Friday, April 3, 2009

Schedule of insanity

I seriously enjoyed making this...

It is a crazy schedule mainly because I have a crazily small amount of time to train for the Florida 70.3 race. Bike training woefully inadequate in particular.

(Why, oh why does triathlon have to have a bike leg?!?)

Last year was my first season of triathlon; this race was in fact my first triathlon ever! My only goal was to finish (the time cut-offs are generous); I regret to observe that again this year it is not sensible to have much of a goal other than finishing and enjoying myself.

I should be able to take some time off the swim (I never got in a groove last year, but I feel much more capable of handling a crowded swim this year, and I also have another year of swimming under my belt, so endurance is much superior).

The bike will be a very similar and very slow time; I will hope to be a bit more mentally acclimated, and to hydrate and fuel better, but I wouldn't count on it!

Last year I walked pretty much the whole run - it was such a long hot day, and when I found myself post-bike (i.e. already more than four hours into the race) in temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity, I threw up my hands! My heartrate was already even at a walk where it normally would be if I were running c. 10:00 pace, and there seemed no point in pushing my luck.

(The irony, of course, is that really running is my strongest suit of the three! But I see that the run leg on every triathlon I ever do is almost certain to be so warm that I feel extremely slow...)

I have a much clearer sense of what the whole race entails now, obviously, and my goal this year - it will certainly be very warm and humid, there is no way around it - will be to jog it at 12:00/13:00 pace rather than walking it at 15:00 pace, though as a brisk walker I always feel that the walk is better value for money, as it were...

I'm visiting Brent for the weekend of 4/23-4/26, so that's a natural place to split up my training time. (And when I am there I will SWIM IN THE SEA!)

Block one is from now until then, and will mostly involve INDOOR bike hours on the trainer. I was really hoping to get out and ride along the greenway a lot this past week, but I just don't have it in me right now. The massive exertion of willpower does not lead to something becoming easy, just to a sense of being completely drained - I have a lot of other work things that require my serious attention - and we all know that to get on a good exercise schedule (it is like learning a language or playing a musical instrument) it's essential to make things easy habit rather than mentally strenuous exercise of willpower.

So I am going to build as much actual fitness as I can on the trainer, and then have some days (possibly even as late as the first week of May, after classes are over) when I ride as much as I can outside. The morning "bike" workout might just be one of the 30-minute Spinervals workouts, if I don't have time for more; I will do one long one every week, but it remains to be seen what "long" really means in this context.

I will probably take a couple rest days in there, but it's hard for me to predict in advance when I'll want them, so I prefer to make up the schedule regardless and then skip inessential workouts as needed.

Block two is really just a couple of weeks before I'm traveling again to Orlando for the race. The pilates class at the CU gym is over as of April 26, so it clears up a bit of space in the schedule.

Goals: don't get injured; don't get sick; take days off when needed; don't always skip bike workouts rather than runs and swims just because I like 'em less! I will need to pay some attention to questions about hydration and nutrition that are actually difficult to practice realistically on the trainer, but am currently thinking that I would be well-advised (the only reason against it is that it makes other racers worry!) to actually get off my bike every half-hour to eat and drink; I cannot currently do it effectively while riding, and it will make a big difference to my run leg if I can handle this properly.

(In the remote chance that your need for knowledge remains insufficiently sated, you can click for a closer view!)


ShirleyPerly said...

That FL 70.3 run is tough. If you can, run outside when visiting Brent and consider running indoors when you're at home where it's probably cooler outside. I remember hearing from a running coach in Oregon that their groups train for the Honolulu marathon (early Dec) by doing indoor runs while wearing long sleeves and tights to try to get folks acclimated to the heat that's expected at the race. Wearing extra clothes may be a bit much but just running indoors always makes me sweat much more than outside when temps are 70 or below.

Wendy said...

Taking a rest day when required is good, but I confess I really prefer to see one built into the schedule, and minor rejigging to the schedule if required. To my mind it ensures your body gets some recovery time in, and there are fewer guilt pangs or internal wrestling matches when you find you have to take one.