Its almost been a week since I actually done the session, but figure I may as well write something about it for posterity. After realising that I was probably really under-estimating the Gael Force (my proposed finishing time would have put me in the top 50 out of over 300 last year), I figured that it was time to get serious training wise.
So, last Wednesday, I decided to try and mimic the bulk of the first half of the race by running home from work, the long way (14km) and to follow that up with at least a 35km bike ride. In Gael Force, that would more or less get me up to Croagh Patrick, without doing the Kayak section and also saving 1km from the runs.
Run, went ok for the most part. Seemed to struggle a bit in the early part, taking a walk after around 3km. Got into a rhythm though, keeping the HR around 155bpm to 160bpm or so, but the pace wasn't too blistering. Still, I'm pretty sure that'll be my strategy in GF, so thats no harm.
Got back to the house, after 14.1km in 1hr 41m 40s, an average pace of 7.13 per km (157bpm). A brief transition onto the bike and I set off. I'd always assumed that once I got onto the bike in GF that I'd be grand after that, but this session definitely opened my eyes. I was hating it almost immediately, and it didn't get any better as the ride went on.
The km's just seemed to drag and drag. As I've probably mentioned before, Cambridge is pretty flat, so I can only imagine what its going to be like in the actual event. On a few occassion I had to stop pedalling and let myself recover briefly before continuing.
Eventually made it back to the house after 40.4km, which I done in 1hr 38m 27s, an average speed of 24.6kmph (average HR 142bpm, cadence 82.8rpm). Given my state at that point, I was struggling to climb the stairs in the house, never mind Croagh Patrick.
Still, it was a useful experience and at least its proved to myself that I should definitely get around, even if it means crawling the last bit!