I've been in planning mode the past several weeks, both for me and the athletes I'm coaching. For 2014, I'm approaching things slightly differently than I have in the past. In years past, I signed up for all of the races that I wanted to do and then I built my plan around that. That's not a bad approach, but this year I picked my A races and then built my plan and then I looked for B and C races that fit into that plan. This left out a couple of races I wanted to do, but it also helped me build a better plan for Chattanooga.
My season is built around a block of races that don't necessarily fit together the best, but that's life. My highest priority race this season is Ironman Chattanooga on September 28, 2014. Ideally, I wouldn't do a lot of racing, or maybe no racing, in the weeks leading into that race so I could focus on my training. BUT...Age Group Nationals is less than 90 minutes away for one more year and I qualified for Age Group Worlds in the Olympic and Sprint distance. Nationals is the weekend of August 10 and Worlds is the weekend of August 30. It's not ideal, but I felt like I would really regret not racing Nationals and Worlds so I had to go for it.
So the challenge then becomes, how do I prepare to race two Olympic and Sprint distance races and an Ironman all within an 8 week block? Well....
The focus will be Ironman. Nationals and Worlds will be my speed work, and the spacing works out surprisingly well. When I'm in a big training block for an Ironman, I tend to go with a 2 on, 1 off weekly pattern so the weeks of Nationals and Worlds become my recovery weeks and it looks like this:
Not bad. The toughest part of that schedule is going to be the travel required for Worlds, which is in Edmonton, Canada. That will cut down my training volume that week quite a bit, but one thing I learned in the past is that I do best making that week 4 weeks out from an Ironman an easy week, so it kind of works out. Hopefully, I'll come back from Canada feeling well-rested and ready to take on one final big block of training.
Here's my tentative schedule for 2014:
April 13 - Cherry Valley 20K Time Trial
April 26 - Crazylegs Classic 8K
5/17-18 - Double Duathlon Weekend - Beloit and Delafield Duathlons back to back
6/1 - Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon
6/8 - Kansas 70.3
6/14 - Horribly Hilly Hundreds 200K Challenge Ride
7/6 - Janesville Sprint Triathlon
7/13 - Muncie 70.3
7/20 - Stray Kats 40K Time Trial
8/10 - Age Group Nationals
8/16 - Double Bong 40K Time Trial (maybe)
8/30 - Age Group Worlds
9/28 - Ironman Chattanooga