Day 33 – Training Plan

141 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

As I write this, I am sitting in the “Well Waiting ” area of the local urgent care. “Local,” of course, is a relative adjective, because we had to drive 30 miles to get here.

My sister twisted an ankle on a walk this morning, so here we are. Now I have plenty of time to analyze and transcribe a minute fraction of the wavelengths emanating from the cosmic depths of my mind.

Harvey said it so much better than I…

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamar in Blazing Saddles

My Creative Alternatives

The big bad LG annual training plan has finally taken shape. Actually, not the whole plan, just up to IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga. I don’t yet know each day’s workout which is why I hired a coach and for my friends in the U.K. I mean a person to help me train, not a bus (wink wink, Charles).

The plan is sort of rough but it’s a good start on training with purpose.

Training with purpose involves breaking down the season into periods.

The main idea is to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each sport and train accordingly.

Swim

The swim is my strength, so rather than spend a lot of time building a swim base, I’ll begin the season with just two sessions per week: both low intensity and short duration. Some coaches advocate no swimming for prep and base (general focus) phases, but I find that the pool environment keeps me focused and motivated. During the build phases, which are more race specific, we’ll focus on distance, a little on strength, but keep some technique. For speed, Coach Sami says, “Swim as fast as form will allow.” Makes sense to me.

Bike

I’d like to jump right into some VO2max work on the bike, but I need to work on my aerobic endurance base. After four weeks of that, we’ll try a week of VO2max and speed sessions. If that goes well, we’ll build up to another one after about four weeks. The point is to build speed early in the season and build distance later on. This fits with the idea that training should be more race like as the season progresses toward the A race(s).

Run

Running is perhaps the most basic and natural of human endurance activities (other than walking). If that is true then why is it so difficult? Why is it blamed for so many ailments? I like to hypothesize that the lazy and impatient founders of our modern civilizations rejected our natural tendencies in favor of labor saving devices and high speed transportation. Regardless, I’m not yet the runner I’d like to be.

IM703Chatty has a long run, so you would think that my later season running should focus on distance and my early season running should focus more on speed. Not so. Speed work involves raising VO2max and anaerobic threshold which are advanced skills. My base needs to be more solid before I can graduate to the advanced skills. Therefore, the running strategy for my 2020 season is to start off by building a big aerobic base and distance before building speed.

Dailies

Daily workouts will be assigned one or two weeks ahead of time rather than all of them at the beginning of the season. We do it this way because it’s a certainty that the plan will have to adjusted in the middle of the season. We just never know what will happen or when.

To aid in my planning, executing and analyzing, I use the following technologies:

  • Garmin Forerunner 735XT for recording:
    • heart rate
    • power
    • cadence
    • pace
    • speed
    • distance
    • time
  • Garmin Connect to send the data to TrainingPeaks for recording and analysis
  • TrainingPeaks to send workouts to Garmin Connect
  • Wahoo TICKR X heart rate monitor
  • PowerTap power meter (power, speed, cadence)

Afterword

So my sister, Debbie, came back into the waiting area wearing a medical boot on her left leg… broken ankle. Can you believe that? She was walking down the road in a pair of running shoes (trainers, as the Brits might say) and BAM!, broken ankle. Life is so unpredictable. I hope my training is more predictable than life.

Until tomorrow…