I've been absent in blogland for a few weeks and with good reason.
I've been training. Hard.
In fact, I just wrapped up my biggest bike training week ever. Over 300 bike miles.
The week included 2 century+ rides, one day of hills, one Time Trial, one hard group ride and a couple recovery rides. I use this same TT for my regular power tests. This TT fell in the middle of the bike week, so I wasn't sure how it would compare to my other tests. I ended up bumping my FTP (Functional Threshold Power) up almost 20 watts to 288! Very excited about this. Starting to think I may actually see 300 before Wisconsin. Power data for most of these rides is available in my Training Peaks profile: http://www.trainingpeaks.com/publicview.asp?p=ChrisSweet
You see, triathlon in general and Ironman in specific just don't favor the swimmers and runners (my background). At least half of my race at Ironman Wisconsin will be spent on the bike. For this reason, I expect to see better time returns from these big bike-focus weeks over putting the same time into swimming or running.
As far as the big picture training goes, we've moved out of the early season strength/power period and have entered Ironman bread and butter: endurance. Coach Mike's season plan uses a sort of inverted periodization. Get strong and build power early, then put the endurance in later.
So how has this plan been working for me? So far this season, I've only done two races that I have done in previous years. Both were small PRs. I raced decently at Wildflower and had my best short-course race ever at Memphis in May. I've only got 3 more tris planned before the big dance.
Is Team Race Athlete partially responsible for my performances? Definitely! I am training harder than ever because: #1 I have a coach and preset workouts, #2 The sponsors took a chance on this team and I want to race at my best to show my appreciation, #3 I am seeing benefits from training with power and #4 I just plain like being part of a team again. It is great to be sharing the journey to Ironman Wisconsin with a group of teammates who share the same goals.
Now that I've got a bunch of miles and a few races on the BMC Time Machine I feel I can give my readers a fair evaluation. Look for this soon on my blog.