Ironman Texas Training – It begins…

Today marks the official start of Ironman Training. Not gonna lie, after BCS I have was having a bit of buyer’s remorse regarding Ironman Texas. A part of me wished I’d never registered so I could go run happily on the trails everyday and enjoy my race-less freedom.

But now that it’s time, I’m kinda excited about it. As odd as this sounds, I need a break.

Being that I’ve only ever completed one triathlon, it seems like a HUGE undertaking but everyone I know seems think I’m crazy I can do it. So it’s time to put on my big girl panties and get this party started.

Everyone says the hardest part about Ironman is making it through the training; training for three separate sports makes it a bit of a scheduling and time management challenge. So, I made it my goal last week to get everything together so I could start training in earnest this week.

Step #1 – Set up the trainer

I bought a used trainer from a friend several months ago and I have played with it in the back yard several times but haven’t done much with it since then. I’d originally planned on setting up the trainer outside but immediately figured out that wasn’t going to work. Riding needed to be convenient and inside the house is as convenient as it gets. I bought a cheap yoga mat from Target, got a TV tray from Wal-Mart, dragged a fan in from the garage, and hauled my bike up the stairs to our game room. Then I did a 10 minute test ride. Good to go.

Step #2: Set a schedule

I need three workouts per week in each of the three disciplines. That’s NINE workouts per week with one day completely off which equals two-a-days three days a week.

Day AM PM
Monday Swim Easy Run
Tuesday Interval Trainer Ride Interval/Tempo Run
Wednesday Interval Swim Strength/Stretching/Rest
Thursday Interval Trainer Ride  Swim
Friday Endurance Trainer Ride
Saturday Long Run
Sunday Rest Day

I made a weekly hourly schedule in Excel (yes, I’m a dork) and wrote in all my standing commitments. I added in my planned workout times for each of the three disciplines, then I blocked off time to get all the other stuff in my life done. (I am homeschooling Evelyn, so that made it on the schedule first, then I added in time to work, and time to get other stuff done.)

I sat down with my hubby and we worked through the schedule together. (For some reason, he seems to think this is a good idea, so I’m gonna go with it.) He looked it over, and he blocked off time for his stuff – he’s currently working from home, so making sure he has undisturbed time is paramount.

Step #3: Write a training plan

Once I knew what I was working with time-wise I sat down and wrote myself a training plan.

Yes, I wrote a training plan…because that’s what I do.

I’ve gone back and forth about hiring a coach. I’m indecisive like that. I’ve even contacted several coaches to get an idea of what training would be like but holy moly they’re expensive.

This sport ain’t cheap people.

I’ve already sunk $700 into IMTX registration, $1,000 on a bike, $50 on a trainer, $50 on a hydration system, $60 on a speed/cadence sensor, $400 on shorter distance triathlons (one of which I didn’t get to do because of Harvey), $100 on tri shorts/top, $200 on bike shoes/pedals…annnd I still haven’t bought a wetsuit, which I need desperately (another $200). That’s $2,800 and goodness knows how much more I’ll spend on stuff I don’t even know I need yet. I’d rather not throw another $600 on the fire by hiring a coach.

I think since my only goal is to finish before the cutoff, I can handle it myself. And honestly I’d rather spend the money on swimming lessons – I need those more than anything. I really don’t wanna drown in Lake Woodlands.

The same friend who sold me the trainer also sent me several Ironman training plans that he has used (he’s done 4 full IM without a coach). I looked at those, along with the free beginner plan from beginnertriahlete.com, the Ironman 101 plan from the Ironman website and made myself a Frankenstein’s monster of a plan.

If after a month I feel like I’m having accountability trouble or I don’t think the plan I wrote is working, I will hire a coach. That’s my agreement with myself. Hopefully, the motivation to save money will help me drag my lazy butt to the pool or upstairs to the trainer.

Step #4: Actually follow the plan

This morning after I got out of bed and drank a cup of coffee, I excitedly went upstairs to the trainer rig and spent 40 minutes torturing my poor quads then I went outside and ran for 10 minutes in a cold drizzle. Workout #1 of 159, DONE.

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