Monday, September 07, 2009

Train Like Hell, Taper, Pray

Maybe I should've titled this post "How to train for a half-Ironman in 3 weeks or less", since that's about what I'm facing right now. I took about a week of relatively easy training to recover from my Oly triathlon in August, then last week was eaten up by our usual pre-Labor Day camping extravaganza at Waldo Lake, and now here I am staring at going 70.3 in three weeks.

You might recall that my Oly triathlon didn't do much to reassure me that I am just brimming over with endurance, and in fact I haven't trained in any traditional endurance fashion in several months. No long runs or rides to build up that ol' base that I usually depend upon. So I had to formulate at least some kind of plan of attack and here it is:

Basically, I can sum it up in a nutshell - throw the book at my body for 3.5 weeks with everything I think I can take training-wise, then taper for 10 days and pray. So far, so good.

Week 1: 3 days easy recovery, 1 tempo bike, 1 interval run, 1 "long bike" of 35 miles (ye gawds my butt hurt after 2 hours in the saddle, must rebuild my bike butt!) and 1 "long run" of 7 miles. Summary: Depressing. My 7-mile run was 4.5 minutes slower than the same run done 4 months ago before abandoning my regular endurance regime. I could cry. Okay, no time for that.

Week 2: Whilst camping I had plenty of time for open water swimming and did at least 2 miles a day. That felt great. No, better than great, totally awesome. Went for a trail run, which always restores my joy in running (maybe I should enter a trail marathon or something someday, I love it so much). After getting back home this weekend did a long bike of 45 miles (almost 3 hours, lots and lots of hills), butt didn't hurt as bad but my neck was real stiff at the end. And a long run of 9 miles, which felt actually pretty reasonably good. Used the mile markers on the trail to make sure I held a slow enough pace, close to 10:00, trying to go for endurance not speed at this point.

Now I'm in Week 3, plan is for intervals and tempos in mid-week, and the weekends should look like this:

Week 3: 55 mile bike, 11 mile run
Week 4: 65 mile bike, 13 mile run
Week 5: Taper like heck, pray that my body can absorb all of this quick base building and snap back with a reasonable 70.3 that doesn't feel like I'm dying out there a couple hours into the race. Not sure if I'm nuts or not, but this is the best plan I could come up with.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

You will rock this race, go luck

TriGirl 40 Something said...

You may have discovered a new training approach! Sounds like the endurance is on its way back!

(thanks for the sweet notes about IMUSA and Buttercup)

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I like how you went after training sessions that also upped your mood (swims, trail run etc). There's such a strong emotional-physical confidence connection I think that'll help. Your interval & tempo workouts are huge too. And prayer is powerful. Great plan!