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!

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