I almost had to laugh out loud writing that title…since I have never done anything vaguely resembling a traditional training cycle. So, there is a first time for everything!
The recent off-season was mostly just “off”. I didn’t do much except sit around, train (errr…play with) our two new puppies, and watch movies. I jumped on the elliptical in our basement once every week or two, but I basically lost my entire fitness base.
Looking back at last season, I thought I had maintained a generally consistent training schedule…but old blog posts can reveal some painful truths. Last winter was a whole lot of nothing, and I was just faking the training throughout the season. I knew that I was completely untrained for the Fargo Marathon last spring, but I had forgotten about the complete lack of training that went into triathlon season. I showed up at the HITS Waconia sprint on 3 hours of sleep and ZERO cycling or swimming in the previous month. I almost got a DNF on the swim but somehow got my first (and only) podium award by winning my age group (sometimes luck trumps training).
Prior to that, I was a training machine. My regular “not training for anything specific” long weekly run was 15 miles. I was always Half Marathon trained and could ramp up to a Full Marathon on short notice.
For three years, I was in a perpetual training mode (including several winter events) and working my way towards Ironman Wisconsin. I actually did a 30 week training program for that event, Afterwards, I shifted to run only training with a marathon every couple of months. There was an ultramarathon and back to back marathons sprinkled into the season as well. By the end, I was burnt out, and mostly went into hibernation.
This spring, I knew I had to get back into some consistent training. My weight was slowly drifting up, my endurance was drifting down, and my healthy habits had vanished. I also have two Olympic Distance Triathlons on the calendar (July and August). The rest of the schedule is pretty light by my standards, but I have only completed Sprint Triathlons since 2014. I knew I had to do something.
I had a few false starts to my training in March and April. The Hot Chocolate 15k in mid-April was the rude wake-up call that I knew it would be. When I turned the calendar page to May, the alarms went off in my head. It was time to start a training cycle…arguable the first traditional training cycle since I started running in 2012.
I got my bike tuned up and have purchased a 3-month pass for the local community center pool. I have a schedule and I have stuck to it for the last couple of weeks. The schedule is not all that intense or time-consuming, but I am not used to it anymore, and it will take time for this to become a routine. It is not ideal, but it fits into my work schedule.
Monday: Swim (1 mile)
Wednesday: Swim (1 mile)
Thursday: Brick (32 mile bike, 5-10k run)
Friday: Run 10k (optional depending on work schedule)
Saturday: Run 10k
Sunday: Run 10k
I am slow at everything. Everything hurts. Endurance isn’t there (yet). I have a couple of months to improve fitness enough that I should be able to enjoy my triathlons .
Once those are done, I have the Loony Challenge 6 weeks later at the Twin Cities Marathon Weekend (10k/5k/1 mile on Saturday, 10 mile on Sunday). So, the plan is to keep the run fitness going for the rest of the season.
Then, I need to figure out what sustainable fitness and wellness looks like during the off season.
But, for now, I think that I am back on track…
…and the journey continues.