Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Transitioning to Triathlon

Oh, the triathlon puns are just too easy. Last week was Week 1 of my triathlon training for the summer triathlon season. I have two triathlons planned for this summer:
  • Markey Race for Cancer Sprint Triathlon: Lexington, KY - June 27th
    • 400m pool swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
  • River Cities Sprint Triathlon: Shreveport, LA - August 1st
    • 800yd open water swim, 18.2 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
I also have some 5ks and 10ks thrown in:
  • Bluegrass 10k: Lexington, KY - July 4th
  • Bluegrass State Games 5k: Nicholasville, KY - July 17th
  • Midsummer's Night Run 5k: Lexington, KY - August 14th (Chad is going to do this one!)
I am really excited about both of the triathlons. The Markey Race is an inaugural race here in Lexington, and I know it will be done very well. Swim Bike Run of KY is involved with the race directing, and those folks know what they are doing. It will be a 400m pool swim, 14 mile bike on rolling hills out by the Kentucky Horse Park, and then a 5k. I am really excited about this race! I have already set my goals high, and I am going to try to place in the top 3 in my age group. I hope this is a realistic goal. I placed 2nd in my age group at the Lame Duck tri last summer without even really trying! My goal was just to finish under 1:30. In my training for the Lame Duck, I mainly tried to focus on being able to complete each leg of the race - namely swimming and biking. I focused on technique and endurance, but not really speed. Since I have a huge endurance base built up from my marathon training this spring, I want to focus on getting faster now.

I am really looking forward to the second triathlon, River Cities, in Shreveport. This race is known as the oldest and largest triathlon in the South. No way am I getting an AG award here! What is going to be so cool about River Cities is that I will be racing with my sister Megan and my aunt Genie! Chad and I go to Louisiana for a week every summer and it just so happened that this race is on one of the weekends we will be home! It will be awesome to do something I love with the people I love on the race course and on the sidelines!!

So needless to say, I am super motivated with my training. I want to get faster and fitter this summer in order to get an AG award at Markey, and to finish well at River Cities. When creating a training plan for this summer I modified and meshed a few plans together from TriNewbie.com and BeginnerTriathlete.com. I am only one week into my training, but I love it so far! Instead of focusing on getting in specific mileage, I'm focusing more on getting in time. Here are a few pictures of my 15 week training plan, which I cut and pasted into a Moleskine 2010 planner. I have the plan at the front of the planner, and then I keep a workout log on the monthly calendar.

Weeks 1-5

Weeks 6-15
(note: the "vacation in LA" days will be right after the River Cities tri, so I will use that week as a rest week, but I know I will still make good use of my in-law's pool and the flat roads of Louisiana!)

Workout Log: May 3rd-10th

My training plan follows the same basic pattern each week, with build-up weeks and recovery weeks built in. For the most part, my schedule will look like this:

Monday: 1 hour push-run*
Tuesday: 45 minute swim (am), 1-2 hour group ride (pm)
Wednesday: 4-6 mile repeat run
Thursday: 1 hour push-run
Friday: 45 minute swim**
Saturday: 1 hour run, 1 hour ride, 30-45 minute swim
Sunday: 1 hour ride, 20-30 minute run

*Push-runs, created by Brett at Zen Triathlon, consist of running for 10 minutes, then stopping to do a set of push-ups, pull-ups, or squats. I've found what works best for me is to do a set of 10 squats every 10 minutes, and then when I get home I immediately do 3 sets each of 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. Mixing anaerobic and aerobic really helps to burn fat, plus the squats help with my cycling and the push-ups and sit-ups help with my swimming.

**I realized last week that I didn't build a rest day into my plan...whoops! I think I am going to try to use Friday as a rest day, and get in my scheduled Friday morning swim on Thursday evening.

Last week was my first week on this plan and it was so much FUN! I really love the variety that comes with triathlon training. It is a fun mix of really beneficial workouts, too - I think. I do short intervals during my push-runs, so the whole run helps to build strength, speed and endurance.
  • My Tuesday night rides are with two experienced and fast cyclists, so they always push me to ride harder than I would on my own. We also usually do a pace line (think back to Indian Runs in high school) which helps to keep our average MPH higher and helps to build power in the legs.
  • The swims are pretty simple. I'm working on my form and getting my 100yd time down. Right now it is right at about 2:00, which is dismal. I'm working on getting down to 1:45.
  • Saturdays will be for endurance - spending quality time in each discipline but at nice and easy pace, making sure to keep my heart rate under control.
  • Sundays brick ride and run will be for race simulation. I have a nice 14 mile loop and a 5k route that I will use each week to simulate the Markey distance. I'll work on my nutrition on the bike (probably just diluted Gatorade and a few shot blocks for a sprint) and my transition to the run.
So all that to say, I am excited about the summer race season! I'd like to get back into a semi-regular posting pattern, so I will aim to post a workout log and review each Sunday. To anyone out there training for summer races - have fun and stay safe!


Lucy said...

Your schedule is looking great! Good luck with the coming season, hope it all goes to plan!

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