So, Here’s My Plan…

After watching all of you badasses crush 70.3 after 70.3, I finally decided it is my turn to give it a go. That’s a really scary step for me. Scary, not in the sense that I fear the commitment or the challenge, but scary in the sense that when I set myself to a goal, I want to be able to walk away having given my best effort. This year has been a challenge to that. Injury, work, time and life all deserve attention and training to produce my best effort in this distance is not a small undertaking.

This was easy to write off when key races kept falling on travel dates or personal commitments. Damn, guess I can’t do this one or that one! But finally, I ran out of excuses, December 9th, wide open and the first time an Ironman 70.3 race has been held in Palm Springs. Honestly, I’d considered many types of racing for the fall: ultras, trail races, and another marathon all populate a spreadsheet of races and dates I keep on file. It wasn’t until I pulled out an old medal from my last triathlon and saw the insignia, “2016” on it that I thought, it’s been way too long.

With a race in mind and a renewed purpose to training, I started testing my body: a Peloton ride here, a trail run there, all just to see if my body was up for the challenge. Surprisingly, everything felt pretty good. Even now as I start to baseline my training and add hours to my workouts, my body feels curiously fresh each morning (don’t worry, I know the pain is coming). It’s probably mostly the mixture of caffeine and the slew of natural anti-inflammatory spices I’ve been working with, like ginger and turmeric. Either way, I’ve started working towards the 10-12 hours of weekly punishment I need to confidently show up on race day.

That brings me to my plan. I get a lot of questions about how I put together training plans. All of them start with a lot of research. I think knowledge is so key to every undertaking but also don’t think there’s any one right or wrong method to train. So once I have a good sense of what’s out there, I start looking at my schedule and what adjustments I’ll enjoy over 14 weeks of focus.

Some key features:
• I MUST improve my bike. I really haven’t spent a ton of time in the saddle this year and when I do, it’s mostly on a trainer or in a spin class. Both are good, but they won’t get me the specificity I need to accel on race day.
• My swim is strong, but it’s not to be neglected. By all accounts, I should have a good start to the race. In fact, for a triathlon, I may be so bold as to wiggle my way to the front of the age group (AG) swim wave, just to make sure I’ve got some clear water ahead of me and save myself from the random kicks or punches that comes with most races.
• Running will be a mix of speed work and zone 3 runs. I wasn’t a runner, like ever. Not in high school, not in college. The only time I would’ve even considered myself an “ok” runner was running from girls in kindergarten but even that was short-lived. Recently I reconnected with my alma mater, Pepperdine University, realizing it’s on the way to work and has an unbelievable running track. I can run a solid 1:30 half marathon, the distance in a 70.3 triathlon, but I know that will be challenging after a swim and a bike. I believe speedwork is the key to unlocking my ability to finish the race strong.
• I have to get in the gym. I am horrible at this because honestly, the gym is super boring to me. It’s important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not the same as running over mountains or swimming in the ocean. But I recognize with all this endurance training, I will start to thin out but I need to maintain or even build some muscle to keep my overall power strong.

So here’s what I’m thinking:

Push week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Trail Run Swim: Speed, Gym Track Workout Cycle, Run Club Swim Distance Ride or Rest Trainer ride, brick

Rest week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Trail Run Swim: Drills, Gym Trail Run Cycle, Run Club Swim Distance Rest Trainer ride, brick

I definitely plan to have to adjust this slightly as I go. This is my first half Ironman, so that’s something I’m still learning along the way.

What do you think? Anything I missed? Anything you’d add? I’m open to all inputs and it’ll be interesting to look back and see what I could’ve done better.

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