Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Metaphorical Bridge

I have been stressing out a bit lately about some of the liberties that I have been taking with my training plan – liberties I would have NEVER taken while training for IMFL last year.

If my program last year told me to jump of a bridge, I would have done research to determine what kind of bridge, what color, at what height, etc. and then I would have jumped off the appropriate bridge (and then logged the results!).

Fear of the unknown is a fantastic motivator and in training for my first iron distance race that fear got me through every grueling workout. With it though, I sacrificed a lot of other things along the way. Not the most important things, mind you, but things that help to balance me and keep me more or less sane and happy (girls nights out, plenty of sleep, to name a few).

So, why I am taking more liberties right now? That is a complicated question.

First off, I have not “officially” started my training for Cedar Point so my focus has been on the Lonestar 70.3 on April 25 and I am less stressed about racing this distance. (Side note: I contemplated doing an Oly two weeks before Lonestar but decided against it because Lonestar in my first A race of the season and I would have been too tempted to race the Oly.)

Second, I am still using the Be Iron Fit Competitive IM training program. Yes, you read that right, I am using the IM program to train for the HIM. The program has you race a HIM along the way to the IM start line, so I just use the program up to that point, modifying the taper as needed. I do feel like this volume is slightly more than I need right now though, so I have been cutting it back when I have to due to other life and work commitments. This is when it would be great to have a coach (which I am contemplating) – no second guessing myself if I have someone else telling me what to do.

Even with the above thoughts in mind, I still feel guilty on occasion when I have to cut a workout short, especially knowing I would have found a way to make it work when I was training for IMFL. This is when having data is helpful (I highly recommend logging your training). As a quick comparison, I looked at my numbers for March 2009 compared to March 2010 (below) and I breathed a big sigh of relief.

This time last year I was training for a May 8 HIM, so my efforts should have been similar year to year based on race dates. As you can see, I have nearly 10 more hours this March than last March. So much for feeling like I am not doing enough!

March in Numbers
Swim: 28,950 yards in 11:35
Bike: 387.9 miles in 24:00
Run: 121.4 miles in 18:26
Strength: 0:55

Total: 54:56:00

I would love to hear your advice on getting a coach – I am thinking of trying to find someone to help me prepare for Cedar Point.

Goal Tracking
Ok, so let’s review. I have modified my original goals to reflect the realities of this year, so I am only reporting on what is left on the list.

1. Photography
-- March was slow, but we have bluebonnet pictures this month to look forward to!
2. Nutrition
-- What can I say, some days are better than others. April goal – find 1 new healthy, easy recipe. Any suggestions?
3. Strength Training
-- Keep making time for at least 1 session per week (Got 2 sessions in last month)
4. Swim Technique
-- I started working on flip turns for fun, so I will continue to practice those in April. I am going to rewatch this video and I will report back on my thoughts.
5. Fun Goals
-- I am racing a HIM this month, so we will see if a PR is in my future. I am nervous about all of the wind that we have been having but that won’t stop me from leaving it all on the course. April goal - pick the Sprint to race for fun and put it on my race schedule.

Happy April!


RockStarTri said...

I'm a big believer in getting a coach but I've found that coaching is very individual.

What works for me doesn't work for others. I get a weekly plan and we adjust as necessary. My coach reviews my results almost every day and will step up or step down the workouts based on how I'm doing or feeling. Others have found that he is too "touchy feelie" for them and prefer a plan at a month at a time. To each his (or her) own.

I've found that using my coach streamlines my training and gains me time as well.

Good luck in your quest.

Kelly said...

anne, you are doing great. This is my first season with a coach, and I am loving it. For me, just to have her figure out my crazy schedule and tell me exactly what to do is such a huge load off my mind. Totally worth it!!

LittleRachet said...

I'm with you- last year when training for my IM I made absolutely everything on my schedule happen. This year I'm willing to give a bit. Funny how our brain rationalizes things.

I love having a coach. If you find the right one, I think they can be one of the best investments you make in your training. I had a bad one, then gave up on the idea because I didn't know good ones were out there and affordable. Now I have a good one and won't give her up. - I don't live near her, yet I get more communication than I did with a local coach. Go figure.

Mark said...

Great post Anne. You are doing awesome. I would not stress about the "plan." Plans are plans. Schematics. You know what you need to do. Sometimes real life gets in the way—sickness, job—etc.—you adjust, you adapt. Plus, you have the advantage of already having done the distance, so you know what to expect. You're going to kick butt!

Keep on keeping on.


Oh heck... enjoy the family. The knowledge base from IMFL will get you to the finish line and you can enjoy other things.

Erin said...

Yay - flip turns! I can't wait to see you do them at practice :)

I'm personally hoping that Texas is getting all this wind out of her system now. If its as windy as it has been, I'm really worried I'll DNF at LoneStar. Booo!

Kendra said...

I LOVED having a coach last year. I would highly recommend a coach, especially mine. Even though I live near my coach, we never got together for coaching purposes, so don't let that deter you. An online/phone coach is great. I blogged about my coach recently. She's a former pro-IM triathlete and she's a mom. I wouldn't hesitate to hire her regardless of your goals (i.e. be competitive or just finish). It's such a relief to just have someone tell you what to do, and if your life changes, she'll change your plan for you. It's a huge time save for one.