Triathlete tales is a series I have been thinking of writing since November but have not been able to put my thoughts to paper until now. The reason I can now start to write Triathlete Tales is that I have sort of started my training for Ironman Chattanooga. I say sort of started because my detailed plan does not start until June 25th and that is part of the title in regards to a 180* change in perception.
For those of you that have been reading my blog since it was on Blogspot under the name Baha703Ironman.com you know that triathlon is the sport that I grew to love. I played sports my entire life but they were the tradition sports of baseball, football, basketball and hockey. I loved those sports and then adulthood hit and things changed. I gained weight and focused more on everything else but myself. Triathlons have given me back to ME. I dove head first and deep into the sport.
I followed a plan of going from sprints to Olympics. Followed that up with half-Ironman and finally a year in which I completed 3 Ironman and 2 Half-Ironman races in 12 months. That is a lot of triathlon in a short period of time and I was burnt out. When I finally crossed the finish line of Ironman Texas 2013 I was elated from the run of a lifetime but also that there was no calendar of events to follow.
Over the course of nearly 12 months my thoughts and feelings about triathlon have taken a 180* turn. I am still in love with the sport but it is not my only love. I truly enjoyed every step, and there were a lot, of the training for Lake Martin 100. I enjoyed it so much so that I have crafted a training plan that incorporates the theories I developed during the training.
While running 6 days a week and over 1100 miles from November 25, 2014 I realized that, for myself, in order to become a better triathlete I have to develop the skills of a swimmer, a cyclist and a runner. When you speak to people about training for triathlon it is usually 3-4 workouts of each sport per week but there is really no true emphasis on one sport over the other two. I get it and I understand why but I am turning that on its head.
The plan I crafted for IMTN is 14 weeks long with 2 weeks of taper for a total of 16 weeks of Ironman training versus the typical plans of 24 weeks. Each week is focused purely on one sport over the other two. I will ride for 250-300 miles one week with little swim and run. I will have a huge swim week after that of 20-25k yards with OWS 3 times that week and little bike and run. I have 70 mile run weeks planned with low volume of bike and swim plus a recovery week in there as well.
I am also not going to race a half-Ironman as a training race. I see no need for the build to the race than taper and recover. Taking that month to do that is not worth it to me if I want to take the best me to Ironman Chattanooga. I am focused on that race and any 70.3 before hand is nothing more than a race to say I raced.
As you can see in this first edition of Triathlete Tales I have taken the systematic approach to Ironman and thrown it out the window. All the focus on these training cycles has worn me out. Checking boxes off a calendar for weeks and weeks on end is not in my blood anymore. Condensing the schedule and working harder than I ever have before is far more appealing. Allowing my body to just do what it wants for the next 8 weeks will help me build the fire and desire to attack a plan that, on paper, looks harder than anything I have ever done before.
If you have a coach and are following a training plan and it is truly working for you then stick to it. I believe in having a coach and had one for nearly four years. I would not trade my time under the guide of Coach Claudia or Maria and John for anything. I am taking the lessons they taught me along with LM100 training and creating a plan that I believe fits my personality and time I have to train.
Everything I learned from them will be applied but in a much more condensed and intense manner. I perform better when my back is against the wall and this plan has pushed me and it has not even started yet.
My final point of this inaugural entry for Triathlete Tales is to say: Listen to your body and do what is right for you. Do not follow a plan written for the masses or listen to conventional wisdom because that is what everybody else is doing.
My A race for the second half of 2014 is IMTN and that is my focus. With all of that being said I will now end this first post and skip my swim workout because I do not have to cross it off the calendar as being done. I am too tired and the workout would be useless.