It's the back stretch of the training program now. After 13 weeks completed, I have just 11 weeks until Florida 70.3. With a 3 week taper, I have just 8 solid weeks of training left :(

But, as you can see from the picture, I am ready for the race today. It's just all gravy from here on out.

Each key session from this past week was huge. I will list them in order of difficultly. Pay special attention to the order, because they may not be arranged as you'd guess.

1. Brick. This was Tuesday, and I've already described it in a previous post. Two flats, killer wind. On top of that, it didn't get started until 5pm, which is pretty late for me. This is the kind of training session were the mental gains exceed the physical gains. I have found that cycling has just seemed easier after this foul weather, multi-flat brick.

2. Frey. This was Sunday, and it was the day after an 85 mile ride. I ran 2 miles to the pool, swam 4000m, and ran 2.5 miles home. I was damn tired for this one, but I put out an impressive physical performance. The main set was a 10x200m on 3:15, and I felt pretty winded by the end. On the run home, I split 8:15 in the last mile. Well done, Frey.

3. Long Run. This was Thursday. I found myself doubting my ability to do this run during work on Thursday. Before I left work, I had a chance to talk to my Mom on instant messenger, and the conversation got me pumped for the run. I came home an breezed through 12.2 miles in 1hr 50mins. By the time I cooled down, I'd done 12.8 miles. I easily could have ran either further or faster. With this pace, I could run a sub 2-hour half marathon. That's impressive, considering I am only running on about 5 weeks of solid run training.

This run felt so easy it was scary, actually. If you remember, I wrote that last week's long run was a mental victory. I felt mentally tired but physically fresh, so I grunted out the 11-miler in week 12. Now, in week 13, feeling both mentally and physically fresh, running felt easy. It's a testament to the gains that can be accrued by occasionally training while tired. It makes training while fresh feel that much more easy.

3. Long Ride. Saturday. 93 miles in 5 hours and 10 mins. I just dominated this ride. I had planned on riding with the P&E group for a century, but I accidentally slept in and missed their 6:15am start time. No problem. I ran into a training buddy of mine just minutes from my house and rode to West Palm with him. He turned back there, and I continued north to Jupiter Island.

The Achilles felt brand new. The skies were blue and the weather was relatively cool (mid 70s). I felt like I could have biked 200 miles, literally. I forced myself to stop at 93 so that I could shoot for 100 next week.

From here, I am planning on putting down a third build week during week 14. Week 15 I will recover. That leads me up to weeks 16 and 17, which are the last two weeks of March. I am off of work during these two weeks (spring break!), so I can put down a solid two weeks of training. I anticipate achieving mind-blowing fitness during those two weeks. I want to hit week 14 as hard as I can. Week 15 will set me up to train as smart and hard as possible during that spring break. I can't wait. I should be cycling over 100 miles then, and running over 13.

Tip of the Week:

Don't push off of your toes when you run. Make a conscious effort to relax your calves. Just keep your momentum rolling forward, your body position upright, and your cadence high. Concentrate on picking your feet up off the ground behind you. Sit your feet down on the ground, then use your hips, core, glutes, and thighs to propel your body. By not using your calves in your running, you eliminate any chance of developing Achilles problems.


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