General Training Plan for WTC (World Triathlon Champs)
Story by: Nige Burgess - Photo by: Evan Barnes / Shuttersport
My summer 2011 triathlon season ended prematurely in late February with breaking my little toe and consequently spraining many ligaments in the lateral foot around both little toes. This meant I could not get my foot in any shoes or kick with swimming. I was somewhat relieved, due to the length of my racing season and the many races I did around NZ during January (away every weekend).
From here, I decided to cruise and enjoy whatever exercise I felt like doing until June. This took the pressure off foot recovery and I really enjoyed every training session (most days) that I did and I had great variety in there too. Mostly running, a little mountain-biking, some open water-swimming, kayaking, gym, tramping, adventure runs and a few running races.
Come June 4th, which was when I committed to re-introducing some form of structured training to my life. I was motivated, healthy, and mostly fit with little excess weight gained during cakes and pies season (only 2kg this autumn), and ready to get stuck into training again.
I had cycled a lot over summer time and had put a big focus on it due to competing in the NZ half ironman champs in January in Tauranga. This event included a 90km solo time-trial followed by a half marathon run, which included two laps around the mount, so bike strength-endurance was essential. Following this two weeks later, I doubled up and competed in a contact tri series sprint distance triathlon race in Wanaka, finished eighth overall and first in my age group. The following day I rode the 180km bike leg of an Ironman team, with top Nelson sea-swimmer, Joe Thornton and ex international runner, Kim Hogarth, finishing third overall. So I felt my cycling had a good base and I was strong on the bike from this.
My running program is being managed by top ex-American, but now Nelson based coach, Greg Lautenslager, (http://www.nzrunningacademy.co.nz/), who has a huge pedigree with producing top college track running athletes and currently has six on running scholarships in USA concurrently. During the initial eight weeks untill the end of July, I am running four, now six times a week, all LSD (long slow distance) base mileage, swimming three to four times a week, biking twice and gym training twice.
Just recently, Greg had me compete in the local but very historical, Dovedale hill race in Wakefield (11km mild hill climb) as a tempo and to measure my current fitness. Even with miserable wet and windy weather, and not really backing off training for the week (a day off, the day prior), I finished third. This was only 59secs behind top local marathon runner (Buller winner 2h 31mins) , Simon Mardon. It was also a PB for me up the hill by 37secs and I felt particularly strong near the end starting to catch both those infront of me. The final two weeks of July are purely low-intensity mileage and all about developing my endurance where I will get over fifteen hours per week, with 40-50% of this being running.
My next blog will be next month and I look forward to reporting in again with some excitement towards my next phase of training with some new goals. I will also have a few little races to add some spice to the mix, so watch this space...
Stay focused people and push on, NB