I’ve been holding out on you, I have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) that I haven’t shared here yet. I have decided to take my training and running efforts up a level for 2013, and with this in mind I have signed up (& paid!) for my biggest fitness challenge yet. The Yeppoon 70.3. When we moved to Central Queensland in August this year, one of our first ventures to the beach coincided with the Yeppoon 70.3. I took great inspiration from watching the finishers cross the line. There was all sorts of competitors from the professionals, through to the mums & dads competing against themselves. As these people completed their 1.9km Swim, 90km ride and 21.2km run they were crossing the line, becoming Iron Men. This is not something to be laughed at, or underestimated. Each competitor had put in hours and hours of training, in all weather conditions. Time away from their families, time away from easy relaxing weekends. Each competitor had earn’t the right to hold their head high and call themselves a 70.3 Finisher! Watching all those finishers sowed a seed in my mind… a seed of ‘what if’…. a seed of ‘can I do that’.
Keep in mind of course that in August I still hadn’t even completed my first half marathon, the furthest I had run at that stage was about 15km and here I was contemplating preceding a run with a swim & ride….. Over the last 2 months this seed hasn’t died, in fact it has started growing. I found myself researching triathlon training programs, and one fateful Monday afternoon, after a particularly tiring work day I found myself completing the online entry form….. I was signed up! Now my real challenge starts.
Image from here
To keep myself accountable, and hopefully to encourage some of my readers to contemplate a BHAG of their own I thought a weekly post of my training efforts was in order. This is mostly for my own records, but hopefully some of you will find it interesting.
I have decided to follow the training programs provided by the Balance Triathlon club. On their site they have enticer, sprint and half ironman training programs. With 40 weeks between now and the Yeppoon 70.3 I will have enough time to work my way through all 3 programs. Starting with the Enticer – a 7 week program designed for complete newbies. Although I have now participated in a few enticer length triathlons (350m swim, 20km ride & 2km run) I still consider myself to be a complete newbie. I think starting with this program will provide a good base for the year of training. I hope to start to see improvements in my results and fitness levels over the next few races.
5th November 2012
Today started with an easy run. The program was set for me to do a 10min warm up, followed by 3 x 1km efforts, then a 10 min cool down. I set off at 5.30am, Worm was just starting to wake as I left, so I quickly grabbed my shoes and busted a move – I didn’t want her to wake fully and demand to be fed as an excuse for me to hit the trail.
The run was good, I had some initial twinges in my foot arch and hip, but these soon warmed up and I was fine. My physio has been working on changing my running technique to reduce fatigue in my arches, and improve my power of stride. This involves me trying to take smaller strides, and lift onto my forefoot rather than heal strike. I find this very tiring so I worked on maintaining this technique for stretches of 100-200 metres or so. Hopefully over time I will work up to my whole run at this better technique.
The route I do is a 4 km up & back trail. As I turned at the bottom for the 2nd lap, it really became a head vs legs challenge. My head wanted to go home, but I knew that the program called for a 60 minute run, so I didn’t let my head win. My legs felt great so I pushed through and completed the 60minutes. I ran for 8km this morning and for day 1 of my half ironman training I was very happy.
6th November 2012
Today was cycle training day. I have ordered a lovely new bike, a Specialized Dolce Elite, however it is not due to arrive for a week, so for now I am still riding my old Avanti Hybrid.
I had everything out ready to go which was fortunate as a teething Worm made for very little sleep last night. I remember being up at 3.30am with her, and when the alarm went off at 5.20am I could have easily continued sleeping, but I got up and hit the road. (Worm was waking as I left again so I bolted out the door)
The plan was a 60minute ride. No set goals were specified. I really should have devised a route before hand as I found it very hard to maintain focus during the ride, and found myself simply turning the pedals over with no real effort. About half way through I remembered I was supposed to be building my legs up to a faster cadence than I currently ride at, in the past I have simply held a high gear, and pushed through without any regard for cadence. I stopped and figured out how to get my Garmin to show me my cadence. I was SHOCKED, my standard pace is only about 40 rpm. Everything I have read indicates that I should be pushing much closer to 80-100rpm so I have LOTS to improve on here.
I cut my ride short, knowing that Worm would want a drink before I went to work, so I headed home. I felt a little flat, but still happy that I had figured out a focus for the next riding session.
7th November 2012
Today was a scheduled rest day, however due to a planned electrical outage at work I was able to leave at 4pm. So I decided to bring my swimming day forward and hit the pool. The plan was for an easy 6 x 50m (totalling 300m). The Farmer & I hit the water at the local pool around 4.30pm. We were very lucky in that the pool wasn’t busy so we got a lane to ourselves.
My easy 300m went far to fast, I was done in about 15minutes, so with time to spare I thought a couple extra laps were in order, bringing my total to 500m for the training session. This was my first swim in a pool for a very long time, I had forgotten how easy it is to count the tiles & not be pressured by the complexities of an open water situation. Also there is no ‘wildlife’ in a pool, so nothing to get panicked about. My Garmin got a little confused though, and recorded that I had swam about 150m more than I actually had, so this is something I have to figure out before next swim session.
8th November 2012
I usually run with the Rockhampton Road Runners on Thursday nights, and tonight I was intending to do a quick solo lap before meeting up with The Farmer & the rest of the group for another lap, however a late finish at work ment that not only did I miss my solo lap, by the time I arrived at the park the main group had set off.
The Farmer & I then decided to have the night off, and so we played in the park with the Worm whilst debriefing and chatting about our days. Although we both missed our run, it was very relaxing and refreshing to stop and have family time together.
9-10-11 th November 2012
Well the weekend was a fairly big write off!! I chose to have Friday as my rest day, planning on maybe going to the beach on Saturday and then a long run/ride on Sunday. Friday went to plan, I rested well, however come Saturday after Worms swimming lesson the weather closed in so we became hermits at home rather than venturing to the beach.
It was a similar story on Sunday. My alarm went off at 5.20am, but one step outside and I realised that it was not to be today. The rain was almost horizontal and the wind horrific. The Farmer to his credit took Worm into the lounge to play and let me roll over and get some much loved extra sleep. The entire weekend was lovely. Lots of family time and a chance for some good core & stretching sessions.
So week 1 is done. I am very happy with the week, and feel that I completed all the scheduled training sessions without too many pains. I managed to get in a stretch and a core workout a few evenings, which will only improve my general well being and hopefully prevent injury.