Olympic Training Is On

Well I am almost 3 weeks into my Olympic Distance Triathlon Training and I actually feel like it is having some effect. My training week looks something like this. Monday is an easy paced run somewhere in the 3-5 mile range. Tuesday is a swim day. Wednesday is my speed work day for running. In my case, speed is a relative term. It is quite humorous to use speed and my running in the same sentence. Thursday is another swim day. Friday is my “long” run day. My training plan never puts me over an hour running before the race, but I am pushing that one a little. Saturday is my long bike day where I get up at dawn and ride for a couple hours. If life allows, I also try to squeeze in a bike ride after work mid-week.

I am seeing improvements in all areas. Swimming is feeling much more natural and I am more than confident that in a wetsuit, I can finish the Swim comfortably today. On the bike, I have finally done enough tweaking and have improved my conditioning enough that I can ride in the aerobars comfortably and my long ride is up to 40 miles. The biggest difference I am seeing in my running is that my heart rate is staying lower for long on my easy runs. I guess it is time to start pushing the pace a litte.

How To PR When You Are In Worse Shape

This is my secret, Race a distance you have never raced before. In my case I will be racing in an Olympic Distance Triathlon on August 19th. I have spent the last couple of weeks on general conditioning in preparation for execution of Gale Bernhardt’s Olympic Tri in 6 Weeks Plan from her book “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes”. This plan lines up perfectly with my goals. It is intended for someone looking at 3-4 hours to complete the 1500m swim, 24.8 mile bike and 6.2 mile run. I have a primary goal of 3:30 based on a 40 minute swim, 1:40 bike and a 1:10 run. This is basically doubling my sprint time on the same course, plus a little fudge factor. If things go well, I may be able to make a run at 3 hours. That would require me to hit everything out of the park. That would be a 30 minute swim, 1:20 bike and a 1:10 run. If you haven’t noticed, hitting it out of the park on the run is the same as my rough guess. This is because I just can’t seem to make improvements in my run fitness.

I will be modifying the plan a little. I will be running Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday will be the easy run, Wednesday will be the Speed work day, and Friday will be the long run. I will swim on Tuesday and Thursday. I will do my long bike ride on Saturdays and I will try to squeeze in a midweek ride either Wednesday or Thursday after work. This will make Sunday my rest day.

It’s The Weekend

It is Father’s Day weekend and a pretty big deal. Obviously it is as day we honor our Dads. For Golfers it is US Open Weekend. But if you are the Dad of a soccer player in Michigan, it is tryout weekend. I will be spending the weekend watching my daughter play the sport she loves in front of Coaches who will decide if she is good enough to be on the team.

Tryouts are stressful this year, because my daughter will be changing clubs and if all goes well, to a club that is very close to home and convenient for getting her to and from practice. As a former team sport athlete, I appreciate what my little girl is going through and understand the life lessons she will learn that will help her later on. I am very proud of the Student and Athlete she has become and I couldn’t ask for a better Father’s Day present than watching her be successful at something she loves.

The Starting After Quitting Can Never Stop

It really has been 6 months since I have updated this blog. I think I was too embarrassed to write about not getting close to meeting my goals. I think my only goal for 2012 is going to be to get out of my running funk. I have lost a lot of my running fitness and working my way back up has been difficult. I’ve struggled with all the same things everyone else.

So to catch you up with 2012, I have only raced once this year. The Spring Island Lake Sprint Triathlon was my slowest of 4 attempts at this event. My swim time has been better, but both the bike and run has gotten slower. It is time to get back to work and I think I need to blog more to help keep myself motivated. I can commit here to trying the Olympic Distance at the Summer Island Lake Triathlon. I have a 6 week training plan for someone who expects to be in the 3-4 hour range. Once I get through that, I hope to leverage that base of fitness to improve my run and bike.

Summary of the Week in Training

I have made it through another week of training. I ran 3 days and swam 2. Monday morning I went to Lifetime Fitness and ran 4 easy miles on the treadmill. For me that is setting the treadmill at 5.5 mph and 1% incline. Tuesday I swam 1200 meters on a morning I really did not feel like getting up. Wednesday I ran 4 miles with 2 one mile interval at 6.5 mph, I overslept so I did this run on the treadmill after work. On Thursday I slept in and took a rest day. On Friday I swam 1600 meters with a main set of 10 x 100 meters. Finally Saturday morning I ran 9 miles outside. I felt horrible during the run and couldn’t keep up much of a pace. Those were simply miles I put in to get them in.

My weight has been going up this week. I am sure it is mostly related how poorly I have eaten this week. The plan is to get back to eating better next week. The training week isn’t necessarily over. I may try to get some form of a bike ride in, either on the trainer or outside on the mountain bike.

The Baseline for 2012

Today was the first workout of the year. Just an easy 4 mile run on the treadmill. If you don’t know me yet, I wake up at 3:45 am to work out before I go to work. I weighed in this morning at 238. So I have some work to do before the Martian Marathon on April 14th.

I am hoping after a year of keeping my weight between 230 and 240, I can drop a few pounds from this. Hopefully losing some weight will help me reach my goal of a sub 5 hour marathon. Losing weight will help with energy management at least.

2012 Goals

I am starting 2012 a little behind in fitness and I am hoping to fix that. My first goal is to complete a sub 5 hour marathon. I intend to sign up for the Martian Marathon on April 14th. This will be my first goal race for 2012. Depending on how my training goes, I am thinking about making an attempt at a sub 6:30 Half Ironman. I am looking at either the Racing for Recovery Half Ironman in June or possibly another one in September. My backup plan for the Marathon will be either Grand Rapids or Detroit in October.

2011 Summary

I did not have the best of years in 2011. I lost a lot of fitness at the end of 2010 and fought very hard to get some of it back. I ended 2011 still not as fit but at least making progress.

Races:

I competed in 6 races in 2011. I did 2 indoor triathlons, 2 sprint triathlons, a 10k and a 5k. All of the races were significantly worse than races in previous years. The lesson learned is that fitness is difficult to obtain and easy to lose.

Training:

I covered 1534.66 miles in training, 929.05 miles cycling, 546.09 miles running, and 54.96 miles swimming. This was about 100 miles short of what I did in 2010, which is about the distance of the Marathon and Half-Ironman I did in 2010.

My training in 2010 was a bit aimless because I wasn’t following a plan and didn’t have a hard goal for the training.

Coming Back to Blogging

I have let this blog sit idle for a while. It has a lot to do with not having much time to write. It also has a lot to do with not wanting to sit at a computer any more than I have to. I spend all of my day job at a computer and I am usually sick of the computer by the time I leave work. I am going to try to make some form of effort to post something at least once a week. I just have to figure out what exactly I want to do with these updates. I am thinking I want to go back to writing a bit on different subjects that interest me. I might write something about Sports, Politics, Computers and Training for endurance events.

I have a passing interest in the big sports (Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball). I really enjoy watching my now 12-year-old daughter compete in Soccer. I have an interest in Running, Cycling and Swimming since I have started doing triathlon about 3 years ago.

In terms of politics, I am what I would consider very conservative, which I understand my mere existence will offend some people. I would recommend skipping my blog if you are a liberal.

I have worked in the IT industry for 21 and have learned many things about computers including that I have much more to learn. What I intend to share here are the tidbits I pick up that might be useful or helpful to people who don’t work in IT.

Finally, I hope to journal my journey to my third Marathon and possibly my second attempt at a Half-Ironman distance triathlon. I hope to write about my training progress and the funny things that happen along the way.

Ultimately I like to have fun and try to be funny, sometimes I might succeed. I just hope that most people who read this, take everything I write with a grain of salt.

The Next Goal

While I am still disappointed with my post Grand Rapids fitness, I have decided that I am ready to take on the Marathon again. My new goal is to run the Martian Marathon in Dearborn, Michigan on April 14, 2012. This will be my third marathon and I have a primary goal of finishing in under 5 hours and a secondary goal of going under 4:30. Hopefully the lessons I have learned in the first 2 will help me get there. The first lesson is that I have been doing my long and easy runs way too fast. The second was that I just didn’t have enough mileage on my long runs.

I will be using the Runners World Smart Coach Training Plan. I used my recent 10k race time of 59:50 as the basis. The plan lays out for me to ultimately run a 4:12 marathon. That may be a little optimistic, but the plan does have me running 20 miles 8 times between now and the marathon. I think this will get me to the Marathon as prepared as I possibly can. The plan calls for 3 runs a week, the other days are for either cross training or rest. My intention is to take one day during the week off and swim on the weekdays. The day after the long run, I am going to try to ride my bike whenever weather permits.

There are 34 weeks to go and a lot can happen between now and then, but I feel encouraged to have a plan.