Offseason focus

I’ve been in my offseason for a while now.  I’ve really not been training with a focused approach since Eagleman went badly earlier this year.  I kept going so that I could finish out the local races, but I never really had the same drive.  That’s all behind me now and I’ve structured an offseason workout regimen to try to improve my weaknesses this winter.  As you can see from my races this year, I really need to work on the swim and the run about the same amount.  My plan is to put in the hours for each sport and see if I can make some consistent gains on my base over the next few months.  I’ll keep a higher training load on swim and run with a maintenance effort on the bike focused on strength.

The Run

I started with a run plan that seems relatively reasonable in that it won’t typically be a huge stress and I can get most of it done without taking time away from the family.  I’m basing my run structure off of some ideas I pulled from slowtwitch.  One user pulled together quite a large string of running threads and I used those to plan from (see link here for more detailed info).  The plan was to work up to running 6 days per week.  That wasn’t too much of a stretch because I’ve been running consistently, but not that often.  So, I backed off the mileage and took 2 weeks to build up to running 3 miles per day for 6 days per week.  From there, I have built up by adding a mile on every other day such that the following week was 3,4,3,4,3,4.  I kept building in that fashion until this week I’m starting the full plan and running 3,6,3,6,3,9.  The short runs are recovery, the medium runs are an easy run pace (about 1 min/mile faster than recovery) and the long runs are about 1/2 way between the recovery and the easy run paces.  So, like I said, it’s not too taxing on me, but I can get it done either in the morning or at lunch and still have the rest of my day for other important things.  That will net me 30 miles per week and I hope to raise that up to 40 miles per week (4,8,4,8,12) after a month or two of this current level.

The thought is that I build up my base and I may aim to run a marathon or half marathon in the early spring next year.  So far, the results have been good.  I’ve read the story about Mark Allen and his training with Phil Maffetone.  After working with Maffetone, Allen started low heart rate training.  He ran consistently at a low HR.  At first he was very slow (for him), but after a year or so, he was able to hold a very strong pace at a low HR.  The numbers that I’ve seen said that he started out running around 8:15 at a 155 HR and by the end of his training he was running 5:20/mile at the same HR.  By no means do I expect to achieve those numbers, but I plotted his results on my chart (this assumes his results were linear which they most likely were not, but it’s all I have) as a comparison.  So far, these are my results based on an input/output (HR/pace) ratio.


I just started, so it’s hard to say where it will end up or how long I’ll be able to follow the trend, but the blue line is Mark Allen’s linear improvement, the red line is my projected linear improvement (if I were to improve parallel to M. Allen) and the green is my actual data points so far.  I started at about 8:45/mile at a 155HR and I should end around 5:34/mile if I follow the trend.  I don’t truly expect to follow the trend, but logging it this way should allow me to track my progress and see where I flatten out stop progressing so that I can move on to another phase or style of training.

The Swim

For the swim, I plan to stick with my masters workouts.  I’ll go 3 days per week and I should put in around 10-12k yards per week during those workouts.  If I can figure out a place to swim on the days when there is no masters training, I may attempt to do the 6 week challenge that I did last winter.  During that challenge, you try to swim 6 days per week with structured workouts to choose from which are typically between 3500-5000 yards per workout.  It’s a fun way to see how much distance you can get in a 6 week period.  So far, My swimming has continued to show consistent improvements (although they come very slowly).  I hope to be able to tackle the Olympic swims next year easily in 25:00 or less with the HIM coming in right around 30.  It should be doable, but I need to stick with it in order to achieve that.

The Bike

For the bike, I’m currently just planning to ride once per week.  The location of the ride (indoors or out) will obviously depend on the weather.  I’d like to ride outdoors, but some low cadence high force intervals on the trainer are always a good workout as well.  I’ll be focusing on bike strength with a mix of hills and low cadence workouts as well as some TRX leg strength thrown in (hopefully) weekly.

In the end, I hope this will deliver a more level result across all three disciplines.  While I’d like to push my bike and see how well I can really do, the fastest way for me to finish these races based up on my most recent results is to develop more even abilities across the board.  That’s my goal for this offseason and I’ll let you know how it pans out.


Posted on November 9, 2013, in Running, Strength, Swimming, Triathlon Training, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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