Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Training Week 1: It has begun...

When this first week began, I didn't realize just how much I had missed the routine of scheduled workouts and intense misery (ok, maybe not so intense, but definitely a jolt to the system). Since the Meat Pie Tri in October, I thought I was doing well keeping fit on my own, but now I realize that I had slowly been slipping. First the bike dropped off (It's too dark! It's too cold!), then the swim began to falter (Really, it's 5:00 am, do you know how long it's been since I slept in until 6 on a weekday??). The run dropped off the last two weeks as Thanksgiving approached and I knew that training would be starting back full force soon (I mean really - there are 20 weeks of training up ahead with no break - what's a two week hiatus?). It's sad how I struggle to be self-motivated, accountable, and committed to fitness. But now that I've confessed to my lack of will, I am back on the bandwagon, eager to begin this next big journey!

This week has brought many changes. I am no longer doing my training in as much of a group as I have in the past (seems others have less interest in pushing the envelope of extreme endurance sports with me - a decision that has been difficult for many, and easier for others!) I have had to adjust to rely on myself to get up and get moving in the mornings and to keep with the program. I know I can't allow myself to miss a workout without a really good excuse, because there is no going back, only forward. This, I believe, is going to be one of my greater challenges as I am one of the world's best excuse makers.

On the brighter side, I am now a part of FitBird Fitness, and am receiving excellent triathlon coaching from soon-to-be this region's only certified USAT triathlon coach, Anne Shawhan. My training is individualized and specific to my needs for each discipline. In week one we identified my "limiter" which at this time is my running. Basically, that means that my program will be fine tuned to maximize my training in running until it is no longer my limiter and something else becomes it (as I expect to see in the early part of 2010 as open water swimming rears its ugly head again).

So, with my limiter identified and a plan in place, training has begun. We have changed my running program to focus on maintaining a certain heart rate rather than focusing on speed. This allows me to burn fat rather than carbs, as I am training within my aerobic threshold rather than at my lactate threshold. It has been quite a challenge to keep my heart rate below a set level, but I am beginning to see the "method to the madness" as already I have found it easier to go longer distances without exhaustion.

We have decided what race will be my "A" race (New Orleans Ironman 70.3), my "B" races (New Orleans Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon and maybe the Springhill Half-Marathon), and talked about some "C" races I can use for training (local 5K and 10K events). There may even be some cycling events mixed in too as the spring approaches.

I am still incorporating strength and conditioning work twice a week into my plan, and am looking forward to seeing the results of 12 weeks of work when I get my measurements and body composition re-assessed around Christmas. I am starting to see some great changes in my shape and have even lost another dress size in the process!

The swim and the bike are still there, receiving a bit less attention, but not forgotten. I have been able to consistently incorporate a flip-turn into my swim training, which I have been trying to do since June. I completed a bike time trial to set a baseline for training and rode 10.75 miles averaging about 17.8 mph. A bit disappointing, but considering I haven't been on my bike but once since October (and it was a bit windy - see I told you I could make excuses) I will gladly take the time. I did learn however, that the equipment list I generated for my first blog is incomplete and needs to be amended to included cold weather gear such as gloves, booties, jackets, leg warmers, wool socks, and underarmour (tack on another $200 easy). Having said that, my Christmas wish list just changed dramatically...

Week One Total Training Time: 10.20 hours

Hello 4:30 am!! Bring on the Advil!!

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