Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Your Mark... Get Set...

Almost Go! This weekend marks the end of my off season and the beginning of the training year. I'll have to say it's been a good few months off. I did a little bit of running, a little spinning, no swimming, and not one single regret.

It's strange reading some of my friend's stories and not feeling jealous. They jumped right into some early 2011 races which means they've been training for at least a month now. While a piece of me is jealous, I know for certain that I made the right choice by staying away from training.

During the work out season, many of the things in my life take a seat on the shelf because time is not a luxury. There are just too many things to get done an not enough time to do it. That means sacrifices and compromises need to be made. While there's a lot of that going on the one thing I don't sacrifice is my training. Since training takes up so much of my non-work hours, I need to fill the remainder of my non-work hours with chores like house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and other errands. A direct result of this is a lot of things I'd otherwise love to do don't get done: reading a book, simply relaxing playing a crossword puzzle, watching TV, eating junk food, etc.

As a rule I've decided to take most of the months of October, November and December off from training in order to catch up on life and recharge my mind and soul. Just like we need time away from work or school we also need time away from training.

This time away from training was particularly necessary because I just finished training for and completing Ironman Wisconsin. While it was a monumentous event and a great experience all the way around, it consumed my life for roughly 9 months. In that time that's all I did. It's all I thought about. My world revolved around it. And after 9 months of Ironman I can safely say it caused my world to crash and burn. I was as excited to be done with Ironman as I was to do it. Once the race was over I dropped exercising like the ball and chain it had become and refocused my life.

Over the past few months I refocused on my work, my relationship and my junk food eating. And I'm confident that this time off was a success. I'm happier, less healthy, more fat and, most importantly, ready to start training again. The thought of jumping into a pool or hitting the trails running or biking doesn't make me sick to my stomach any more. In fact, it sound exhilarating. I can't wait to jump into a spin class early in the morning. I'm really looking forward to being stuck in a 25 yard lap lane pool. And it sounds fantastic to start running with CARA for my winter trainings.

I'm ready to be back and ready to train.

So far I've gotten into all the races I've aimed to get into and at the beginning of the year will sign up for the last few I want to do. On the calendar I've got:
  • Illinois Marathon
  • Flying Pig Marathon
  • Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon

and in the queue is
  • Breakwater Triathlon and
  • Door County Triathlon.

The marathons fall on April 30 and May 1, respectively. I've then got one month to switch gears and get ready for the Escape From Alcatraz tri which falls on June 5. The Door Country tri is July 23 which gives me about 1.5 months to get ready for that one. And finally is the Breakwater tri over the August 27 weekend, another month separation.

My plan

Starting Monday I'm going to follow a 6-day per week training regimine for the marathons which will include running, swimming and biking. I'll run two days per week, swim two days per week and bike two days per week. I'll mix in weights 3 days and stretching over lunch. It'll be a subtile return to training but give me some decent exposure to all three disciplines while I build my endurance back up again.

After the marathons I'll plan on mimicking my Mark Allen training to finish getting ready for the Escape. Then, for the next few months, I'll keep building up and working on endurance and strength. That should be about it. I may add some late season races just because August seems too early to stop training but we'll cross that bridge later.

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