WEEK 5 – January 25, 2016 – January 31, 2016
The participant list for Ironman Lake Placid came out this week, and of course I had to ensure my name was on it. For many triathletes, in particular newbies, seeing their name listed as a participant is a moment that drives home the point that you are committed to the race – a life just got real moment.
For me, after checking that my name and the names of my buddies were indeed there, seeing the number 53 in the age column was the real eye opener. When did I get old? USA Triathlon sets the rules for most triathlons in the US, and one of the age group rules is that you participate at the age you will be at the end of the year. So that makes this 52 year old already 53 before my fall birthday!
Turning 40 wasn’t that bad, and last year just a week before turning 52, I set a personal best in the marathon, running a 3:28 at Chicago. So I never really thought I was getting old. But seeing that 53 gave me some pause. And with all the recent celebrity deaths at ages in their 60’s, I have become more aware of mortality.
But as I peruse the above list, I can see that I am not alone in vintage. Plenty of company in the over 50 group. The 50-54 age group alone has 428 athletes. I guess it isn’t too surprising that the over 40 crowd makes up a big chunk of the race. Announcer Mike Reilly always jokes that it’s the biggest group because we have disposable income. True.
So I guess I should just live in the age I am and make the most out of it, and do the same in 10 or 20 years. But 53, I am coming for you.
Swim – I had a sort of revelation in regard to my swim this week. Someone on one of the Ironman Facebook pages I follow posted a response to a post about trying to improve but was getting nowhere. I am in the same boat. I just can’t seem to get that swim speed down. But the response was a suggestion for a drill that I had not heard mentioned before, the vertical kick/deep water drill. After Googling the drill, I found a really interesting video: Sea Hiker Swimming
In the video, I could really see for the first time how to move my legs in the water. It will take some time to learn it well, but I could see an improvement in my 2500 yard straight swim. My splits went from an average of 2:18 per 100 yards to under 2:10 consistently. I hope to continue to improve on the kick aspect. In reality, I may save 5 minutes on the 2.4 mile swim, so it may not be worth it as getting faster may tire me out more for the latter parts of the race. I will see how training goes.
Bike – The bike went well this week, with my long Saturday ride outside for a change! Illinois weather sucked much less this week than usual and I took my road bike out for a turn. Riding outside is so much more enjoyable, even if it is only 46 degrees out.
Run – I am still feeling a little sore in the high hamstring area, and need to implement some more stretching. But overall, my tempo has been good, and feeling happy about the trail being ice-free so I can get out and run on the trail.
WEEK 5 TOTALS:
Swims: 2, 2 hours, 5000 yards
Bikes: 3 total, 3 hours, approx. 46 miles
Runs: 7 total, 4 hours, approx. 30 miles