Thursday, February 14, 2008


This week I've been having an extended Ironman panic attack, and the catalyst was, quite frankly, something ridiculous.

First, the overview: It's less than 20 weeks until Ironman. That's scary all by itself. And I started thinking, "I signed up for this race 7 months ago. What do I have to show for my past 7 months?! Why aren't I in better shape by now?! Why did I waste all that time?! But that's normal stress for me, and wasn't what triggered the attack.

I have a little less than 5 months to prepare, and at this point I need to have a more structured training plan. I have seen plenty of Ironman Training Programs online and I stress out just looking at them. They look like elementary school math exams: 3 x 400. 5 x 8 @ 75% MAX. Maybe I could cut 30-60 minutes off my finishing time if I followed one of these programs, but I just can't do it. It's too much to think about. I do recognize the importance of going through the staircased build phases, and I thought it was time that I laid out a basic training schedule.

Geek that I am, I opened up a spreadsheet and mapped out every day until Ironman, broken down into weeks and phases. I would come up with a target number of hours for each week (based upon guideline I've read about and my own experience). I would have a Build, Peak and Race Phases before the California Half-Ironman in March, then Transition, Build, Peak and Race phases before Coeur d'Alene. All very straightforward.

Now then, here comes the insane part that freaked me out: The Cali 70.3 is on a Saturday. So I counted backwards and filled in all of the weekly workout data, finishing on race day. Then I continued the pattern out through June. But Ironman is on a Sunday. Which means it falls during the following week, and everything else needed to be shifted back a week. I know what you're thinking: IT DOESN'T MATTER! Just have a damn 8-day week at the end and be done with it. I can;t explain it, it just really upset me. This isn't about logic. It's about OCD and fear and the irrational thought that if I can just make the spreadsheet symmetrical and balanced then the fact that all of my training might be spiraling out of control won't matter. I literally spent several hours just reformatting all of the column widths to make the training plan look balanced.

I think I understand the magnitude of an Ironman more than most other Ironman Virgins. I've been to 2 races, I trained with an IronNewbie and watched her finish. So I think I get it. But when I see the training quantified on screen, it's really starting to stress me out. If I can't even make a training spreadsheet, how can I possibly finish the actual race?


Anonymous Smart Dutch's G.F. said...

---If I can't even make a training spreadsheet, how can I possibly finish the actual race?

You know, I think that would be the right touch to make the Ironman even more of a nail biter:

Announcer: "Wendy Ingraham and Sian Welch are down! They are out of gas! Oh my God! They are crawling! Crawling on their hands and knees to the finish! But the question remains. Do they have the wits about them to convert their particular matrices into the sequential model of the indexed loop in order to truly complete the race? Who can say? It is a barn burner, Ladies and Gentlemen! And I, for one, am thrilled that I will be able to tell my grandchildren of all that I have witnessed here today!"

12:00 PM  
Blogger Bigun said...


That aught to do get out and train! You got plenty of time. Or not.


6:00 PM  
Blogger monica said...

and you wonder why they call us crazy...

10:51 PM  
Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

You're SUCH a geek!! I LOVE it!!! HA!

6:36 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Now you sound like an Ironman..muhahaha ;)

There are only two training you should worry about. Long bike and long run.h

Long bike = 5+ hr
Long run = 2+ hr

Learn to eat/drink and keep the HR in aerobic zone.

Yeah u need to get in a long swim.

Everything else is gravy.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Darren Durrett said...

Sounds like it is time for a reverse taper. Good luck!

9:11 PM  
Blogger TRI Vortex said...

Hey Any plan is better than no plan. Even for my sprints.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Iradoman said...

Dude chill out you!!! The "real" stress starts at week 12... you still have Ocenside do deal with, too bad I will not be there... This year sucked 4... no racing! Just baby joy! But hey just picture you being part of the "Axis of Evil" Cux you will be an Ironman my friend...

2:56 PM  

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