Thursday, January 31, 2013

The 'Perfect' Training Plan

We’re back.  At least for now.  I’ve had a lot of things to say over the last couple of weeks.  I just haven’t gotten around to posting.  I apologize.  I’ve been on the hunt for a super-duper awesome ironman training plan that is going to get me to a sub 10:30 at Vineman.  I must have created 2 or 3 “custom” plans and looked at half a dozen pre-made plans.  All of them have one or two things that I like but none of them are perfect just the way they are.  I think I’m stuck combining 2 or 3 into one that I can live with.  This is my ideal plan:
Swim: 2 days a week with an occasional 3rd swim on the weekend as part of a combo or brick training day.  Longest swim should work upwards towards 5000m (100 laps; down and back is one lap).  I want this to be the least because I’ve experienced and read a lot about the increased benefits of swimming more.  The swim is the shortest part of an ironman and it’s not going to really make the race but it can contribute to breaking it.  My thoughts are that you want to finish the swim feeling like it was just a warm up.  So, you should train the distance multiple times so that it becomes easier to get through.  But, swimming 3, 4, or 5 days a week to gain 5 seconds / 100m isn’t going to save you that much time in the grand scheme of an ironman.  It’ll save you maybe 10 or 15 minutes.  But, how tired are you going to be after you swim as fast as you can to save those minutes when you still have another 9 + hours to go?  So, I think that one medium duration swim that focuses on speed and one long duration swim that focuses on maintaining a comfortable, steady, medium effort pace is all that is needed… at least for me.  Then I have more time and energy to focus on biking and running.  Ok, my 30 second rant on that is over.
Bike: 2 – 3 days during the week, 1 long ride on the weekend and an occasional 2nd short ride on the weekend for a total of 3 to 5 rides for the entire week.  Longest bike should work upwards to 120 miles.
Run: 4 – 6 days a week until Boston and then 4 – 5 days a week until Vineman.  I want the weekend long runs to work upwards to 20 – 22 miles.
Bricks and combos (bike/run, swim/run, swim/bike): 3 – 4 week.  Any bricks during the week should focus on speed and the long weekend bricks should be long.  I want the bike/run bricks to work upwards towards 100 mile bike ride with at least a 17 mile run.   
Strength – 2 to 3 times a week. 
I don’t have a problem with scheduling so much as I do with planning specific workouts.  So, that is why I will have to combine 2 plans.  One that I used last year for Beach 2 Battleship, which is great and will probably be the main provider of my workouts, with another one that I found.  If I can get it done by this weekend I will have a 25 week ironman training plan done.  
So, what else is going on besides my obsession with getting the ‘perfect’ training plan together?  Not a whole lot.  Still playing around with where and when I want to get married.  This is almost as bad as finding the ‘perfect’ training plan.  I’m putting ‘perfect’ in ‘ ‘ because there really is no such thing.  You will always have to make adjustments because life makes you.
Lastly, I enjoyed this little snippet that Sarah found from Skinny Runner that is very true and always a good advice to remember:
14. Advice for new runners?
Get a good sports bra.
Honestly, don’t compare yourself to other runners.  Their pace, training log and race times have nothing to do with you; comparing either makes you feel bad about yourself or prideful and better than someone else, neither of which are great choices.
Make running a LIFETIME goal, not a “Until I lose the last 5 pounds… Until I PR…Until I have kids” goal.  When your priority is to run healthy for a lifetime, it becomes so much easier to not obsess over a bad race, a slow run, or a season of unmotivated running.

Happy training everyone!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy New Year

Hello everyone.  I'm happy and sad that the holidays are over.  Holiady time means that work becomes relaxing and outside of work is stressful.  So, this is why I'm happy and sad.  Because now my life outside of work can get back to a normal routine but that also means that I'm back to the normal grind at work.  Speaking of work, I know I've mentioned before that I don't particiularly care all that much for my day job, but at the moment, I love my job.  Tuesday we had quite a few people get laid off.  I've been at this job for 8 years in February and so I am friends with and knew very well some of the people that got let go.  It's so sad, but definitely makes me appreciate that I have a job.  Having a job that I don't really like and stress over sometimes is way better than not having a job and stressing about finding a job.  However, this recent event at works also makes me want to work that much harder to put myself in a position where I don't have to worry about ever losing my job; where I can feel free to change jobs whenever I feel like.  If I'm not happy, then I can move on to something else with minimal, if any, worries.  If you can't tell, I'm not a big risk taker.  I don't gamble unless Daniel gives me money to gamble with and even then I stop after I've lost less than $100.  Sometimes it only takes me $10 before I say, "I'm out".  I don't do anything major or life changing without knowing what the consequences are and determining if I can live with whatever set back might happen.  Anyway, enough about that little rant.  On to more exciting stuff.

What to do with the New Year?  I don't do New Year's resolutions.  I don't know why.  I just never got into them.  However, I have organized my training life.  I set up a Training Peaks account and downloaded the Jefit app on my Nexus 7 tablet and set up an account online.  Training Peaks is pretty cool and I have the app on my tablet, but I have to have wi-fi in order to move around the app which is kind of annoying but tolerable.  I can also sync my Training Peaks schedule with my Google calender.  It only syncs about a week and half at a time, though.  Another nice feature about Training Peaks is you can set it up to email you the next 2 days workouts and the details of the workouts.  I'm using Training Peaks as my main training log and workout scheduler, but for strength training details I'm using Jefit.  I spent about 3 hours setting up 3 days/wk for 4 weeks worth of strength training.  It took a while, but it was worth it.  When I go to the gym, I bring my tablet in and I don't have to think about what I'm going to do for the day.  I don't need wi-fi to see the workouts either.  But, after I've done all the workouts, as soon as I get wi-fi I can sync all my workout information and notes I've made to the online account.  And, everything you can do online you can do on the app.  Like creating new workout routines, changing current workouts around, updating the sets/reps/rest time, etc.  The online account is free and they have a free version of the app.  I got the paid version that was $4.99 but worth it because it has better features and no ads.    

My only racing goal this year is to race the Full Vineman in 10:30 or less.  I know the trainig for it is going to be awful because it'll be right in the middle of summer.  But the reward is totally worth it. 

Sarah and I are starting the new year off with the Disney Marathon this Sunday.  Race recaps to come shortly after.  It's going to be on the warm side.  Let's see if I can actually pace myself accordingly. 

I hope everyone has a great New Year