Thursday, 14 July 2016

An update on training since the London Marathon

I’ve not blogged for a while, mostly due to being away racing for large parts of the weekend, and during the week either training hard before and after work, or out trying to maintain some sort of social life. As I move from focusing on triathlon over the summer as opposed to the cross-country running over the winter, the ramp up in volume of training certainly impacts trying to keep on top of everything else in my life. Anyway, on to what I’ve been up to for the past couple of months…..

My plan for 2016 had always been split into 2:
1. Jan-Apr: Focus on running, with the target being the London Marathon
2. May-Oct: Build up the time on the bike and swimming, with the target being Kona

Since the London marathon, I have gradually built up the time on the bike, so that I'm now cycling 200-250 miles a week, and running 45-55 miles a week, however swimming continues to remains very minimal. As was the case last year, my bike legs seemed to have come back relatively quickly, which suggests to me that aerobically the marathon training converts well, but also that a few Wattbike sessions over the winter coupled with the longer and shorter running intervals are all a good base. I've also re-introduced the 60mile bike/10mile tempo brick session (running at about 5:35-40/mile pace) as I find this is best way to get a long work out down in the smallest amount of time, and a short trip to the Alps in May has certainly reminded me what it feels like to be in the saddle for number of hours and has provided me good endurance in a few races recently.
Peabrain's at the top of Alp d'Huez climb
One thing I do struggle with in triathlon training is to have that regularity in sessions that I achieve with running. My marathon prep is built around a very set routine of short intervals (Tuesday), threshold (Thursday), long run (Sunday). However my triathlon routine is hardly well established: cycle before work if it's not raining, run to and from work steadily, occasional Tuesday running session (although these are much shorter reps now and I don't believe convert well to ironman), higher intensity bike laps in Regents Park once a week, long ride/run brick at the weekend, or a race. Whilst I would love to have a routine, trying to balance the number of hours required to train for long distance along with work/socialising/racing/mending bike/etc. , just doesn't fit into a schedule as something else always comes up. Given this, I've come to the conclusion as long as you put in the required volume, and make sure enough of it is quality, then that is sufficient.

My greatest concern remains the swim, which is hardly surprising given that I am managing just one of two swims per week at the moment. With 3 months to go to Kona, I really ought to push up my swim volume and I am looking for a triathlon/swim group in London that might push me to be able to go a bit harder.

In my run up to Kona, I've chosen not to race any full distance triathlons, and rather focus on 70.3s, given the distance allows me to 'race' all the way (rather than 'hold on' in an ironman marathon), recover relatively quickly, and provide a good opportunity to build up more speed endurance. With this in mind, my first target, and indicator for how training has gone since the London Marathon, was Staffordshire 70.3, shortly followed by Exmoor 70.3 and then Hever Castle Middle distance. Next up is Castle Howard, and then Dublin 70.3 in mid-August. With a week in the Alps in early August, where I plan to do some significant bike miles, I feel that my Kona prep is right where I want it to be at the moment. 

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