Well I pulled the trigger and signed up for New Orleans 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) on April 17th, 2011. Now it's time to choose or create a training plan. It's also time to create my training schedule. Training plans are pretty similar in some ways since the goal is to swim, bike, and run, duh! A bigger decision is how many days of each workout to do and how many two a days to do. Some plans are balanced 2x per week, others balanced 3x per week, then others add an extra day of running or cycling.
I saw some decent improvements when I upped my running to 5x per week, so ideally I would like to keep that frequency going. Most plans don't have that high of run frequency nor the kind of volume half marathon plans have. I'm guessing it it because running is harder on your body and takes more recovery than biking or swimming. It's likely I will skip at least one of these runs per week. We'll see how it goes.
Many people say it's all about the bike because it dictates how fresh you will be for the run. The bike leg of a triathlon takes about half of the total race time, so it does make sense to make the training time about half. That makes for some long rides on the trainer this winter and poses a real dilemma as to when to fit them in. The long 3+ hours rides can be done on the weekend but there are plenty of 2+ hour rides to get done during the week. So if I want to run outside at night, I would have to be on the trainer at 4 in the morning. That seems insane to me. I can't even imagine training for a full distance tri. My plan is to ride 3x per week, with an occasional 4th easy one.
I'm not a very fast swimmer and with my shoulders still not 100%, that's not going to change much for this race. In the pool I can swim 2000 yards in just over 40 minutes which is about 2 minutes per hundred. slow, but I'll take it. I checked my swim time in the 5 triathlons I did this year and was disappointed that my swim time was more like 2:30 for all five of them. They were in open water. Oh well. I am looking for a swim coach and not having much luck. I contacted my local Y and they don't know any. I think it is a form issue and the aquatics director offered to watch me swim and give pointers. I guess that is better than nothing. I haven't been swimming since I hurt my shoulders swimming in July. I've been doing physical therapy ,but I can tell they still aren't 100%. My plan is to swim 2x per week with an optional third.
So here is what I'm thinking.
Monday - off
Tuesday - AM medium run
Tuesday - PM bike
Wednesday - AM short run
Wednesday - PM swim
Thursday - AM medium run
Thursday - PM bike
Friday - AM short run (optional)
Friday - PM swim
Saturday - long ride
Sunday - long run
Of course life will get in the way, but you have to live or this becomes too much of a chore. I have sound practice for church tomorrow night so biking is unlikely. I also have plenty of other activities that will cut in to training. I'm not going to worry about it too much, I'll just try to minimize missing the long work outs.
Here are a couple of the plans I'm looking at.
Assuming I do a 20 week plan, I have about 4 weeks to choose/modify/create my plan and build up to the starting volume.
Wish me luck!