Thursday, September 26, 2013

Training & Racing with Macca - You can too!

Training for a 70.3 in the midst of a trans-atlantic move while trying to adapt to altitude...

Seem like a great idea eh?  Almost as brilliant as my marathon the week after Ironman, but once again, what the hell it will be an adventure.

First off the Race!  So I'm going to be racing Miami Man Triathlon, after a training camp with Chris "Macca" McCormack.  Always a blast meeting up with Macca at these races and downing a few beers afterwards.  Miami Man looks like a very cool course, with the run going through the Miami Zoo!  Now if only they let a few wild animals loose I would definitely PR.

Its weird being back into intense training again.  The last year has been a very much an aerobic focus with very little work around threshold and above.  Training specifically for a 70.3 means a 180 in training focus.  Hello pain cave!  Instead of the distance being the hard part, its now the intensity.  I forgot what it felt like to get my HR into the 190's and actually have my legs burning and screaming to stop!

You know what though?  It will be worth it...when I win Miami Man ;)  I'm going to race balls to the wall hard.  I haven't raced like that all year, everything has been held back a bit, in the sprints early in the year I didn't know what it meant to suffer on the bike so I didn't push as hard as I could, previous 70.3's I forgot how much I can hurt during a run and still make it to the end.  

I'm running some paces I never thought possible right now, but more important, I'm remember what it really means to suffer with intensity. The training has been even better mentally than physically for building up that strength.  Its the last race of the season, I want to find my limits, flirt with that red line. 

I absolutely cracked mentally on one of those runs yesterday, I used to run every run at that intensity when I was rolling with a group of runners much faster than me in Texas.  So need to keep working on that mental toughness,  remember that I can run like that and not explode, and not be afraid of paces. 

I'll need all the mental strength I can get because the physical stuff is going to be less than ideal.

Heres the breakdown of what makes this tricky: 

I'm moving from Scotland to Denver Colorado, USA.

Scotland is at Sea level, Denver is a mile high (about 5300ft) and goes up from there. High enough that training has to be significantly backed of in intensity and volume for 2-3 weeks to let my body adapt to the elevation or else I risk serious overtraining/adrenal fatigue all that fun stuff.  Which is not an ideal situation a month out from a race.

I have about a week and a half starting this weekend where I have to travel from Scotland, to Vancouver to visit the embassy, then on to Calgary to visit family and then to temporary living (still to be determined where) in Denver.  So I pretty much can't do anything but run during that time because bike will be boxed up for plane travel every 2nd day and pools will be hard to come by with no means of transportation.

Essentially I have the rest of the week to train hard, in the middle of packing and moving, then its a crap shoot up to race day.  I'm curious to see how elevation will affect my body, both going up there and then back down to sea level for the race.  You hear horror stories of coming down from elevation at the wrong time, and being completely powerless when you go up, it will be an experience for sure.  I hear carbs help at elevation...and they have some great IPA's over is carbs ;)

Ah well guess I'll be Embracing the Suck, should be fun ;)  I cant wait.

Another very cool part of this race I get the opportunity to meet a number of members from the MaccaX triathlon team.  Now this is a wild group, from all over the world, and already there is an agreement that what happens in Miami, stays in Miami!  

Read more about the team and how to get involved here if you want to meet up with "The Boss" Chris Macca McCormack - Train with Macca

Thats my rambling for now, time to escape the chaos of this house and try to get a swim in.  Wish me luck!

Feeding the ducks that hang out in our front yard for the last time :(
Good-bye house, Good-bye Scotland.

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