I decided to compare this year's training volume to last year's lead up to Ironman Lake Placid. The races are almost exactly a month apart, so it was easy enough to match up the six months building into each race. I was disheartened to learn that I had actually done more training last year.
I thought, "How could this be?" I'm solid in the water, my cycling efforts are more consistent across long workouts (no huge drop off at the end) and I'm running a lot faster with less effort. I'm rarely wiped out for extended periods after big days or long runs like in previous years. Overall, I just feel fitter too. How could I be training less?
The good thing about properly recorded training logs is that I can look back on the efforts I was doing -- and that's what calmed me down. While I trained more in '09, almost all of it was at a much lower intensity. That's not to say I'm drilling it now, but last year, the bulk of my work was "easy" efforts with occasional periods of steady, moderately hard and hard (and close to equal doses of all of those three effort levels).
This year, I've only gone "easy" during warmup and on recovery days. There hasn't been too much high end -- the majority has been solid, steady efforts; coincidentally, that's the effort I want to race IM. Funny how those things work out. So, if I did this right, I'll be racing the way I've trained all year, instead of hanging on for dear life halfway through the run.
Ultimately, my race day performance in Coeur d'Alene will reveal if I am actually faster. Until then, all I can do is follow along with the plan, rest up and get ready to execute on the day.
I've got a few more solid workouts spaced out over the coming 10 days, then it's off to Idaho by way of Amarillo, Boulder and a meandering trip through Wyoming and Montana. I'm hoping to stop for a little while in Bozeman and see if it's all I've heard it to be.