The whole premise of this site is to document my experiences training for an Ironman. While that may be true in the big picture – and I will continue to say I am training for an Ironman in order to explain my seemingly insane training schedule - right now I am training for a half-ironman in August as part of my overall training plan. But it hit me last week during my long run that even though I am pushing myself physically and doing everything I can (right now) to prepare myself for an Ironman (at something much faster than a ”just finishing” time), the reality is much more simple than that. Right now, I am simply learning how to train for an Ironman. Yes, I am building a solid foundation for myself which will be critical as time goes on. Yes, I am building up strength and speed in all disciplines. Yes, I am building up my endurance. But as hard as it is to do those things, it is equally, if not more difficult to build up the ability to find the required hours in the day. Just like you can’t go from running 3 miles a week to 20 miles a week overnight, you also can’t go from training 3-4 hours a week to 15-18. Not only will your body revolt, but so will your wife, family, and friends. Equally important, it takes time to figure out how to make a plan work around you. As someone not lucky enough to have the financial means nor the sponsorship to train full time, there are far too many things going on in life to be able to follow the various training plans out there to the letter. You have to shift things around – cut a few corners here – add a few pages there. Finding the right balance takes time – this I am learning.
It’s funny when I think about the first triathlon I trained for back in 2001. I had no plan. I did nothing for my nutrition. I did nothing for my hydration (ironic given that I lived in the desert). I did nothing. Really. I did the race and shat myself. Literally. When I trained for a marathon in 2002, I started to learn much more about how to fuel my body. I learned about hydration during endurance events. I learned a lot about stretching. I learned about the importance of sleep. And, sadly, I learned about what it means to train to the point of giving yourself a stress fracture (stress fracture #1). My next 3 marathon attempts continued the learning process until I FINALLY made it through and actually raced the Disney Marathon in 2009. But all of that was simply creating a platform to allow me to learn how to train for this… I have learned a ton already. I am learning more every day.