I had a few clients away today and I knew the weather was going to be great so I took the afternoon off to get in some training. I've been focusing this season on gaining back some lost speed. Focusing on Ironmans for 10 years can dull the sharpness. The day here was ideal - high 70's and sunny. I began with a run; out and back including a very tough ridge to go over 5 minutes and 55 minutes in. I ran out at a steady pace, in my mid to upper B zone. I arrived at the base of a short, steep hill, 26 minutes into the run. I then did 10 X 20 seconds bounding hill reps, focusing on my form and treating these like a plyometric exercise, and jogging easily back down the hill for recovery. After the tenth, I ran easily for 5 minutes to recover, then ran tempo in c until I was 1/2 a mile out from the big hill, I ran easy until the base, then hammered up the long hill going into my D zone. I finished the run at an easy effort over the last 5 minutes, changed quickly into my bike clothes, and headed out on a 35 mile loop.
I like reverse bricks occasionally. They are very beneficial in that you can get in some great quality and form focus for both the run and ride. Usually in a regular brick, the run form or quality is sacrificed due to riding first. Both bricks have there part in a training program. I rode at 90+ rpm's in high B for the first 20 minutes over rolling terrain to the base of a big climb, then stayed seated and hammered up the climb, averaging between 400 and 450 watts. At the 45 minute mark, I spun easily for 10 minutes and drank a full bottle of gatorade and then I rode tempo back. I came through Sandy Hook up route 34 and then up Toddy Hill Rd. I have a love hate relationship with Toddy Hill Rd. It begins with a solid 1 mile climb. Two years ago in the early season, I rode over this in my big chainring and I vowed to never drop into my small ring on this road at that time. Stupid, stubborn, foolish me has seriously kept that vow, as though breaking it may make me soft or bring bad luck. I know, foolish. Some days, I ride up it with strength and spring, attacking it, and then there is the return trip on the Vermont rides when I do everything possible to stay in that damn big ring and get up the damn hill. Today, I had the strength! I flew up it seated, only standing at the crest. The road then rolls upwards at a lesser grade for another mile and a half, and then there is a fast descent where if you know the lines, you don't have to brake and can even pass cars.
This was a great double session that left me wasted. The kind of drained that I haven't felt in awhile from shorter training. I've felt this in the past few years, but usually after longer training days. It's that cool spent feeling where you feel tired to the bone and a bit lightheaded. The day told me two things - my fitness is pretty good right now, and I need more of these sessions!