Kona Diaries 2010 – Day 3 – Acclimatisation Woes

Sunrise at Sea

Early starts have established themselves in the Hawaiian routine. I checked my watch as soon as I woke and sure enough it was 4:30. Two hours till I’d swim and no early run planned I could have used more rest. It wasn’t to be and complaints now will be forgotten when the early race day start feels less of a chore.

I was pleased with yesterday’s ride – far better than I’d expect so soon after arriving. It’s impact was significant as my legs ached round the ankles. A specific soreness I associate with water retention like the tendons are under pressure. There’s a way to go before I’ll consider myself acclimatised.

The tapering process is about getting yourself to race day in good shape. There needs to be flexibility so whilst I plan using the Performance Management Chart I adjust on feel. It didn’t feel like a good day for a run the impact would likely aggravate any soreness. My morning swim would be fine and probably the bike too, but I’d take things as they come.

I headed to the pier early to meet Mark and Till for a swim. Whilst Till stayed in close to the pier Mark and I swam out to the last orange buoy arriving in time for sunrise. This time I’d brought a camera to capture the experience. There’s work to be done on my abilities as a director, but video will eventually come!

Testing out the race kitThe sea was a little lumpy and you felt it more on the return journey. More importantly I felt strong and never struggled in the water. A few moments of poor navigation almost took me off course, but compared to last year I’m feeling far more confident.

Once ashore the first thing was to check the Skinfit shorts out. White has the potential to be seriously revealing, but I think I got away with it! Worse case I’ll have a clear drafting deterrent for the first 30 minutes.

Mark and Till had to dash off to pick up the Biestmilch Pros on their morning run at the Energy Lab. I headed up Palani to Jamba Juice to meet the crew when they’d returned. A perk of being a Biestmilch Ambassador was being greeted by Chris McCormack with the phrase “Russ, we meet at last”! I only hope whoever told him about me said nice things! It was fun hanging out with the group I’m looking forward to doing it more.

When they left for the pool I returned to the hotel and got ready for another ride on the Queen K. My plan today waso a short session with a couple of threshold intervals. Since I tried this whilst tapering for ITU Worlds I like having a couple of hard sessions in the final weeks.

Riding out of town I quickly settled into a decent pace and pushed on out beyond the airport. I’d packed a Biest Booster suspecting a little bit of extra stimulation might be needed. The first interval proved the point as I struggled to match the power I worked at the day before.

Ten minutes in I was ready to abandon. My legs weren’t feeling it, but the mind cajoled them and bargained for a few more minutes. Somehow I made twenty minutes feeling better than I’d started. The Scenic Viewpoint arrived with perfect timing and I stopped briefly to take in the views. Compared to much of the barren surroundings it is scenic.

The second interval went much better not on target, but a significant 20W higher than the first. My legs felt stronger and after the interval I pushed much harder home. I didn’t have the session I wanted, but there were plenty of reasons why. It boosted my confidence that if I ride like this now how will I be fully rested and acclimatised?

Training done I took the afternoon off and relaxed. A wander round town (under gray skies and rain too for those back home), some coffee and exploration of the Farmer’s Market. some very tasty Macadamia Nut brittle in there that I wouldn’t dare buy before the race! Might be potent race nutrition though!

I can look forward to a proper easy day tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be up at 4:30, but once the swim is out the way that’s it I’m done. I’ll need to find something just to ensure I can fill a blog!

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