So, week #1 is nearly in the books. The official training plan started this week, Monday, February 17th. The training plan is 24 weeks long, culminating in the race on August 3rd – Ironman Boulder!
The training plan looks something like this:
Weeks 1-6: Prep
Weeks 7-10: Base 1
Weeks 11-14: Base 2
Weeks 15-18: Base 3
Weeks 19-22: Build
Weeks 23-24: Peak/Taper
In the prep period, the stated goal is to build a base level of aerobic fitness. This is accomplished by exercising mostly in Zone 2, which is just below the point where the body starts to go anaerobic. This is a difficult training period because it feels slow and easy, and can get boring very quickly. That is why it’s critically important to maintain focus.
The reason I used the words “stated goal” at the beginning of the last paragraph is that, although the prep period does indeed build aerobic fitness, I believe that other critical skills are built in this stage. These skills include discipline, focus, nutrition testing, etc. You’re teaching your body to operate effectively from an aerobic point of view, and at the same time, you’re getting yourself in a good, consistent training routine. You’re training your mind at the same time. You’re also tweaking some initial parts of your training, such as experimenting with different nutrition options, trying to zero in on what will work for you throughout the other training periods. For those amateur triathletes out there, don’t neglect these aspects of training! They make all the difference later on.
Like I said, week 1 is almost in the books. It started with a day off, where I was required to watch some swim drill videos. The week continued with six days of alternating disciplines: swim-run-bike-swim-bike-run. The first day of swimming was TOUGH. Running went well, and due to work commitments, I missed the bike day, as well as swim day #2. I biked yesterday, on the trainer, and today is a long run day.
I’ll keep posting training tips and insights, and will everyone posted on progress.