Monday, August 5, 2013

Year Two - Developing a Plan

My first year of triathlon training could be compared to Forrest Gump's feather. I sort of just did whatever I wanted and floated along. If the group was riding, my workout for the day was on the bike. If we were swimming, then that's what I did. From what I've read, a first year triathlete can get away with this sort of training because ultimately you are gaining fitness and the increase in fitness is going to help you improve. However, if I want to keep improving, I am going to have to get a little more serious and I am going to have to develop a plan.

Earlier this year, +James recommended that I read The Triathlete's Training Bible. I ordered the book and gave it a quick thumb through and decided that it was WAY over my head. There were too many references to VO2 Max and lactate threshold so I decided to hold off until I got through my first year.

If you've got one book you won't read, it's a good
idea to get it a it doesn't sit alone on the shelf :-)

If you have one training book that you haven't read, what is the sensible thing to do? Did you say "Buy another training book". If you did, you are correct! Last week I ordered Swim Workouts for Triathletes. My pool workouts for the last year have been relatively unstructured. I would just get in and swim. If I was feeling lazy I would distract the person in the lane next to me (usually +Stephanie) and start a conversation. That has to change in the coming year. The swim workout book is water proof and I am going to keep it in my swim bag. It will get used!!!

Getting Started 

Yesterday HS and I moved our oldest daughter to her new apartment in Santa Rosa. It takes roughly two hours to get there from Stockton. Since I had a captive audience (and because he volunteered to help me develop a training program) I took the opportunity to start the planning process.

One of the first things I had to do was figure out my strengths and weaknesses in terms of triathlons. This included completing a triathlon natural abilities profile and a mental skills profile. HS was very helpful during this process because if I had any doubt about a question, he would tell me what he thought the correct answer was. Usually we agreed.

Proficiencies in Swim, Bike, & Run

Profile results
  • Swim  =  5 
  • Bike  =  4
  • Run  =  4

Natural Abilities

  • Force = 2 
  • Speed = 1
  • Endurance = 5

Mental Skills

  • Motivation = Good 
  • Confidence = Average
  • Thought Habits = Good
  • Focus = Fair 
  • Visualization = Average


After identifying my strengths and weaknesses (these are going to help determine my training plan) I had to come up with my goals for the coming year.

Trying to keep goals specific and measurable

  • Goal #1: 5:45 next year at Barb's Race. 
  • Goal #2: Boston qualifying time at CIM.
  • Goal #3: Top 10% in my age group for USAT

Originally, HS and I came up with getting on the podium at Barb's Race (actually that was his). However, in reading the book, it says not to set a goal based on what other people might do. Since, I cannot control who shows up to a race, my goal for Barb's is now time based.


This is a partial list. I'm sure there will be 5k's added to this list as well as some Olympic distance races in the summer. In order to reach Goal #3, I have to complete three sanctioned events, so those will definitely be added to my annual training plan.

  • Crazy Eights #3 (C) Hill training
  • Women's Triathlon (C) Train
  • Central Valley Triathlon (B)
  • Golden State Triathlon (B)
  • Salmon  Duathlon (C) Hill training
  • California International Marathon (A) 
  • Ice Breaker Triathlon (B) Get the monkey off my back
  • Angels Camp Triathlon (C) Hill Training
  • Avenue of the Vines (B) 
  • Barb's Race (A)

The Next Step

My next step is developing my training calendar. Based on my strengths and weaknesses, I decided that I need to incorporate strength training and speed work to my plan. I will probably go back to P90X2 because it mixes strength with balance.

In terms of strength training, I've got a double-whammy begin a master and a woman.  According to the book The Triathlete's Training Bible:
"...many athletes in their twenties and even into their early thirties stop weight training. Most masters men and all women, however, are well advised to maintain their strength gains from the winter months throughout most of the remaining season."
"Although I advise many athletes to stop strength training during the racing season, women in particular benefit from year-round strength training. Unlike men, women tend to lose muscle mass more quickly once they stop working in the weight room."
So, it's strength training for me!!! The good news is that HS will benefit from this too!

To Be Continued...

That's as far as I've gotten with my planning...tonight I will work on my weekly plan...