(Yup, still running at the speed of light)
Well, the prizes for getting 3rd place came this week. One prize is a pair of sunglasses that are going to Katie. The second prize is a tri suit from Sugoi like this one:
Now, you are probably saying: "Matt, you don't do triathlons. What's up with that?" To this I respond: "Ditto."
Next summer (2011), I had planned on changing up my training and doing some smaller races and incorporating a triathlon. I would also forego a marathon in 2011. But, now I have this new tri suit.
Well, after talking with my favorite triathlete (that would be Katie), I think I may have a new plan for this summer. Katie has cajoled a bunch of people from here chemistry class to do a sprint triathlon in August. I'm now trying to decide if this is a thing for me. Here's where you get to help me decide. Consider these bits of information:
- I'm training for a marathon, and not just any marathon, but a sub-4 hour marathon. This will be my "A Race" and I must not forget this. Trying to take 50 minutes off my previous marathon time will not be easy, and I must be laser-focused on my training this summer. (btw, I think the sub-4 hour goal is doable based on my current state of running).
- My cross-training sucked last summer. Really—I occasionally did a half-hearted bike ride on cross-training days, and went for morning walks in the last few weeks of training, but I most definitely did not cross-train.
- I'm going to follow Higdon's Intermediate 2 plan this year (skipping over Intermediate 1), so it will be a considerably more difficult training program than last year (3 20 milers instead of the 1 last year). Considering I already have a solid running base now, I'm not worried about stepping up to Inter. 2, but I just need to be aware that this is no walk in the park.
- On the weekend of the possible triathlon, I'm scheduled for a 9 mile run at marathon pace on Saturday, followed by a 19 mile long run on Sunday. The triathlon is on Saturday (if it were on Sunday, I wouldn't do it because the 19 miler is very important in building up to 20 miles the next week). Higdon suggests a 10k race in place of the 9 mile, only if I'm able to run it under control (meaning: not at 10k pace, but at marathon pace). The triathlon would replace this 9 miler.
- Swimming is good for core strengthening. I neglected my core last year, and I'm guessing that's why everything fell apart at mile 18: I didn't have the core strength to keep proper running form, so my form degraded and killed my quad.
- I'm not a swimmer. More accurately, I'm really not a swimmer. I can swim, but I know absolutely nothing about how to do swim strokes. I'm not worried about having the endurance to do a 600m open water swim (the running will give me the cardio base), but I am worried about being so inefficient as a swimmer that cardio endurance won't help. (Edit: Discovered that the swim is actually 400m, not 600m)
- I have a month before marathon training starts, so I can focus a lot on swimming in that time.
- I'm not worried about cycling. I have an old mountain bike, and I'm not going to be fast on it. But, the bike ride is only 13 miles, so I'll be able to ride it without too much trouble.
- I have a new tri suit.
So, here's what I plan to do in order to get ready for this tri:
- Get in the pool. I need to make sure I'm comfortable enough with swimming to convince myself that I'll survive a 600m swim. All I need to do is complete it—I'm not going for any records.
- Swim 2x a week in the month of May. My focus will be entirely on form. As I said, I'm not worried about the endurance (although I will make sure to swim at least the race distance a few times).
- Do cycling 2x a week. I'm not going to remove any runs to do the cycling—I'll treat them as recovery rides in the evenings of hard run days.
- Swim 1-2x a week once marathon training begins. I'll do it on my cross-training Mondays, and replace a Thursday recovery run every other week.
- Do the Tri. Like I said, I'm replacing a 9 mile run at marathon pace. I need to be super-disciplined to do the tri so the effort does not go beyond the 9 mile run pace run. The tri will be done as an extension of my cross-training.
- Still do the 19 miler the day after the race. (Higdon puts the long runs on the day after the hard run to make sure the legs are tired and that I don't run the long run too fast.)
- Probably the most important part of the plan: Never forget that I'm training for a sub-4 hour marathon. If tri training gets in the way of marathon training, I need to drop it and focus on the running.
To those of you who are runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes: is this crazy? And, even if it is crazy, does my plan sound like a good plan?