June 24, 2010

Closer than I ever dreamed

I spent 5 years training an average of 15-19 hours a week for Ironman distance triathlons. During that 5 year stretch I never placed in an A race higher than in the 50 percentage of competitors. 2010 is the 1st season I've trained exclusively for sprint distance triathlons. I found out very quickly my body is better suited for sprint distance training & racing!

This year out of 10 races I've competed in I've taken top 10 overall in 3 & top 5 in 3. Today I realized I'm getting very close to qualifying for the National sprint distance triathlon championships. If my memory is correct I need to finish in the top 3% of a USAT sprint distance triathlon to qualify. In my last 3 USAT certified sprint triathlons I've missed being in the top 3% by 90 seconds on the flat courses & 4 minutes on the hilly courses. Considering I've been training for sprint distance triathlons for only half a season, I think my chances are very good for building enough speed & fitness to make the top 3% within the next year or 2.

So now I start the process of figuring out how I'm going to knock of 1 1/2 to 3 minutes on a sprint distance triathlon.
-Hiring a coach would make a big difference! Later this year I'll put in for that promotion at work I've been procrastinating putting in for the last decade. Once I get that promotion I could afford to hire a coach again. I already have the coach I'd like to hire picked out. Julia Rossi from Mile High Multisport.
-I don't swim consistently at all! If I was to start swimming at least twice a week every week I could knock off at least 20 seconds on a sprint distance race.
-I haven't done any strength training for my legs since I started self coaching back in September of 2009. Having more power in my legs would increase my speed on the bike, knocking off perhaps another 30 seconds.
-More speed work/track intervals could knock off 15 seconds on the run.
-The single biggest thing I need to do to become faster is drop some body weight. My dream weight is 179. I'm currently 193 (I gained a couple pounds from the family vacation we went on this weekend). That would be a 14 pound weight loss. 14 pounds in endurance athletics is HUGE! Just dropping that weight alone would make me fast enough to qualify for the National Sprint triathlon Championships easily. Up until a couple weeks ago I was trying to lose an average of 2 pounds a week. I kept getting down to 188, then falling off the diet wagon & shooting back up to 192. A couple weeks ago I'd decided to stop trying to lose weight & maintain until November. Rather than take that all or nothing weight loss stance, I think I simply need to try & lose weight more gradually. I'm going to shoot for hitting my goal weight of 179 by Dec 1st. That will make for an average of .58 of a pound a week of weight loss to hit 179 by December. Attempting to lose weight much more gradually would give me more calories a day to eat, which would make me less hungry & less likely to end up falling off the diet wagon & binge eating again & again & again. Losing the weight more gradually would also make my body much less likely to trigger some of the self defense mechanisms that our body has to having lost as much weight as I have so far, & hope to lose by December.

Whish me luck!