I do not make “resolutions.” Instead, I set a goal and create a plan to meet that goal. The goal for Ironman Chattanooga (IMCHOO) was to actually run the marathon, and I did that (which helped PR by 90 min). I ran three marathons last winter as training to run the marathon in IMCHOO. The goal for 2015 is in two chunks. The first chunk is January through May, then the second chunk is May through December.
I live in Indiana and last winter was the absolute WORST winter since the blizzard of ’78 (photos). Our winter last year started in October and was in full force all the way through March. Having always done late summer Ironmans (IM Louisville in August and IMCHOO in September), winter training has been “maintenance” mode.
This winter, however, I am NOT in maintenance mode. Twenty-one weeks from tomorrow, I am doing Ironman Texas (16 May, 2015). I am in full-blown “Ironman training.” Training through the Midwest winter obviously has a major impact on bike training. Nearly all of the bike training will be on the trainer, which can be mind-numbingly difficult, but it is high-value, quality training. You cannot “mail it in” on the trainer. The other major consideration is that Houston in May can be brutally hot and humid and, while I love that weather, it is NOT the weather I will have for training…with high temperatures in the 30’s and colder, training is going to be inside in seventy degrees – still not Houston weather, but that is all I can do.
So, the goals for the first chunk of 2015 are (1) to love the training (2) arrive at the starting line happy, healthy, and injury-free (3) be considerably more balanced fundamentally.
- Love the Training…I have noticed that since starting the Ironman distance in 2012, I actually race infrequently. I work several races and continue my own training later in the day. I really enjoy the training because each workout has its own little goals and I am wired to appreciate accomplishing goals. That’s probably why I enjoyed teaching beginning band more than any other grade…EVERYTHING they do in beginning band is a challenge and then an accomplishment!
- Arrive Happy, Healthy, and Injury-Free…This will be impacted significantly by the third goal, but keeping perspective and a positive mental outlook is worth a lot.
- Be More Balanced….this is the big one. Against my better judgement, I sort of listened to those that say lifting weights is useless in Ironman training. Prior to my triathlon days, I lifted frequently and was fundamentally balanced from my right side to my left side and did not have “neglected” muscle groups. During all three seasons of IM training, I got to the point where, when going down stairs, I could not bend my knees far enough to reach the next step and had to “buckle” to go down the steps. I think this was a muscle imbalance, but I did not want to take time to correct it. Also, I could routinely swim 1:40, sometimes 1:35, per 100 yards and now I am consistently 1:50/100 yards and this is due to loss of upper body strength. So, the plan is to return to what I know…lifting (and core work) matters. It’s the fourth discipline of triathlon. I sometimes call it “dry swimming” (I was a swimmer before triathlete so my technique is decent). Being a teacher, I know all too well that there has to be a measurement to assess progress, so by 16 May (IMTX), I will be able to perform, with perfect technique, push-ups and pull-ups (number TBD)
Chunk two of 2015 (May through December) will be unusual because summer band starts in late June and for the first time in many summers, I will not be training for IM…I will likely still do Ironman Muncie 70.3 (I live in Muncie) or, I have always wanted to do the RAIN ride (Ride Across Indiana). Specific race plans will be determined after IMTX, but anything is a possibility.