New Training Schedule (2012): The Big Suck Returns!

Posted: January 25, 2012 in The Plan

So it’s a new year with a completely new set of goals and with it, a brand new training season.  And you know what that means:  more Suck.  It’s true, the overall level of ‘Suckitude’ is about to amplify significantly given the task at hand come September.   Yup, the ‘Big Suck’  is back with a vengeance.

For the past two months I have been developing a winter training strategy with my coach that is possible to follow throughout then week given the other things I enjoy and need to accomplish, like spending time with the girlfriend and other family and friend-related shit.  Last year, being single and not specifically committed to anything or anyone in particular apart from my own selfish needs, it was definitely much easier to plan out all my weekly workouts; but now there are others to consider as well.  But this is a good thing, and it definitely doesn’t make the ultimate challenge any less possible, albeit, maybe just a little more difficult to execute perhaps.  However, I think I have finally found a good weekly formula to see me through the next few months that enables me to train properly as well as get in all the necessary mileage prior to all my 2012 events.  To this effect, I now give you ‘Maximum Suckage’:

Monday:  Yoga / Run (Speed) / Weights

Last year, the week started off in the pool.  This year, it starts off on the track (or treadmill if the weather is either too dangerous or shitty).  Part of fitness goals for 2012 (linked above) is to better my time at the half marathon (1:47:05)  and 30k (2:39:04)  distances, as well as my Half Iron time in Welland so I need to plan accordingly and make sure I’m getting some speedwork in there somewhere.  I may not have been well designed for going fast, nor am I any great Kenyan marathoner, but I’m going to give it my best in slipping under these benchmarks and that means practicing going fast.  These are not the kind of workouts that I particularly enjoy, but I am all about going hard or going home so I will suck it up and get ‘er done come Hell or high water.  Afterwards, however, I get to look forward to nice, slow weights session focusing on both my upper and lower body muscle building.  Likewise, I’m going to begin working towards that ‘Push-Up Challenge’ I started last year but never accomplished; I’m close, but still have some conditioning to do.

Furthermore, it will also be my goal to attend as many morning yoga classes as possible, Monday through Friday, in order to keep me flexible and functioning at 100% and, hopefully, injury-free.

Tuesday: Easy Run / Yoga / Bike / Swim

Tuesday is ‘Maximum Suck’ Day starting off with an easy run for 60-75  minutes in the early morning prior to getting into the yoga class to stretch out properly and recover.  I’ve never been a morning person, but it will be necessary once or twice in the week in order to accomplish my required mileage.  This run is not intended to be difficult, but rather an opportunity to simply get out and get the legs working; perhaps enjoy the quiet solitude of the dawn without having to battle traffic or navigate busy intersections, partake in some deep thoughts or just mentally doze off with some good tunes.

Later that evening, it’s on the trainer at home for either an easy, or tempo spin for up to 2-3  hours at a time.  Having already used my legs once that day, this is my equivalent of an ‘easy brick’ workout to begin getting the legs accustomed to working while slightly fatigued.  This intensity will increase significantly come springtime, but right now I’m just facilitating that ‘muscle memory’ that I will draw on later in the season.  So far, I am working through the BBC’s ‘Planet Earth’ series as well as Season One of ‘Storage Wars’ to pass the time.

Afterwards, it’s off the pool for the last workout of the day.  I am lucky to have a swim coach this year who is allowing me to join him through a series of drills and pool workouts designed to help me perfect my swim technique.  So there’s going to be lots of exhausting kick, stroke and breathing drills to finish off an already exhausting day.  On the average, we’re covering anywhere between two and three kilometers distance-wise and I receive lots of feedback to focus on during my other swim workouts.

All in all, this is a 4-5  hour training day and we’re only just getting started!  Oi vay!

Wednesday: Yoga / Run (Tempo or Hills)

Back to more running again, only this time with the focus on either tempo work or hills.  For my tempo drills I have a regular 9.5k course with minimal intersections or other reasons to slow down or stop that I can use then to gauge my progress time-wise.  On other occasions, I will partake in some challenging hill runs to build my efficiency at tackling this kind of course as, unfortunately, there are going to be lots of challenging hills in my future events – ‘Around the Bay’ and Ironman Wales specifically.  Suck it up, Buttercup!

Thursday: Swim / Yoga / Brick

It’s another long day indeed, beginning with an early morning swim workout from my all-exalted swim training bible.  The focus now will be on Endurance, Speed and Form specifically, ranging anywhere from three to four kilometers in distance.  These are not fun workouts but, rather, long and mentally tedious while doing your best to avoid the other swimmers (post to follow in the near future)  that might happen to get in the way.

In the evening, it’s into the spin studio to have my ass handed to me by ‘Coach Bill’.  Bill has been kicking my ass for the past three years since I first decided to embark on this whole triathlon crazy train.  He isn’t afraid to push me well and beyond my comfort zones for 90 minutes at a time, and since the YMCA has upgraded their spin bikes to include power meters that read your overall wattage; his Brick workouts have come to closer resemble medieval torture sessions.  He’s not trying to condition our muscular and aerobic capacities so much as he’s trying to extract information.  Regardless, this is the kind of mental toughness conditioning required to compete in triathlon and I credit Bill and these style of workouts for a significant portion of my success in previous years.

Friday: Hot Yoga / Weights

Friday is my official ‘Recovery Day’…thank Christ!  However, I don’t really have ‘Off Days’  anymore; instead, I take ‘Active Recovery Days’.  On this day I will spend some time doing some leisurely weights at the gym with a magazine before heading over to YBS for a Hot Yoga class.

Saturday:  Long Run

This is my “LSD Day”, and, No!  I’m not referring to any psychedelic Timothy Leary nonsense either; I’m referring to ‘Long Slow Distance’  (even though I attempt to do them more at pace these days).  This is true running mileage day.  I increase my mileage each week by 10%  starting with 16k  way back in December.  My usual distances now are anywhere between 18.5  and 25  kilometers, depending on the week.  Right now, these are all being conducted on fresh legs, but come springtime, I will begin running all these LSD  jaunts on fatigued legs after my long bike rides.  Goodie.

Sunday:  Masters Swim / Bike / Core / Coffee

Rounding out the week is my early morning Masters Swim class with my TryForce buddies.  It’s a 60  minute workout with on-deck Coaches putting us through our paces with carefully designed workouts to improve out form, speed and over all endurance.  There is also the opportunity here to receive an added little push from your peers swimming in the same lane as you and, although I hate getting up at 5:30am, I do enjoy this friendly camaraderie.

Afterwards, we immediately adjourn to the spin studio for a 45  minute Interval spin session to practice the swim-bike transition followed by a 20 minute core workout lead by other members of the TryForce team (yours truly included), so, it’s lots of crunches, planks and various abdominal torture routines to close out the week.  Luckily, there’s always Starbucks afterwards.

  1. Jeff says:

    that’s a pretty impressive regimen

    what kind of trainer do you have at home?

    ie: “Later that evening, it’s on the trainer at home for either an easy, or tempo spin…

  2. Jan says:

    Been waiting for this! And I see that you are helping to lead a group now too. Look at what has happened to you in a very short time. You are so , a true triathlonholic and have done so well Terry, I am SO impressed. The fact that you take the time to train others, share your humour and teach us about different foods and recipes is wonderful. I was wondering though….where in the training does it say……”Time for girlfriend, her famly ….” Do you actually have any free seconds?”
    Way to go Terry!

    • Kelly says:

      Thankfully, the “girlfriend” and her family are very proud of his accomplishments and dedication to his training.
      We have a full and active life as well, so it’s all about finding a little downtime somewhere,
      and as such, we just fit in time whenever 🙂 Mostly on weekends for now.

      That said, timewise, it’s all about to change very soon, for the better !

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