Kona Diary 2016. Presented by MATCHSPORTS.

© Nils Nilsen 2015

Part 1
Introduction. Recap of Week 6. Preview of Week 5. 

N.B: Joel & I count down to race week, which we call “Week 0.” So Week 6 starts seven weeks out from race day.
Rather than doing a big retrospective right before the race, which never seems to work out very well (e.g. “The Road to The Woodlands”), I thought I’d try just doing something a bit more regular – and more informal – leading into the race in Kona this year. My goal is to write at least once a week, recapping the prior week and looking ahead to the next week. If I can, I will try to write more. I’m aiming to cover a mishmash of topics – training, recovery, nutrition, family life, equipment choices, and just general musings. If there are any specific questions, just fire them at me via the contact form here or on social media, and I’ll do my best to incorporate them.
Quick note regarding the whole, “Presented by MATCHSPORTS” tagline. As I alluded to in my post on the Matchrider, this is one of the hardest products to advocate for because it’s not something that I use on race day. And it’s not even something I can bring with me to a race. It’s strictly a training tool, which makes it largely invisible in many ways. But the MATCHSPORTS crew have been incredible supporters of mine, and I wanted to find a way to give a little extra exposure to thank them in this small way. If it strikes your fancy, and you’re looking for the best indoor riding experience on the planet, check out the Matchrider, which is shipping now. Thanks.
Last week, I did absolutely nothing after the race in Tremblant. In the past, I’ve experimented with a bunch of different approaches. I never do very much, but if I have another race “soon” after an Ironman, I started trying to something most days as soon as possible. Usually just very short and very easy swims. Back when my schedule for the year seemed to workout more or less how I planned, I always took a full week off after an Ironman. Last year, after Tremblant, I took the “keep moving” approach. But I found it was a real drag to get myself to the pool, and it didn’t actually seem to make much difference – physically – once I resumed training, but it did make a difference – mentally – in a negative way. It didn’t really seem to affect my recovery at all, but I found that the mental energy it took to go swim when I was really tired made it harder to bounce back. So this year, even when I had another race impending, I took a week totally off after Cairns and again after Tremblant this year. After a couple days of getting back into it, I haven’t noticed much difference at all in terms of training – it still feels like I did an Ironman a week ago, though after 20 Ironman finishes, I certainly recover faster than after two of them, but I definitely feel much better mentally. 
This week is still pretty light, hitting 17-18hrs of training. This week and next week will be about getting back into the swing of things, then the goal is to have two solid, specific preparation weeks, and then two weeks of taper. Six weeks, with a solid foundation under me, seems pretty close to ideal. I know that I can make some pretty serious gains in two weeks and – at the same time – it’s pretty hard for me to totally detonate myself. I know I’m generally pretty fit; I showed that in Tremblant. So I feel like two weeks will be great for sharpening up and putting some of the snap in my legs for Kona that I felt was missing in Tremblant. 
Two of my key benchmarks are:
– how well I am sleeping
– how eager I am to get out of bed and start training
Both of these totally subjective benchmarks have served me much more reliably than HRV, RHR, or any other “objective” marker I’ve found. And, right now, both of them are very good. As is my motivation to write and share. We’ll see how these things track over the next four weeks as well… 
It’s my goal to not have any of these be epically long reads and to simply share with greater frequency. So with that short – for me anyway – introduction, thanks for joining me on this journey to my fourth Kona. I’ve made a new label “Kona 2016” that I’ll be using for these posts as well so if you want to re-read, just click the label link in the footer to see them all (once there’s more than just this one anyway…).

2 thoughts on “Kona Diary 2016. Presented by MATCHSPORTS.

  1. @Scott typically 1x a week. I have good roads near me for doing specific work outside, which for many folks is their biggest challenge. But I like the mental break of no traffic and being on the trainer once a week. Depending on the trainer Joel has prescribed, if there are some more short intervals scheduled, I would definitely do those on the Matchrider as well. I have the benefit of living somewhere it basically never rains (though this is now a real problem as well…) and I can train whenever I want – meaning no worries about darkness or rush hour traffic. In the winter, when we did have more rain and when it does get dark earlier, I was training more like 2x a week on the Matchrider.


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