'Tis the season
'Tis the season to decorate for x-mas. Now that that's done (see pic), back to training. 'Tis the season for that too.
But first, a fun fact: 'Tis...I never thought about it until I started writing this post but I had to stop and think: is it 'Tis or T'is? I wasn't sure if it was short for it is or this is. So I looked it up, and it's short for it is (so is it's, by the way).
So Ironman training officially started this week. I like to compare my training to what I did the year before so I can see if I'm making progress and/or doing more volume. Unfortunately, I lost my training log when my computer melted down a few weeks ago so I cannot compare. I can only go by memory, which at my advanced age is fuzzy at best. Ah, the twilight years.
But, 'tis not too hard to remember how much I swam in December. Zero. Nada. I stopped swimming right after Ironman (September) and didn't get back in the pool until January 10, and even then I only swam a few times in January. They say your swimming fitness comes back the quickest, and I let that thinking go to my head. I'll get back to where I was really fast and then build on that, I thought. So the end result was a swim time in Florida that was almost identical to my swim time in Madison one year before. Not bad, but not what my original goal was.
This year, that won't cut it. I'm approaching things differently. I want to train like a swimmer, focus on all aspects of swimming - freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, flip turns, dolphin kicks.... you name it. It's not that I would use most of those things in the Ironman, but they'll make me a better/stronger swimmer and that's what I need if I'm going to come out of the water in an hour next September. To be a better swimmer, train like a swimmer. Makes sense.
To go with my new swimming approach, I'm going to sign up for a masters swim meet in January or February (or both). To get Matt to join our relay team, I agreed to swim the 100 butterfly. Right now I can barely do 25 yards of very ugly butterfly so I have tons of work to do in the coming weeks. There is no way I can learn the butterfly well enough to be competitive. Last place is a guarantee. But I don't care. That's not what it's about. I need something to focus on to keep me motivated to swim, so if making a fool of myself at a local masters meet is what it takes, so be it. I'm willing to come in last (by a lot) if that's going to help me meet my end goal.
So, for the winter, my main goals are to improve my swimming, get in a lot of running miles and maintain my bike fitness the best I can. Then next spring and summer, I'll try to continue with the swim improvement, but mainly I'll be trying to take the speed I gained over the winter and add endurance to it. I'll continue with lots of running miles and hit the bike really hard. Lots of bricks too.
So this week and next week are my "prep" phase of training, which means I'm more or less just getting back into it. These weeks are pretty easy. My volume is low and I'm not working too hard. Just getting in some base miles and trying to get some fitness back. Then it's 'Base 1 - Week 1.' That's when the volume picks up and things get a little more intense.
Complaint: I tried changing the font on this post after publishing it because the font I chose was pretty small. For some reason, Blogger is horrible at things like that. For what is more or less just a word processor, it's a horrible word processor. I feel like I'm working with an Apple IIe over here. Real floppies and grounding myself before touching the computer. Step it up, Blogger!