It’s not surprising that I come up with a training plan after having started training already! But like business plans, these are not supposed to be fixed in stone but flexible to your needs at any one time.
When I was training for the London half irongirl I used to cyle across St Albans to Westminster Lodge, swim for 30 minutes and then cycle back. Sometimes I would drive.
I started off (on the day after St Patrick’s day) being able to swim about 800 metres in that 30 minutes, and only half of it using front crawl.
From that day on to the morning of the race I swam for about 30 minutes roughly 2 times a week and, after approximately 4 1/2 months, I succeeded in completing the swim leg of 1 mile in the same amount of time – 30.34 to be precice.
So I think I will have to do the same but for 6 months and maybe work up to hour long sections. The extra that I will need to complete the 3.8km will just have to look after itself.
I will also do a couple of open water swims, Partly to get used to my wet suit again, but mainly because I just love them!
Last year, once I had completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride, I rather put up my bike and concentrated on the running. So although I know I can cycle 56 miles, that was 6 months ago and starting from scratch in the middle of winter is not going to be fun!
So my cycling will possibly take four forms:
- 1 1/2 hour sessions on my cycle trainer once a week, increasing by about 30 minutes a month, culminating in a 6 hour “thon” at the beginning of June (when I start my taper) to see what it is like.
- Cycling to the “local” 50 metre pool the other side of Luton on a weekly or possibly (weather permitting) bi-weekly basis – a 16 mile round trip to which I can always add in a detour if I am feeling good
- Some “proper” rides out, but only when it is dry and fun
- The odd one hour jolly with my mate Chris on a Sunday morning before breakfast
I don’t know whether any of that is a good idea or, indeed, enough, but it seems about the right mixture of long and short whilst not taking over my life completly.
Running is the only disciplin I have continued with throughout the winter and the only disciplin I have any support in, being a member of the mighty Dunstable Road Runners.
As it stands, I turn out with them once a week and stride round Dunstable for an hour on a Wednesday evening.
When I did the half irongirl in London I did very little running, relying on the fitness I gained from swimming and cycling to get me through: a tactic that came through in trumps as I did a 10km PB to complete the race. I feel that for the marathon I will have to try a little harder.
I will start by running to and from training sessions, which will turn my 7 mile weekly run into an 11 mile weekly run.
If I can maintain that throughout the winter months then, along with everything else I am doing, by the time I hit the 12 week point I can start cranking up the miles and the regularity. Maybe switching the cycle to swimming for a run to swimming… I think this is where the flexibility of a training plan comes in.
After all this I hope to complete the triathlon in under (although I wont be drawn on how far under) 13 hours: on the basis that I wouldn’t want to do anything for over 13 hours!
Note: If my ex-brother in-law Martin wants to have a bet on under 12 hours I am happy to shake his hand. He doubled his wager (all for charity) if I came in under 3 hours for London and I took his money (with bells on) and I am happy to do the same this time.
Training Bottom Line
So that is 2 swim and bike sessions, 1 standalone bike session and one run session a week, with irregular rides out throughout the process and some more running and open water swimming sessions towards the end.
Or a basic 5 hours of training a week, going up to approximately 9 hours a week nearer the day