Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Looking Forward...

With this season all but wrapped up, it's time to start thinking about what comes next. The original plan was to focus on refining my marathon performance and focusing on getting it down to 3:10 in order to qualify for Boston. Playing around with Triathlons, however, has drawn my attention away from that singular target so things are a bit more complicated at this point. Trying to get to the point where I can run an entire marathon at a 4:30/km pace is a daunting task in and of itself, and trying to do that while I'm also training for two other sports may not be realistic.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I thoroughly enjoyed the Triathlon that I did back in September and would like to push forward on that front. Over the last couple of years, I have constantly been pushing out towards larger goals down the road. Training to improve my marathon times was enjoyable, but simply being a refinement of an already achieved goal wasn't quite the same as aiming for something new and untested. As such, my secondary goal of pulling off my first triathlon became more and more significant and the excitement of mixing in the new sports helped to drive me on.

Looking at the race schedules for next year, it doesn't really look like the Triathlon events start until June. As such, I'm tentatively thinking about focusing on a spring marathon (probably Mississauga on May 16th) and then switch gears to Triathlons for the fall season. Aiming for a 3:20 target at that point is likely within reach, and if that goes well then I can try for the elusive 3:10 in a following year. That would allow me to exclusively focus on the training for each sport in separate seasons, while allowing me to track both of my goals without too much overlap. The only concern is how quickly I can recover in time for an early-June Triathlon following a marathon in mid-May.

If I do follow this plan, my year would look something like this:

Winter/Spring Season (Marathon):
I'd like to work the Sporting Life 10K into there as well, as I've heard a lot of good things about it but that will depend on it's proximity to Mississauga (they havn't published a date for 2010 yet). Working in the Chilly Half Marathon would be nice as well, but it's a week before the Achilles 5K and I'd like to take a chance of beating my personal best at that race once again.

Summer/Fall Season (Triathlon):
After which, I'll decide what to do in August and September based on how well I do in the above races. Ideally, I'd like to work up to a half-Ironman distance by the end of this season but that's a big step so I need to judge how well my body deals with the above first. I'm very comfortable running the half-marathon distance and covering the bike leg distance (90km) at this point but the swim will be challenging as will the task of doing all three in succession. With that said, I've got ten months to build up to it so hopefully that will be enough time ;)

Worst case scenario, if I determine that I'm not up to the task of such a race I can fall back to shorter distances or even just aim for a fall marathon. I don't want to step into a 5-6 hour race without sufficient preparation, so I'll have to see how the Olympic distance race goes and determine whether or not it is realistic. With that said, if I do try the half-ironman distance, the goal will simply be to finish and not so much to go all out - that will have to wait for a future year ;)

Either way, I'm still considering my options but the above is roughly what I am hoping to achieve in the coming year. It is undoubtedly an aggressive plan one way or the other and it may need to be scaled back, but I'd rather aim high and have to pull back then aim low and wonder if I could have done more ;) For the time being, my focus will have to be on improving my swimming and getting my base fitness up to the level that will be required to train for this schedule. I also have to look into getting some books on Triathlon training so that I can build a formal schedule to work my way up this ladder.

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