Today is the first Monday of the new year. What better time to restart triathlon training?
Actually I was going to restart last week, our first week home after vacation, but I had a strange tightness in my hip, probably because of my trail “run” up the side of the Columbia River Gorge the week before. After cutting short an early-in-the-week treadmill session, I decided to give it a few days of extra rest before going for an easy four-mile reentry yesterday. But after a couple months of just messing around and not exercising more than anything else, today is really when the structured training restarts.
Last year was a good year as far as results go. I did four triathlons: two 70.3/half-Ironmans, an Olympic, and a sprint. I set PRs at the 70.3 and Olympic distances, as well as in the half-marathon. I ran my first marathon. I did a bunch of great, long bike rides, including a gran fondo, another JDRF ride, a ride around Mount Washington, and a fun spin around the Quabbin with Scully. After Timberman, I had the opportunity to ride bikes with Mom and Lisa a bit, too. I swam 2.4 miles just before Thanksgiving.
I enjoyed doing all of that stuff, but by the middle of the summer I was a bit burned out on the training. For a while I really wasn’t enjoying running at all, and I didn’t feel like I was getting the opportunity to have fun riding my bike either. I got over it. One afternoon in early August, Lisa caught me on the trail and rode along next to me, reciting “The Jabberwocky” and pacing me through the end of my tempo run. She pretty much single-handedly helped me get my run mojo back. And thanks to some late season bike rides, which extended into late November, I got my money’s worth on the bike, too.
Now I feel like I’m really ready to come back to training. Lisa and I have talked a lot about the coming season and my long-term goals and what it’s going to take for me to get where I want to be. Triathlon training is such a solitary, time-consuming, months-long, energy-draining activity that it can become rather selfish if not handled with openness and everyone’s full buy-in. So my main goal this year is to see if Ironman training is realistic. Even though I’m not doing my first Ironman until 2015, there are questions I want answered: Can I handle the volume of training without getting injured? Can I do it and still have fun racing and training? What do I need to do to balance training and all of my other, very important life commitments? What do I need to do to get my diabetes in the right place for Ironman?
My plan for the year is pretty simple. I’m targeting Rev3 Maine, the same triathlon I did a couple of summers ago. And of course I’ll do the N.E. Season Opener again, since it’s tradition and a lot of chilly, hilly fun. Other than that, my race calendar is pretty open.
For the next seven or eight weeks I’ll be doing some pretty boring base training to build back some endurance and improve my running and cycling economy. And then in March I’ll start a 26-week Ironman plan, which should more than prepare me for the half-triathlon in late August. Some weeks in my training plan have “brick” (bike+run) workouts that seem like perfect opportunities to do a triathlon or two and have a good time. And I’ll get a lot of chances to bike and run long.
The journey to 2015 begins this week!