Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life Is What Happens While You're Busy Making Training Plans

John Lennon never raced a triathlon but if he had, he might have written the title to this entry. I had a lot of life happen this summer. Divorce (still not finalized--sigh). Moved myself into an apartment. Visitation time with my children rather than seeing them every day. A new girlfriend (and roommate). Figuring out what to do with all my stuff. All that "life" messes up my well-laid plans for racing and training. That and my new outlook on racing in hills. Oh, and my age. Maybe it's all just a matter of getting a fresh perspective on things.

First to affect my training plans was the lack of training. How long did I take off? One month? Two months? I forget. I only did two weeks--four sessions--of swim training before the Hansen Dam Triathlon. The result was that my times were slower in all legs (except T2, a small victory ;-). If I'm not even in shape to decently race a sprint triathlon, then I am not in shape enough to tackle my first marathon in November, as I had planned. And I, of course, can't do a half-iron-distance race in October, either. Or even a shorter triathlon, instead. And if I can't do a half-iron this year, I suppose I should put off a full-iron until the year after next. Stuff like that.

Then there is the issue of recovery. My approach to training has been a bit willy-nilly. Still is, I suppose. However, I have come to the realization that I need to pay more attention to recovery. I will turn 49 in a couple of months and these long runs and rides take a lot out of me. So not only do I need to make sure that I am planning recovery days better, I am going to be more focused in my training. For instance, I want to run the Los Angeles Marathon next March. That will likely be two weeks after my beloved IronBruin Triathlon. What to do? Simple: forget the tri and focus on the marathon. More runs, no swimming, and keep the very long bike rides to a minimum until after the race. After than is the Soma Triathlon in Arizona next October. I may be doing a few events before then (Hansen Dam in August for sure) but the focus is on Soma. If I am going to do my first marathon and half-ironman in the same year, I need to focus on those pretty big goals. My thinking is that life may continue to derail me here and there but focus should help get me back on track.