Ironman Boulder is my goal race this year. I did Carlsbad Half Marathon last weekend (race report coming soon), and I am doing two other Ironman 70.3 races in late spring/early summer. But in the end, everything is geared towards the starting line on August 2.
Previous Training Program:
Last year, for Ironman Wisconsin, I did a 30-week training plan based on the intermediate plan in the Be Iron Fit book, written by Don Fink. I really enjoyed the book and I thought the plan was great as well.
So, what does my training plan for Boulder look like?
Boulder Training Program:
Be IronFit, Competitive Program (30 weeks). I figure, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This program is nearly identical to the intermediate program for the base phase (first 10 weeks), increases the time commitment slightly for the build phase (weeks 11-20), and then really cranks it up (topping out at 20 hours a week) for the peak phase (weeks 21-30). Having already completed an Ironman training program, I think the increased commitment will be somewhat easier to handle compared to when I was just starting out. Also, Danielle will be training for some 100 mile race or something, so I won’t feel as bad this year when I don’t want to travel or explore on the weekends because I am too tired from training.
Coming from a non-swimming background, the first thing I researched when I started training for Ironman Wisconsin was how to swim. EVERYTHING I read recommended taking swim lessons because swimming speed comes from three sources – technique, technique, and technique. You can power through running and biking but swimming is a different beast.
So what did I do? I ignored everything I read and powered through my swim workouts. I ended up swimming a 1:12 in Wisconsin, but I want to cut off at least 5 minutes in Boulder and improving my technique is the best way to get there.
This year I will be taking lessons at SwimLabs in Highlands Ranch. I’ve already completed two lessons, and I really enjoyed them. Here is hoping for some big improvements!
Oh Mr. Bike. This is the linchpin in my Boulder training plan. My Wisconsin bike time was 6:02 and my Boulder goal is 5:10. This means I have a lot of work to do.
During my Wisconsin training cycle I did not attempt anaerobic workouts on the bike. My focus was strictly on staying aerobic and building endurance. To be fair, in 2013 (the year before I started training for Wisconsin), my total cycling mileage for the year was all of 150 miles…so I had a ways to go. This go-round I’m looking to crank it up a notch (or 20) in order to really improve my cycling performance. My plan is to focus on increased volume and add speed work.
- More volume:
- More speed work:
- Global Cycling Network has several short videos available on YouTube that I have been using – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGGvKt8vWho&feature=youtu.be
- Danielle also bought me a cycling video (based on the Elephant Rock course) that I can watch during my trainer sessions
I’m feeling pretty good about my running base at the moment. I worked on speed during the off-season and felt like I made good progress. Moving forward I will be taking a few weeks off of speed work to let my body recover from Carlsbad, and then I’ll add it back in once I move onto the ‘Build’ phase of my training plan.
Other things I am considering:
- Tri Bike – Back to bike speed.. The bike is the one area where you can buy speed. I’m probably going to do just that. Coming from a running background, this hurts my pride a little bit, but you’ve got to play the game.
- Power Meter – Another item I’ve been researching (and by researching, I mean reading what DC Rainmaker has to say about it) for improving my bike performance. I might bundle this in with a new bike.
- Training Peaks – Right now, I am keeping track of all of my training in Garmin Connect, which just so happens to be terrible (especially lately). There are a lot of folks that rave about Training Peaks, but I still need to do some research.
- I passed my fourth actuarial exam this week! Well, technically I passed it back in October, but I found out that I passed it this week.
- I also read The Boys in the Boat this week. Reminds me of Seabiscuit – same time period, similar story. Very good read.
- I HAVE NEW COMPRESSION SOCKS! I should probably wait to include this in my Carlsbad Half Marathon race report (since I bought them at the expo), but when something this good happens it can be difficult to wait. USA! USA!