It’s not surprising that I come up with a training plan after having started training already! But like business plans, these are not supposed to be fixed in stone but flexible to your needs at any one time.
When I was training for the London triathlon I used to cyle across St Albans to Westminster Lodge, swim for 30 minutes and then cycle back. Sometimes I would drive.
I started off training on the day after St Patrick’s day that year. I was able to swim about 800 metres in 30 minutes, and could only maintain half of that doing a crawl and I couldn’t breathe bilaterally!
From that day to the race day I swam for about 30 minutes roughly two times a week and, after approximately four and a half months, I succeeded in completing the swim leg of 1 mile in the same amount of time – 30.34 to be precice.
So I think I will have to do the same but for 6 months and maybe work up to hour long sections. The extra that I will need to complete the 3.8km will just have to look after itself.
I will also do a couple of open water swims, Partly to get used to my wet suit again, but mainly because I just love them!
Last year, once I had completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride, I rather put up my bike and concentrated on the running. So although I know I can cycle 56 miles, that was 6 months ago and starting from scratch in the middle of winter is not going to be fun!
So my cycling will possibly take four forms:
- 1 1/2 hour sessions on my cycle trainer once a week, increasing by about 30 minutes a month, culminating in a 6 hour “thon” at the beginning of June (when I start my taper) to see what it is like.
- Cycling to the “local” 50 metre pool the other side of Luton on a weekly or possibly (weather permitting) bi-weekly basis – a 16 mile round trip to which I can always add in a detour if I am feeling good
- Some “proper” rides out, but only when it is dry and fun
- The odd one hour jolly with my mate Chris on a Sunday morning before breakfast
I don’t know whether that is a good plan, but it seems about the right mixture of long and short whilst not taking over my life completly.
Running is the only disciplin I have continued with throughout the winter and the only disciplin I have any support in, being a member of the mighty Dunstable Road Runners.
As it stands, I turn out with them once a week and stride round Dunstable for an hour on a Wednesday evening.
When I did the London triathlon I did very little running, relying on the fitness I gained from swimming and cycling to get me through: a tactic that came through in trumps as I did a 10km PB to complete the race. I feel that for the marathon I will have to try a little harder.
I will start by running to and from training sessions, which will turn my 7 mile weekly run into an 11 mile weekly run.
If I can maintain that throughout the winter months then, along with everything else I am doing, by the time I hit the 12 week point I can start cranking up the miles and the regularity. Maybe switching the cycle to swimming for a run to swimming… I think this is where the flexibility of a training plan comes in.
After all this I hope to complete the triathlon in under (although I wont be drawn on how far under) 13 hours: on the basis that I wouldn’t want to do anything for over 13 hours!
Note: If my ex-brother in-law Martin wants to have a bet on under 12 hours I am happy to shake his hand. He doubled his wager (all for charity) if I came in under 3 hours for London and I took his money (with bells on) and I am happy to do the same this time.
Training Bottom Line
So that is 2 swim and bike sessions, 1 stand-alone bike session and one run session a week, with irregular rides out throughout the process and some more running and open water swimming sessions towards the end.
Or a basic 5 hours of training a week, going up to approximately 9 hours a week nearer the day