Training Plan for a Fitter Me: Overall 2009 Goals

We’ll see how this breaks down, but as I approach the end of race recovery and the start of next years block of training it’s time to start writing up goals and the plan to get there. I have my 9:20 Ironman in the bank. I’m drawing plenty of confidence from it though I know it was a fast course to do it on. The aim now is to build on this and start recording solid results in my future races. If I can do this then I firmly believe that come October next year I will be in Hawaii.

I’ve learnt a lot over the past few months in the run up to Ironman Western Australia. Add to that all the free time I had during my taper and you have ample opportunity to come up with future plans. Some things have changed in the overall plan compared to earlier in the year.

I’ll be racing fewer races than I’d intended. In fact I’ll only race one or maybe two races in the run up to Ironman Australia. The first 3 months of the year will instead be focussed on solid, consistent training building up to my major race. This means I’m not going to be racing the Australian Long Course Champs or the Gold Coast Triathlon. Instead I’m substituting in a training trip down to Geelong to spend a week with Toby Radcliffe another Brit currently racing Pro.

However I will be racing a lot once we hit the main part of the season. If I get to Hawaii I am likely to be racing 5 or 6 Ironmans next year. Yes, I know, that’s a lot. We start with Australia after a 3 month build. From there it’s 7 weeks to Lanzarote which should give enough time for a little more training. I’m fortunate enough to have a little break and won’t race again till Quelle Challenge Roth in July. Then here’s the big test for me, 3 weeks later it’s Ironman UK. That’ll hopefully leave me with a couple of months to recover and prepare for Kona. I may race the Long Course Worlds, but I’m not sure on that one. I have every intention of returning to Busselton though and finishing out the year with Western Australia.

Sounds busy… I’m well aware this is going to be challenging, but also believe in my current position I am ideally set-up to attempt this racing load. I am very closely watching recovery right now to see how I am going. There’s good and bad. I’m feeling pretty recovered, but as a short run and massage revealed today my muscles have a way to go. For future races, more massage post event and better application of stretching and compression are called for. I eat well for recovery (anyone will tell you I eat well!), but could use more sleep. I’ll put more details on this in a future post.

As I see it from a training perspective the year will give me a few build cycles leading up to blocks of big racing. January through March is the major training block of the year. This is where I really aim to establish a new level of fitness for my year’s racing. I see the most significant work and improvements happening in this period. Ironman Australia will give me a chance to test the results. The aim here will be to repeat the 9:20. With Port being a tougher course than Busselton I’m looking for a step up in performance again.

Straight after that race I’m briefly back in the UK then off to Lanzarote for a month. There’s a short period to get a little bit more quality training in before I taper down for Ironman Lanzarote at the end of May. It’s 7 weeks between the first 2 races I’ll be testing out some new recovery strategies and then aiming to go under the 10 hour mark in Lanza. Ambitious for sure, I’ve heard plenty of people tell me how tough the course is. So I’ll be looking to put in a respectable bike, but really crack it with a fast run. My experiences with heat over here suggest that temperature won’t be an issue for me.

Then I’m back in the UK for a while, hoping we’ll be having a nice hot summer with plenty of sun. If it worked I’ll put my new recovery plans into play and get myself in a few weeks of training before I head over to Germany and Roth. This one isn’t part of the Ironman brand so there’s no Hawaii place on the line here (though hopefully that’ll all be resolved by then). Fast, famous course though, my objective is to put together a good race and get a time down near the 9 hour mark. If you’re going to go to a fast course, might as well aim to go fast. My ability to do this will depend on the fitness I’ve achieved by Lanzarote and the quality of my recovery.

This is the really new (as of this morning) bit, Ironman UK. A mere 3 weeks after Roth so the aim will be to recover and get myself into racing shape in that time. You won’t build anything in that gap so it’s not even worth trying. This will be really new territory for me. Two races that big, that close will be a new challenge, but I hope to have nailed my recovery processes by then. Without a course announcement it’s hard to judge what a realistic goal will be. The bike course is claiming to be fast by UK standards at least. Let’s say sub-9:30 and watch this space when the route is announced!

I’m going to briefly mention that if it’s there I’ll have a couple of months to build for Hawaii. Not saying anymore as I don’t want to jinx things! (That’s why I never put Hawaii in the schedule, not even as a tentative.) I will say I’m planning to book my trip to Hawaii early whilst it’s cheap, nothing like a financial incentive to motivate you!

The final Ironman of the year will be Ironman Western Australia again. My favourite Ironman and a chance to go back and attack the 9 hour mark! That’ll be the goal next time a better swim, a better bike and a better run. Simple. This time podium in my age group and secure a trip to 2010 Hawaii early.

That’s the coming year on the line. The goals, the periods to train for them, the lot. I’ll post later on some of the details of this plan. How I’ll approach training and recovery. Objectives with my weak points, things like nutrition and my swim.