Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Training Goals for '07 Season

Well, the ’06 Triathlon season is in the can. Finished. Ka-putski! Now’s the time we are supposed to sit and reflect and make some goals for the next season. 2007 - it’s going to be a great year!

First, let’s reflect. Since my season ended with the Miami-Man ½ Iron race, lets go back to last year’s season ender, the Miami-Man International held on the same day. Between then and now was my ’06 Season. In those 52 weeks, I did this much training:

Swim: 168,416.4 yds
Bike: 2,984.2 miles
Run: 581.5 miles

This translates to an average weekly volume of 3,239 yards of swimming, 57 miles of biking and only 11 miles of running. That equates to about 1.1 hrs of swimming @ 2 min per 100 yds (ug…), 2.85 hrs of biking @ 20 mph, and 1.1 hrs of running @ 10 min/mile, for a total of 5 hrs a week. And there-in lies the focus – find ways to increase the volume and quality of my training.

So what’s reasonable? Doubling my mileage is certainly a lofty goal, but is it practical? Well, I think so.

Bike first: It wasn’t until May in my season this year when I finally felt strong enough on the bike to put in 100 mile weeks. I wasn’t real consistent with that – shoot; I only put in nine weeks that were at or over 100 miles. I bike on my days off – and for most of the season I thought that a 25 mile bike ride was a good ride. At some point I decided to become a better biker, and my minimum light ride became 25 miles, with most of my rides becoming 50 miles. I’ve got enough time on Sunday mornings to ride 50 to 60 miles before work, and with a long ride on Tuesdays (60 to 100 miles) and a easy ride on Thursday, all weeks should crest 100 miles. I will ride over 5,000 miles in ’07. I’ve come to enjoy biking a whole lot more, and with a disciplined base period, my time goals of rolling over 22mph for an Olympic race and longer can become a reality.

The swim next: just over 3,000 yards a week equates to 3 days of 1000 yards each. Pretty crummy. No wonder why I’m always coming out of the water towards the back of the pack. It truly is time to step it up. The day after Thanksgiving I’m starting the 30 day / 30 swim program – thanks Iron Pol (that’s, like, next week already…jees!) – and I’m planning on going for 2k swims each session. I’m going to start out easy, and figure that by the end of a month, I’ll have a solid aerobic swim base to kick it into high swim gear. I will swim 250,000 (a quarter million) yards in ’07. I flirted with 100m sprints this past season, and could really feel some gains after just a couple of workouts, but then gave up on them. After this base period, I’ll work those in as well.

The run: saving the best for last. Just looking at that 11 miles per week gives me “agida”. How in the heck can I hope to run sub 9 for 13 miles with an average run volume of 11 miles per week? I can’t. Now that I’ve started including a long run in each week of training, my recent averages have increased – from August until now I’ve had 6 weeks over 15 miles – a good trend that needs to continue to increase. I will run 1,100 miles in ’07. I know that increased run volume increases the risk of injury, so I’ll be careful not to go nuts, but I’ve got to work to get that number up over 20.

Reasonably, my ’07 season should have my average weekly volume at:

Swim: 5,000 yds.
Bike: 100 miles
Run: 20 miles

This would equate to about 3 hrs of swimming, 5 hrs of biking and 3.5 hrs (or less) of running, for a total of 11.5 hrs per week of training. So how do I more than double my average training time this season and still work and keep my bride happy? For one thing, add morning training to my schedule. That’s right, folks, I almost NEVER get up early to train. Waking up an hour early in the morning for a swim or run would net me 3 - 4 more hours of training a week. Only 3 you ask? I have the luxury of choosing my days off, working in retail sales like I do, so I generally take off on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then have Sunday morning for an additional workout, not having to be at work until noon. So I bike long on Tue, Thu, and Sunday (and remember, “long” for me has evolved considerably this season), I have Mon, Wed and Fri for an early run workout, and a long-lane lunch swim. Saturdays are always off days (except for the 30/30 swim challenge period). Fridays are my long run days, so I’ll get up extra early and put in the miles.

The weight: you know, I’ve always taken the stand that if I put in the time, the weight will come off. And so far it has, but lately it’s been coming off slower and slower. Which isn’t bad, mind you. I get into these plateaus where I’ll be at 260 for a while, then bam, drop another 5 and stay there, and so on. Now I’m at 245 or so, and have been there for almost a month. I’m sure that when I kick start the new plan, I’ll shock myself into shedding some lbs, but I also need to be much more mindful of what I’m feeding myself. I’m a crappy eater. That has to change. I will weigh 235 when I toe the line at St. Anthony’s.

I’m psyched – this is a doable plan. As if this weren’t enough, I’m also planning on lifting weights this season – starting tonight if I feel up to it. The good thing is I’ve got an awesome “home gym” and my wife seems motivated to join me, at some point, in this endeavor in the evenings. So there’s something we can do together that will have a training benefit for both of us. Win – Win. Yes this is a big commitment - this means I'll need to go to bed earlier if I'm planning on waking up earlier. This means fueling the body right to meet the demands of double the training volume. Somehow I've got to get from where I am now to where I want to be - IronFit. Here is where it starts.

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