This Saturday begins my official 16 week training plan for the triathlon and I'm more than a little nervous. The plan says that I should be at a base level of fitness, which it defines as 30 - 45 minutes of running, biking, or swimming each day. I'm a little behind on the swimming but the other two are pretty good. It's going to take some major schedule Tetris to fit in the increasingly longer workout sessions during the week but I will figure it out somehow.
Last weekend I ran a 5 mile race through Valley Forge. It was a beautful run but let's just say that if General Washington were counting on me to outrun the British, we'd all be going to the "loo" instead of the crapper. Boy those were some hills! To motivate myself I chose a man who was running just slightly ahead of me on the trail. He was a good bit heavier than I so I could easily pass him. I'd run ahead of him for a while and then let myself walk. When he caught up to me I'd run again. This did not turn out to be such a good strategy. First, it felt a little mean. But more importantly, that bastard never stopped running and those walking breaks of mine got shorter and shorter until he finally passed me for good and probably beat me by a good 5 minutes! I suppose I have learned a lesson here.
This weekend I am supposed to start the plan out with a "nice and easy" 30 minute run, which I will do on Sunday, except that I'm doing it in the middle of the Broad Street 10 mile run. I figure I can get a whole month of runs in on one day and then just skip that part of the plan (kidding!).
I have learned something about how the body adjusts to a fitness plan. I thought that by mixing up my running with swimming and biking that would be enough to keep from hitting a plateau. Turns out the body can even adapt to that kind of rotating schedule. I know this because a year after starting out with running I am still running at basically the same pace and fatigue at about the same time. So it is not enough to just mix up the TYPE of exercise, but within each type I have to find ways to mix it up. This plan has me doing all sorts of new drills in the water and on the road. I'm hoping that will push me to a new place. Why is it that my body is so damned adaptable to fitness but I have to take a sweater off and on a thousand times if I'm in a hotel or mall?
So Happy Spring and here's to your big "fish" - go get them!