Well it turns out I will have some time today to get these posts finished, and after this I'll be posting every week or every couple weeks. Something like that depending on what's happening.
For the season there are multiple goals...some goals require other goals.
1. Have an injury free season.
2. Drop to 190-195lbs
3. Qualify for Nationals.
4. Win my age-group at a race.
5. Do the run portion of an olympic disance race at a 6:45 pace. (flat course)
6. Average over 24.5mph on an olympic distace bike course. (flat course)
Goals 1 & 2 will go hand in hand as losing the weight will help prevent injuries.
Goals 3-6 essentially require goals 1 & 2.
So the plan of attack is simplicity.
The first step is two-fold. First improve overall fitness and strength by working through the offseason. Roughly 10-15 hours of training per week. Second, maintain a steady diet and calorie defecit. Two weeks ago I started to really watch the diet and get serious I was about 220lbs at that time. Today I was 212. That is more of a loss than I expected, but I have been eating healthier and more than enough calories so I am not worried. I try to keep my defecit within 1,000 calories per day. More than than and I can lose energy. I have 17lbs to lose from today...I plan to lose 2lbs per week. So I should be down to race weight by the end of April. That leaves me with all of May to increase my calorie load to a maintenance level.
For the other goals I have to bust my butt. Allow me to summarize my overall workout plan.
Running = 6 days per week.
Biking = 5-6 days per week.
Swimming = 4 days per week.
Here is the weekly breakdown for this week.
Run: short run AM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: Intervals PM
Run: Short Run AM
Bike: Recover/aerobic ride PM
Run: short run AM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: hard intervals PM
Run: long run AM
Swim: 20min swim AM
Bike: Recovery/aerobic ride PM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: Recovery Ride PM
Medium Run - AM
Optional 90min masters swim
Long Ride 2:30-4:00 - AM
Short Run immediately after
So that is the basic plan. I feel I need to outline some key points.
First, this plan will change as my running milage increases. At the moment I am following a 6-day running plan in an effort to improve my run. Running is easily my weakest event due largely to injuries. As I talked to several people, one of the keys to injury prevention is to run MORE, not less. Running 3 days per week with one of those days being a long run puts undue strain on many ares of the legs because the body isn't ready for that long run.
Many training plan writers say you can finish a marathon on a 3-day plan, and that may be true. But you won't finish it strong, and probably not injury free.
So my running days consist of 3 distinct workouts.
1. Short run (currently 20 minutes)
2. Medium run (currently 30 minutes)
3. Long run (currently 45 minutes)
I do not do any speedwork as it takes too long to recover from. And fundementally the key component to running a 40min 10k vs 50min 10k is endurance, not speed.
The goal is to increase my weekly mileage by 10% most weeks unless I feel worn down. I will do this until I am running roughly 300 minutes per week. (30:60:90) The goal is to also keep the runs in a 1:2:3 ratio. So if my short run is 1min, then the long run is x3 or 3min.
So far so good as I have come to realize I do NOT need a recovery day if I only run 20 minutes. Nobody does.
Once my runs start getting a little longer I will no longer have time to swim and run in the AM. As a result I will mostly swim in the AM and follow my evening rides with the run. I prefer running outside to the treadmill at the gym anyway.
For my bike training in 2009 I did all longer slower rides. I got in a lot of miles and showed great improvement. I used a power meter, but not correctly. This year I am changing all that. Now I am doing regular power tests to quantify my overall bike improvement.
At Tri-ing for childrens I did not have a PWM on my bike, so I will do some estimating.
I weighed roughly 215lbs. I was riding tubular tires, the course was flat, no wind, and I was in my aero bars (although probably not very aero due to my fit for ironman)
I rode about 22.5mph which equates to roughly 230 watts.
Given what I know about power and myself last year, that sounds reasonable to me.
Based on my current training this off season I am much faster now. My functional power is currently 300w. Last season it was much less because I never truly pushed myself in training...and didn't really know how to on the bike. Now I know that 230watts is an easy aerobic ride for me.
If I do the same basic calculations based on my current Functional power I can hold an average of 25.3mph. Personally that's where I lose a little faith in the calculations as 25.3 is awefully fast. I believe it would also give me the fastest bike split at that race, and I know I am not that fast. At least not compared to the gear-grinders I know.
If I had to guess, based on my current fitness, if I were to get a 40k pancake flat time trial...I think I could hold 24-25mph right now. Time will tell.
I have watched my power go up from 250 watts to 300 watts this offseason. Mostly from learning about myself and how to suffer on the bike. But also by building strength and putting in a lot of miles. I also try to do harder intervals 3x per week. That's been a key component of getting my power up. In fact I suspect my FTP is a bit higher than 300 based on some of my training.
My plan for the swim is pretty simple. In previous years I have slacked. I am one of the faster swimmers at races even while slacking. This coming season I need to be one of the top 2-3 swimmers. That means dropping from about a 23 minute swim to about an 18.
My plan to do that is very simple...swim more. In previous years I'd swim 3x per week and do 2500yds MAX per practice. This season I am going to swim 4-5 days per week and try to keep 2500 as my minimum. I am also getting a new wetsuit for my b-day. Check it out: http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/shop-xterra/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=30
I'd like to thank Xterra for going out of their way to get me a 50% discount on that bad-boy. I would not have been able to pay $700 for it.
The other thing I am going to do come race day is swim HARD. Typically I take the swim pretty easy so I don't flame out on the bike/run. I am going to take the swimming out quite a bit harder this year simply because I know I can. Plus there are a couple swimmers on my team and I am looking to draft off them.
Well, that is my basic training plan. Ideally on the bike I'll be able to get up to 330-350watts as my FTP prior to the season. I suspect I am at a 310 right now. I will retest some time next week to find out.
Thanks for reading and I'll post more as I have more to report.