The holiday season is a trying thing for the aspirational triathlete! There are various kinds of uncertainty and pool closing issues that make it very difficult to lay out a clear plan.
The week of 11/26 is probably the single busiest week of my entire year, I am looking at my appointment book in utter horror and dismay (three rehearsals in midtown for this performance art project I've gotten in on, midtown lunch with editor and marketing people, two lectures to attend and a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday in which I am a participant and for which I learned only a week ago that I will need to write some kind of a "lecture" as opposed to just serving as respondent, plus the usual teaching and exercise stuff...). The next three weeks in general are just more complicated than usual due to various end-of-semester things.
This is going to be slightly half-assed, but I'm pulling back a bit on running and trying to have six weeks where I concentrate on gym workouts (extra sessions with M.), some high-intensity interval stuff and super-scrupulous eating for weight loss if possible but at any rate body composition improvement. I have a lot of muscles already, to tell the truth, but there is always need for more muscle! Holidays will make things difficult, but on the other hand for that reason alone it's a sensible time to have a stricter than usual set of rules.
(But I will eat a cookie here and there, I think...)
I am also going to have, starting on Sunday, a "30 in 30" approach to the bike. Thirty workouts in thirty days, and I'm going to pull this off (if possible!) by setting the bar extremely low on what counts as a workout. Half an hour on the stationary bike at the gym or the bike trainer at home counts. There will only be one guaranteed long bike each week--most of the others will be short bike or bike-run combos--and in fact I am not really going to be doing great training bike-wise, because my schedule is horrendously impossible this next month or so.
I'm still leaving things relaxed for this weekend, recovery week spirit. Probably 7-8 miles slow run tomorrow morning, plus a swimming lesson in the afternoon; then a longish indoor bike on Sunday.
(Another minor complication is that the CU gym has good stationary bikes but the gym where I work out with M. has unusably ancient ones--I mean, they are technically usable, you can turn around the pedals--but they are several generations old and do not give anything like the workout the newer kind do. Not really worth using--so on these days I need to combine bike trainer at home with gym workout, even though it is psychologically and logistically worse not to have 'em happening in the same place--you know how it is, you get home from the gym & you've already been out for an hour and a half exercising and all you want is coffee and food and internet. Mental fortitude, though! I think this means I have to do the trainer ride FIRST, before I go to the gym for my personal training session with M. Will try that this week, anyway.)
Schedule for week of 11/26:
Mon. am: 30 min. bike trainer, PT; pm: swim.
Tues. am: swim; pm: CU gym for bike-run workout (30 min. bike, plus 30 min. fastish running on evil absolutely tiny little 1/10-mile indoor running track).
Wed. am: 30 min. bike trainer, PT.
Thurs. am: swim, 30 min. gym bike.
Fri.: 1 hr. easy bike trainer.
Sat.: am: bike-run (30 min. bike, 30 min. run); pm swim.
Sun.: 2 hr. steady bike trainer.
I will see how that goes before making a commitment for the following weeks, but this is going to be the shape of things (I hope) between now and Xmas, only with more running than I have time for this coming week. In theory I'm doing this indoor triathlon (10 mins. swim, 30 mins. bike, 20 mins. run) on 12/16, but I'm not planning on doing any tapering for it, more just using it to get a feel for things in a very unstressful indoor situation. (There are set transition periods, for instance, ten minutes between each to change and get set up for the next thing.)
I also can see already that I am just going to have to stay calm and flexible for the weeks between 12/22 and 1/2. The nearby pools are closed (though I should be able to fit in a couple swims at Riverbank), I will need to visit family for a couple days right at Xmas, I may need to attend a conference in Chicago between Xmas and New Year's (but won't know till the last minute) and may visit friends in South Carolina for a couple days over the New Year's holiday.
(Hmmm, the redeeming feature of a possible Chicago trip would be if I found a hotel with a swimming pool, this is a consolatory notion--suddenly I feel slightly more optimistic about things...)