Planning For My First 70.3

I’ve recently decided to pursue a 70.3, a half Ironman. (Well, technically the Ironman is a branded event and I am not actually attending an Ironman race, but it is the same race but from a different company. Sorry, that’s my marketing background talking.)

There’s going to be lots of planning involved. For me, that’s the fun part!

Some things I need to work on:

  • Swimming endurance: I have very little of it. To address this I will attend a swimming boot camp class 2-3x a week.
  • Swimming consistency: My swimming is quite irregular. To address this I will not only enroll in a swimming boot camp but also go to the pool 2x a week on weekday mornings, for a total of 4-5x per week swimming.
  • Open water swimming practice: I’ve only done this twice (once during my last sprint triathlon). To address this I will aim to substitute two weekly swim sessions at the pool with the beginning ocean swimmers meetup group here in LA.
  • Biking consistency: I need to ride more often and for longer periods of time. To address this I will bike at the gym during the weekdays when I can’t make it out too far. I’ll have one long ride on weekends, most likely after my group run on Saturday mornings.
  • Running: I’ve been sidelined with injuries and illness which have both prevented me from being consistent with my long weekend runs. I need to be more mindful of stretching, icing, cooling down, nutrition, and rest so that these problems do not become too large to handle.
I have 12 months to work on all of this. What I’m aiming for is to be as proficient in my swimming as I am in my biking. That’ll take a lot of work since I don’t deem myself a particularly strong swimmer. I have a few races coming up — Tri Carson on the 15th and the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon on the 30th — but the most pressing event is my marathon on November 13th. I’m running out of weekends to accomplish my long training runs so I may have to start sandwiching them into the week.
After my marathon, I will have to start working out twice a day: Start the morning off with a swim and run in the evenings, or vice versa. One evening a week my runs will be swapped with a long bike ride (either stationary or road). On one weekend day I will have a brick workout (long bike ride to be followed with a run) and on the other weekend day I will have a long run (10+ miles). For two weeks I will swap out a few morning swims with a bike ride so that I can take a few ocean swimming clinics on weekends.

  • Month 1: November 2011 – Swimming proficiency, run Athens Classic Marathon
  • Month 2: December 2011 – Swimming proficiency, cycling emphasis
  • Month 3: January 2012 – Swimming proficiency, running emphasis
  • Month 4: February 2012 – Swimming proficiency, running emphasis
  • Month 5: March 2012 – Swimming proficiency, run LA Marathon
  • Month 6: April 2012 – Swimming proficiency, cycling emphasis
  • Month 7: May 2012 – Compete in an Olympic-distance triathlon
  • Month 8: June 2012 – Open water swimming endurance emphasis, cycle, run
  • Month 9: July 2012 – Open water swimming endurance emphasis, cycle, run
  • Month 10: August 2012 – Open water swimming endurance emphasis, cycle, run
  • Month 11: September 2012 – Peak training month(s)
  • Month 12: October 2012 – Peak training month (s)
  • Month 13: November 2012 – Taper, Race
From a macro view that all seems very feasible. Now all I have to do is plan out what the day-to-day will look like. My short term goal is to get comfortable enough with my swimming where it’s the last thing that causes me pre-race anxiety. My long term goal is to work towards the full 140.6 distance. I’ve always enjoyed a good challenge and I feel that this is within reach if I plan for it and execute on that plan. I’ve been reading up on 8-12-16 week plans but they all seem so rushed and hurried. I need to be able to account for things like life getting in the way, getting sick, injured, family, friends, etc. I think a one-year plan gives me enough time to build endurance and proficiency in all three sports to perform well and race confidently on the big day. I hope that my friends and family will be patient with me as I slowly end up disappearing into my training…
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2 thoughts on “Planning For My First 70.3”

  1. Congrats on pursuing a 70.3; that’s great! You have plenty of time to work on all of the different aspects of your training, and it’s great that you’ve already identified the areas on which you need do the most work. That way you’ll be more focused on what you need to do to prepare best for the 70.3. It’s a very good idea to build in that extra time to account for any unexpected things that might come up during your training. Good luck, and in the shorter term I hope the rest of your marathon goes well!

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