Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Getting ready for Austin . . . No, not that one

I could tell on my morning run  that the summer is starting to wane.  It's a subtle change, but the air feels a touch cooler at 6:30 in the morning compared to how it felt a few weeks back.  By the time I finished around 8:00, that had completely changed back to summer heat, and there are still many warm days to come in the weeks ahead, but at least in the early hours, there's that small hint of autumn.
Normally at this time of year, I'd be adrift in terms of my training.  Triathlon season would be over, and I'd be getting out the door to exercise only as a matter of habit.  This year however, a late season Half Ironman at the end of October, actually finds me ramping up my training, and to a certain extent, just getting started.
More Endurance Based Training begins on the weekends
Apparently, I'm not good at patching a tire in the field!
Training presents a unique challenge at this time of year as the months of September and October are some of the busiest in terms of work.  Added to that are the responsibilities of family and an older daughter, now in middle school, who is herself busier than ever with cross-country practice, drama rehearsal, and nightly homework.  She also makes a pretty good cupcake!
As long as she doesn't grow up to be a cupcake judge!
Our littlest has aspirations of playing soccer, so it makes for a busy schedule during the week and weekends as well. Family and work come first, so triathlon training will have to work around those schedules.  But this is a good thing because when I finally decide to do an Ironman, the same will likely be true for at least part of my training.
So what will training look like during the coming weeks?  I've been roughing out a plan for that during the last few weeks and after a quasi-recovery week, I'm ready to get started.  Basically, the plan has a few key components:
  • Weekends were made for Michelob, er . . .going long:  The weekend is really the only time that I have a shot of getting  longer workouts completed.  These are key workouts that have to get done in order to have enough endurance just to be able to complete a Half-Ironman.  For most of September and October that will mean a long run each Saturday (hopefully in the morning), followed by a long ride on Sunday.  The conventional wisdom in training has typically been to do this in reverse order, the idea being that it helps you get used to running on "tired legs."  To me, that seems like a good recipe for injury (see my early season injury posts).  It just makes more sense to follow a high impact day of running, with a lower impact day riding.  Between now and October, I plan on one 20 mile run, and at least one ride of 75 miles, just to solidify my base training.
  • Continued core/ weight training:  I'll continue to do 1-2 core/ weight training workouts each week.  These don't last more than about 30 minutes each so they're a fairly small portion of my training.  They do seem to help however, particularly with swimming. 
  • Bricklaying: Leading up to Austin, I'm going to complete 2 brick workouts in October.  The first will be a bit longer (40 mile ride, followed by 10 mile run), and the second will be a bit shorter on the run (50 mile ride, followed by a 5 mile run).  There are a lot of different opinions about brick workouts and whether or not they provide any benefit.  But the fact is that I like them, I've always done them, and it's a great way to practice race nutrition, experimenting with what works and what doesn't work.
  • Flexibility during the week:  This past week I missed a swim workout, and a weight training session.  Thursday evening I found myself ready for bed shortly after 7:00 in the evening, and while I didn't go to bed quite that soon, I was absolutely exhausted.  I will work to do at least one swim workout each week, and get a ride or a run in.   But I'm not going to beat myself up here.  I have to give myself permission to miss a workout here and there if I don't want to run myself into the ground.  
  • Swim some:  This is the one workout that I pretty much have to get done in the morning if it will happen at all.  Most weeks I'm going  to try and get at least one swim workout completed.  I know that this will mean that my swimming on race day may not result in my best performance, but something in the way of training has to give, and it makes the most sense that it would be swimming.  I can knock out a 1.2 mile swim in a "decent time" without having to invest a lot of hours in the pool.  
So, that's really about it in terms of my plans for the next 6 weeks or so.  I'll spend much of the last week before the race resting, and of course, getting down to Texas for the big event!

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