Applying The "Basic Month"

I apologize if you find these posts about my training plan long and boring.  I have to put the plan together so I figured why not do it on my blog (which I've largely ignored all year) and just throw it out there for everyone to see. 

To apply my new "Basic Month," I started by working backwards from race day.  Wisconsin and Cozumel are 11 weeks apart so it's just short of 3 full months. I want my key workout 3 weeks out from race day, and I think it fits best in week 4 of the "Basic Month" so that's where I'm starting from.  I place week 4, then add in race week, taper week (two week taper) and fill in the rest.  It now looks like this:

After Placing Key Workout and Taper

Now that I have that established, I need to chop some of it off to allow for recovery from IMWI. 

Adding Recovery from IMWI
Next I apply the "Basic Month" and make a few tweaks to it (mainly adding in recovery from IMWI and here's what I have so far (the first Monday on this is the day after IMWI):

The First 5 Weeks

The Final 6 Weeks

That's my basic outline right now.  For my key workout 3 weeks out from race day, I decided to cut out an intensity day and put the key brick on Saturday.  Sunday will be an easy day, perhaps a good day to ride with some friends and grab a cup of coffee somewhere.  One of the mistakes I made with my IMWI build was not giving myself enough easy days before and after my key workouts.  For 2010 my structure looked a lot like this and that worked well. 

My final hard bike on the Saturday before the race will be a threshold test plus a some additional suffering.  The StravaJava team is getting geared up to try and reclaim our title at the 24-hour indoor TT that weekend.  My plan will be to try and talk the team into giving me an early morning slot that day.  I'll hammer out an hour and then hop on the trainer and do some time at IM power.  It should be hot and humid in there, perfect training for Cozumel.  I did a similar workout a few weeks before IMWI 2010 that included the 40K State TT Championships followed by several 30K "TTs" at IM power.  It was a great workout. 


I didn't do this exercise for my 2012 IMWI plan. I mapped it out in my fancy schmancy CTL spreadsheet.  It wasn't this colorful. It was a lot of numbers.  Seeing the plan laid out in color like this is kind of nice.  I see a fair amount of blue.  I suspect if I were to go back and convert my IMWI plan to something like this I would see tons of orange and green, some blue, some purple and no red.  I haven't done much high intensity the past few years.  I've done tons of long, hard workouts.

My next step is to set some benchmarks I'd like to hit before the race.  Then I need to dig in and add the details, the specifics, the workouts.  That's time consuming, but not that difficult.  I keep it simple.  I'll come up with a small handful of workouts and repeat them over and over and over.  I keep my workouts pretty simple too.  To quote Joel Filliol, "Variety is for the weak-minded, and interferes with the learning process." 


I think I'll probably go through an exercise like this for next year's plan. Courtney laughs at me and thinks I'm just dazzled by all the puuuuurty colors, which may be true, but seeing it visually instead of numerically is giving me a better grasp of the overall plan - where the intensity is and isn't and where the fatigue is likely to be.  The numbers are supposed to be good for that, but you can't turn Ironman training into a math problem...as much as I'd like to.

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