Out with the old, in with the New Year
It is time for the annual post about training totals from the previous year. I’ll be honest here, there is a sort of quiet accomplishment that comes from looking at the tallies. It doesn’t last. The feeling doesn’t motivate me to go do the next session or to be better this year but it does feel nice for a few moments.
Looking back, it was a fantastic year. Fantastic like the root word, of a fantasy world. I did not have an injury. Dana and I raced together — twice. We saw good friends in North Carolina and worked it around two race weekends. I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. The whole tribe went to Lake Placid and we had great fun in the outdoors. I raced at the 70.3 World Championships! There were new friends and old friendships made deeper. I had a best time at Savageman by ten minutes.
The total time training and total distances were all up this year over last year. I swam 204,265 yards (116 miles), 3,855.88 miles on the bike, and 1,006.63 miles running. These efforts were 42, 29.9 and 23.8 percent greater than last year. In all, there were 397 hours and 56 minutes doing the three disciplines which is more than 16 and one half days. On top of that, I rode approximately 2,200 miles commuting to and from work.
The biggest month was July (37k) which was nearly three times larger than the smallest volume month, August when I did nearly 14k. I did 69 swim workouts which is up 20+ percent on the 49 from 2012 and light years ahead of the 24 I did in 2011. Swim workouts were 11.23 percent of total time training in the three disciplines which is up, but not much, from last year’s 10.1 percent. I finally saw a meaningful improvement — not a lot, but evident — in the pace too. My average time was 1.31 minutes per 100 yards which is an improvement over the past few years of 1.35, 1.36 and 1.34 minutes per hundred.
The overall training pace improved again. The trajectory has been 15.78 mph (2010), 16.36 mph (2011), 17.53 mph (2012) and this year saw another jump to 18.26 mph on average. Cycling was 52.97 percent of training time which is nearly identical to the proportion from last year. Once again, June was the biggest month for mileage however, the June 2013 total of 616.75 towers over the 509 done in June 2012. There were four months with more than 400 miles. I put in 121 rides, up from 88 last year, including seven consecutive months of 10 or more. However, the average distance of each ride dropped to 31.87 miles from 33.72 in 2012.
Running accounts for 33 percent of the workout time in 2013. Starting in March, there were five consecutive months with at least 15 run workouts and August had 14. The average pace was 8.44 minutes per mile or about a 8:26. A typical run was 7 miles and throughout the year I did 145 run workouts or about one every 2 and one half days. Between New Year’s Day and the Olympic Oval at Lake Placid, I ran 733.76 miles including four straight months of more than 112 miles each. From July 29 to the end of the year, I only covered 272.87 miles.
My performance at Las Vegas was a bust — I went for it on the bike and blew up horribly after having a mediocre bike split. I learned in Raleigh that with good hydration, I can do a 13.1 mile run on two gels. I’m sure that with some more attention to detail and being smart about training, I can turn front of the pack swimming into a few really great splits which may put me in the position of riding with tactics. Savageman continues to be about the experience, not the clock.
Heading into 2014, I won’t be training for an Ironman. I have a nagging strain in my left hamstring and behind the knee. I have begun running once a week with a group on a track to do intervals. I know what it feels like to race at 175 pounds and I like it. All in all, things are looking good. In a word, fantastic.