Monday, November 4, 2013

Kona Training

Robin and I had an opportunity to head to Hawaii for a couple of weeks this year during the time the World Championship was being held.  I was pretty excited about the opportunity to not only watch the event, but also spend two weeks training for Arizona in such a beautiful paradise.  

We were fortunate enough to stay in a friends house in Waimea, just north of Kona about 40 miles.  I rented a road bike, Specialized Roubaix, from Bike Works to use for training for a week.  I was also looking forward to taking advantage of all the open water available for swimming.  And running, well, we were staying on a ranch so there were miles of roads and trails at our doorstep which made for some very beautiful runs.

Nice day for a run.
One of my long runs was a 20 miler toward the end of our stay with an overall elevation gain around 1000 feet.  It was a gorgeous day, of course, is there any other type of day in Hawaii.  

20 mile run elevation map

My last long swim was a 3 miler.  We managed to find a "limited public access" to a beach in one of the resorts that had some pristine conditions.  It was a quarter mile across which was perfect for 1/2 mile laps.  The first swim I did in the cove was just one lap to get a feel for the water and surroundings. Lots of pretty cool fish below to watch while swimming.  Okay, look forward and quit paying attention to the fish below.  We need to practice our sighting skills in open water.  One thing about the cove is that since it had very limited public parking spaces available, you had to get there between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning or they filled up.  So we were up early on swim days, which was pretty much every day, in order to get there in time, secure our spot and hit the quiet beach.

My Open Water Lap Pool.  1/2 mile laps.

3 miles in 2:15.  Not the fastest, but not bad.

The bike training was a blast.  Spent all of my training on the Ironman route down the Queen K Hwy and up to Hawi.  The route wasn't nearly as flat as I thought.  Robin was great on my long training rides.  She would drive up the road, pull over and hand off new water bottles when I needed them.  I was able to stick to my nutrition plan without carrying a lot of fluid on the bike.  She was pretty much my mobile aid station.  Having her there also helped on brick runs.  Being able to hand off the bike, put on my running shoes and take off in a couple of minutes was great race simulation training.  

Of course the days leading up to the World Championship, the Queen K catered to quite a number of athletes getting used to the course and trade-winds. I met some very nice athletes during my training sessions.  It was probably the closest I would ever get to sharing the Queen K with the pro's and other World Championship qualifiers.  

Queen K Elevation Map

Before our trip I had won a photo contest at the local tri shop here in Portland, Athletes Lounge.  As soon as I found out, I headed down to the shop, picked up my gift certificate and immediately used it to purchase the new Specialized Evade aero helmet to take on the trip.  What a great helmet.  Kept my head cool during the hours I spent on the road and was very comfortable to wear.

New Specialized Evade Helmet

Coming into Robin's aid station to swap water bottle

And I'm off again, what a great backdrop for a long morning ride

During one of my rides I stopped by the Expo and ran into one of our Portland Pro's, Chris Bagg. Doing his time in the PowerBar booth.  It was great talking to him, gaining some valuable advice from a pro, loading up on fluids and the endurance energy blends they had, pretty tasty.  I also learned that his wife, Amy, was competing in the World Championship.  Way To Go Amy!!!!

Learn more about Amy and Chris here

Chris and his lovely wife, Amy.
Well, two weeks went by pretty fast and before I knew it, we were back in Portland.  Monday was a very cold bike ride into work.  We're not in Hawaii anymore Toto.  It sure was nice to not have to worry about anything on vacation other than training and resting.  Even with all the training I did, it was a very relaxing time.  And having my wonderful wife with me the whole time along with all her support, Priceless!! 


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