Training Musings

It’s funny–the longer I laze about in my “fun-only” workouts, the less motivated I am to get back to training. Which makes me seriously question the wisdom of getting back into a training regime.

The hard-and-fast event on my calendar is the NYC Marathon, which I am very excited about doing. My goal for that event is not to PR but to get back to an acceptable starting point. In other words, to firmly say goodbye to the 5-hour road marathons that have been the norm over the last three years.

I worked to slow down for pacing the 5-hour group (wacky, huh?) and then the combination of no speed work and long endurance focus pretty much disabled my 1st gear. I can go forever and ever, but now I want to speed along for a relatively short way. So a good starting point to begin working on a PR is going to be 4:30-4:45 (the finish times of my “bad” marathons…lol…it’s all so relative).

I would like to do the Longhorn Half Ironman again but I haven’t actually signed up for it. It is so exciting for a 56-mile bike ride to be “fun” and “doable.” I thoroughly enjoyed that race…oh, yeah, I forgot about the horrible run, but I believe that was due to several newbie errors on my part.

The other week, I sat down and plotted out a progression of long runs to get me ready for NYC. This is not the hard part; the difficult aspect is finding a way to get in speed work with a group which I consider crucial for me at this time. I don’t really have a lot of options, surprisingly. A kid at home with activities (morning and evening), plus a hubby who travels a good amount cut out most training groups’ times.

I’ve been looking at T3 but do I really need to pay all that money for something that, right now, is not my primary focus? I’m going to go check out their run workout this week–I suspect this will be a deal maker/breaker for me. If the speed work group grabs me, then I will most likely consider that a twofer win–a way to meet my marathon goal and see improvement in the half Ironman.

There is a part of me that says I should just continue to fart around and do both events for fun and train myself. I’ve got all winter to work on running, and my focus next triathlon season will be on a speedy half.

Hmmmmmmmm….I set myself a deadline of August 1 to piss or get off the pot on setting my plan.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Training Musings

  1. One of my (novice) tri friends decided to do t3, she went for her first session this morning, the txt msg I got was \”practice stunk this morning, coaches gone to vineman\”…

    I\’ve decided against it. I found a 50m pool not so far from my house yesterday,Mable Davis Park, it doesn\’t have 5.30 swim times, but I can fit 3 sessions per week in, which is the most I can reasonably do. I\’m going to talk to some of the Rogue coaches and see if I can get some one to one run coaching for a few weeks and then join a group for the Austin Marathon… I\’m starting to think I\’ll sign up for IM Arizona in 2009… I\’ve got do do one IM distance race before my knees pack up… Biking I\’ve always done on my own, we had five for Saturdays ride, with another three promised for this Saturday… I just need to get out early in the morning a couple of days a week.

  2. NYC marathon is Nov 2. Longhorn is Oct 5th. Time to recover from Longhorn while still doing those final 2 weeks of NYC training before the 2 week taper into NYC? Or would you \”train through\” Longhorn?

    It\’s all about doing what you want to do, enjoying it along the way, and balancing various athletic priorities and goals. If you want to do Longhorn, do it. If you race it hard, you\’ll need recovery time from it, which will eat into the final two weeks of training before that final two weeks of pre-NYC taper. If you use it as a (long) training session, do it easy so as not to impact (too much) your NYC training (still, a 6+ hour event will not be unnoticed by you bod, so I suspect it wouldn\’t be a clean \”train through\”:). It depends what your goals and priorities are. If NYC is your goal, A-race, focus on it, eye on the prize, focus on run. If it\’s all for fun and farting about, and you\’ll enjoy doing both, then enjoy doing both and register for Longhorn to get it hard-and-fast on your calendar too.

    Get the band back together? Get you, COJ and IronMom back to your Wed. Quality workout? Take charge, make it a run workout, \’cos that\’s what _you_ want? Sure, it\’d be nice to have a small adult supervision, but can you cajole and encourage each other into making it a quality workout? Set paces, repetitions in the cold clinical environment of pre-workout, sitting at your kitchen table weeks earlier, and come workout time, be honest to that work, those paces/times/distances/iterations. Sure, it\’d be a small group, not 30 or 40 people, but it\’d be on your schedule, and of those 30-40 people in larger group workouts, I\’d wager you actually do the work out near/with the same 4-6 folks week in week out anyway? If nothing else, you\’d learn whether you need the group dynamic to do a quality workout? Just today I read again a great phrase that I\’d not seen for a while, and it fits here: \”what makes a good athlete is what they do when no one is looking\”. If you ran your own quality workouts, you\’d be falling into this category, you\’d have to work hard, in your little group, or solo, to commit to getting it done, just as if you were in a larger group with group dynamics and group support.

    If, after NYC, your focus shifts from that marathon to a speedy half Ironman, then reevaluate the group thing then? Or turn your (by then established) Wed quality workout into rotating from running to bike to open water swim? Even with a run focus through NYC, you can still swim and ride as XT?

    Probably didn\’t help you sift though your musings, probably nothing you\’ve not considered already. sigh.

    1. I would do as I did when I had two weeks between Longhorn and Palo Duro 50K–treat that time as \”active\” taper. With my priority on NYC, I\’m not going balls-to-the-wall all-out at Longhorn;that\’s not to say I\’m slacking, because I\’m not, but NYC will be in the back of my mind and will temper how far I push things.

      The former Baraka birdies all have different goals/needs/wants and have flown off, so that\’s really not an option. It is actually quite difficult to find people to work out with during the day. I\’ve done the put-together-your-own group thing several times before so, yes, I have absolutely considered that option.

      It\’s always nice to hear someone else meandering through my thinking process; that way, if I\’m crazy, I know at least one other person out there is, too!!

      Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Yes, whyiron has a lot of good suggestions and nice to read that my thoughts are not so crazy. I would love to get together for Wednesday workouts and hold each other accountable. I understand what you are saying Leah…without actually saying it. Finding people to workout with is pretty easy and knowing what one needs to be doing is not a problem… what is the problem?? I can\’t figure that out either. Is it the one quality w/o a week we need? All of the long stuff for CdA was on our own??? We need the guidance of a master:)!

    It\’s a strange feeling for me to have a marathon to train for, but no real structure and my goals are not very clear! Maybe giving someone my money makes me feel more focused??? Maybe whyiron is up for hire:)???

    1. For me, it\’s not accountability or guidance so much as the challenge of a diversified speed work group. I would like to have a big enough group that I don\’t always \”know\” how I\’m going to stack up against everyone. I get into a comfort zone (especially with crabby)–I know about where I\’m going to fit into the world order–and I need to be broken out of my comfort zone if I\’m going to get some speed back.

      If we could add more people to our Wednesday during the day workout, then I\’d certainly be all over it. I\’d love to scrounge up about 3 more people. I haven\’t found any more people….

  4. When I trained to do the NYC marathon for fun, the race itself wasn\’t nearly as fun. When I train really hard for a race, then the race itself is usually a lot more fun. 🙂

    1. The thing I have a problem with that usually makes an event wind up as no fun for me is when I\’m not sure what my goal/purpose is. If I\’m not clear or have some vague, wishy-washy category then I\’m not happy. Like when I did the half at the AT&T this year. I never nailed down what I was doing (other than \”not the marathon\”) and so I was unhappy with all my results on every level.

      I will have goals for NYC; they just won\’t be PR goals. I need to get back to a certain level before I can even think about a PR.

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