As the calendar continues to roll forward into summer our race season is starting to heat up as well. In the past I have participated in a weekly Wednesday night 5K series called the Sunstroke Summer Stampede. The races served as our summer speed work, and has helped our 5K times improve considerably since we started racing somewhat seriously in 2009.
This year however, with our focus on a full triathlon season, I really cannot afford to make Wednesday a single workout day with only 5 miles in the middle of the week, (a two-mile warm-up and 5K race). Instead we are increasing our swim and bike distances as well as continuing with our 5X per week run workouts. To race on Wednesday nights would require that I lose my one complete rest day per week, which is not a sound strategy for a soon to be 45-year old endurance athlete.
Those scheduled rest days are as important, if not more so than any workout that I have on my training calendar. So instead I am sacrificing some speed work for more endurance sessions such as my 40-mile bike ride on Friday after a swim in the morning. Normally, Friday would serve as a rest day for me. So the volume this summer is much higher than the last two years, but the quick-twitch speed workouts will be less frequent.
The hope is that I am doing enough speed work to keep my short-distance run times right where they are while building more strength and endurance for Iron Man 70.3 in October followed by the Houston Marathon in January. It is a tough balance to strike, but we should get our first look at where we are from a speed perspective on Saturday morning in Holland, TX.
The third Saturday in June means the Holland Cornfest and 5K, a race we have run every year since 2009. We have been fortunate enough to win our Age Group each year that we have run the race – but more importantly, we have improved our race time each year.
19:50, 19:31, 18:53 are our race times at paces of 6:20, 6:13 and 6:02 min./mile.
We will be going for our first ever four-pete in an event this Saturday, but more importantly, I would like to run the race in under 19:00 minutes for the second year in a row. The Holland race is not a “PR” type of course. It is a country road 5k that features a long gradual hill section over the middle section of the course as well as a cone turnaround at the half-way point that requires the runners to come to a virtual stop – losing valuable momentum – before turning back to finish the second half of the race.
The race will start at 8:00 a.m. sharp and should be run in temperatures between 80 and 84 degrees. Depending on the sun and wind the course could be a bit slower than last year where we had a calm, overcast morning on race day. But the hope is that our workouts this week will allow us to peak for the race on Saturday morning. We will then have less than 24 hours to reload for the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon on Sunday.
A big weekend of racing is ahead of us – so we will be managing our workouts this week carefully, with very little “hard” efforts after Tuesday afternoon and a complete rest day on Friday to get a little spring back into our legs.
Monday: 8 mile One Off, One On Workout.
Tuesday: 2,250 Meter Swim, 30 Mile Bike
Wednesday: 10 Mile Run (Easy)
Thursday: 2,250 Meter Swim, 25 Mile Bike
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Holland, 5K (2-mile warm-up, 3.1 Mile Race)
Sunday: Lake Pflugerville Tri (500 M Swim, 14 Mile Bike, 3.1 Mile Run)
An 83-mile week lies ahead before celebrating Father’s Day with Dawn and Landry after the TRI on Sunday.
Physically I am feeling very solid with some quality workouts last week. Now it will be about getting ready mentally to lay it all on the line on back t0 back days. Something we have never had to do before. The approach I am going to take is to not think ahead. Run both races, and all of the individual components of the Triathlon the same way I tackle a marathon.
Only run the mile you are on. Do not think about the last one or the next one to come. Stay in the moment and do the best you can on that particular mile. At the end of the day, that’s all we can really do. Just face the challenge that is at hand and do your best. Let the rest take care of itself.