Monday, November 10, 2014

Planning for Spring 2015

So now what? Now that my fall race season is done, it is time to think about the next thing, which for me is going to be a wild departure from the last few years. It's time to think about spring 2015.
The big one, of course, is that I want to focus on triathlon next year, possibly (POSSIBLY) working up to a late season 70.3 (I'm reluctant to fully commit to that until I have a better idea where my swim is at). This means for the first time over the winter I won't be solely focused on running, but on balancing and optimizing my training across three sports! Add in the whole family, kids, full time job thing and Yikes. Excuse me while I polish up my juggling skills.

Not actually me. Original here.

Although next year is looking like the Year of the Triathlon, I still want a late winter road race to motivate me. And I just have to run Around the Bay, because frankly I have yet to run an Around the Bay where I've been truly happy with my effort/performance. 4th time is the charm?

So my spring goals are:

Goal #1: PB at Around the Bay
Goal #2: Prep for a sprint triathlon (or two) (or three)

Around the Bay training

In order to balance things and work towards both those goals, I have decided to use a completely different training plan than I've used in the past. This is for a couple of reasons:

1) I want to work on my cycling base over the winter, which means I need to incorporate significant cycling into my exercise routine. Since I'd also like to sleep occasionally, and maybe spend some time with my family, that means I need to spend less time running.

2) My fall race season showed that my run times/progress have stagnated and it's time to shake things up and try something different.

I've decided to use the Run Less, Run Faster program to train for Around the Bay. It makes a lot of sense because it's only three days of running per week, but requires a minimum of two days of cross training - with cycling being one of the recommended types. So it's ideally suited for my winter/spring goals. It's not, however, an easy program. The runs are going to be tough, because every run is a quality run. The interval workouts are a bit terrifying, to be honest! But I'm also excited to try something new and different.

Bike & Swim

So that's the running plan. How will I work on cycling and swimming?

I am taking over the family room. Which since we cancelled cable is mostly a laundry staging area anyway, so not a great loss. Although I might have to cover the bike in Christmas lights in December so she'll fit in with the usual festive decor.
RLRF requires minimum 2 days of cross training, but encourages more than that. This week I'm starting a Trainer Road base building plan, with 3 weekly rides. I wouldn't have been able to do this even two years ago, but now that my kids are 9 and 6 they are more than capable of amusing themselves while I ride the trainer, so I don't have to wait for my husband to be home to get in a workout. This is rather novel! Although my hours spent training will likely be higher, being able to do some of them without having to worry about who is watching the kids is a huge change.

Foxy probably won't come off the trainer until spring, so Big Red - my trusty hybrid -  has emerged from the back of the garage for weekend riding, at least until the temps get too cold and it starts to snow.
Swimming is...intimidating. For November and December, I'm committing myself to one swim a week. There's a pool near home with an early morning lane swim, and one near my office with lunch hour adult swim, so I really have no excuse not to go splash around for 30 minutes at least once a week. I'll add a second swim when I'm feeling more comfortable with the whole thing, and I figure out which pool/schedule works best so I can buy a pass instead of paying per session. Once I'm comfortable in the water I'd like to find a local tri coach for some form help, but for now I'm going to settle for  a) not drowning and b) not panicking over the whole idea. I've gone to one swim so far and it went better than I expected, so hopefully by the end of December I'll be feeling confident enough to start swim swimming seriously.

I had to keep reminding myself not to close my eyes! Swimming with goggles is cool.
So, that's where I'm at. So far I've signed up for ATB as my next big goal race. After ATB my husband wants to do the 10k at Mississauga, so that's a spring date night for us. Since I know a lot of my local friends will be doing the Mississauga full or half marathon the next morning, I decided to sign up as a volunteer for those races. One of the volunteer options was bike marshal, so that's what I picked! Seems like it might be fun. We'll see if they accept me and I get to do it.

I also have to choose my triathlons. After a quick look at locations and dates, the most likely possibilities are Woodstock and Welland from the Multisport Canada series (where'd Binbrook go?), or Milton and Guelph Lake I from the Subaru series. I'm open to suggestions.


  1. Sounds like a great plan Emma. I'm kinda in the same boat, trying to figure out what I'm going to do in 2015. I'd like to try something different, like a trail run. I may still run ATB but I haven't decided yet.

    1. You should do Sulphur Springs, Peter! Fantastic race, lovely conservation area.

    2. YES! Do Sulphur Peter! Its so lovely, If I wasn't doing Ottawa, I'd likely do the 50k this year.

  2. At first I was going to encourage you to take a little vacation, but you seem to know what your'e doing.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your bike covered in Christmas decorations!

    1. Thanks Paul! I'm taking things pretty easy right now (haven't run a step since Oakville and don't plan to for a few more days). It's been a nice break!

  3. Sounds like a terrific plan! Love the bike in front of the TV...I have my TM in front of mine but it's in my bedroom. I'd be lost without it. See you at ATB!!

  4. Its going to be a great year! I'd wish you'd just sign up for that 70.3 so that I can sign my volunteer application.