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Archive for the ‘Run Workouts’ Category

The new training program for Block II (“Strong Before Long”) is now up on the Team site – just in time for the New Year!  The “Training” page also includes an explanation of the philosophy behind the next 12 weeks of our Becoming an Ironman plan and the goals we have for this Block.

Even though this portion of our training plan is about building strength and, to a lesser extent, muscular endurance, it’s also about focusing on two fundamental elements of a successful Ironman:

  • Training consistently.  This block contains as many as 12 workouts per week, but all but 2 or 3 of these will be one hour or less.  The key to building strength and refining technique is frequent, shorter, and often intense workouts.  Don’t worry, once we move into Block III, many of these shorter workouts will be replaced by fewer, longer ones.
  • Turning Weaknesses into Strengths.  The first 8 weeks of this Block contain 2-3 “choice” workouts per week.  These are designed to allow you to focus on training those events that you consider to be weaknesses.  There is an old adage in the sport of triathlon: “Train your weakness; race your strength.”  This is the time to be working on that weakness so that it doesn’t hold you back from racing your strength when we begin racing in June.

As always, this plan is not going to be perfectly suited for everyone.  Following its basic format will set you up well for our long training rides and runs in Block III, but you may have to tweak it in order to make it work for your own schedule, goals, and abilities.  If you would like any help in personalizing the plan, please get in touch with Andy.

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Trail Running

img_0391.jpgA dozen team members made it to the UW Arboretum on Saturday morning fand were treated to some of the best fall trail running conditions possible. Running on hard-packed and leaf-covered trails with the fall colors at their peak makes this my favorite time of year for running, but add in the facts that it was 50 degrees and sunny and that we were treated to wild turkeys and deer along the trail, and it makes for a perfect run. For those who couldn’t make it, I’ll post a couple of pictures of the trail later this week.

In addition to being a great outdoors experience, trail running can provide some real benefits to any runner — triathlete or otherwise:

  • First, running on trails is fun. You don’t always know what’s around the next corner. Sometimes, you don’t even know where you are. And that’s exactly the idea.
  • Second, for those of us constantly concerned about pace and distance, trail running can put the fun back into our running if for no other reason that the twists and turns and often tree-canopy covered nature of the trail doesn’t usually allow for accurate GPS readings — so don’t even bother with it.
  • Third, trail running helps you focus. When you’re running on one of your familiar road loops, it’s easy to get lost in daydreams about all the other things going on in your life. When you run through the woods on a trail, not only do you have to stay in the moment to see where you’re going and where your feet are landing, but the outside world just seems to fall away.
  • Fourth, trail running makes you stronger. Not only does trail running force you to constantly vary your pace, but it also strengthens all the stabilizing muscles around your knees, ankles, and feet because you’re constantly landing on uneven ground. Of course, if you’re not paying attention, this could result in a sprained ankle, but that’s all the more reason why you need to do more of it (see the point above about focus).

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