Thursday, July 03, 2014

Week 38 Ironman Malaysia Training In Progress

Less than 90 days at the time this blog entry is written. 37 weeks is coming to an end and we are drawing closer to the D-day of Ironman Malaysia at Langkawi. Progress has been good, but can be better (it usually and always will be). Taking a look back at how things has progressed, I impressed myself for being able to clock in the mileage I am to share below. It serves as a reality that there is no such thing as "fluke" or "luck" when it comes to training and staying focused for a race.
Swim
Week 25. 5.9km!
My weakest discipline and the least trained. Up till week 25 with total accumulative distance of 5.9km has seen much improvement as my wife orchestrated swimming class for the kids on weekend - effectively allowing me some pool time while the kids learn to swim. Within 12 weeks, I've chalked up a good 16km additional and that has sort of given me much opportunity for stroke correction and re-learning to breathe. Not easy but definitely has been consistently done week after week. 
Week 37. 24.15km
Swimming is tough work. Mileage is always lower compared to the time invested, but it is essentially the first thing to be done with the Ironman league. My PB for 3.8km swim stays circa 1hour 40mins. I am expecting myself to slightly better this perhaps by a few minutes. I am being honest here, swimming is NOT my best league, no matter how much I tried to be good at it. 
But I am getting better.
Bike
Easily the most time spend on a single training module. With 180km in sight, it is easy to see why time investment on this league has been substantial. I've never had imagined myself sitting on the saddle in an stationary setup more than 30minutes when I first started. Up till now, the rear-end has pretty much gotten accustomed to no padding spinning sessions up to 3-hours long and I had successfully hammered on the trainer past 6hours mark. Insanity has a new name that may defy logic of such brutal torture I put myself through - it is called silly. 
Spin. It is safer option.
Some of the additional I've done to make the training more real was to actually place the whole setup under the hot afternoon sun. I am missing out on real road feel and weathering factor. Spinning under the afternoon sun provides good feel of the tropical heat. Take away the "wind" and land in the heavy humidity you get an almost real-like feel of Langkawi on a hot 40deg C (ground) afternoon burning up on you. 
Same reason for that, choosing the correct tire is essential. I melted this cheaper option just by spinning.
The holes, they are real. Caused by hot spot and the shavings were because of extreme heat generated from the magnetic trainer. Don't touch the metal, it burns, literally.
Mileage wise, nothing to be shy. 12 weeks and I've covered about 1200km. That is more than I ever cycled for a year after the last Ironman 2010; and that is just 12 weeks between Week 25 and 37. 
Run
I've not been running as much as I wish I could. Surprisingly, one of my worse section has seen the best improvement with my lactate threshold speed to be at 4:24min/km. This is despite limiting the run to maximum of 3 times per week so I could allow myself to spend time with the family and doing other things that may matter more. I admit I am more biased towards cycling and that would maintain while I start to pick up the run mileage again. Travelling for one, which I am doing fairly frequent nowadays, allow me to hammer on the treadmill and outdoor a bit more often than when I have full access to the trainer/bike setup.
Like running Houston, Texas. Not everyday I get this chance!
Over the past 12 week, the running mileage is on the low side, though there are a many shorter runs I took that went unrecorded as I was reviewing new shoes from Skechers. Not counted too are the sessions I have walking/jogging my dogs and the longer walk I take as part of active recovery. 
The 42km will be done pretty much in the luxury of late afternoon sun and well into the earlier part of the night. I know I just need to keep moving and if I managed to keep a steady 6:00 pace, I would potentially cover the distance within 5hours 20mins, tops! Including water stop. Of course these are just wishful thinking and provided I managed to finish the 180km bike in the first place.
Diet
Nothing much change. I am still 69kg at sub 10% bodyfat level. My clothes feel loose (on some that I can't alter anymore) and the belt hole remains the same for the past 37 weeks. Some may say I lost more weight though. I would say I kept them pretty much stable. Challenge is always the availability of good nutritious food and I do sometimes worry I fall short of nutrition that I need. For that, I do resort to supplement in form of multivitamins and also time-released Vit C (1000mg). Essential as continuous training puts a lot a lot of strain to the body. I still have DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome (pain lah) when I put myself through more demanding routine - and for that reason alone, I rely on additional protein food as I can't afford to lose muscle mass. 
I can live on these alone.
I am also doing Intermittent Fasting (IF) as it is one way to allow the body to rest over the constant eating that we all do. It allow the digestive system to work more efficiently, and an opportunity to teach the body to utilise fat as energy. I've written extensively on this - and many may find this debatable. If you are keen, the link to Part 1 and Part 2 if you click on the respective highlighted link.
What Is Next
My career is taking off on a second or third wind. I am trying hard not to neglect this blog and the posting has been far and in between. It is a record of some sort that the last posting was June 19 and it has been 2-weeks since. Many backlogs I need to catch up on and it is another race to get them up in the blog. Do stay tune as this is one commitment I've put for myself (sort of KPI) to continue sharing and blogging. To put things into perspective, this blog entry was written last week and stopped at Para 2. Lucky today was a pretty good day with an hour and half to spare and here you have it, what you are reading today. 
I will be back!

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