Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 Preview

Now that the new year is upon us I figure its time for a season preview. 

For starters I've made the decision not to do the UBC triathlon this year. Instead my friends and I are forming two relay teams we hope will be highly competitive and hopefully win the overall.

With this race set aside I can purely focus on getting into shape for my first race of the year, the Shawnigan Half Iron. The reason I am adding pressure to this race is because its the provincial championship, and hopefully I can catch people off guard with their fitness and come out on top.

How am I going to accomplish this? Smarter training. Last season I put in a fair bit of hours but I realize in retrospect that a lot of them were junk hours, primarily on the bike. I did a lot of long hard rides but no heavy interval work. The result of which being my biking power plateaued mid season and I found it very difficult to improve from that point onwards. Unfortunately this means a lot of painfully boring time trial efforts out at Iona beside the runways at the airport. I figure that with good targeting mixed with some weight work I should be able to bring my average speed on the bike from 35 up to 37kph.

For the run, the key will be more consistency. Last summer my running was all over the place. Compared to a normal triathlete let alone those training for a marathon, my run volume was embarrassing. Rarely did my running total more than 100km a month, and usually it was closer to 60k. This year, I decided to follow a program for my runs. I was digging through my old e-mails and came across a training plan for a half marathon that my old run coach Rich MacKenzie gave me in preparation for the Ottawa Half Marathon.  I was originally planning on running the Vancouver half marathon on May 3rd as a warm up for the season, but as my mom pointed out, it wasn't worth the risk. I have a bad habit of running too hard in road races and getting injured. This is fine at the end of the season, but 3 weeks before the start of triathlon season didn't seem wise. Keeping that in mind, I decided to train for the half marathon, but not actually go through the injury provoking activity of racing. This way I should be in tip top shape for my first race 3 weeks after this program completes.

I've posted my training plan here, the yellow are days that I have successfully completed according to the plan, and as the month go by I'll update with how its going posting my progress to keep me honest. Days I miss will be in red or something. 

Click to enlarge

I know many people will be training for spring half marathons. This is a good program with very little high intensity training which should be good for anyone trying their first or tenth.

On another running note, I have been reading the book "Bowerman and the men of Oregon" by Kenny Moore. Its excellently written. Kenny Moore having been one of Bowerman's athletes give a really good perspective. When I finish it I'll have a full review most likely in painful detail.

The reason I brought this up is because a large focus of the book is on the milers that he trained, and it got me thinking. How fast can I run a mile. Back when I was in grade 10 I think my fastest 1600 was in 4:48 but I never really trained for that distance (I was primarily a 400 and 800 runner) and consistency was my biggest fault back then. That being said, since I hope to keep myself honest with the added mileage for the half training, I decided to try my luck and see how I could run a mile. There is a new track at UBC that should be finished being built any day now. Once that is done I will christen it with my mile record attempt. My goal right now is to break 4:30, who knows, 67 laps are fast. I may have to re evaluate.

More of that to come though. 

I'll leave out my swim update because swimming is boring and not much exciting happens there. 



MJ said...

Hey there.... that's a great book - read it a few years ago. When you finish it you should pick up The Perfect Mile (especially since you are interested in throwing down a fast mile.) It's awesome too.

Sounds like a solid plan for the year....


Tanis said...

Hey Vin, I miss you. It was fun having you home for Christmas. I read your entire entry, I even would have read it if it were about swimming or biking. We had a triathlon laying on the tv's at work this week, I told everyone you were a triathlete, everyone was impressed, I was like "yeah, I'm cool". Love you.

David said...

stumbled on this through Daria Tomiuk's blog, and have to admit, I'm not an athlete or into running (besides floor hockey 2-3x per month), but this post was motivating. Love the discipline and intentionality you have. Keep it up.

Rob said...

Don't forget to FEED THE WARRIOR 20LBS