One of the most difficult things I’ve learned in the last year is that to be a successful triathlete, you have to plan ahead. I am notoriously bad about planning because as soon as I have a plan in my hand or head, the details become overwhelming and kill the plan with fire and then wing it.
This approach was very much how I handled the bike portion in the lead up to the Tempe half. I had very fastidious plans for running and swimming which I did a decent job sticking to (swimming because I knew I had to, and running because I tend to enjoy that sport the most of the three). For the bike, I found myself a good free century plan online, did the appropriate self-coaching-math to cut it to about a 60 mile plan and then missed the first few workouts. In my head I knew the plan had “failed,” I knew it was getting to be summer in Tucson but I knew I had to do something. So my new plan was just to ride my indoor trainer as much as possible watching various indoor spinning workouts on youtube (most times back to back). The experienced readers are probably cringing right now…and they are correct. My failure at my bike plan, as rough a plan as it was gave me a really rough bike at Tempe, which gave me a disastrous run and a DNF two weeks ago.
- Focus on strength training from now until the beginning of the year. As much as this blog is triathlon focused, my one true love in life is snowboarding. Last season, I discovered that years of sitting at a desk have left me with very paltry core strength which was really beginning to affect my riding. Even though I was doing semi-long workouts on the bike and running 25 miles a week in early 2015 and my cardio was good, I really should have been doing more to keep my trunk in shape. Having lifted weights on and off since I “played” baseball in high school, I know my way around the gym. But this time I’ve decided to try something a little different. I did quite a bit of looking around and found this great 90 day bodyweight workout at Breaking Muscle. What I really like about it is that almost every exercise involves some sort of core activity. I don’t like the lack of back exercises so I’m going to mix in pullups and chinups as well. Since I am focusing on strength training for the next 60 days, I will obviously have to modify the last 30 days and find a way to integrate a much less intense program into my triathlon training.
- Keep a slow, but steady running program going until the beginning of the new year. I enjoy running and find it to be a huge stress relief and motivator so that shouldn’t be an issue.
- I’ve hired a triathlon coach, specifically Jimmy Riccitello. He’s a local Tucson guy with credentials and connections that go back years and into nearly every corner of the sport. Starting in early January I am going to do his 70.3 plan to take me into April and then, time permitting, pick up a more personalized plan into Deuces Wild and then something I can stick to throughout the summer and into the full Ironman in November. Jimmy is a notoriously busy guy with a lot more high profile clients than me so there may have to be some more research and new programs/coaches once I rebuild the 70.3 base. Jimmy’s plan is already loaded into my Training Peaks account looking for a January 3rd start.
- Most importantly, stick to a nutritionally sound but calorie restricted diet. I am firm believer in that to be successful, I need to lose quite a bit of weight. I chugged at least 20% extra body weight around the Tempe 70.3 and I’m convinced that affected nearly every aspect of my race. I trained hard last year and except for on and off again spurts, I never really lost much weight because I wasn’t focusing on nutrition. That has to be different this year.
So thats where we are…next up…from me volunteering on November 14th and 15th as a safety Kayaker at the 2015 Tempe Ironman.
I had some friends last time around who said they couldn’t get the comment function to work so if you have any comments, questions or advice please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org