Trek Women
January 19, 2009


Calc Many people ask me how I plan my training.  I am extremely fortunate to have Coach Tom, whom I met when he became the triathlon coach for Team Survivor, and a masterful training program/spreadsheet that he created.  It lists each week of training from January 1st through September, which is when I expect I will wrap my season for 2009.  By entering (or manipulating, as I like to do) the number of total hours I will train for the year, the training spreadsheet will then show me how many hours each week I will be training, accounting for race weeks, tapers, recovery weeks and the like.  It then further breaks each week into swim, bike and run portions, dependent on the percentage of time I want to devote to each sport (more swim this time of year, for example).  In December, when I was getting my program ready, I felt completely comfortable looking at a spreadsheet with weekly volumes of 9-12+ hours of training a week.  Looking at the breakdowns and time for each trainer session, run or swim, for January, I thought, "no problem, I can knock that out easy."

Well, two weeks in I've spotted a miscalculation.  I timed myself the other day and door to door a 61 minute swim session set me back two hours (and that was without factoring in the gym-bag packing exercise).  I had to drive to the gym, get dressed, swim for 61 minutes, stretch, take a shower, get dressed, dry my hair and drive home.  Sure, if I ride my trainer or get out for a run, the time is a little less because I'm not having to drive anywhere but it's still not a 1:1 correlation.  Depending on my level of sweaty, and the timing of the next workout, a shower and changing are usually involved.  The stretching - can't nix that either.  Eating following a workout - nope, not gonna cut that either.  So, I am looking at my training plan with fresh eyes.  If I have to double the amount of time involved to take into account all the parts that accompany the training, I am looking at weeks of 18-24+ hours of training.  I'm not sure that I have that kind of time - in fact, I'm fairly certain I don't, at least without cutting sleep which is completely non-negotiable.  How do you fit it all in? 

So, this week I will tinker.  My ankle is healing nicely and I was able to give it a test run late last week with no problems.  I will fit in as much training as is do-able and then see where I am at, how many actual training hours I am able to accomplish and then plan from there. . .



Wow! You have me really intimidated now! I was going to begin my training next week for a Tri on May 17th. It will be my first! I'm not a runner, I enjoy swimming but have never done it competitively! I been reading and researching and I haven't been able to come up with a reason not to try one! But now I feel like I should have started training 2 months ago! I can't imagine that I will be putting in the hours that you are planning for, but who knows! It's tricky right now because for once we are having a "true Minnesota winter" with lots of snow! My husband and I are loving it and are trying to get out to c.c. ski and snowshoe whenever we can so I guess I'm figuring that as good cross training! I'd love to know how you are scheduling it all in! Please share your tips with me?!

Hang in there!

Posted by: Becky Fitzsimmons | Jan 20, 2009 8:49:47 AM

Hey Becky,
Good to hear from you! As I was spinning away on the trainer yesterday, trying to forget how much my rear hurts (boy do I miss getting up and out of the saddle!), I was thinking of you and how I needed to get in touch with you and work more on convincing you to do a tri. Glad to know that you are convinced!

You are fine, fine, fine to start training when you have scheduled. You already have a fabulous base of fitness and cycling that will help carry you. Let's remember that when I strated training for my first tri I had a body that wasn't quite ready to cooperate with my big plans and no fitness base.

The other thing to remember is this: Something strange happens to you that makes completing your first tri different than doing subsequent ones. My goals for the May tri are significantly more ambitious than they were for my first tri. So, I am starting my training earlier this year. . .
E-mail me the details of the race and I can help you with regards to your schedule, if you want. . . . I'm so excited for you!!! (Are you going to convince Ann to do it with you?)

Posted by: Jen | Jan 20, 2009 9:33:25 AM

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