Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thirteen weeks to go!

While that may sound like a long ways to go, it really isn't. Factoring in that the last week will be minimal with travel and the like, two weeks will be tapering, and I am taking a week's vacation in February, we are soon at 9 weeks. Still, I am feeling pretty good about where I am in my training regime. The last two weeks have been 10+ hour weeks despite a hectic schedule.

Training has never been a problem for me. It is what I love to do. I'm amazed at the number of people who can get ready for an event and then not do anything again until they decide to do something else. I describe myself as being in a constant state of "preparedness" (is that a word?). At anytime in my training I know I am capable of doing at least a 1/2 Iron man and a decent half marathon. To go up to the big boy events (iron man and marathon), I need a little more time, but not much.

Overall my training also reflects the reality of what I can do and when I can do it. My swims have to be done according to the pool schedule which does change from time to time. Further to that is I like to go at lunchtime. Generally it is not that busy and I can get at least a 2,000 metre workout in. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are usually the days I target for swimming. Trying to get back into town at night for the 9:00 p.m. lane swims are a bit of a challenge. At the end of the day, doing between 6,000 - 8,000 metres a week will get me in shape to do the 2.4 mile swim in Iron man. I also accept that I am a middle of the packer in the swim and that it would take a lot to improve that. The additional investment in training time could, at best, yield a 5 to 10 minute improvement. There are far greater gains to be had on the bike and run. So the swim is what it is.

Of the three disciplines, running is of course my favourite and given the choice I will always choose the run over the other two. However, I can also leave the bigger running weeks until later on in the schedule. Even when I am focusing on a marathon my training weeks are not likely to exceed 50 miles per week. Quality over quantity! My long runs are usually 18 miles at most and I will only do 1 or 2 of them prior to the race. Running lots of long slow runs teaches you to run long and slow. In a marathon after the 20 mile mark, we all are on the same footing. The human body is pretty much maxed out at 20 miles and the last 6 you dig deep and put one foot in front of the other. It is probably the most mental part of the race. So that is my opinion on training for marathon races. Less is more, quality over quantity, train hard and rest hard!

The cycling is finally starting to grow on me and it has taken awhile. Equipment makes a big difference. Having the right tool for the right job is what it boils down to. A triathlon bike that is properly fitted for you is no different than a good fitting running shoe. You can't perform your best if you are not as comfortable as you can be. I am feeling that this year will see more improvements on the bike. Last year was the first with the new bike and it was definitely a breakthrough year.

So there you have my misguided opinions on training and the like!

Yesterday's workouts consisted of another 2,400 metres in the pool. Starting to try and push the pace a little and my balance and stroke feel pretty good. After being at the pool yesterday I know where Greenpeace is saving the whales!

Last night was my first run outside for the week. A nice run on the trails and the numbers came in at 1:06:01, 8.66 miles, average heart rate of 137 bpm. Nothing too spectacular but the views were! Here is a shot to west. The mountain on the left is Roche Miette, also known locally as Pocahontas. If you click on the picture to make it larger it looks like a woman's face. The chin is the upright rock face and then it appears that she is lying down with her hair flowing.

To round out this week, I will finish up with a medium distance bike ride. Still have some fiddling around to do with the trainer as I am not sure how the HRM works.

Have a great weekend!


Love2Run said...

Hmmm, I wonder what coach Andrew thinks about your training theory but then you have the times to prove it! You have one less week than me to prepare. Stay healthy!

Keith power said...

True Garry I agree the only way to run fast is run fast. The best training plan KISS. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID