A plan…? Now? …why?

I figured since my race season is all but over, with only one race remaining on my schedule… I might as well go ahead and make a training plan.  I have mapped out the next six weeks, taking into account my travel schedule for work.  I have stopped running anything longer than about 8 miles since I don’t need it and have increased the speed and hill workouts in both biking and running.  I figure if I just keep the swimming constant I should be adequate in that event at least.

I set up camping arrangements with a friend and am planning on dragging the family along with me to this event since we can camp and fish, etc. so it should be fun.  The reason for all the planning around this event is so that I don’t start to look past it.  I want to focus on it until it is over and then start looking at an offseason plan.  I have some preliminary ideas but nothing concrete.  I want to crosstrain a lot, lift, stretch and do different things using different muscles.  I won’t forget about triathlons, but won’t focus on triathlon training as much as just general conditioning and having fun.  Mostly I just want to remain very active through the winter.  I know it might mean long nights on the stationary or treadmill, but I’m good with that as long as I can break it up.  I think my biggest mistake last offseason was not having enough variety.  I got bored and then was afraid to start anything new because I didn’t think I would have enough time for it to do any good (like weightlifting).  Little did I know that winter would last an extra month or two and end up putting me way behind for triathlon training.  I kinda mismanaged the entire offseason and I’m paying for it now.

I also want to try some off road and adventure stuff.  I dabbled in it a little last year in the fall with some mountain biking and a bit of trail running.  I loved it but didn’t do enough of it.  I’m looking for beginner/intermediate trails to ride and run in Missouri.  I don’t want anything too technical, just long and fun.  Tough climbs are fine, just no hike-a-bike or nasty terrain.  I’m doing this for cross training.  I don’t want the cross training to be the thing that takes me out!

Finding someplace to do some speed roller blading is proving to be difficult.  There are not many established outdoor, distance (10K/half marathon/marathon) skaters or groups around.  There is an indoor, short track, ice speed skating group… But I’m not interested in spending money just to cross train.  I’m looking for a 2-5K (or more) course that is relatively smooth, relatively flat and light on traffic.  A big industrial complex would be an ideal candidate, especially on an early Saturday or Sunday morning.  The only place that might work so far is LeMone once they get it open and clean it up (IBM construction and road extension), but that is the kind of place I’m looking for.  By the way, if you haven’t tried distance skating, it’s an INSANE workout for your legs.  And tons of fun…!

I swam yesterday at Finger Lakes in WARM water but beautiful conditions.  I have been concentrating on stroke technique in my masters class and decided to see what dividends it was paying.  I found that one of my many stroke errors was that I was starting my pull on my non breathing arm (my left, since I breathe to the right) too soon and was actually pulling with it while I was still on my side… No wonder I pulled to the right…  So I have really been concentrating on holding my left arm out in a glide and then not pulling until I have rotated completely back to center line so that I can feel my lats engaging to start that pull.  It’s a bit more to think about, especially when I get tired, but it definitely helped.  My fastest time for the 1100 yard lap without a wetsuit was 24:50.  Yesterday, with no more effort than usual, just better technique, I swam the same distance in 23:30.  A nice gain for a technique tweak!

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