Well, here we are, May 2nd, can you believe it?  This also marks just under 12 weeks until Race Day for me in the Calgary Half-Ironman.  Pretty hard for me to believe it’s already been almost two months since I decided to take on this challenge, and I’m sure the race will be here before I know it!

I thought this would be a great time to let you all know how the training is going for the race, so let’s take a look back at how everything went in the month of April.

All in all, I have to say it was a very successful month.  The first week I did not stick to my training plan as much as I wanted to, but the last three weeks, I have stuck to the plan 100%.  Definitely proud of that!  My training plan focuses on shorter, higher intensity sessions during the week, and then switches to endurance with long swims, rides and runs on the weekends.  If you are interested in checking out my full training log, you can do so here.  I’ve covered almost 600km since I started training back in early March, pretty cool!

Swimming

I am quite pleased with my swimming, and being the shortest portion of the race (about 10% of the racing time), it is definitely my lowest concern.  I am up to swimming 1,600m straight now, which is only 300m short of the 1,900m total distance.  My average swimming pace on my endurance swims is 2:08/100m, putting me on pace to complete that portion of the race in around 40 minutes.  As long as I stick to my plan with the swimming, I know I’ll be starting off the race well.

Biking

The biking portion is by far and away the largest portion of the race (about 55% of the time for me), and unfortunately, it is also my weakest of the three disciplines.  This is definitely the area where I need the most improvement over the next 12-weeks.  I am now up to riding for two-hours straight, and by the end of May will be up to three-hours.  However, my average speed on the bike on my longer rides is only 24-25 km/hr, my goal is to be much closer to 30 km/hr.  At 25 km/hr, it will take me slightly over three and a half hours to finish the 90km ride in the race.

I think part of the problem is I have been doing the vast majority of my riding on the pathway network in Calgary, which is not a great simulation of racing on the highway.  In my past races I have been able to average 28-29 km/hr on the bike, and I think if I start heading out on the highway for my training rides, I should start to see my speed increase.  That will definitely be something I start trying more of this coming month.

Running

My running progression is another area where I am feeling pretty good.  Yesterday I completed an 80-minute run, covering a distance of 14.7km, a little over 2/3 of the race distance.  The run for me represents about 30% of the racing time, and I am averaging a pace of 5:34/km on my longer runs.  Even accounting for fatigue coming off the bike I should easily be able to run sub six-minute km in the race, completing it in just under two hours.  In fact, I have started doing “Brick” workouts on Saturdays, where I run immediately after completing my long ride.  This past Saturday, after riding for two hours, I ran 3km in 15 minutes, which I was very pleased with.

Nutrition & Energy

As I have started to ramp up the endurance distances, I have definitely noticed an uptick in my hunger levels.  Unfortunately, I have not always been choosing the most nutritious of means to satisfy said hunger.  I am really going to be focusing on proper fueling of my body in May, and really building some strong nutrition habits.  In fact, I have made my monthly challenge for May to track all of my eating so I can get a good idea of my caloric intake and nutrition levels.  I’ve never really done this seriously before, and it will be quite interesting to see how it goes.  Feel free to join in or follow along with me by joining the Monthly Challenge Club!

As far as my energy levels go, they have been pretty good, but I do think I need to add another half an hour or so to my sleeping average to get to the ideal level.  For the month of April, I averaged 7:21 of sleep per night, but ideally I’d like to be getting about eight hours.  Ironically it is often the weekend where my sleep suffers, which should be the opposite, especially given my long exercise sessions.  This often leads to me crashing on Mondays.  Over the next month I’ll definitely also be focusing on getting to bet a little earlier on the weekends.

Fundraising

April was a great month for fundraising for me.  Since announcing I was going to be raising money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation as part of my race effort, I have raised over $1,600!  I am extremely grateful to all who have donated so far.  If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, there is still lots of time.  With my success so far, I have upped my target to $2,500, I would love for you to help me get there!  Don’t wait, donate today!

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