2010 IMFL – 10:13 (7th in 18-24 AG)
2011 IMFL – 9:31 (1st in 25-29 AG) – Qualified for Kona
2010 Syracuse 70.3 – 4:43 (PR at 70.3 distance)
2011 Timberman 70.3 – 4:27 – Qualified for Vegas (70.3 PR)
The graph above illustrates the total hours spent training in 2010 vs. 2011. As you can see, at this point in the year I am already 150 hours ahead of where I was in 2010. With the rest of November and December to go, I am sure the total hours will be over 200 more than last year. My point is that consistent training week after week can lead to good things! Most of my weeks were between 12-16 hours – nothing too crazy, as I was also employed as a full-time CPA over that time period.
With that said, I will let you all in on the biggest secret as to how I qualified for Kona … 2011 was my second full year of triathlon training. The simple fact is that if you want to improve in the sport of triathlon, you need to be consistent not only week after week, but year after year as well. A fellow triathlete and friend told me that it takes between 3-5 years for your body to fully adapt to the rigors of true triathlon training, especially when training for the longer races (half and full distance Ironman). Thus, the true reason for my overall improvement and successes in 2011 was the fact that I was building on a base of almost 1.5 years. This not only made me a better athlete in terms of my physical progression, but also a smarter triathlete based on the race experience that I gained in 2010. (2 Ironman distance races and 2 70.3’s) I must add that in 2011 I raced a lot more. I jumped into numerous sprint triathlons, which I feel greatly improved my fitness, especially on the bike. Each sprint triathlon was essentially a ~40 min time trial on the bike. Whereas many triathletes will do power tests periodically throughout the season to evaluate where they are, I chose to really “test” myself in these short races, which did not require any deviation from my regular season plan. Short course racing does not require the recovery that a longer race does; therefore, adding in sprint and Olympic races is actually quite beneficial to long course training. While providing a boost of race intensity training, shorter races also help mentally since racing breaks up the monotony of long training weekends.