Road to Kona Training : Week of Aug 8 (PIVKON -8)

What is PIVCON??  It’s something between Comic Con because my family thinks I’m a character and a DevCon level because I do feel like I’m going to explode due to the extreme anticipation of a project 12 years in the making about to come to fruition.  Just go with it, I’m practicing my creative skills. OK?!   It’s Pivnik’s Kona dream 8 weeks out!

Training so far this year has been intense at times but besides the build up of serious running volume before the Zion 100k Ultramarathon it hasn’t been too bad. I think I’ve built up a good foundation heading into the final two months to the Ironman World Championship.  Here is a Swim/Bike/Run summary by week through the end of July.

When I opened up the training plan for this week I took a deep breath and knew it was going to take some will power to stick to it. Happy that I got most of it done. 5,000 yards of swimming, 17 miles of running and 100 miles of biking. Here is how the day by day went.

While not in the plan I try to incorporate Pilates and/or Yoga a couple/few times a week and that is how I started Monday. My instructor is proud of my progress so she got me into some funky new moves. This hanging inverted plank pull up position was super interesting and challenging to do while attempting to keep the entire body completely level. 3 sets of these got the blood flowing for sure. “Happy Monday” she loves to say after I break a sweat.

Insert ‘where are the leather straps and feathers!??!’ jokes here please.  A “Caption This” request would yield great book fodder.

Later that afternoon it was off to Central Park for some running. The workout was titled 10 x 1 min Fartlek.  That’s Swedish for Speed Work.  After a 15 min jogging warm-up the main set was 20 minutes of 1 min hard and 1 min easy concluding with a 5 min easy jog cool down. So 4 miles total in the brutal heat.  Temps in Kona get as high as 90+ degrees F. ( 32c) with 90% humidity so training in these conditions helps acclimate the body.


Tuesday was a two workout day starting with a swim in the morning.  The workout went as follows. 500 yards warm up then five sets of 5 by 100 with decreasing rest after each 100. So 100 yards with a 20 second rest done 5 times, then 100 yards with a 15 second rest done 5 times etc… In training plan parlance it looked like this:

Warm Up: 200, 2 x 100, 2 x 50 (25fast/25 easy)
Main Set:
5 x 100 swim on :20 rest
5 x 100 swim on :15 rest
5 x 100 swim on :10 rest
5 x 100 swim on :5 rest
5 x 100 swim  on :20 rest
Cool Down; 200 easy

The end result was 3,000 yards (120 laps) or just under 2 miles in about an hour. I was super happy with my increased average pace which I finally got to under 2 minutes per hundred (super fast for me) and the exhaustion on my faces speaks volumes. After the swim it was off to Sauna/Ice Shower repeats for 20 minutes.

Workout number 2 on Tuesday was 20 miles on the bike. And the good news is that it got even hotter that day. I had a pedal/cleat issue and basically had no up-pull so my pace sucked but maybe that was a good thing because even my bike computer’s heat warning was set off.

I woke up starving on Wednesday, wonder why, and had a very large uncharacteristic breakfast but I was oh so happy with the carbs and the much needed protein (shush Ro!) from eggs and turkey bacon. They were burned off quickly as I probably lost all those calories and then some even though the workout today was an easy 5 mile run indoors. I was supper happy to be joined by my daughter who is training for the New York City Marathon that we will be running together for the 2nd time this November. I hope the condo board doesn’t ban my gym access. Yes I wipe down the machine but no amount of wet wipes can restore this poor pivnik-sweat-glands drenched treadmill.

On Thursday it was back to the Pilates studio first thing in the AM for another hour of intense stretching. I really wanted to finish the latest season of Alone (incredible extreme survival show on Netflix) so my lunch time ride was indoors on the bike trainer for about 90 minutes covering 20 miles. Living in Manhattan requires space creativity. My bike-trainer is in my home office bathroom lol.  Works for me :-). As if that wasn’t enough, it was back to the pool for another swim workout before dinner. The workout was meant to cover another 3,000 yards but I called it quits after 2,000 because I felt my pace slowing down and didn’t want to push it. Breakfast, lunch and dinner workouts makes for a very balanced day 🙂

. .

I try to avoid scheduling any client meetings on Friday‘s so that I can get my weekly long ride in.  Got my legs all warmed up by heading up 6 miles to the George Washington Bridge. After crossing, it was over to Route 9-W in New Jersey up to Rockland County, NY and across the Tapanzee Bridge. I haven’t been on this bridge since they rebuilt it and I was pleasantly surprised by how bike friendly it is. When it was over I logged 60 miles for the day but was super disappointed with my pace. Was equally disappointed that I started the ride too late and didn’t have time to get in a run OTB (Off the Bike). Stayed out a bit too late catching up with a friend last night. Maybe that did it.


That evening we took a little boat charter from Chelsea Piers to explore the West Side views before dinner. I turned my Garmin on for shits and giggles and recorded the excursion. When the recording  uploaded as a workout to Strava & Training Peaks I did get a couple of WTF were you doing swimming in the Hudson? I actually did swim in the Hudson a few weeks ago during the New York City Triathlon. That was really interesting and maybe I’ll cover that in another post.

Saturday‘s plan was for some track work. A friend told me to check out the one in Riverbank State Park further up the West Side. I figured I would run there to warm up, do the track work and jog back to cool down. Silly me didn’t realize it was 3 miles away. So I shortened the track work but still managed to get in 8 miles of running.


I had another bike and swim workout on the schedule for Sunday but I just couldn’t will myself to get either of those workouts in. The body needed a full recovery day. I’m sure it will thank me tomorrow. In summary, I’m pretty satisfied with the training this week. I’m feeling better about my swim pace, happy with the run but have a lot of improvement to do with my bike pace.  All work in progress. I just peaked at next week’s plan and it’s going to be another heavy load.

Thanks for following along and hope you enjoy the tail end of summer!  -Steven

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