Thursday, January 13, 2011

My first week+ of HIM training

Some weather left me at home at computerless for a few days but I have returned. During this time I have completed my first full week of Half Iron level training toward my May 7th goal.

Last week after writing my goals and choosing my races I realized I needed to find a training plan. On my to do list is to find a coach and to find an AFFORDABLE coach for such training plan. I am still on the fence regarding e-coaching. Tailored training plans are great and all but I want someone who can evaluate my form, etc. and help me remedy my problems. I have two pros near by that coach at what I think is an astronomical rate. I have found another local coach who's plans are MORE affordable, still a little pricey, but with a plan comes 1 one-on-one form evaluation and I can add on more one on one session for what I think is a reasonable rate, less than a trip for two to the movies. Even if I find another coach, I can buy one on one sessions with him but for twice the rate.

I think a coach is more important to me that the training plan for three main reasons- I think correcting my form will help me become faster, I think I have an immeasurable amount of potential left and to get there means breaking through my psychological plateau  I believe that will take a third person view to do, and, lastly, if someone else is writing and rearranging my training schedule I have more time for the rest of my life.

I e-mailed this coach to get his opinion about his best training option considering the variety of my schedule and the getting the mos bang for the lowest buck. One of his suggestions was that athletes competitors guys who he coaches do their own base building and use his coaching for the harder phases of periodization. Since I am still on the fence and the earliest I could begin paying for coaching is the 1st of Feb due to the funny way the state of North Carolina does pay days during the holiday season, I decided to start following the Beginner Half Ironman training plan for the purpose of base building for the time being.

It is a 20 week plan and the first four weeks are exact same, as a preparation phase before the build. I calculated that I had 19 weeks until the race so I started the plan at week 19. I also took week 20 and compared it to the prior week of actual workouts and it turned out that I had everything accounted for except 3 swim workouts and 1 long bike ride. I planned to work those in, especially since they are lower impact.

I started the plan on a Wednesday so I did the same thing and compared the plan for the week back to Monday's actual workouts and was short one bike workout that I made up later in the week.

So for my first week here are the numbers:

Swim: 3100 Meters, 1h 9m
Bike: 67.91 Miles, 4h 10m
Run: 11.91 Mi, 2h 11m 55s
Strength: 1h

Thoughts: 2 of my swim workouts were 2000m and the third was shorter as it was speed work. Both of  the long workouts had to be shorted due to time. My Y is the only indoor pool in the county and as it is high school swim season the schedule is abbreviated. The first long workout was my third time in the pool since October 11th (last tri). It was 4x400, I found my rhythm quickly but thought it was very tedious. In fact i had second thoughts about whether or not I am ready for this distance. The speed work was on point for distance and I wasn't even tired until my last interval (10x100 for time). This workout made me feel much better about the challenge of HIM training.

Like swimming, cycling was less than stellar. One of my workouts was indoors due to lack of a bike. Got my bike out of the shop and did pull the other two outside, but not without issue. I first headed out Saturday for my long ride not considering the wind storm we were having. The wind was a steady 15 mph with 40 mph gusts. After warming up i followed a route that had me riding into a headwind. I got tired of it so I decided to make a turn so that I would have a crosswind. This was worse. Honest to God, at one point a was picked up/slid from the far right side of the lane to the double yellow in the center. I then decided to go home.

The next day I decided to attempt my long ride again. knowing it was going to be colder I tried to dress warm. It was going to be 27 degrees with little wind as opposed to the previous day's 35 with wind. From head to toe I wore helmet, balaclava, under armor cold gear turtle neck, jersey, Under Armor cold gear tights, wool socks, chemical foot warmer, cycling socks, shoes, full finger cycling gloves, fleece gloves. I still froze. I finished my entire ride, 90 minutes, and it took the numbness in my fingers and toes ten minutes to subside once I was at home in the "heat".

Running felt weird this week. Honestly my volume was much lower than the last few months. My long run was only 60 minutes. I kept it short because I also needed to do a long ride the same day, however my plan for the next few weeks will be to keep all of the runs per the plan except the long run which I will keep increasing by the rule of 10 up to 20 miles to prepare for a March marathon.

Overall, this has been challenging. The distance is large, but I do not think it is unrealistic. My biggest hindrance has been the winter. Riding in the cold, swim team scheduling, and my biggest nemesis- getting out of bed. I have little trouble getting up at 5 or earlier when it is warm outside, but cold makes me want to stay in bed. This will not be possible if I want to stick to this plan. The volume of the workouts will be great enough that i will not be able to fit in bricks after work some days, I will have to do an AM and PM workout as the plan is designed.

My last and final obstacle is my math. I originally started at week 19 but I did my math wrong. I only had 18 weeks till my race. My plan at this point is to remove next week, which is a repeat of the last two weeks and go directly into base building. I will keep the week posted and if any days lends itself to an extra workout and I am feeling froggy I will pick one form the list. They are all very low rpe.

Funny how 18 weeks seems so close and so far away at the same time.


Kate said...

Sounds like you're doing a good job of getting your training in so far. That wind sounds miserable. Good luck with the weeks to come!

Karen said...

I am using the same BT plan for my half on June 4th. I was just looking at the plan this morning thinking they wasted no time in getting the swim yardage and 2 a days in.... I guess I am used to sprint tris! Since you are a week ahead of me, you can give me a preview each week of the joy to come ;)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Tri Geeks seel the cheapest plans from what I have found

wendy said...

I agree on finding a good coach. I am lucky in that mine is free... Do you have a friend who is experienced and would be willing to help you out? Make sure to add rest into your plan. Take care!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Luke - Good job at finding a plan. I used one of the plans for my first Oly and it worked fine. IMO, Getting your butt out of bed is the most important part of any training plan. Keep doing it and before you know it that 5am time will just become habitual.

RockStarTri said...

I use a coach and I'm actually certified as a coach as well. The coach that I use has never seen me swim, bike nor run. I communicate with him, though, daily either via email, text, phone or in person. I have athletes that I work with that I see often and others that I never have met in person. It matters what you expect to get from a coach.

This works great for me as an athlete except for swimming. Since swimming is much more dependent on technique and form, I use other folks to critique my form (as well as using video).

What does all this mean? ?Using an "e-coach" or following one of the canned plans (from BT, EN or whoever) will get you to the finish line often better than you can do on your own. Which plan doesn't really matter all that much as long as you follow it and do the required work.

Good luck!