Going into February with some confidence…

Picture is winter 2007 – no snow for me yet this year.

Stepping it up is the name of the game every year. What can we do differently, what should we keep the same? For the most part, my January this year is very comparable to last year. I’ve exceeded some volume numbers slightly, but not by any significant amount. What is noticeable, however, is the improvement in aerobic run speed and swim paces over last year. I’m sure this is due mainly to notching another year on the belt, and learning what works for me to keep myself consistent and injury free. 2008 will be my fifth season of competing in triathlon. 3 of which have been consistent, hard, ‘proper’ training. 2004 and 2005 I always trained hard and long but there was always something getting in the way. From injuries to race day errors not a whole lot went the way I thought it would in ’04 and ’05. I could still pull off a decent half ironman at that time, but I was struggling with 11hour ironmans, faltering badly on the run in Canada and France(11hr10min at both with 4.5hr marathon’s). 2006 gave me a glimmer of hope with a 9:45 ironman Canada and some quick Half irons. 2007 was another jump in improvement with fast run times in the half irons and a decent 9:29 ironman Canada. This winter is the first time I’ve actually noticed a major improvement in training without hitting any intensity. Looking forward to March and April when I can really get an idea of how far I can take things this year.

So, what has worked for me??
– Low HR training for at least a few months. December through February…even March if I continue to notice improvement. I’ll find out for sure in 2008 if this is truly what works for me. 2007 was the only year I have to gauge this type of training from.

-Finding a race nutrition plan that works. This took me forever and I’m still trying to find out why I have to throw up for 5 hours post Ironman. These stomach problems used to happen during the marathon, now they happen in the car on the way home. I’m still wondering about hydration and finding a way to take in more water on the bike without overloading the calories. NUUN has worked wonders this past year.

-Confidence in the water. The fear of choking on water and getting trampled was always on my mind until this last year. Now I don’t care and I’m confident to go hard off the gun. Leaving me in a better position on the bike and expending less energy fighting other athletes in the water. I’ve come a long way. January of 2004 I could not swim across a 50m pool safely. August 2007 saw a 56minute ironman swim….thanks to my wonderful wife.

-Knowing when I need a break in training. We’ve all got to push ourselves to the limit to get the goals we want. Recovery, however, is sometimes more important (to a point). Finding the balance is what lets us improve. Burning myself out as a cyclist taught me some lessons, but learning them again through injury and staleness in triathlon has been key. I’ve so far avoided anything bad that can prevent someone from ever recovering, but I think you need to be doing this sport full time to get to that point. It’s almost impossible to train hard enough with a full time job to get to the point of detrimental overtraining.

Anyway, looking forward to racing again. I think I’ll start up with a Half Marathon in March. First triathlon will be Wildflower in May. Should be fun, I’ve never done that race before.

~ by trevorandheather on January 28, 2008.

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