I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Banff last week and it was such a mental and physical refresher for me (seriously, look at those mountains – how can you NOT be refreshed?). It was the perfect thing to do before I started my first “official” week of training. While every workout this week was not perfect (Edmonton is covered in snow-y slush!), I am finishing the week empowered and ready to train for the next 5 months and 3 weeks.
What do I want in this training cycle? Obviously, the endpoint is finishing an Ironman, but there’s so much more in between. Did you know that writing down goals make you much more likely to meet them? So I thought I would share some overall goals of my training, and while these are not SMART goals, they are out here for the world to see… so, you know, hold me accountable!
1.Injury pre-hab. One of my biggest fears when I signed up for IMCDA was getting injured. Seriously, ya’ll, I’m a magnet for injuries! However, I think a lot of that is due to 1) poor running form 2) doing too much too soon 3) not doing the right type of preventative exercises. Items 1 and 2 are covered (I mentioned the magic of seeing a kinesiologist in my first post, and I’ve ramping up the mileage very slowly), but I need to keep doing my running-specific exercises throughout training.
2. Keep a good journal. I know from training for my first half ironman that simply keeping a training journal isn’t too difficult for me. I like to plan my week and see myself meeting those goals… and yes, my training plan is a color-coded Excel sheet (anyone who knows me will certainly not be surprised!). But I’ve learned that there is so much more that can affect a workout, so I’m aiming to include some extra information in my plan and reviewing it regularly. I added sleep quality, injury pain, body weight, overall rating of the workout, and stress level. I’m also going to highlight the tough badass workouts and the happy unicorn and rainbow workouts so I can reflect and gain confidence during race taper.
3. Take advantage of rest days. Most endurance athletes know the beautiful and hideous things about rest days.
Me on Saturday and Sunday: “Just get through this tough workout – I have a rest day on Monday to look forward to!”
Me around 12pm on Monday: “Oh my gosh, I have to go a whole day without working out?!? What do people do?”
As you can see from my training plan template, I literally have to schedule my rest days (every other Monday), because I’ll forget or just convince myself I don’t need one until I’m burned out and end up skipping a key workout and eating a tub of Ben and Jerry’s while watching Gilmore Girls (’cause that’s never happened… eh-hem…). So I’m embracing rest days and even plan to treat myself to a massage on some of the Mondays or taking a nice restorative or yin yoga class.
4. Cycle more with groups. For Calgary 70.3, I did a lot of training rides alone. I remember only two long rides in which I rode with a small group. Let me tell you, it was unnecessarily While I did gain the mental fortitude to keep going when I’m alone, I found I didn’t need it on race day – there was always someone to chase and the scenery was stunning! So, I’m planning to join a local cycling club and do most of my long rides (part or all of the ride) with them.
5. Have fun – duh! Triathlon training (and especially IM training) requires a certain amount of type-A personality. But sometimes I get carried away in planning workouts I forget to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am doing this for fun. I’ll never be a professional, and the likelihood of ever qualifying for Kona is small – I’m accountable for me and this is my hobby. So I plan to take a page from Kaitlin’s book and SMILE!