I met with Coach Pain last week to discuss the plans for 2010. She spent an hour with me, talking about goals, and not laughing out loud when I told her I'd signed up for Arizona. That in itself is amazing, because I can't always stop myself from laughing. It's one thing when you have a goal, it's another thing when you can actually verbalize to a coach and they say, yes, we can help you reach your goal. Wow.
So, she looked at my race times from this year, which were surprisingly the same, regardless of the distance. Of course, mostly sprints at the beginning of the summer, and with training, able to keep the speed as the distances increased. And she said that my swim times were good, and so were my run times- if I can keep those paces during the Ironman, I'll be in good shape to finish on time. The problem is the bike. So to improve my cycling, she listed a number of things- two indoor spins and one long bike per week. During the spins, focus on pushing a higher heartrate- wear the HRM! During hill portions of spins, focus on hitting the right cadence in the big ring as this will be more like a strength workout. And when there are intervals, take as short a break as you need to catch your breath and get a drink, and then get back into aero. The quicker you can recover, the better, and this will help improve your form outdoors. And when you are outdoors on the long rides, especially during the winter and spring when the distances are shorter, push harder for 50% of the ride. During the winter and spring, the focus will be on increasing speed and strength, so that come June, I will have that fast base, and can focus on endurance and distance for IM training.
Of course, I bitched a little about spin, how I have a hard time maintaining focus and not getting bored and I asked if I could ride outside inside. Surprisingly she said no, practice mental focus is a skill, and you can go harder inside because you don't have to worry about pushing it, bonking, and getting stuck miles from home. Good point.
For the running part, twice during the week and one long run on the weekend. And here she said another surprising thing. I'd always heard that a 5:1 or 8:2 interval run/walk is good. To walk early and often. She said that if you walk 1 minute for every mile, that 26 minutes of walking in the marathon and that may be close to the cutoff for me. Now, walking is okay when you need to do it, but if you don't need to, then don't. And a shuffle will always be faster than a walk in the marathon of an IM. Which is perfect, because I don't know how to run that isn't a shuffle! I will still plan to walk the water stops, just because it's silly to spill drinks on myself when I don't have to.
Swimming, twice weekly, one pool, one open water swim (OWS), starting now. The pool should be for speed, the OWS should be 1600-3000m, and that the workout progression will be posted on the website to follow.
Core, continue 3 times weekly, add in a yoga if you can.
So, she started putting a weekly calendar together for me and ran into the same problems I had, with having mornings, Tuesdays, Fridays, and weekends available. So she made up a two week rotation, how smart is that! It will bump up my weekly hours from 8 to 10-12, depending on how long the weekend stuff goes. And to pencil it all in, and track what gets missed, and make adjustments from there. Because that's another thing to get set now so you don't have to fiddle with it come June.
And speaking of June, the race calendar will be
Now- January- practice the schedule, winter training
Jan- Half training starts
April- Lonestar Half
June- IM training starts
July, Aug, Sept- maybe a sprint, Austin Tri for sure because it's on a Monday and doesn't conflict with weekend training
Oct- Redman Half as a tune up, or Longhorn Aquabike
So that's the plan. It seems so easy on paper, now it's just a matter of putting it into practice. I've already had some trouble with the new schedule, mainly due to the fact that it's December and there are all sorts of Christmas parties and obligations. And then I got sick. But hopefully, I will back to full strength next week, just in time to take off for Christmas. I am planning to get a couple of workouts in over the break, hopefully limit the damage all the goodies are doing!