Sunday, October 22, 2006

My Standard Weekly Targets

Tapering frees up time for reflection. Now I'm starting to look back over the last year. Some day after the race I'll post after Ironman Florida about my training plan and comment on what I should have changed and what I would have kept the same.

As the mom of twin 3-year-olds, also a single mom 4 days per week now, the biggest challenge was getting time while the girls were being minded so that I was able to get in the workouts at all. This never seemed to happen on a regular schedule, so sticking to a huge pre-planned workout schedule or coach-assigned plan seemed nearly impossible for me. From time to time I could find work-arounds, but never on a consistent week-after-week basis. So I trained when I could, and didn't train when I couldn't. I could certainly have done more on the bike trainer, but perhaps not without becoming clinically insane. So there you have it. That's my reality.

The very BEST thing that I did this year in preparing for Ironman Florida was to set minimum weekly targets for workout distances and keep track of them every single day in my sidebar.

That gave me consistency and some accountability, which I greatly needed. Because, as we all know, I'm fundamentally a sedentary slacker at heart. I'm much more inclined to blow off workouts and sleep late than get them all done and to do all that I had planned each time, week after week after week.

There were a few weeks where I didn't get in much running, a few weeks where I didn't get in much cycling, a few weeks that I didn't swim at all, a couple weeks when I was sick, and a few weeks when I didn't watch my food intake closely. But they were exceptions. The rule was no-excuses consistency in doing at the very least a minimum amount in each discipline each week.

For the 42 weeks that we have had to train so far in 2006:

Not exactly the 42/44 weeks that I had targeted in each discipline, but not too far off.

Average training time per week for the first 40 weeks of 2006 (before I got sick right after Chesapeakeman and had two very, very light weeks):

  • Core: 0.7 hours
  • Swim: 1.9 hours
  • Bike: 4.0 hours
  • Run: 3.3 hours
  • Total: 10.0 hours

Longer stuff for the final 18 weeks before the taper began 2 weeks pre-race:

  • 3/4 Ironman distance swim goal (2900 meters or more) met: 9 out of 18 weeks
  • 3/4 Ironman distance bike goal (84 miles or more) met: 7 out of 18 weeks
  • 3/4 Ironman distance running goal (19.6 miles or more) met: 7 out of 18 weeks
Is it enough? It definitely isn't by many athlete's standards. Most Ironman triathletes will tell you about far more hours in training. This would be considered minimalist training by most triathletes. That's okay. I'm just posting them for the record - to sum up what I've done this year, definitely not to brag nor to elicit shocked gasps of horror. They're my real numbers for 4/5 of a year of my life, not glossed over or puffed up for public consumption. It is what it is.

Is it ever enough? It will have to be enough, because it's too late for me to do more without messing up my big race day. The proof is in the pudding - the Ironman Florida finish line - and the pudding won't be done for another couple of weeks.

The point is that the tracking method that I used DID help my consistency enormously and kept me focused on getting in SOME distance in each discipline every week. Training for an Ironman is just too big of a monster not to break it down into manageable bite-sized weekly portions. Maybe it's a tool that you can use too.


21st Century Mom said...

We know it is enough because in addition to the training you have done some events. The fact that you could fit that much training into your life is very commendable. Go Nancy!

Duane said...

Go, enjoy, and conquer!

Cliff said...


You will do great in IM. I think the most important is to be consistent. And consistent at a cost of training big volume (the higher volume we train,t he harder it is for us to be consistent).

The hardest part for me is to keep a consistent food log. This will be fix this season.

I am saying you are ready b/c 90% ppl going into IM are over trained. You, the 10%, are under trained.

Habeela said...

In my quest to surround myself with as much inspirational material as possible during this off-season, I LOVE!!!!! this idea! I think I may need to adopt it for 2007. It clearly pays off.

nancytoby said...

Good! I hope it helps! I kept hearing that consistency was key, but nobody ever said how to MEASURE consistency. I'm all about the numbers. :-)