Finally! Race week is almost here! It’s hard to believe it’s already been about 7 month since Kona, and it’s time to get back to racing again. The time since Kona was first spent taking a much-needed recovery from a long 2011 season, and then it was back to building my base for 2012. All was going to plan, and then about 2 months ago, I started talking with Coach Bonnie from Fraser Bicycle about what would be a good first race of the season. I really like the Rev3 Knoxville in early May…but the question was which race: the Olympic or the Half-IM? My last 2 seasons were based around a relatively early-season Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, which required the key preparation phase from mid-March through June. As part of this build-up I raced the Rev3 Knoxville Half as a key milestone indicator. This year is different. I am giving Ironman another more shot, but this year, it is late in August at Ironman Louisville. With that in mind, my early season fitness is at a different point than it has been the past 2 years. Also, the added benefit of a late season IM, is that I can race something shorter than a Half or Full, which would be a nice change. So based on these 2 main factors, the Olympic it is!
Over the past 2 months, we changed the focus of my training from long-course to short-course. The first thing I have to say is that there is nothing easy about short-course! Overall training time is slightly less than my long-course training plan, but the reduction of long bike and run was made up with intensity. Physically, I seemed less fatigued and tired overall, but mentally it meant that you needed to be a ready hit the correct intensity….not all the time, but when the plan called for it. More so than in IM training, it was essential make the hard days hard and the easy ones easy.
So here I am just over 1 week from race day, and everything is coming together nicely. Based on my training, I know the changes in my training approach have had the desired effect. I have supplemented my base endurance with the added speed required for short-course racing, but the question is by how much? I am not sure; that will be defined on race day. But until then, I know I am prepared physically and mentally and all that’s left is the final preparations and count the days until race day….which is right where I wanted to be in 1 week out from race day!