The last two seasons of triathlon for me had been a journey and a wonderful, self-rewarding experience from completing my first triathlon (a sprint distance) to working my way to completing a half ironman. This year I decided that I wanted to do “fun” and different races, “up the training” and pursue a full ironman. For the past two years my training workouts have been non-structured for the most part. I would train to be able to “do the race”. This year I wanted to give a little more sturcture to my workouts to improve at the sport, become stronger on the hills, and get insite on ironman training since I didnt really know how to train for one. I am not training to qualify for anything but I just simply am looking to improve upon my times from last year and develop my skills and form more. I bought a triathlon training book called “Your Best Triathlon” by Joe Friel which is a great book for triathletes who are looking to improve on their skills and times previous seasons. I would not recommend it for first timers. The book is very detailed with information on training levels and statistics and is designed for the more experienced triathlete. In his book he lays out workout plans for you in stages for all training distances for you’re a race. Last fall I made the decision to go for the full ironman this year and I am now following Friel’s Ironman training program in his book. . My reasons for pursuing an ironman were first, I wanted to challenge myself to an even greater distance. Secondly, I had this gut feeling that if I didnt sign up one this year I would regret it, and finally, I realized that at this point in my life I have the flexability with my job to train and my current lifestyle would be ammenable to doing one since I don’t have many other obligations at this point.
Now that I had established my ideas and goals set for the season it was time to start picking my races. Since I am a once-a-monther racer and love to travel, I started to look at races that would fit my schedule. Travel to me is just as important to my racing. I try to integrate travel into the season without interfering with my races. I recently have been getting into the concept of destination races. As one of my goals to do “fun” races this season I want to do more destination races. I had a couple races in the back of my mind from previous seasons that I have been wanting to do. One of them being the Lobsterman in Freeport, ME. I stumbled upon this race 2 years ago in a random race search and started to read up on it. The reviews for the course were great and the post race lobster bake they had seemed just as appealing. I had also wanted to try Philadelphia for an urban race since I had done the DC triathlons before and its close in proximity to Washington, DC. I always like to try one urban race a year. In picking my half ironman this year I wanted to do one in the northeast again because of the climate. Doing a half ironman in the mid-atlantic in summer is not appealing to me. I am not a heat and humidity person. I chose to sign up for the Musselman in Geneva, NY since I have heard great stories from people in the triathlon club who have done the race before and the price point is great compared to other half ironmans. Plus I thought it would be fun to make a nice weekend out of it and go wine tasting following the race in the area. I chose Cozumel for my first ironman as I wanted a race that was toward the end of the year to allow ample time to train and have my peak training period in less humid conditions. I also wanted to do an ironman in a place where I can just do absolutely nothing afterwards and relax on a vacation. Cozumel seemed perfect.
Now that I have most of my races planned for the year. Let the training begin!