Road to Super League Bali, Weeks 6&7

Race day is closing in! Even though the distances are short and at this point I could do them in my sleep, there’s still a part of me anxious about doing a swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run. It’s not something I’ve done at all before, so the pacing to make sure I survive through to the second swim-bike-run is my biggest source of nerves.

Yesterday I posted on my Instagram about only feeling my fitness start to kick in on the sixth week of focused training.

What used to knock me out for the rest of the day I can now recover from in a few hours, and I can start putting some speed down now. I’ve been following an Olympic-distance training plan from MX Endurance (it comes free with my monthly membership), and while it’s over-distance for what is technically a Sprint distance race split into two, I think it’s been beneficial.

Monday: I took to the gym for some treadmill running. I think the initial intention was to run an easy 5K, but I’d forgotten to bring my water bottle and was feeling uncharacteristically warm throughout the run, so I cut the session down to 3K.

Tuesday: I’d felt tired the day before, but suddenly I had a burst of energy. What was designed as an endurance swim session I ended up swimming faster than I had gone in the previous week’s speed session — despite actually keeping it aerobic the whole way through. I think technique tweaks plus the aerobic foundation built by the previous weeks of swimming have kicked in!

Wednesday: While we’re trying to make “Track Wednesdays” a fixture on my schedule, I couldn’t make it last week. Instead, I did a high-intensity overgeared bike session followed by a run off the bike. It is a bit more race-specific, which is a good thing.

Thursday: This day’s swim was an opportunity to see if Tuesday’s swim was a freak occurrence, or if the improvements would stick. Apparently, they did because it was a good speed session that didn’t leave me winded.

Friday: Soft and easy one-hour run session plus mobility work. This felt really good!

Saturday: My one and only outdoor ride per week meant it had to be a lot of things: exercises in bike handling, chase skills, and drafting because Super League Bali is draft-legal and I don’t want to freeze when a pack swallows me up. Thankfully I found a few riders I could practice chasing and drafting on, and it was nice to know I could call on that kind of explosive power in my legs and lungs. Then I got changed into some proper running gear so I could finally do a proper 5K.

Having run two triathlon seasons in the Under Armour Speedform Apollo, I was disappointed the shoe had been discontinued in that form and felt panicked I might not find an appropriate replacement so close to race day. Thankfully I already had the Nike Air Pegasus 35 in my shoe closet. After the past two weeks, it has really grown on me as a triathlon running shoe. Perfect amount of cushioning that doesn’t get in the way of my efforts at going faster — and I can actually run sockless in it without getting blisters!

This is technically my final week of training before the race, since I start travel a bit early next week. I won’t be making any more speed gains now; I just have to keep the engine turning over and make sure all my niggles are sorted (I need to get a massage!).

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