Hawaii 70.3 Training
Started training in earnest this weekend for my 4th Hawaii 70.3. I’ve come off a good offseason where I kept my weight in check and maintained steady fitness. But then I got the flu three weeks ago and went on vacation, and so had very little fitness over the last three weeks. The flu really screwed up my respiratory system, which is usually horked already this time of year due to allergies and worsened by my asthma.
I had planned to take my bike to Hawaii on vacation but didn’t as I was still recovering from the flu and decided to just spend more time with my family. I ran almost every day but it was slow junk miles. I ate too much and drank way too much beer. I gained 3–4 pounds.
In any case, I’m back at it and have about 6 weeks of training before Hawaii 70.3. I had a decent week this week and decided to just hit the bike hard. I got in two 50 mile rides this weekend. I can tell I’ve lost fitness.
I’m going to ride my race bike as much as possible in my training now. I usually never do this, but I have a new race bike and feel that not training on my race bike leads to issues during a race. A road bike just doesn’t push the same muscles. Training to be in the aero position really helps. The new bike is a Felt IA FRD dura ace with di2. It’s a great bike but I’m still not sure I love it. It also has an ISM saddle and I can really see he benefits but you really need to work your ass so that it gets used to this thing. I like it, but get sore after 2+ hours. I'm coming off of racing a cervelo p3 aluminum for 10+ years. It was a great bike. I might switch back to it.
I have done triathlons for 10+ years and done 10 Ironmans and over 30 70.3 races. I have learned what it takes to compete. I have usually placed in the top 5–10 of my age group for the last 10 years in many races. I have come to learn that my body does best with consistent training where I build distance and intensity slowly in the race season. I can’t handle more than 3 runs a week but I can bike a ton. I need at least a day to recover from runs.
I have been really focused on my run for the last few years. I’m a strong biker and that always served me well but I relied too much on that and didn’t focus enough on run. My runs now are done on fresher legs and with more intensity focus when possible (how I feel). As I build to a 70.3, I start adding a 10 mile run at race pace each week. This has helped a ton.
For biking, focus is usually 3–4 rides to work a week (30 miles) and then one long ride on the weekend of 50+, usually with a fair bit of intensity.
I have come to notice signs when I’m fit. My resting HR will get to about 46, my weight will be under 160, and my NP on a solid training ride will be around 240 with an average HR around 140 and I feel little to no fatigue at the end of a 50+ mile ride. I usually hit all of these signs in late summer. When I’m focused; I don’t drink alcohol, I stop all dairy, and try to not eat too much sugar (deserts). I don’t eat breakfast and I usually eat light during the week and pig out on the weekends.
I’m 46 now and curious if my body can still improve. I have learned that diet plays a role (dairy especially is bad for me) but I don’t overly focus on it. I have trained over the years to train at a calorie deficit. No breakfast, very few calories during training. I eat more when I race but I have developed a good energy engine because of this and don’t have to eat a lot to combat energy loss in a race.
Focus for next few weeks is to cram as much cycling as possible and balance out to my normal consistent schedule. 2x3000 yard swim a week, 3 runs: 5, 7, 10, and 4 bikes: 3x30, 1x50. It usually comes to about 12 hours a week. My swim sucks right now but i can usually fake a good swim and recover from it so I don’t worry. My focus is to always come off the bike as fresh as possible and then rely on a solid and steady run. It’s not a fast run, but its steady and I’ve found that when I pace right, I can speed up at the end of a 70.3 when others are slowly (emphasize, done right).
Hawaii 70.3 is a bitch of a race. It’s hard. The heat zaps me and the wind is usually bad. The swim in the ocean and mass start is tough. I’ve gone 4:40 there and 5:14. I usually die on the run. I don’t really think I’ll be ready to have an A race this year given my late start to training, but I’m getting to Hawaii a week early which will help. I would like to be in the 4:4x in this race but breaking 5 might be a nice outcome also. I’ve come to learn that a surprise good result usually never happens unless I’ve seen something really positive in training. Cramming never works, but I’ll try it for this 6 week block and see if it works.