I want to do a triathlon. They’re so much fun. First, I need to really be ready and in shape.
Yes, I know I could get out there and try a sprint tri this weekend, but it wouldn’t be the same as if I were fit, slim, and able to do each leg of the race without effort. If I did a race this weekend, I would be fine on the swim, would be in pain on the bike, and would have to walk most of the run.
I don’t want that.
I want to do a triathlon to compete.
I want to get in a lake and elbow my way to the front of the swimmers.
I want to pass people on my bike.
I want to keep a steady pace and not have to walk the run portion of the race.
I want to kick butt.
I want to be able to do more than one triathlon in a season and see my times improve.
So, why haven’t I done a May race and a June race and why aren’t I signed up for a July race and an August race and a September race and an October race? Why?
Well, let’s go ahead and lay out the excuses, shall we?
I like chocolate, including ice cream, cookies, and candy bars. If I see chocolate, I can’t say no. Seriously. Ask my friends. They have a heart attack if I actually refuse a cookie.
I’m 20 pounds overweight. Honestly.
My previous weight loss program failed, because the weight loss center closed and I didn’t feel like talking to someone over the phone instead of in person. Plus, I didn’t care about following their plan anymore. Thus, the weight came back.
More recently, I’ve been sick the past few weeks, and I’m finally feeling well enough to exercise.
Also recently, I’ve finished the school year, so I have quite a bit of nothing to do right now. It’s just perfect to get a lot of exercise in.
I’m going to continue using my current training book: Triathlete Magazine’s Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide. It has workouts for 10 different levels of triathlete fitness. Levels 1-4 are for people preparing for a tri for the first time or after a bit of an absence. Levels 5 and up are for seasoned triathletes wanting to improve their performance.
I’ll be sticking with Levels 1-4. I’ll be training for a sprint triathlon. The programs for sprint triathlons are 12 weeks long. Since I’m off work for the summer, I’m going to try to get through those weeks much faster. Instead of doing one workout a day, I’ll try to do 2-3. I’m thankful to the parent of one of my students for giving me a massage certificate, because if I can do this new training program, I’m going to need it!
Since swimming is going well, I will do Level 4 swims. I have a pool less than a mile away (Finally, a local pool is open for the summer!). Level 4 swims are usually about 1,600 – 1,800 yards per session.
I’m terribly unfit on a racing bike. I’m also scared to ride it outside! I’m fearful of being run over by a bus.
Anyways, I’ll be doing Level 1 for cycling. Before, I tried Level 4, but it really was too much time on the bike at a time. My shoulders couldn’t take holding the cycling position that long. Pedaling wasn’t a problem, but arm and core strength were. Workouts will be 20 – 30 minutes, which I think I can handle. I want to build up endurance, so that I can get comfortable being on my bike. I’ll probably use my borrowed bike trainer to bike inside, especially if I finally get around to biking at later times in the day. I don’t want to be around traffic.
Running. For a while, I went to a free jogging group nearby, but I felt it was getting to be too hot a time of day, I didn’t like that it cut into dinner time, I didn’t like waiting for the group to start, and when other people were in the group, I was so slow that if I went my own pace, I got left behind in the dust. Either that or I’d try to match their pace and I’d have to start doing a lot of walking, because I would get too tired. I think I’m better jogging on my own right now.
Since I want to continue to build up my running endurance, and I want to be able to do a running workout without walking, I will go back to Level 1. Increasing my speed with quick sprints and intervals will have to wait until later. They just tire me out and I have to walk to finish my allotted time. My running workouts will be 20-25 minutes long. I’m okay with 20, but I see 25 minutes as pushing it.
To help myself plan my workouts better, and to be able to do several in a short period of time, I typed them up in Excel. Here’s a picture:
To explain a few of the abbreviations:
SWU2 -swim warm up 2
SDS2 -swim drill set 2
SBI7 -swim base intervals 7
SKS2 – swim kick set 2
SCD2 -swim cool down 2
CRR1 -cycling recovery ride 1
RFR1 – run foundation run 1
Now, I know that any seasoned triathletes out there reading this are going to say that I need to do strength training. Yes, I know. For strength training, I might use exercises from my previous triathlon training book: The 12-Week Triathlete. I might also use shows on the Fit TV or Exercise on Demand channels on my TV. Also, I could use my Wii Fitness Coach. We’ll see.
As for losing those 20 pounds, besides exercising, I’m trying Slim Fast again. We’ll see how that goes. Yesterday, I got so hungry on it that I went for Chinese food and make cookies.
I think my main concerns in starting this rigorous training program is that I’ll:
- get injured
- have to go out of town where I won’t be able to keep up with my exercise or eating plans