I've put together a mixed up post with some pics from our recent trip to the mountains (which was an endurance event itself) intermingled with an update about my plans for Ironman St. George.
Monday kicked off my return to formal training and quest a great race at St. George. I was just a little tiny bit anxious to get moving again so started training a bit more frequently last week. On Wednesday I was on my 4th run of the week on the trails of Harbison Forest when I sprained my ankle on a rock or root disguised under fall foliage. It's healed enough to run again now although the foot is still a colorful with purple/green/yellow hues. Ah, the colors of Autumn.
As for the ironman specific training, I'm going to experiment with completely different approach than any I've done before. In the past I've used a fairly standard periodization approach where I would build volume for 3 weeks and then recover for 1 week. Each cycle would build on the previous one until I had no more time available and I was good form. While I can't argue with the race results that have come from this approach, my complaint comes from the plateau I reached earlier this year. The level where I plateaued was good enough to win some races and generally be competitive every time I toed the line, but we're not really looking for "good enough" are we? No, we are hoping to become the best possible. My goal is to race ironman on the world stage against the world's best. And I'm not "looking for clues", I truly believe I can get more out of this mind and body (and also spend even more time with my family) by taking a different approach. That's the goal.
- Consistency: Nothing new here, I'm a big believer that consistency leads to great performances, and as such, I like to operate on a "basic week", which is a repeatable weekly schedule. This year I'm calling it my "basic cycle" because it's a two week cycle that I'll repeat with the two weeks being quite different from each other.
- Running Frequency: Nothing new here either, it builds durability in the body. I like to run just about every day even if only 20-40 minutes.
- Specificity: This is where I failed in the past. If you know me you've probably heard me say that I usually race faster than I train. That's great, but what if I trained as fast as I raced? Then how fast would I race? For St. George, specificity means hills, hills, and more hills at race intensity. While it will be a challenge to duplicate the terrain of Utah on the bike a, I've already scoped out some very hilly run routes that will give me nearly the elevation change as the St. George marathon.
- Recovery: This is another area where I've failed badly in the past. Not surprising since specificity and recovery tend to go hand in hand. Lack of recovery left me in a state of grey for many consecutive months ... unable to push as hard as I should in training (e.g. specificity)
- Getting Lean: I'm 5'11" (180.3 cm) and spent most of last season at 158 lbs (71.8 kg) at around 9% body fat. Losing 5lbs from last years race weight (that's 11 lbs from my weight today) would put me around 153 lbs /69.5 kg and 6% body fat. I believe this would pay huge dividends on a course like St. George that has such a massive amount of climbing on the bike and run.