WEEK 26 – June 20, 2016 – June 26, 2016
“😖 I hate this sport!” – Alex
Week 26 was a tough one. And it elicited the above statement from one of my training buddies. It’s his first time going through the 30 week training program in his pursuit of Ironman immortality, but having been through the training once before I can certainly empathize.
To me the weekend training workouts are the true efforts that are reflective of what it takes to get ready for the race. The other days are hard as well, but much shorter in duration. But the long Saturday ride and the long Sunday run really give you a taste of what the race will be like. I write this post on Sundays mostly, and by then the early parts of the week are distant memories, while the weekend distance events are still rather fresh in my mind.
So we bantered around a little in a group text about whether or not we all hate this sport. We don’t really, it’s just that doing a 5.5 hour ride followed by a 1 hour run on a 90 degree and humid day really makes you think about why we like triathlon at all.
But my friend Dave and I both agree that the training is tough, and although there can be some rough patches and good days of training as well, the training is truly the hard part. Getting through the 30 weeks prepares you for being ready to handle the distance. I’ve thought many times that since probably Week 20 or so that I was ready. This week really drove home the point that until you get past Week 26 and Week 27 (next week – yikes!), you really don’t know that you are ready. You may think so, but this week and the next will really tell you all you need to know. The race is really the easy part, utilizing the skills and endurance earned over 30 weeks. It’s now less than a month away. Mike Reilly may be at the finish line telling everyone that they are an Ironman, but what’s impressive is that we prepared for 30 weeks to get to the finish line after 140.6 miles to have him tell us that.
As for me this week, the swimming pool is finally done. I had missed quite a bit of swimming since the high school pools changed their summer hours to a time I couldn’t go, and then opening my own pool to find a torn liner delayed my training. But all is good now and I have decided to supplement the three swim days of the training plan by adding a 30 minute swim every weekday, and dropping the Friday 3500 yard swim, because of the fact that I never did it anyway! I should get my endurance and build some of the lost speed back in the next couple of weeks.
We had a graduation party for my high school graduate this weekend, so I had to swap Saturday’s long ride with Sunday’s long run to have time to help prepare for the party. I think I got lucky because I got the long run done early before the heat had time to get going on Saturday. And although there was a brief downpour before I started the 5.5 hour ride on Sunday, the skies and humidity cleared nicely and I didn’t really suffer like my Gunner teammates did.
The ride was the same as last week, a 5.5 hour ride, but I made to 95 miles last week and was kind of disappointed in myself for not hitting the century mark. So this week I rode a little extra and ended up at 101.5 miles on the bike. In 2013, I never reached that plateau until race day. So it is a nice reminder that I am pretty close to that race distance of 112 miles.
So yes, Week 26 was a challenge. But the challenge just proves that I have the stuff to become Ironman.
WEEK 26 TOTALS:
Swims: 4 total, 3 hours, 8550 yards
Bikes: 4 total, 9:50 hours, 162.5 miles
Runs: 7 total, 7:10 hours, 49.7 miles