Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Plan for 2015

It's nearly 2015 and my race calendar for the upcoming season is pretty full already. I will no doubt fill in the spaces between with a race here and there, but my major triathlon plans are complete.

I am challenging myself in 2015 to complete three 70.3s--Tinman, Peasantman and Incredoubleman, which I DNF (Did Not Finish) last year.

But my big news is qualifying for Age Group National Championships by winning my age group in the Incredoubleman sprint race. Boy, was I surprised by that email! The Nationals sell out pretty quickly, so I booked a hotel as soon as I could (since that can always be canceled) just in case the race was full. It wasn't, and I'm in. August 8, 2015 I will be competing with the top amateur Olympic-distance triathletes in the country. I know I won't finish last, but I wouldn't care if I did (well, maybe I would). I'll never have this chance again and I will go to Milwaukee with the foremost goal of enjoying the experience.

So with my ambitious schedule published at right, here is my off-season plan for being the most fit I can be so I can compete at my best throughout the year.

  • Weight-lifting, twice a week. We're not talking mega poundage here, but enough weight to tone without bulking. I am especially focusing on hip strength to avoid a repeat of the knee issues that plagued me last summer.
  • Get my new bike on a trainer, which means getting my butt to the CNY Tri Club's Winter Training Facility (WTF) so I can build a base of cycling fitness. The bike is my weakness, and I know I have to work on it more often. And thanks to my husband for buying me a spiffy tri bike so I have no more excuses. 
  • Swim three times a week, with two of those drill-focused. I gave myself a good long time off from specific swim training after my last tri in mid-September. For 10 weeks I just swam. December 1 marked my return to the paddles, swim buoy and kickboard. I received all of those for Christmas last year, and training with them helped my race-day swimming considerably.
  • Be more religious about speedwork. Now that the Liverpool High School track is open again to the public, I truly have no reasons not to trot over there once a week. To race fast you have to train fast, and that means repeats at the track or on the treadmill when the weather isn't cooperating.
  • I always, year after year, work on my diet. Not "diet" to lose weight, but "diet" as in what I eat. Last year's effort to reduce processed food was successful, although I do like a bowl of cereal for breakfast when it's not oatmeal season. I really want to decrease sugar intake this year, though it won't be easy. Sugar has become the new salt as far as nutrition is concerned. It's just so bad for you. So, so bad. Also, increase intake of quality protein. Endurance athletes tend to focus on carbs, carbs, carbs, and while we need those I know I need more protein, especially for recovery. I am trying to incorporate some non-meat sources as well--quinoa, especially, and black beans. I love black beans.
So there it is in a nutshell. Easy, right? Right. In a perfect world, achieving those goals every day would be automatic. But what world is perfect? As long as you try to do better every day, you're making progress.