Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life...plus Ironman Training

Last year in training for Ironman Arizona I had 7 straight weeks of solid training.  I hit every weekly goal I set out to hit.  The training plan went flawless and I had my Ironman PR of 9 hr. 5 minutes.  This year has been much different.  I have only hit all my weekly goals once in my lead up to Ironman Arizona.  My volume of training has been much less.  What has been different?  I'm extremely motivated to try to break 9 hours this year.  For some reason this year I have been much more tired.  I lay in bed with Owen to get him asleep and I fall asleep myself.  A year ago I would have woke up and gotten my butt on the bike.  This year I head to bed.  Last year I had so much energy I would get up before school and ride the bike some more.  This year I've only ridden twice before school.  I just can't seem to find the energy to get myself up.  Last year I avoided all junk food for 7 weeks before the race...this year has been much different.  Between getting sick myself, Owen's broken foot, parent/teacher conferences, kids activities, a busy teaching schedule...I just haven't trained as much as last year.  I have had 3 nagging injuries that aren't serious but have me cutting back the running mileage to half of what I was putting in a year ago.  I have swam less than last year.  Life is busy and I'd say I'm in the transition of finding out if I can still compete at a high level despite not training as much as I used to.  I believe I can.  I believe despite the lower amount of overall training I can still break 9 hours.  I used to correlate my fitness with how much training I was doing.  I can't do that now or I'd have no confidence.  Now I'm drawing on what I've learned about rest and recovery through my own experiences and those of others.  I have a student in my class who is a great young triathlete and a year-round club swimmer.  He has been on a training break recently and has only been swimming 3 days a week for the past 8 weeks.  In his first swim meet on much less training than he has done in the past he swam lifetime bests in 5 of his 6 events!  The power of rest...I watched Ironman Florida this past weekend and saw Andrew Starykowicz win the race and set a world best Ironman bike split of 4 hrs. 4 minutes after missing 5 months of training following his accident in Abu Dhabi.  The power of rest...I raced a full-Ironman distance at Rev 3 in Ohio 8 weeks ago on very little training and had a very solid race despite feeling like I shouldn't be racing Ironman...the power of rest.  Although I'm about 4 lbs. more than I was for Ironman Arizona last year I believe I'm stronger than ever.  The weights on my leg lifts have been moved to levels I've never lifted before.  My bike interval focus the past two weeks have me feeling stronger on the bike.  My swimming is where I'm getting my biggest surprise.  On almost 1/2 the yards of a year ago in this IMAZ lead in I'm swimming times at or better than I was.  I am confident I will not lose any time on the swim over a year ago.  My long runs have gotten better each time and now I'm being very careful not to overdo it and let these small injuries become big ones.  Mostly, I'm anxious to compete.  I love the feeling of being in a competition.  I know it's time to toe the line and find out what I can do.  I've missed the feeling of competition since my race in Ohio.  I realized that when I was accusing Payton of cheating in a game of "Go Fish" recently.  I'm anxious to board the plane in 9 days and see if I can push myself to a sub-9 hour finish.  I can't wait!  DREAM BIG!!

1 comment:

Thomas Gerlach Professional Triathlete said...

The Power of Rest... The most important thing I know. I sense some good confidence in your writing and I'm sure AZ will go just fine.

P.S. I weigh 161 and I have never been stronger.


Thomas Gerlach
Professional Triathlete