In planning a season there are many factors one should consider. What are the short and long term goals of course, lessons from the previous year and constraints that may guide a season. In my case, the year appears to be a very busy one. With work getting more and more exciting – and as such busier and busier – a move across the ocean to Europe with the family and a priority on spending time with my lovely wife and children, the only thing I might be short of this year will be time.
My goals haven’t changed. I want to build a solid base over the nest few years that will allow me to eventually complete an Ironman all the while balancing my other priorities such as work and family. My plan is therefore to have sufficient fitness to complete some Half Ironman distances this year and perhaps even the next few years to build a well rounded experience and athleticism that will take me to complete a full 140.6. I have no timeframe to reach the final goal for two main reasons. The first is that I simply cannot find the time to train for a full these next few years with my work. To add to that, I find the journey so exciting that I can take my time.
Now onto the lessons learned! Last year’s season was fantastic in many ways. My first half marathon, my first olympic, and second, and third… Yet I fell short of my goals in several ways. Of course, the obvious is that I failed to start Miami 70.3 Despite all the training (or perhaps because of it), I came down with pneumonia, incapable of getting up to get a glass of water, let alone swim, bike and run. But beyond the obvious goal, I also failed in a few areas namely in injury and illness which was a clearly stated goal.
In 2010 I suffered from stomach lining inflammation (leading to anemia), several colds, sprained ankles, and a severe knee issue at the end of the season and beginning of this year. These setbacks hampered my training and prevented me from being in top shape throughout the season. This year, consistency in training will be even more important. With my professional demands, it is quite likely that volume will not be very high as I travel the world for my clients. In this scenario, it will be absolutely critical to overcome low volume with consistency and the only way to achieve that is to stay healthy and injury free. This means probably low racing volume so that I have more time between races to rest, recover and not be under big pressure to take risks and injure myself.
So with all this in mind, it is important to keep the race schedule manageable and low stress. Clearly, a 70.3 must be on the calendar and probably later in the season after our move to Europe. Since it’ll be geographically close, Ironman 70.3 Aix En Provence seems to be ideal even with the interesting bike leg (And I’m not a climber…). With this in mind, it’ll be good to have a couple of solid months of training before Aix and I would really like to know how my body reacts to Half-Iron distances before this big race so the local Virginia Kinetic-Half will be perfect. The folks at Setup Events put up great races and I might know a person or two who will race it making it more of a stress-free race for me. Finally, before the half, it’ll be good to get an Olympic tune-up race a month or so out and it turns out that Rumpus in Bumpass is exactly a month before the Kinetic Half and put up by the same folks at Setup Events.
So there you have it, a lean season in terms of volume of races, but each one counts. I’d like to find a tune-up race in August before my A race. We’ll see if I find one but it’s not a big deal. I might sprinkle in some running races here and there to spice up the season.
2011 Triathlon Season:
- Rumpus in Bumpass (Olympic)
- Kinetic Half (Half Ironman Distance)
- Ironman 70.3 Pays D’Aix
This should keep the pressure of racing low enough that I’ll enjoy every race and limit the impact on my family but give me enough experience that will make them successful.