Sunday, September 25, 2011


Even though I've been neglectful of this blog I have actually been training this summer. A week from today is my first half-ironman at the Poconos Ironman. 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running near the Delaware River water gap on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I plan on making up for my summer blog malase by writing a few posts this week. 

First (in this post) - letting you know the kind of training I've been doing this summer. Second - my nutrition plan for next Sunday. And finally my overall impression of my first season as competing in triathlons and my planned training for next year.

One difference in running vs triathlon training is that you plan it in hours rather than miles. The highest number of hours that I trained this summer was 13.5. Which for a half-marathon isn't too bad - I could have done 14-16 hours, but I was still somewhat limited by my hamstring/glute issue. 

Basically I took the number of hours planned for each week and then divided it by how long I would be doing each event. So, let's say I was planning on a 5 hour half-iron (which I am) - I would hope to spend ~40 minutes swimming and 1st transition - 3 hours bike and transition - and an hour 20 minutes for the run. For a 10 hour week I would swim ~1.5 hours (I need a little more time in the pool), bike 5-6 hours, and run 2.5-3.5 hours. If I focused on the run one week I would focus on the bike the next. 

The most difficult part was making sure that I had a hard workout in each discipline each week. After the Luray triathlon in August I started using the "band" method for my hard swim workouts. This consists of tying an old bike inner-tube to my ankles so that I couldn't use my legs. I would do ~12X 25 meters on 40 seconds. Usually this would mean 26-28 seconds with 12-14 seconds rest. Then I would swim 400 meters "hard" without the band in around 6 min 20 sec. I usually would do about 3-4 sets.

For biking I usually meet the Winchester Wheelmen for either their Tuesday or Thursday paceline. Both of these were difficult for me to stay on - 34 and 27 miles respectively. There were constant attacks - times where I would have to accelerate to ~3o mph on my own just to bridge a gap. Then I usually would ride a long ride on my own (55-65 miles) on the weekend.

For running I would focus on one hard workout early in the week and a long run on the weekend. My hard workouts were usually either mile intervals at 5k pace with 2-3 min rest or half- marathon pace with 1 minute per mile rest. My longer runs were 1.5 - 2 hours.

Overall I feel like this plan has worked well. I feel like I'm in decent shape. Obviously next week will tell for sure - but I think I have a decent shot at my goal of sub-5 hours.


alyssa said...

I think 5 hours is a soft goal for you....Set the bar higher!

I'll put you at 40/2:35/1:25 = 4:45 (that means you need to keep your transitions under 5 minutes!!!)

I will also take any credit for swim improvements after tipping you off to the Band.

GOOD LUCK this weekend!!

RM said...

I also think you're swimming in yards...because if you're swimming those times in meters right now, you're swimming faster than I am! Which means once you figure out how to swim open water I could be in serious trouble.

Since Mike and Pat have both ridden 2:35s for the half distance, and both are faster now, and I would say that you're in that company (a little slower than Mike and maybe a little slower than Pat, over the distance), that even on a slow ride you would go 2:40. 3 hours cannot be a goal, that is slower than Alyssa has ever ridden, even on the MUCH harder Las Vegas course just two weeks after an IM (2:52).

1:20, however, is actually pretty quick. You can do it, obviously, but that would be really quite swift!

Also setting the bar low and then blowing it out is a surefire way to earn Sandbagger of the Year at Awards Night! Haha!