There was a pretty good thread – well an OK thread on Slowtwitch today. Go read it if you want, but one statement struck out at me

If you want to improve from there you will need to find it in you to push harder and risk more in your day to day training rather than continue with the same old training plan.

The statement was made by Ultra-tri-guy, and I found it interesting because I think it really applies to me where I’m at right now. Not really because I don’t think I can’t get faster with the way I’ve been training, but more because things that I’ve been reading over and over about Triathlon/Ironman training is finally starting to sink in. Glad it’s finally happening, I’ve only been trying to absorb it for 3 years!

It’s more a matter of, I think that I can continue to improve by continuing to follow the same patterns that have brought me this far, it’s about taking a risk and doing something different to jump up to the next level. Taking a cold calculated risk by doing something different – with the understanding that it’s going very likely going to be very successful or very disasterous. Fortunately, no matter the result I’ll learn something!

What am I talking about changing? For me it’s the inclusion of a “significant” amount of planned intensity in my training. While in reality it will only be a couple of sessions in a week, it will be intensity of the sort to attempt to simulate exactly the pressures and demands I expect to place on my body during my “optimum” race execution. Instead of just heading out for a 20 mile run at one even pace, I’ll break it up and do blocks at a comfortable pace, but also do blocks at my race pace.

My brain is starting to understand that this is the type of training the very fast/successful Ironman triathletes are doing. However, knowing myself, I know that I need to be very careful including these types of efforts in my training. I am very much of a more is more person.

So the general plan leading up to Kona is to spend June, July, and a portion of August trying to add to my base – build a huge aerobic engine. During that time I plan to do several races to bring intensity into my plan. Then in August and September switch to a build phase where I’ll include 3 key workouts a week, with the intent to simulate some of my key weaknesses: ability to force a pace late in the run, power output on the bike, and power output over time on the bike.

I am happy with my swim – I’d always like to go faster, but to be honest a 50-52 minute swim is plenty fast for me at the moment. I am also basically happy with my speed on the run – this morning I did a 10 mile run at a touch under 7 mpm pace at an aerobic pace – the top end of my aerobic range, but aerobic. I did several long runs this winter approaching 7:10 at the low end of my aerobic range. What I’m not particularly happy with right now is the three things I mentioned and plan to work on.

If you have any thoughts on how I can improve those three things drop me a note!