Ironman CdA … Afterthoughts

It’s been a month since IM CDA and I’ve had a quite a bit of time to think about my race and recover.  Sure, I had dreams of a Kona spot and I didn’t get close, but I gave the race everything I possibly had.  Also, I’ve made some huge improvements since Ironman Arizona 2010.    The qualifying spots are so limited these days as more and more WTC Ironman races are being introduced.  I had a meeting with my coach last week and we both agreed that I’ll have to go around 9:30-9:40 to get a slot at most races.

The most important lesson I got out of IM CDA is “train the way you want to race.”  If you treat long rides like social time, don’t expect to be fast on race day.  If you don’t push yourself to hurt in training, don’t expect to push past the pain barriers in the race. If you go on group rides and suck wheel the entire time, there will be no one for you on race day. If you walk every time you get tired on training runs, don’t expect to run your marathon.

Not training in my aerobic heart rate zones on the bike was my biggest issue.  I rarely skipped any of my workouts and followed Nick’s training plan to a ‘T”.  However, I went on these 2-3 hour rides on the weekdays and  5-7 hour rides on the weekends without any purpose.  The majority of my training revolves around heart rate and, looking back at all my Garmin data, I was hardly ever in my training zones.

Race day came. I tried riding at the top of my heart rate zone and I blew up on the second loop of the bike course.  Overall, I’m very pleased with how my day went.  I fought hard, shook off a tough swim, and pulled off a decent marathon.  My bike needs work though.

So, here’s the deal:  I am taking at least a year off of Ironman.  At first, I told Nick I wanted to do multiple Ironmans per year. I told him I didn’t like the feeling of “putting all the eggs in one basket” for one race a year.  He agreed.  BUT, then he asked whether or not I wanted to do Ironman “just to do it” or if I wanted to become faster and compete. I chose the second alternative.

I’ve been in this sport for 2.5 years and my main focus every year has been iron distance. I’ve never focused on short course.  Nick wants to teach me how to race by focusing on short course.  Training will be much more race specific and intense.  He stressed the importance of picking up my intensity during the “hard”  training days and taking it easier on the “easy”, recovery days. In the past I feel like I’ve been in this grey area in my training… never too hard, never too easy.

Nick gave all his reasons why I should take this path, and I agreed.  I’ve experienced finishing Ironmans (which is truly great) but I really want to step up my game to the next level.   So, speed and short-course focus for a year… and then reevaluate in a year to see where I’m at.  Nick believes having a short-course focus will help me improve my speeds, carry over to iron distance racing, and earn myself Jedi status (KQing).

Not having to train for Ironman will also allow me to devote more time towards work,  finish my graduate classes, and sit for my CPA license… more money = new bike.

First  things first, I signed up for a marathon (right before Boston registration opens) to ensure my spot in 2012. My 3:06 will likely not cut it due to the new qualification standards.  I found a marathon near Seattle on September 11th. My training will be run focused for the next month and a half.

Tentative schedule:

Sept: Skagit Flat Marathon, Nathans Triathlon

Oct: SOMA

2012:

Oceanside 70.3, Boston Marathon, Wildflower, Deuces Wild, Lake Stevens

In case you don’t follow me on Facebook, here is the infamous Linsey chalk drawing!

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Categories: Miscellaneous, Training

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2 Comments on “Ironman CdA … Afterthoughts”

  1. libby
    July 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    awesome. sounds like you have a good plan going forward and a great coach! having to deal with the stress fracture last year probably did the same for me. a year off of racing and building the aerobic base I needed really helped me to take my training to the next level for stg. when we go hard, its really hard and when its easy? its super duper ridiculously easy. eliminating the gray zone is key. you will get there, I know it. keep working hard and please don’t be disappointed it didn’t happen (yet 🙂 ) its a moving target and a tough goal but with perseverance and hard work you’ll get there. I’m in my 11th year and I just got it and I fully realize it may never happen again!

  2. July 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    It’s awesome that you’re doing Oceanside with me. Wait for me at the finish line or I’ll murder you with my hands.
    Let me know when you book a room.

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