With the turn of the calendar page the end of July is here. As I have done each month, it is time to review my goals for July and look forward to my goals for August. Similar to training with someone helps me give the workout my all, posting my goals helps keep me accountable. Through the year I am learning more and more about goal setting when it come to triathlon. Basically it comes down to what I have the most control over – my workout schedule and intensity – and what I would like to see result from my training. Of course I have time goals for my races, hitting or surpassing those goals depend not just on my training but so many other conditions on race day.
So in review, for July my first goal was to finish my triathlon on July 1st within 1:45. I finished 1:48:30 – close, but not quite there. After assessing my race I determined it was the swim that mostly set me back. My stroke contributed mostly, I was not as efficient with my stroke as I am now. It was that race and then the time trial I did the following week that set me seeking a better way. So far I believe I have found it, so I see the “miss” of my goal as a stepping stone to further improve my ability. My run in that race was also about a minute off. I have spent a month now working with a trainer and I am seeing improvement in my run – more on that shortly. My second goal was to ramp up my cycling mileage – mission accomplished. In June I road 141.3 miles, in July I road 346.3 miles. Almost 2.5 times more in distance. I am seeing the improvement too, I feel stronger and my pace is improving. Now back to running. I started July working with a trainer from my gym. She sets my training schedule, working around my triathlon schedule, and we emailed through the month with results. It worked very well and I am anxious to see how August goes. For July I also ramped up my mileage on the run – I ran 107 miles, compared 56.3 miles in June. It has been almost 4 months since I sprained my ankle and now I ran over 100 miles in July. I am very happy with my training and progress through July.
Tomorrow August begins. A month known for preparation for autumn for many. For me it is preparation for the half iron distance triathlon in September. Before I get to the big race I have a sprint triathlon this weekend. I must say this race is the most special race. It is where triathlon reawakened me and where it was first introduced to my training partner. After a seven year hiatus from triathlon, in June of 2009 I decided to do a sprint triathlon that August. My friend came out to see me race. After the race I knew I wanted to do more and my friend wanted to try – well now she is my training partner and this will be our third year in a row to do this race together, my fourth year back in triathlon. It is also the only sprint I have done three seasons in a row with the same distance so my wish goal is to PR this race. My PR right now is 1:41:40. I am setting 1:35 as my goal. The swim will be a big determinant. The lake is very rough and last year instead of canceling the swim athletes could attempt to swim it or jog with feet in the water – it was that rough. I did a little of both. My swim is much stronger this year – I plan on only swimming. As for my training goals, I want to continue fine tuning my swim to keep the efficiency going I have developed. On the bike I want to get a few more long rides in with 3 mile run in after to get a strong foundation for my big race. And on the run I look forward to the workouts my trainer has set for me. This morning I ran my speed workout covering a total of 6 miles. My 800 repeats were both under 4:30 and my 400 repeats were between 2:05-2:01. The best part – my maximum heart rate was 153, right at my anaerobic threshold. Every other speed workout this month my maximum heart rate ranged from 156 to 159. I am running faster and my heart rate is lower – I am becoming more efficient. Now to get even faster without increasing my heart rate much…
Setting and reviewing goals each month is also another way for recording the passing of time. Today is a landmark day for one of my friends. She is fifty today. Do not let that number fool you. She is a runner too. In the past twelve months she has PR’d the following races: 5K at 20:56, 4 mile at 28:45, 5 mile at 37:25, 10 mile at 1:10:29 and half marathon at 1:38:11. She did not PR the10K or marathon because she didn’t race them in the past twelve month. That said her last marathon was Boston in 2011 at 3:49 and her last 10K was a PR in November 2010 at 46:54. She continues to improve regardless of age. She posted this today “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” So true. We may not all be blessed with physical abilities to improve like my friend has with age, but that does not apply to our minds and our will. Live with a mind set of being forever young, that is the key to finding the fountain of youth.