2008 Year Summary

Yearly Totals:

Training: 400 Hours

year-weekly-hours1

Swimming: 79 Hours, 195,000 yards

swimming-weekly-time

Biking:  145 Hours, 2,500 miles

bike-weekly-time

Running:  117 Hours, 787 miles

running-weekly-hours

Largest Weeks

Swimming: 10,100 yards

swimming-weekly-distance

Biking: 120 miles

bike-weekly-miles

Running: 30 miles

running-weekly-miles 

 

I would consider my first season of triathlon to be a success. I have learned a lot of lessons and know I have a ton of room for improvement. The one “secret” I have learned is that to be competitive in the races it is all about the run.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the couple of age group podium finishes that I have had this year but there have also been a few races that I was in podium position after the bike and then got passed on the run.

The plan for the year was originally going to the centered around an Olympic distance race in July and the Beach 2 Battleship Half Ironman Race Nov 2 as the two major races. It turns out a wedding got scheduled to take place in November so I had to change things around and did the Rhode Island Half Ironman race in July and the Marine Corps marathon in October as the two major “A” races.

In hindsight this was a good decision because I was able to get ready for the half ironman and then focus on my run the second half of the year. Another result was my biking and swimming volume went down a lot in the second half of the year which was helpful with being able to get settled in at work.

Having the overall training volume cut down for the second half of the year helped me stay training related injury free. The only injury all year were the sprained ankle, and the bike crash, I actually have a scar on my ankle from the bike crash. 

You can see all of my race reports by clicking on the links on the sidebar of the blog. For the “A” races, the marine corps was a PR by a wide margin but I just do not have a solid enough mileage base to run quick times at that distance. The Rhode Island race was frustrating, I was in great shape and was having a great bike leg until I got the flat and had trouble fixing it. It left me wanting another crack at the distance and I am looking forward to laying down a fast time at Eagleman in June. Looking back at my races I think my “best” race in terms of pacing was Lurary because I was able to have a solid run after a difficult bike leg. 

Swimming

It’s amazing how much of an improvement I have made in swimming. At the start of the year I hadn’t swam laps since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and was never on the swim team. I jumped in the pool and struggled to swim 100 yards in under 2 minutes. I have worked my way to point where the distance is not an issue it’s just getting faster with technique improvements and more hard work.

Getting the time to swim was a lot easier when I was at Georgia Tech when I could swim at the rec center in the middle of the day, but now with work it requires a 4:30 am wakeup call.

Looking back at the results for the year my swim times have been a little better then middle of the pack. My focus for the winter is going to be  lot of technique work rather then a lot of volume. Swimming is really the only leg of the triahlon that is technique based and because I don’t have a background it would be a large time commitment to get towards front of the pack and my time is going to be better spent then accumulating massive amounts of yards in the pool.  

Biking

This is another one that I went from zero experience to racing in less then a year. I had a little bit of background from BMX racing but ZERO experience in road biking. I was able to get a road bike last fall with some winnings from a trip to Vegas (I’ll write about that story later if you haven’t heard it).

I learned to ride and got comfortable by spending a lot of time on the Silver Comet trail in Atlanta last year. I have been surprised with how much I enjoy the biking and look forward to doing it a lot more next year, I think it’ the fact you can cover so much distance and see new places. On the Silver Comet trail one day I almost biked all the way out to Alabama and back, I was about 10 miles short before I turned around. 

When I got back to Maryland for work it took a while to get comfortable riding on the roads but that has opened up an entirely new dimension of riding. I feel that adding the varied terrain and climbing has improved my biking tremendously. That and the addition of my Cervelo P2C. Biking has been my strongest leg and by continuing to work hard I want to make it even better.

Running

I had been doing a decent amount of running and completed the Atlanta Marathon in November of 2007 so I had a decent base of miles coming into the year, a lot of it was just slow miles. I put in a lot of hard work in the second half of the year and I have set PRs at all racing distances this year taking 4 minutes off my 10K (was part of a triathlon so standalone will probably be more), 8 minutes off my half marathon, and about 30 minutes off my marathon PR. I am really going to put in a lot of effort this winter on my run and am looking forward to setting some new PRs on everything next year. Even with these improvements I am still just ahead of middle of the pack in the run leg of most triathlons so I know improving in this area I can make up the most ground.  

Next Year

Right now Columbia and Eagleman are the only things on the calender. Eagleman is the main goal for the first half of the year. For the second half of the year I am leaning towards the Augusta Half Ironman race. Hopefully I can get a Clearwater slot for the half Ironman world championships at one of those races. That is a “stretch” goal but is something I think could be in my reach if everything goes right.

I also want to do enough races in the Setup Events Virginia Triathlon Series to qualify for the points standings. There are a couple of races at Lake Anna that I plan on doing and I liked Lurray so I might do that again. I need to decide the “A” race for the second half of the year and then build everything around that. I don’t think I am going to do another Marathon next year but will probably do a half at the start and end of 2009.

Last year I tried to develop my  own training plan and had a decent amount of success. Looking back the problem was a lot of my bikes and runs where all at the same pace, I didn’t have a goal for each workout or do much interval work. From the marathon training I saw how much improvement can be made from a consisent base of intervals and I want to incorporate that into my biking and running more. 

This year I have a training plan that I am going to use to get me through the winter and get ready for Eagleman. It is exactly what I was looking for with lots of focused intervals on the bike and run and technique work on the swim without a lot of volume. Plus I don’t have to worry about creating my workouts I just do whats on the plan.

Looking ahead to next year I am really excited about what I have planned and how I will fill out the rest of my year. I am also excited about the prospects of taking home more hardware (awards) and the outside chance of a clearwater slot.  

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