This Sunday, I will already have finished the first 8-weeks of my 13-week Speed and Interval Training Block – and the results are unbelievable!! Last Sunday I did a brick run on my 10 km loop through the river valley of Edmonton. This loop is everything but flat and also includes two set of stairs: One going down and one going up for about 30 sec each. Last year my personal best was a pace of 4:16 min/km (stand alone run) now it is a 4:06 min/km (off the bike). What was really amazing is that it felt way better than last year and I could have gone farther, although my average heat rate was 7 bpm higher (161 vs. 154 last year). To me this is clearly a sign that my body becomes used to faster running due to the 400 and 800 m track intervals that I am doing and gets more comfortable at higher heart rates.
As for cycling, my first race in Category 1/2 at the Pigeon Lake Road Race yesterday (137km) also turned out to be very successful. My goal was to keep my effort controlled, stay passive and just observe how people in the highest category in Alberta are racing – but for some reason I always find myself in breakaways. I just cannot resist the temptation to follow if someone is going for an attack :)
In short: After a few attacks, I finally managed to be in a breakaway for 90 km with 3 other riders. We got caught with approximately 12 km to go. A series of attacks followed and for some reason I managed again to be in the breakaway. This time with two riders (one of them was in the first break as well) but I was pretty beaten-up at that point and I was suffering A LOT. About 600 m before the finish line the two started their sprint games and I just tried to rescue myself into the finish somehow and remain in third place, but as so often before it didn’t work out and I eventually finished 6th. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy and it showed that my Speed and Interval Training Block already pays off.
Now, I can’t wait to see how that translates into triathlon! In three weeks (June-16), I will have my first half Ironman distance race in Calgary and I can’t wait to see the results.
Until then train safe and check back in three weeks!