Ironman Boulder has a new bike course for 2017. It’s 3 loops of fast rollers, but it’s a bit over distance at 114 miles, so don’t count on a fast bike split even if it is quite fast. There are no technical sections, but there are a few sections that I would call “key sections”:
Neva Road Eastbound is nice and fast with a great surface. You can take the turn from 36 at full speed and the first corner can be taken in aero.
Nelson Road climb is about 4 miles. It’s a grind and you’ll probably have a headwind, but it’s not steep. Maybe 4% grade. Try to stay in aero, especially on later laps when you’re tired – that’s when you need to be aero. Sitting up into a headwind is the worst thing you can do. Having said that, there are some little kickers along Nelson that may be sheltered from the wind, where you can sit up briefly to get some relief from being in aero for so long.
St Vrain Rd starts with a fast descent and two blind corners, but they can be taken at full speed. However, on laps 2 and 3 this section will be congested so please be very aware of other riders. There is one pothole on the flat section of St Vrain road but hopefully they fix it by race day.
Posts have been a bit sporadic as we’ve been up in Breckenridge on a short ski vacation. It has been remarkably difficult to find cake up there, so I tweaked the diet to include anything that’s been part of it before. So I got to partake of a very good burger at Blue River Bistro which is a great little restaurant in Main Street Breck.
I did manage to get hold of some ice cream sandwiches too, but they were just boring Klondike Vanilla Ice Cream sandwiches, which were very middle of the road and bland.
I found two donut shops but they were never open… go figure.
From a workout perspective, I had a surprisingly good run. I say surprising because it was at an altitude of 10,000 ft (peaked at 10,300ft/3140m) and I managed to hit 7:45/mile average on an 8 mile negative split run workout. The negative split was “designed”, by running the first 4 miles uphill and then back down for a total of 8. So not really the same as doing that on the flats. But anyway, usually my runs at an altitude this high are really slow, so I was happy with the performance.
I should be able to get a weigh-in done by the end of the week. Due to the super high quality of my recent workouts, I’m guessing that I may have not been restricting calories enough. However I’m ok with that 1) it’s great to get some decent workouts in after 7 weeks of reduced calories and compromised training and 2) because I would love to continue eating cakes for a few more weeks.
PS here is the day 7 video – I did do a blog post for that day but it somehow got deleted…
Today was a day to look forward to – with the recently acquired red velvet cheesecake from last night’s dinner. I went out on a workout, not expecting much, but it ended up being superb! Almost 2 hours at around 250w, which in my current bike form is really good. So that’s 5 days in a row of solid bike rides… there may be some virtue to this whole cake thing after all…
Finally I actually got to eat some cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory… usually I’m too full by the time I finish my main course. I had the dulche de leche cake which was great, plus I took a red velvet cheesecake home for the next day.
Plus it was Donut Friday at work, so I started the day off well with a chocolate donut and a cream cheese danish. It was a big calorie day, somewhat offset by the bike ride fortunately! Post ride I had my Ultraman stage race staple, Kozyshack rice pudding, which is high carb and great for eating straight after a hard training session.
I went to the grocery store to get supplies this morning, and happened upon a box of a dozen freshly baked donuts. It seemed irresponsible to turn that offer down – I mean a baker had slaved away in the early hours of the morning just to make this happen. So I bought a box. I also bought a cheesecake, two cannoli, and some chocolate lava cakes.
Today was a fun day. I tried two things; firstly was the next experiment in daily food distribution. I tried backloading the cakes to the end of the day, but with a high fat/protein breakfast, as well as cakes during my workout. Secondly, was to design my bike ride so that I routed past a few bakeries at around the time I’d be taking a short break.
Both of these things worked really well; the morning omelette kept me energized for a long without any dips in energy (like you get from a high carb meal), and the workout powered by cakes was very good. I rode hard for 2.5 hours but I felt like I could have done another 2.5 hours easily. This was in stark contrast to yesterday’s unfueled workout which felt like I was limping home after just 90 minutes.
Here’s a link to my workout on strava. So it was a great day! Excellent workout and the food distribution worked well – I wasn’t hungry at all in the evening – all I had was a red velvet bundt cake and I was 100% satisfied.
Today I tried to spread out the cakes across the whole day. While it worked ok, I was still too hungry at night. So for me it definitely works best to back load everything to the end of the day, at least as far as cakes are concerned. What I will try in the future is eating my protein in the morning, and cakes at night. Lunch will be super light if anything at all. And I need to plan my workouts better so that I can ride past a bakery if it’s longer than 90 minutes…
I did have some great cakes. Cheesecake for breakfast, key lime pie at lunch, and red velvet bundt cake for dinner (with some ice cream).
Since I ate chicken at lunch, I didn’t consume any protein shakes. Wherever possible, I do like to eat protein from natural sources and not a shake, but on most occasions it is a shake that gets my intake up to the right levels. On a regular diet, it’s a lot easier to get the protein from natural lean meats and fish which is by far my preference.
Day 1 of cakes got off to a good start! Probably because I’m so happy to be done with beer…
I used the same strategy that worked well for ice cream, which is to stack all of your calories towards dinner time. That way, it’s a lot easier to get through the day being hungry than being hungry when you try to go to sleep at night. Actually I wasn’t hungry at all during the day. I even got in a 10 mile run which went well. For some reason I wasn’t thirsty either so it was very much a free run with no stuff other than the basics. Meal of choice for today was the reputable Lamar’s Donuts which is 8 miles from Boulder, in Louisville.
I ate 6 of the 7 donuts which conveniently added up to 2000 calories.
I topped them off with a protein shake to get 2240 calories for the day. I have to say, that even though these are good donuts, that I’m not really a huge donut fan, which I think is due to the taste of deep fried dough. For me, it just doesn’t please my palate. Needless to say, I was not hungry at all after eating a dinner of 6 donuts, I might have even felt a little sick. Anyway, I’m really happy that the scope of this phase is broad enough to include any type of cake – lots of variety out there!
I thought the day would never come! But it’s here, so I’m on to the next phase until the end… donuts, cakes, desserts, chocolate…Plus the bonus content of allowing any of the previous food phases as extra fillers in the event that I need to get in some extra calories; beer (no thanks!), pizza (not likely), ice cream (yes please) and burgers (maybe on occasion). Especially since at some point in this phase I will be on a ski trip, so need a bit of flexibility in food choice, but I think there will be no problem finding cakes, ice cream and burgers in a ski town. Worst case I know for sure there will be beer…
I planned a big bike day on Friday, but I felt terrible during the ride so cut it short. However the day before I had an awesome ride (unexpected since I felt tired before I got on my bike), and then today I had a great long ride on the Dimond (tri bike), just over 4 hours and I felt really good. So as they say it’s swings and roundabouts… as long as you expect to have some bad days then it’s all good.
I’ve been super busy this week with little time to post updates or record videos… so here is a short update in the interim…
Diet: Settling down now that I’ve reduced alcohol, weight is at least constant but I’m still stuck around 75kg. It’s pretty common to hit a plateau at some point – for me it’s usually the weight at which has been my “lowest constant” in the past 12 months. No matter what type of diet I’m on, I tend to “hover” around this weight for a while before it drops off. This is common for everyone, and can be a make-or-break point in any weight loss initiative. Seeing lack of progress is a sure-fire way to dampen spirits and send you on a downward spiral, binge fest, or maybe both. However, with perseverance and faith, the plateau will eventually be overcome. If this was my first time getting down to race weight, I would probably think that I’ve just reached my weight, and that I’m not meant to go any lower. But since I’ve been here before, I know that getting to 73kg or 72kg is very possible, provided that I have some patience. I’ve been lower than that too, getting to around 70kg, which requires getting over another plateau that I will see at 73kg (it happens to me every time, and usually I don’t try and go lower because 73kg is “good enough”).
What I really should have done in this project, is anticipate the 75kg plateau and scheduled something sustainable (like burgers) for that phase. Ah well, next time I will do that!
Workouts: I’ve had some surprisingly great workouts when I didn’t expect to, and then I’ve also had some terrible workouts where I expected greatness. The important thing is to just roll with it based on how you feel. If I’m feeling good, I try and go a bit harder and make use of the good feeling. And likewise, if I’m feeling terrible then I just the workout short and accept it.