Tuesday, July 1, 2014

IMMT Training Weeks 22 and 23: Hammer time!

But first, STOP! Let's have a moment of PANIC!! Ironman Mt. Tremblant is a mere 7 weeks away. I can't even count in months anymore. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh! I'm the one with the paper bag, by the way.

However, from a workouts perspective, it's all good. Nothing to worry about. I can do this. Just wait for it. And breathe.


I've only done 3 swims in the past 2 weeks, two in open water and one in the pool. Due to all the thunderstorms and heavy rainfall that we had, the usual Thursday OWS had to be cancelled twice and I did not want to go to the pool instead. But at this point, swimming doesn't scare me anymore because I've already swum 4.24km in open water just 2 weeks ago and I feel invincible! An Ironman distance (3.8km) swim? BRING IT.
I've been working on improving my speed in open water since, concentrating on good form and a strong pull. But I realize that I'll need to be as calm and composed as in my own puddle of joy to be able to deliver. Swimming with 2000 other people? Good luck in keeping my shit together.


Went on the bike 6 times: three times on the trainer and 3 times outside. The first trainer ride was just 2 days after the 70.3 and so I did an easy spin watching 24. The second trainer ride was a recovery one again, although a little longer and harder. 1h45 doing the Virginia workout from Trainer Road with two more episodes of 24. The third one was meant to mimic hill repeats and I did something like 4x10min intervals in slow grind, watching 24 again (I'm all caught up now!).

As to the outdoor rides, Centuries are the new norm. Aside from one easy ride with Sam to help her get used to my old bike Neo (she is starting to race triathlons and I lent her my bike for the season), the other 2 were both over 6h and gave me a huge boost of confidence about riding 180km at IMMT.

First century ride was in Caledon, half split with the triathlon group, which took us to Holtom's Bakery in Erin for coffee and treats (and a high five to my favorite bike shop owner Brian from Forks Bicycle Shop) and half with Zin all the way to Schomberg's Grackle Coffee Company for more coffee and more treats.
Finally, a century ride on my schedule and I could not believe how strong I felt throughout, it was like I conquered the Everest or something. Of course, I rested and celebrated in style with intense couch lounging and rainbow sherbet tasting.
And you know what? A week later I got to do it again! This time I let the word out that I wanted to cross off my "40 steps to 40" list the bike ride to Niagara and back. I had to revise my initial plan of riding from Brampton because a 275km ride was nowhere on my schedule this year, so I adjusted the distance with a start from Burlington and a turn around in Niagara on the Lake instead of Niagara Falls. Because the food is better and it's a lot more quiet and classy. So Zin put together a meetup on Daily Mile and you won't believe what happened.
Just look at this!! All my running friends (on bikes!!), plus a bunch of folks from the FMCT tri club. 16 people in attendance, all ready to go at 7am on a Saturday. The RSVP emails kept on coming in and I wondered at times "what have I done??" Not everyone was going to ride 160km, but they were all in for having fun!! Okay then...
We rode, we stopped for coffee, half of the group turned back, then 8 of us rode some more. A lot more. Starving, we ended at the Little Red Rooster in Niagara on the Lake, where we indulged with burgers, fries and salads. And cold beers, of course. Then we turned around and did it all in reverse, finally making it back home at 5pm. It was really a long, long day on our bikes, but I would do it again in the blink of an eye. In such great company, centuries are easy as a breeze. The fact that we rode in a pack and that the route was pancake flat helped a lot, but it's days like these that cement friendships and I wouldn't miss these opportunities for anything in the world.


Not much running happened in this cycle, but the workouts completed had a lot of quality in them.
On Wednesdays I went to the track and got my speed on. Here is a glimpse into the sufferfest:
1200m warmup
3x1200m @ 10k pace
2x800m @ 5k pace
1x200m @ 1k pace - all with 200m recovery in between
1000m cooldown
I realize how my times improve the more I stick with these workouts, so they are all confidence boosters as well. Overall, I noticed that my 800m times are about 15sec faster than last year = yay for progress! Just keep at it, folks. Consistency is the key, and it works.

Then I had a tempo run where I tried to beat Zin back home and it worked (with a 10min head start, but anyway - it counts). No brick runs because I was too pooped.

I did my long runs on Sundays, and with all the century miles in my legs, they felt quite challenging. I suppose that was the purpose, so I didn't complain. I did both runs on the Etobicoke Trail and I took in all the bliss I could despite the burn in the legs.
Both times it was very hot and humid and running in these conditions for 2.5h each time took out every ounce of energy I had left. Despite eating and drinking well, I ended the day on the couch again, barely able to move. Below is my third attempt of going to bed, I think it was 7pm. Zin likes to capture my "Ironman in training" self as it happens, so enjoy!
In a nutshell

Biggest training week just ended and I'm still alive and kicking. 16h of workouts and it's not even the "worst" so to speak. The next week promises to be even more epic.

But you know what this deserves? Another sticker and ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
I have now reached 15h of workouts and this may safely be considered Level 2 in Ironman Training. (Level 1 with 10h of workouts was reached in Week 6)
Not sure that I want to reach Level 3 (20h? I don't think I saw such volume in my schedule, but you never know, coach is not the best at math). We shall wait and see...


  1. You are doing so great....your IM is going to be fantastic...wish I could be there to watch you and hear you become an Ironman!

  2. Your training is going fantastically! But seriously, that's huge volume that you're doing so well with. Wow.

  3. 7 weeks!!!! I am so excited about this - I'm with Robin, I wish I could go and watch and cheer for you in person. I'll have to settle for doing it virtually.

  4. Woohoo! 7 weeks! AMAZING! Nice work on all your training! I recall many afternoon naps on the couch after huge volume weeks. :)