Friday, January 09, 2009

Training Lessons from 2008, Goals for 2009

Planning my 2009 has to start with a look back at 2008. What was a success, and what was not. First the successes:

Increased threshold power on the bike by 10% over winter.
Finished my first marathon.
Completed my first 100 mile bike ride (with 11,000 feet of climbing no less).
Did more races/events than ever before.

Then the failures:
Did not complete training for marathon due to sickness.
Swim training never really got off the ground causing me to bail out on the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim.
DNF the Grand Tour Double Metric by not being prepared (co2 is not enough on a century ride -- you need a pump, not just one tube and lots of patches).
Actually lost some threshold power on the bike training for the double metric century.

Looking back I think I tried to do too much. At the end of last year I realized that my triathlon training was unsustainable. I wanted to do longer and more challenging events, but could not realisticlly train for them with the time I have and still succeed in the other other areas of my life that are important to me. So instead I planned on doing single sport events so that I could focus on one sport at a time and let the others become crosstraining. Not a bad plan, but running a marathon turned into doing a marathon, a two mile swim and then a crazy long ride. Lots of people can do all these events, but apparently I am not one of them.

So my only stretch endurance event will be a marathon. Probably the SF Marathon. An because it will be my main endurance event for the year, it makes sense that I do it later in the year. I really would like to shoot for under 4.5 hours. I'm not really tested on the running front because last year's run training was devestated by a six week double occurance of the flu, but I think if I am to reach this goal, I need to really up the volume and frequency. So I am going to aim for 4-5 runs a week. That means more mixing in running with swimming and biking.

But I still want to do some other events. I think that I was able to significantly increase my power on the bike over the winter because I was doing short intense trainer rides and longer slower paced runs. Looking back I think that this mixture was effective because on the bike you can really build the muscle with intensity without your joints getting to beat up (unlike doing track repeats) and the long runs develop a metabolic endurance that passes over to your cycling. So I think that will be a combination that I will pursue again this year. No long rides over two hours. Just short, intense rides to boost power. My goal is to raise my threshold power on the bike to 250 watts.

I think that the fact that my swimming never really got off the ground was mostly due to frustration with not improving. To improve, I really need to focus on technique rather than volume. The clinic I went to late last year was a good start, but I need to drill, baby drill. As a result I don't plan on doing any swimming events this year. I will just do short swims where I can drill and maintain quality throughout the session. I plan on doing that 'til the marathon, at which point I will add in a bit of volume to prepare for a late season Olympic distance triathlon. I would like to get my thresold pace down to 2:00 per hundred meters.

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