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Chasing Dreams
My travels from a year of Tri experience to Ironman UK 2014.

After deciding to do an olympic distance Triathlon in September 2013 I set about training and quickly realised I wanted to do an Ironman. Two days after finishing my first 70.3 race seems like a good place to start this story. Lets see where it goes from here.

Two of everything

NextTangentby NextTangentSep 16th 2013
Since my last post where I was looking back on the past season and where I had come from since I started I have done two weeks holiday, two races and two weeks of my new training plan. So the title again seems apt.

Two weeks of Holiday

I took two weeks out of training after the cotswolds, partially because I needed to and partially because thats when my holiday was booked. I travelled to Germany to watch some of my favourite bands play live at the Hockenheim ring, and it was nice to see some live music again, took me back a few years when I would spend all my time looking for gigs to go to.

The added advantage of this is the rest it gave my body, but also allowed my mind to get excited about Triathlon again. The rest for the body was vital, I slept pretty well whilst on holiday and started to eat some more "treats" again before I inevitably move back to the Triathlon diet. I am fairly sure this break prevented me from over training and I need to remember to take my Christmas break as sensibly and calmly if I want to ensure I get a good winter of work done.

Unfortunately the holiday and slowdown did allow my body to pick up a cold which left me feeling lousy for a week and a half or so, leading into the first of my two races.

Two Races

I returned to Westonbirt sprint, the site of my first ever Tri as my final race of the season. I had no real goal time wise, and mostly went for fun to see what I could do as an end of season cool down. The overwhelming realisation from doing the race was that my peak in form had been greater than I had realised. After taking 2 weeks off and still recovering from a stinking cold my energy levels just felt low on the bike and run, and the swim hurt much more than it normally does. Overall I came in 2 minutes down on my first time round, but still had a surprisingly good time, even achieving a 2 minute PB for the swim. All swings and roundabouts really.

The second of my races was the Bristol half marathon. I did no sort of taper for it just ran it as part of my training programme. This was exemplified by going for a 60km ride the day before and a swim the evening after. I said before hand I wanted to run it steady and relaxed but go under 1 hour 40, and when all was said and done I ran a 1.39.25. Its hard to say much more about a performance when you don't push very hard and still manage to achieve your goals.

Two weeks of Prep

I put a lot of the half marathon time down to the training done over the last year and not the last two weeks, but the last two weeks typify where the speed (which I never thought I'd have) has come from.

I have started my first stage of training. I intend to do 4 weeks of prep work leading up to my first 12 week base building session. Take a three week break for Christmas before another 12 weeks of base building. This should allow me just enough time to do some race prep for an early season 70.3 before a final push and then taper into the full distance.

Base building is going to be about keeping the heart rate low, whilst upping the milage. The intention is to get the swimming and running done in the evenings as I feel less worried about being out in the dark if I am on the pavement. This leaves the weekend free for a medium ride and a long brick session. I want to keep the brick sessions going all year if I can to build up a good feel for running off the bike and getting my run pacing right quickly.

I have also moved to getting something done 7 days a week. Although my light days now have to be very light otherwise I am going to seriously run the risk of over training. A typical light day now sees me walking rather than running, to keep the legs moving but not stress the muscle or heart too much.

With this plan I should be in a position where I know I can do the time even if the distance isn't quite there so i can move into building the pace during my second base session.
 
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