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Ironman Training Phase 1: Building My base

by Meghann on January 21, 2013

The time has come. 2013 is officially the year of the Ironman. In a little less than 10 months I will be toeing the starting line of Ironman Florida. I’m excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time. This isn’t just a race, it’s a full commitment, and I’m ready for it.

Now the question becomes – where does one begin? After two months off, I’m basically starting from the beginning with fresh legs and a fresh spirit. I don’t plan to dive completely into training (it’s way too early for that!), but gradually work myself back into it by building a base: three days a week of running, two days a week of riding, and two days a week of swimming with some strength training thrown in. Gradual, easy stuff to keep my legs fresh and my spirit motivated. In April I’ll start to follow a specific Ironman training plan that I have set aside, but for now it’s easy going.


Tomorrow I’ll join back up with my XP friends for Tuesday and Thursday swim practice. I was all set to return last Thursday when practice was cancelled. darn. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, but training with XP last spring/summer developed a new passion for the sport that I didn’t know was there. It helped having a team that held me accountable to show up for practice, as well as a knowledgeable coach who wasn’t shy about telling me what I was doing wrong or right in order to help me improve.

The twice-a-week practice will bring me back to swimming speed and remind my body what it needs to be doing in the water.



I need a new bike. I need a new bike. I need a new bike.

Man, do I need a new bike.


I just need to bite the bullet and get one. The problem is I know NOTHING about bikes. Bikes aren’t my passion and, when something isn’t your passion, researching it feels like a tedious, boring thing (on the flip side, reading about the latest running shoe is my idea of a good time!). What I need is someone who knows something about bikes to just tell me what to get and where to get it. Oh, and it can’t cost a million dollars. That’s another thing – bikes are pretty expensive and the post-wedding budget is tight right now.

I was proud that I took my bike out for a solo ride on Sunday. I’m hoping to do one semi-long ride on the weekends and one mid-week shorter ride (maybe on the trainer?) in the future. I fell on the trainer earlier in the summer and I haven’t worked up the courage to hop back on it since, I think it’s time to change that. Gulp.


I figured since I’m working on building my endurance base I might as well work on building my speed as well. My 10k and 15k PRs are beyond outdated. In fact, I managed to beat both of them during the St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half last year. I figured since I have all this extra training time on my hands (and don’t want to burn out on any big races) I would work on beating my 10k time (I’ll save the 15k PR for another day).

I did a little research and found a Runner’s World Smart Coach plan via Pinterest that I plan to follow (I tried making my own Smart Coach plan, but the site was down. bummer.).

Smart Coach Printer Friendly.jpg

I’ve never trained specifically for a 10k before, so this will be a new adventure for me. I like that the plan is only 3-4 days a week of running with a day dedicated to speed work. I plan to adapt the plan a bit for my own goal (I’ll actually be gunning for a sub-48, not sub-50), but still follow the overall gist of it.

My goal race is the 32nd Annual Strawberry Classic 10k on March 23.


It’s a small local race that’s chipped time, strawberry themed, and budget friendly. Score!


I’m going to keep up with CrossFit as long as I can. I’ve really enjoyed the workouts and the people at the box – it’s a pretty addicting workout that provides some great results. However, it’s not cheap and pretty soon Ironman training will take priority. As soon as it gets to be too much to do everything, I plan to cut out CrossFit and focus on Ironman training, it’s as simple as that.


So there’s my building-my-base plan for the next couple of months. It’s nice having a mix of keeping it casual with a good goal thrown in for fun. Last year I made the mistake of going pretty hard in the spring (scoring big PRs for both my half marathon and full marathon). I was burnt out before triathlon season even started and never quite recovered. This year my goal is to race smart and train smart. If that means taking it easy on my race schedule, then so be it – crossing the finish line at Ironman Florida with a smile on my face will make it all worth it. :)

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