead of HR and just went out and nailed it. It actually felt rather easy, at least until I got to the hills at the end. The hills felt hard but they didn't really slow me down. Solid. My run at Honu might not suck this year. How novel that would be!
Interestingly, I finished that super brick run and rather than being all pumped up about it, I was just like, Yep. there you go. Casual. No big deal. And then you'd think that physically I'd be on the thrashed side from that effort, because let's face it, it was a pretty solid PR for me (again), yet I feel fine. I didn't even feel the need to take an ice bath. Weird, huh?
All this feeling fine day after day after repeatedly nailing these workouts that normally would thrash me really has me thinking. Clearly this is a different scenario than what I have experienced in the past 16 years of training for triathlons. And when things are going well I think it's important to take stock and figure out why... that way it is repeatable... And now I will share with you the secret to nailing your race-specific workouts in May... I am 100% convinced that this is the benefit of the high volume low HR base training I suffered through all winter. Most athletes hate that low HR stuff. And I know why. Believe me. Going so slow and not being able to train with your training partners b/c that damn HR monitor is beeping at you and just generally being bored out of your mind flat out sucks... I've started training like that in years past but then gave it up after about 2 days because it was boring and I couldn't see how going SO SLOWLY could possibly be of benefit?? But that is precisely why I hired a coach who would teach me all that and force me to be accountable to it. And now, sitting here in the middle of May, 2 weeks out from a key 1/2 IM and 5 weeks out from my full, I am so incredibly glad I found a coach who understood this and helped me stick with it.