Monday, March 5, 2012

Triathlon Training - First race, this Sunday!

Did you know I'm training for an Ironman triathlon?
It's a...Swim 2.4 mi / 3.8 km | Bike 112 mi / 180 km | run 26.2 mi | 42.2 km race

It's been a goal of mine since I was a kid.  So, in 2011 I decided that 2012 would be triathlon specific training (swim/bike/run) with about 4 triathlons of shorter distance (olympic and half iron) as training prep for a 2013 full ironman.  So that's the journey I'm on...and will be on for a while.

Since October of 2011, I've done various variations of this to get my base level tri-fitness up:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 45-minute aerobic run and 30 minute (H.I.T - High Intensity Training) cycling session
Wednesday: 45-minute swim (2000-2500 meters) and 20 minutes of strength training
Thursday: 45-minute aerobic bike
Friday: 45-minute swim (2000 meters), 20 minutes of strength training, and a 30 minute HIT cycling session.
Saturday: 90-minute aerobic bike
Sunday: 60-minute aerobic run

In 5 months I lost 31 pounds and watched my body perform better and better.

Before @ 231lbs  &  After at 200lbs

Now, I've ran road races (marathon, etc.), cycled seriously for 6 years, but swam very inconsistently over the course of 4 years or so.  So I've been really pleased to have increased in speed due to better technique.

So, this Saturday is my first triathlon. It's the UBC REC Triathlon.  This week will be my taper week where I'll eat really clean and cut my training down and focus more on maintaining fitness, rather than building it.  To prep, I've bought some tri-specific clothing and washed my bike with E.  

Here are some things I have learned about myself through this process:

1.  The bigger the goal(s), the better I do
2.  The longer the distance, the better I preform 
3.  Family support is ESSENTIAL to training (we mostly run together, and bike on the trainer together)
4.  Using a very thought out training plan (from a book or expert) is very helpful for many reasons (keeps you on track, keeps you motivated, can help keep you injury free). 
5.  Doing my workouts in the morning (especially before people get up) give me the best chance of not missing a workout.  The longer the day goes on...the more likely I'll skip a training session
6.  Most people don't give a "flyin'-hoot" about triathlons or triathlon training.  Which I'm sure will make this blog post...a snoozer.
7.  I really miss training for rock-snow-ice climbing but I am confident this season of tri-training is a good distraction.
8.  I have had many disappointments in training (I've quit training sessions, felt sluggish, sabotaged my eating plan, and had very disappointing runs/swims/and bike sessions)....but the MOST IMPORTANT thing I have done in EVERY ONE OF THOSE CASES...has been to try again the next day.  This...I think, must be, a secret of success. 

Since I really have no idea how this Saturday will go....I'm simply planning to:
Use it as an opportunity to learn about triathlon 
Use it as an opportunity to stay positive under pressure
Use it as an opportunity to trust the work I've put into training

Thanks for the support, friends

good days now and ahead...

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