Thursday, April 3, 2014

March is gone and Ironman training is here!

March was a recovery and toss-away month. The plan was to swim more to start training up for the 5 mile OWS race and recover everything else.

Swim: 28,100 m, 9 swims
Bike: 105 miles, 6 rides
Run: 70.2 miles, 7 runs, 1 marathon
Strength: 14 times
Yoga: 18 times

That is actually a much higher swim mileage than I was expecting. I'm still not enjoying the bike, but I am starting to ride again pretty regularly.  And I am going to run more. 70 miles is pretty good, but I really want to be over 100 miles per month this year.

Mostly I am just absolutely loving the water right now! And the yoga mat.  Yoga is going really well. It's getting consistent, and I'm working on a headstand that is just about there. Yoga is the kind of practice that pays dividends in every other sport that I'm trying to tackle, so that's really good.

March 31 was officially the first day of Ironman training. I'm taking a different approach this year. The last few plans I've done were 39 weeks, this time it's only 23 weeks. The primary format breaks down into four week segments. Every week I'm going to overload one sport, then a recovery week. So base 1 is starting with a swim week, where I'm going to swim as much as I can. Then week 2 will be a bike week, where I'm going to try and get 150 to 200 miles. Then a run week, where I shoot for 30 to 50 miles. Then a recovery week, where all of the workouts are short and easy. And that's base 1.

According to the "Your Best Triathlon" Joe Friel book, I loaded up my spreadsheet with his 4 week plans for a base 1, 2, and 3, then a build 1 and 2 phases (that include a half iron test), then a 3 week taper. So my failsafe is to go back to Joe's strong workout plan if I don't feel like this overload method is going to work. But I really hated having to spend so much time on the bike last year, and I feel like only having one heavy bike week out of every four will be a good way to balance that. And it should give me enough time between heavy run weeks to increase that mileage into the 50 to 70 mile weeks without injury problems. Doing that single 50 mile week before the Myrtle Beach marathon led to a huge PR, so I want more of that luck.

This actually started on Sunday. We all got out to the pool in Pullen Park. The kids played in the kiddie pool while I got some laps in. I decided to do 20 x 200 for a 4000m set. Every 5th 200 I did an IM just to help me keep count. That gave me something to look forward to. I could split the intermediate 200's any way I wanted to. some pull, some kick, some stroke work, sometimes just on 20 seconds rest. It was a great workout and a fantastic way to kick off Ironman training before the official date. I also ran 7 miles before church that day too.

Kelley got some video of one of my 200 IM's, it came out really cool, I thought. But it's kind of long.

The coolest part about the videos is that I can see where my stroke got flawed. Some of that is just because 200 IM's will fucking wear you down. they are kind of insane. But I could see when my elbows were high enough and when they weren't, and when my arms crossed the center line and I went to one side of the lane, etc. Very cool to get this kind of feedback.

Then Monday night I hit the RAM practice for 3000, and Tuesday also hit RAM practice for 3100. That gave me 10,100 meters over 3 days. That's what I mean by a volume overload. I'm also going to RAM practice Thursday night and Saturday morning.  so it's a really heavy swim week.

The concept for this overload principle was totally stolen from Jason over at Cook Train Eat Race. I also steal recipes from him quite regularly. Thanks brother!

What has me really excited to swim so much?? Well on Saturday I got to volunteer at a swim meet! I have wanted to volunteer more this year, and this kicked off volunteer season with a bang. Adult swim meets are so much fun! I had no idea.

As a triathlete, I tend to stick to the open water stuff. I still have no desire to start off of the blocks. The short fast stuff still seems futile to me, and most of the people that I was timing were much faster than me. But the Dixie Zone 2014 Masters meet really changed my opinions about swim meets. The environment is electric. You see amazing people there from all over the country. I saw 300 lb dudes that were significantly faster than me, and 71 year old dudes that were significantly faster than me. And plenty of younger and thinner people that were also significantly faster than me. I'm not suggesting I would finish last in every event if I swam there, just that the people that did show up to swim were very impressive.

I was a timer at the meet. They had electric timing mats in the water, and 2 timers at every lane. I also got to socialize plenty with my fellow teammates. Some people I hadn't seen in a while were there, so that was great. And as it turns out, a former co-worker from IBM was there and is on the team! I had no idea. So Michael and I got to hang out all day, and that was fantastic.

Swimmers on the block! My friend Jen is in the middle there. and you can barely see me on the left. the head in the crowd with the beard.

timers waiting for the next set of heats

Starters and meet officials.

hospitality area
Swim meets rule!! So much fun. So what was now supposed to be separate posts explaining the ironman training plan, the swim meet, march's totals, and the epic 10k swim days have now, finally, come to a close. Hope you enjoyed the ride. That's how busy I've been. insane!!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I hope this new approach to IM training works well for you. It's great that you are off to such a great start. Reading about your swim workouts makes me want to try to swim more. I know how to swim and can swim pretty well but it's so fatiguing for me and I feel like time stands still when I do it. I would really like to find a masters team to join eventually as having people out there with me and a planned work out would really help, I think.

Tea said...

Glad you found a new approach to try out. Swim meets are totally fun to watch but not my thing. I tried it once a couple of years ago.

Do you normally like the bike?

hebba said...

Yay! Good luck in the training. You are my motivation!

Abby said...

I actually really wanted to do a tri last summer, even joined a pool. I just cannot swim laps, I admire you so much for it.

Alisa said...

Cool video! Though, you would have DQ'd at a swim meet for the one hand turn from back to breast =) hehe.

I too am curious about your new plan of attack for 140.6. I could see this being a good approach---seems like it would avoid boredom b/c you'd be changing up the focus week by week.