Monday, January 8, 2018

2018: Back to Triathlon--Here we go!

2018 Goals

As you might recall, 2017 was intended to be a year where two major phases in my athletic career were mostly wrapping up:  1. I planned IM Arizona to be my 14th and last IM; and 2. our family was to wingman with Anders as he completed his Seven Summits Quest.  I did indeed knock off IM Arizona (albeit, painfully slowly) and as documented here, Anders, with our family in tow, did achieve his dream and summited his Seventh Continental highpoint on Christmas Day.

Mission accomplished, right?  On to something else, right?  I had even started to think 2018 might be the year I attempted to solo ride across the country (I did RAAM a few years back as part of a relay). I also thought about a couple of longer trek oriented things with a wild ass dream of the AT still a (small) possibility.

But then a funny thing happened.  I told Anders shortly after IMAZ that it was my last IM and he was a bit surprised saying that he thought we would do another one together, now that his Seven Summits quest is over.  My response: OK, let's go!  IMFL together is now on the agenda.

As you know, I've been struggling physically ever since our climb in Antartica in the beginning of 2015.  My right leg stopped functioning normally and i was beset with excruciating pain, which ultimately turned out to be Degenerative Disc disease femoral nerve root compression) and was addressed through an epidural.  Then, later in 2015, I had cubital tunnel syndrome, which necessitated elbow surgery.  2015 was a complete wash, in fact at that time I figured my Tri career was over.  I was able to ease back into triathlon with 4 sprints in 2016.

After Nepal this year, I returned with debilitating shoulder bursitis and could not really swim from May to late August.  On top of that, my various struggles didn't seem to help my knee, which probably related to all the climbing, continued to deteriorate.  Further, as I was trying to push past all of this in the build to IMAZ, I tore up my feet pretty badly on some rocks in a Sprint triathlon at the beginning of the swim and couldn't run for 6 weeks.

Frankly, my motivation for IM training and racing was very diminished (what's the point?) and as it turns out, not being fit is not a good plan for trying to race IM distance triathlons--at least when you are 60!

Then Anders asked the question and strangely, the experience of suffering through IMAZ AND still getting there with plenty of time to spare (yes 17 hour cut-offs now have to be considered as I think about this sport) has reignited my IM passion.  And so here we go again!

You can see in my goals at the top of this Blog--I'm going to have 2018 be a year to focus on triathlon once again (after 3 years of not), race a bunch of SC triathlons (hopefully nail my 50th AG career win) and maybe, just maybe, qualify for Kona through the XC program.

1st Week Totals

I have a pretty clear training strategy, which I'll elaborate a bit later this week, but I just finished week one.  I struggled with a cold and had to curtail my swimming but did manage to get a lot of work done, especially on the bike (which is my initial emphasis)--all of it indoors on the trainer (Wahoo Kickr and some junk miles on my recumbent):

Swim: 1,500 yards
Bike: 322 miles
Run: 12 miles
Weights/PT: 3 hours 50 minutes
Total time: 24:20

This biggest change is the intensity I'm already starting to hit with the Kickr as I've entered and become addicted to the world of Zwift.  My FTP is about 210-220 watts right now and my race plan for IMFL tells me I need to get this up to 260-270 watts (15-20% increase) by November.  I believe this is doable given my demonstrated levels of historical FTP (was 295 watts in 2007)

I'll detail my annual plan and targets shortly.

2017 Volume Summary

I did actually train a great deal in 2017--most of it was of very modest intensity, since I wasn't really able to get my act together to race (just three races, 1 AG win).  Really, I was mostly exercising for health reasons (mostly mental).  Also, a majority of the "run" distance was actually climbing/trekking.  Nonetheless, here are the totals:

Swim:121,000 yards
Bike: 9,261 miles
Run: 1,387 miles
Weights/PT: 68 hours
Total time: 1014 hours

This represents on average 19.5 hours/week of exercise or about 2 hours and 45 minutes a day.

My time split was: 57% cycling;   run/climb/trek: 32%;   weights/PT: 7%;  Swim: 4%.

I think the "proper" IM distribution, at least for me is about:

Bike: 50%
Run: 33%
Swim: 12%
Other: 5%

I'll detail my 2018 training approach shortly!

Onward and Upward!

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