Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ironman or Stupid-Dan Training- Yet to be Determined

Since right after Christmas, I have been training for Ironman St. George. Although definitely not on a typical training plan, I had done my research on optimal training regimes, ideal hours per week, periodization, and the like. It has been suggested that what I have been doing, however, is not Ironman training but rather Stupid-Dan training. As Amber likes to put it- it appears that I like to research training more than actually participate in it. It has definitely been true.
   I have read numerous articles that you need to be swimming, at interval pace, 3-4 days a week for neuromuscular adaptations to begin to take place. And yet, I am swimming 1-2/week at a meandering(at best) pace.
   For every extra pound of body weight, your body has to absorb substantially more shock on the run, produce more force on the bike, and requires increased capillarization to get blood to your muscles. And yet, as I am typing, I am chowing down on my second cupcake of the day.
  Biking is, by far, the largest portion of the race and oftentimes where it is either won or lost. It is also my weakest link, so I knew I needed to devote HOURS a week to this end. And yet, I bought rollers and spend a couple thirty minute sessions a week on them. At the start of my training plan, I had planned on getting six 6+hour rides, and six to eight 4+hour rides in. I have gotten exactly one 4 hour ride and nothing longer than that.
  I started out planning to do every run as a transition run(meaning that I would bike first and then run after). I was fairly successful with this goal until the weather got so cold that I'd get off the spin bike and not go out. I did get in a 25 mile(less than a quarter of the distance I need to cover at St. George) ride before this weekend's SEA 5K and then threw down a 17:51. Yes that's right 5:45's. Yes, that is the same pace that I did for 13.1 miles at a much windier and hilly New Bedford. That result was so daunting to me that I scratched my plans for biking to Newmarket the next day for the Great Bay Half Marathon. I would have been much more pleased with my time there, if I had biked before.

It seems that the hardest part for me of this Ironman Training, really is the commitment to drop all other things from your life. I should have skipped a lot of the races that I have done this winter/early spring and replaced them with long rides. I should have gone to bed without staying up to watch that movie so I could get an extra half hour in the pool. I should have skipped Hurling practice and gone for a ride. I should have done this or not done that so that I could have been better prepared. And yet, I look at where I am now compared to last year and realize that although my training has been a bit unorthodox and that I have probably missed out on optimizing my fitness, I am still getting stronger and finding a comfortable balance between training and life. Because training isn't, and shouldn't, be life but rather one facet that melds seamlessly together to form a good life without regret. I know I may not produce the best times or even qualify for Kona, but I will go into the race without regret and plan to have a blast. And as Old Blue Eyes once said, I did it my way.

The first test of Danny's Training plan is this weekend in Galveston Texas at Ironman Texas 70.3.

1 comment:

  1. Finally! Someone who's doing an Ironman and isn't obsessed with training 24/7! I wouldn't write a book on your 'training' method but I applaud you for doing it your way. Lots of good stuff to do out there! Have fun in TX.