Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Week 1: 1/2 Ironman Training

   As most of you know, I am or at least I consider myself an endurance athlete, having completed 3 marathons, numerous half marathons and triathlons.  In college I took a Personal Fitness class taught by Laura Wheatley, her blog is You Gotta Want It.  She had done numerous Ironman triathlons, and being a marathon runner I was in awe of her numerous Ironman accomplishments and as a result I wanted to experience the world of triathlons with the pipeline dream of doing an Ironman race myself!  A year or so after I graduated, a triathlon team was being formed in the area - now known as Sub M or Suburban Multisport, and my parents strongly encouraged me to check it out and go to the first meeting in hopes of getting me into another sport that incorporated running but also activities since I had hurt my knee so bad in the previous 2 marathons.  They thought it was a great way for me to still be able to run but not do really long distances... little did they know I would want to get into longer triathlon races. 
   Last year I trained for the Muncie 1/2 Ironman race - well, I mean... I thought I trained.  I didn't follow a training plan, I figured if I slowly increased my abilities in each part of the swim, bike and run, then I would be able to conquer the 1/2 Ironman.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I got injured a week out do a normal 10K run.  I was devastated!  I'm a little embarrassed to look back and think of how many tears I shed over not being able to race.  My injury wasn't "THAT" bad but who knows if I would have done some very serious damage if I had raced on my injured foot.  As my friend Tim said, "This race won't make your triathlon career, but it could break it if you race injured."  So I decided to sit it out.  Unfortunately though it set me back an entire year! The plan was to do the 1/2 Ironman last summer and then a full Ironman race - Madison, this summer.  Sure maybe I could have doubled them up last year but with my injury track record I decided to keep them separated.  So this summer I am going to race a 1/2 Ironman in Racine, WI.

  I decided that I am going to follow a training plan in hopes of preventing injury during training as well as during and after the race!  I found an excellent training program at  This past Sunday marked the completion of my first week of official 1/2 Ironman training.  Here are my thoughts:
   1.  I am SORE - I look forward to each Friday of week because it is my one rest day.  I am shocked that I am so sore since I had been doing tough workouts for the past year!
   2.  Two workouts a day make me exhausted!!!  Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my double workout days according to my training plan.  Typically it is swimming in the morning followed by a bike ride or a run in the afternoon.  I've inflicted a double workout on myself on Wednesdays and either Saturday or Sunday depending on what my weekend looks like.  The training plan mentions adding strength training into the plan but doesn't designate a specific day or exercises.  Since Wednesdays and the weekends are typically only one workout, I figured it was best to add the strength in on those days rather than the days that already have two workouts.  I strength train after my run or bike on those days.
   3. The trainers at the gym officially think I am crazy but are super encouraging!  They have seen me come into the gym almost twice a day now for the last week and a half and they have been super encouraging and keep pushing me to go harder in my workouts and really push myself.  I am grateful for their encouragement!  They fondly call me a gym rat now... or at least I hope they mean it that way!
17 more weeks to go and I won't loose sight of my goal!!! Bring on Racine, WI!!!

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