With the importance of setting up my metabolism, along with dealing with a few bumps in the road in the lead up my approach will be non-traditional. Normally when I would have been building peak training, I rested and then past 2-3 weeks when I would normally be tapering I have been doing base training.
I've come to this through listening very carefully to my body and understanding the importance of a what I'm doing metabolically. First off, I'm not out to set a personal best at this race so the gains from being fully tapered and rested really aren't important to me. I will not be racing at the intensity where that should affect me.
What has been interesting is that while I've really put my focus on prioritizing consistency in training, and especially due to the increased focus on swimming I've noticed a dramatic improvement in my insulin sensitivity. Along with that I've also reduced the inflammation in my body. My face is less squishy, my and body weight is a few pounds down - this is not due to me burning more calories as my energy consumption has more than matched my output.
The most significant improvement has been my insulin sensitivity. I have had to reduce my basal insulin rate back down to 0.3U/hr, which is very near the level it was at when I was assuming that I was 'honeymooning'. This is great news to me, however there is only one downside. As a result of this improvement I need to re-evaluate the insulin rates that I plan to use during Sunday's event. To err on the side of safety I plan to reduce the temp basal rates from 0.15U/hr down to 0.1U/hr.
Technically, and probably only of interest to other OmniPod users I'm not setting a temp basal, but creating my own basal program for the event day. The race starts at 7am. My overnight basal will be set to 0.3U/hr until 6:30am at which point it will change to 0.15U/hr until 8:30am. The plan is to target a BG of 80-100 at the start of the race - there will likely be a spike due to adrenaline as well. (I will also have emergency carbs taped inside my wetsuit since you never know.).
Without an adrenaline spike my blood sugar should settle to about 70-90 as I excite the water. Then run into transition will likely spike this up again by a minimum of 10 points putting me in a great range on the bike.
At 8:30am I should be just settling in on the bike at which point my basal program will further reduce to 0.1U/hr when it will remain for the rest of the day. I had the ability to ride part of the course with a PowerTap yesterday. I'm comfortable targeting 210-230 watt average on the course depending on the level of incline. This effort should keep my heartrate in the mid 140's at (for me) is a nice aerobic level.
For power geeks my FTP is usually 360. Yes that is a big number but factoring that I'm 215 pounds that's 3.6 watts/kg which is a much more humbling way to look at it. I haven't done an FTP test lately since I've been intentionally avoiding them due to their potential for instability. I have been able to comfortably hold 320 watts at what felt like 90% effort for 40 minutes so I'm sure my FTP hasn't changed too much from season's past. For safety sake I'll enter a conservative 340 watts for my FTP into the calculator.
I should do just fine on this flattish course. Three laps with a gentle uphill on the way out and a gentle downhill on the return. I'll be riding the uphills near 250 watts and likely be able to drop that to 180 watts on the downhill and still hold speed just fine. This will likely net me about 18 mph average (judging from yesterday's 2 hour simulation ride on the course, which leads to about a 6 hour total ride. I'll be spending slightly more time on the uphills than the downs. My numbers are still loose calculations but these efforts should put me at a conservative 270 TSS points for the entire ride. Plus or minus a loose twenty points and I should feel nice and fresh coming of the bike, especially since the finish is after a downhill leg and I'll be able to recover.
In addition to these theoretical estimations, I'll be relying on the bike computer between my ears that has served me so well during my many years of cycling. I'll definitely have the option to back off and play it even safer than that. This is the first Ironman in which I'll be recording my power output. This will be incredibly useful for figuring out the details of future races. I'm interested to see how the PowerTap and the computer between the ears compare.
Eventually I'd like to get some metabolic efficiency test done and then together with a power meter I will be capable of developing an incredibly detailed nutrition plan to suite my new requirements. I won't be basing my race on the power numbers but it will be fun to look at the data once the dust settles.
It helps me to write these things down. Normally I'm a notebook person, but now that I've taken to blogging I'll likely be including more of those details here.