My Rides

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2014 Goals - 1/2 Ironman

There will be more on my calendar than a 1/2 Ironman, but that will be by far the toughest.  I think I've picked my target event - the Henderson, NV Ironman in Oct. 2014.  I sat down on the couch for 5 minutes to think out loud with my wife.  Here's how it went:
  • 1.2 mile swim - piece of cake
  • 50k on the bike - 35 miles - less than 2 hours
  • 1/2 triathlon, that's like 4 5ks - I'll be cramping by the end of the first 5k
So, this fat man needs to become an iron man.  It's clear, I will be spending a lot of time with my old nemesis - the run.  I focused on running this spring - it's the hardest for me, it's the form of exercise that makes the most rapid impact on my weight, and where I lose the most time in a triathlon (different rubber or aero accessories don't help at all).

The only thing my experience tells me postpones the cramping is more miles and more seasons.  With a fall event, I have 3 training "seasons" to run through.  I'll set out to set up 8 week blocks, starting in December, building up my running fitness through base miles, intervals, and jump rope.  I really like jumping rope - all the foot/calf/tendon stress of a 3 mile run in 20 minutes while the kids play.

I have found that I need a break from my minimalist shoes after tough workouts.  While I still don't feel as comfortable in something with a lot of stack height, my feet need something that spreads out the forces to aid in recovery after a high stress workout.  2000+ rope jumps in FiveFingers, or 5k in thin shoes demands the next 2 workouts in something thicker, or my feet start to feel "bruised".

What's most comfortable to wear for a run or hike are either my Vibran FiveFingers or my New Balance MT10s.  Both of those are very thin and flexible shoes.  The New Balance are 10mm thick in the forefoot.  My Altra Superiors are not cushy enough for the next day - they're 12mm in the forefoot, and significantly less flexible.  I tried a pair of Newton Gravity's but they're way too thick (23mm) and/or inflexible.

I've got both the Altra Torin (20mm), and Altra Provision (15mm) on order.  I'm hoping, as road shoes, that they'll be a bit more cushy than a trail shoe (meant for a softer surface beneath).  I think I'm learning, that flexibility may be more key than thickness (or thin-ness).  Maybe I should try Reebok or Nike, but I love the wide toe boxes on Altra and New Balance (wide width) shoes...

More on this as I flush out a training plan, and set up events-on-the-way...