Warning – this is a REALLY long post and unless you have plans to train for a 70.3 (or half marathon) in the near future, this may not interest you at all!
I have put a lot of thought into what my goals are and what I want my training to look like for Beach 2 Battleship in October. My fitness level going into this training cycle is much stronger than it was at this time last year and I am excited about what I can do in this distance. With that being said, I also have SO MANY things on my plate this summer with work and personal travel and other races. My number one priority is to balance everything, but still go into the day on October 20th knowing that I am fully prepared to race at a high level (for me).
With all that being said, I have decided to use a flexible training plan until 12 weeks out from the race. What I mean by that is I have really been “training” (without a schedule) for about 3 months now. I have been doing anywhere from 6-11 hours of swim, bike, run every week, depending on travel, races, etc.
Instead of jumping into a structured plan now, and risk getting burned out before October, I have decided to continue to do what I am doing until the 11 week point, then start a more regimented schedule. In a way, it aligns with the training plan that I will be using because the first 8 weeks consist of “base phase” and at 12-weeks, the “build phase” begins.
Until the first week of August, my training will look something like this:
Basically the goal will be to get 3 runs, 2 rides, 2 swims, 1 brick (bike/run) and 1 yoga session per week. I anticipate that the training time will range between 8-12 hours each week.
Side note: Last year I didn’t sign up for Augusta until 10 weeks out from the race. I was training for an Olympic distance race most of the summer with additional volume because I did most workouts with my friends who were training for Ironman Wisconsin. So this “no-plan” plan will actually be very similar to what I did last year, with what I felt were good results for a first 70.3 attempt (5:47:xx).
Between now and early August I have several trips: Germany, NYC, Lake of the Ozarks and a weekend (or two) at Smith Mountain Lake. Fortunately I can take my bike to SML, but the others will give me limited access to a bike and in some cases to a place to swim. I hoping that with my “no schedule” training I will stress less about missed workouts and focus on what I can do while I am on the road.
Starting August 6, it is GAME ON for training. I am using Triathlete Magazine’s Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide. I used the same book last year and opted for level 3 of the plan. This year, I will be using level 5. The jump in levels primarily means an increase in overall volume and the addition of a brick workout every week.
Because the running plan provided by the book is pretty basic, I will be substituting the suggested runs with the Run Less, Run Faster Half Marathon Training Plan. This plan has more focused speed and tempo workouts, with every run focused around a goal pace.
I will likely also continue to go to the Tri Club Speed Workouts on Monday evenings and complete whatever speedwork that Alisen suggests. Most of her workouts so far have been similar (or harder) than what is in RLRF.
The running plan is 18 weeks and I will be using it for the entire 18 weeks (starts this week!) because I can easily stick to it, regardless of where I am traveling. I like that it adds structure to the running that I am already doing.
I will also continue to take advantage of Master’s swimming workouts throughout the training, instead of those suggested by the book. If the Master’s workout is shorter than what is suggested, I will make sure I get the recommended volume, but I found the swim workouts in the book to be very repetitive compared to what I get from the coached Master’s workouts.
So is anyone confused yet? Or is anyone even still reading :)? It might sound a little complicated, but honestly I don’t feel overwhelmed at all. It is just a matter of getting the workouts down in the same place so that I can see it on a schedule.
Here is a link to the full-blown plan in google docs. The “flexible” portion is in gray and the white part is the structured portion. I have already planned the weeks out around my travel and I had to eliminate or modify workouts that I know I won’t be able to do on the road.
I am excited and ready, but also a little weary thinking about the work I have ahead of me. I know that once I get into “go” mode, I somehow find my auto-pilot and just put my head down and work hard. Bring on the hard work…I want to PR this race!!