I'm a creature of routine. Last year, I worked off a 20-week training plan to prep for the Ironman. Was it the optimal plan for me? I don't know. But, it did give me some structure. Some people have the motivation to train on their own, without anyone telling them what to do. But I benefit more when I have someone telling me what to do, even if it is just a sheet printed off from an on-line training plan.
Even after the Ironman, I found myself getting into a steady workout routine. Monday was Pilates, Tuesday was cycling on the trainer, Wednesday was a long swim, Thursday was a long run, Saturday was (and still is) spinning with the Twin Cities Spoke and Sunday was a hodgepodge of whatever floated my boat that day. I've also been peppering in some good 1/2 hour workouts over lunch - one of the bonuses of working across the street from my gym. In the end, I've been averaging around 8-10 hours per week. Through the winter, this routine was good. But after a while, being in a routine started to turn into being in a rut. That's why I'm looking forward to next Monday.
Since the Ironman won't be happening this year, my first 'A' race will be the Chisago 1/2 Ironman in July. Believe it or not, that's only 21 weeks away. Since I'm a cheapo, I'll be doing the same free training program from Beginner Triathlete that I did last year. So, my 20-week plan will start on March 6. Routine! Yay!
Now, I know what you're wondering. Why would he do an Ironman plan when his longest tri is only half that distance? Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first is my 2nd 'A' race of the year - the Twin Cities Marathon. I don't want to skimp on my running in May, June and July. I figure that the Full Ironman plan should give me the running volume I need to be prepared for the marathon. That way, I can taper off the swimming and cycling a bit in August and September.
The second reason I'm going with the longer plan is that, well, I just plain ol' like to train. I love looking forward to a 80-100 mile bike ride over the weekend, or a good brick session out at Baker Park. So, as long as The Wife will let me, I'll keep doing it. (Thanks Hon!)
What's on tap this week? Well, I made it back to pilates again after a couple weeks off. It felt so good that I'll probably try to incorporate it into my summer training schedule. It may not be every week, but I'll try to fit it in from time to time. I'll hit the foam roller to iron out a few minor cramping issues in my calves and booty. Note to self: Beware of plyometric squat-thrusts. But mostly, I'm just going to take it easy and enjoy a rest week before I get serious. Granted, my 'serious' still isn't all that serious compared to other people's 'serious'. Seriously. You know what I mean.