This past year's training bordered on disastrous. I lost three months of prime base building time to sickness and injury. I just barely managed to get in enough training to complete a half iron distance race in September. And that was a bit of a stretch. The last 5 miles of my half marathon were sheer torture, and I questioned whether it might be better to sit down and wait for an ambulance to pick me up.
Still, I got through it, and my training has taken a turn for the better.
I did finish the triathlon season with two or three months of consistent, disciplined training. I've been able to maintain consistent running and cross training since my triathlon season ended at the beginning of September. I'm confident in my ability to prepare my body and mind for an Ironman in 2015.
After Rev3 Cedar Point on September 8, I gave myself two full weeks off. The only exercise I did was teaching cycling, yoga, and water aerobics classes. After those two weeks, I started easing back in to running, with a goal of averaging 15 miles per week for the next month. I planned to do a 5k in October, a 10k in November, and a full marathon (my first!) in March. My plan was to see if I could still run (relatively) fast, gradually build a run base again, and start marathon training at the end of November.
I did a 5k a couple of weekends ago, and surprised myself with my time (27:57, after "running" a 3-hour-plus half marathon at the end of my 70.3). It hurt, in the way that races do, but it's such a short-term pain; 5 minutes after crossing the line feeling like death, I was ready to run another one.
I plan to do a 10k the weekend before Veteran's Day, if I can find one nearby. And I'm signed up for the Shamrock Sports Weekend in Virginia Beach on March 20. I'm excited that the sponsor for the race is Yuengling. I love Yuengling lager. It's like PBR, but from Pennsylvania instead of Wisconsin (PBR is from Wisconsin, right?). That will be my first full marathon. I'm using a basic plan adapted from Run Less, Run Faster, plus a four-week build-up from my current 15 miles per week to 25 miles per week. I'm teaching two cycling classes a week and taking one water aerobics class (with a client) for cross-training. That means I'm basically getting paid to train; I'm practically a professional athlete, here.
I've noticed a lot more soreness and cramping, so I'm also trying to incorporate more weight-lifting, corrective exercise, yoga, and self-myofascial-release. You would think that it wouldn't be so difficult to make myself do these things, considering that I am a personal trainer by trade and spend a good amount of my time at a gym. Alas, it's just as difficult for me to make myself get on a foam roller or a weight bench as it is to get my clients to do it.
So that's what I'll be doing for the next six months. I'm eyeing Ironman Barcelona for 2015. I'll let you know when I pull the trigger and plunk down my 650 Euros!