I have been in this frickin slump for around a month now and it is time to HTFU and more importantly STFU (Smarten TFU). Last week I was sick with the second head cold in the last 6 months. I would get home from work and had no energy. I tried to run on Friday and could barely make it through 2 miles. I was really disappointed because I had my first century planned for Saturday and it was one one of the flatter ones in Georgia. So, instead, I took the entire weekend off. This gave me some time to think about my progress, my current plan, and my diet. In addition, I have also been having GI issues on my long runs.
Over the weekend, I re-read parts of the Paleo diet and read several articles from various sources. I looked back through some of my training logs. I knew it was time for a few changes.
The biggest disappointment, besides the slow recovery in my running is my inability to lose weight. I think my weight has been one of my biggest hurdles to success. With that, I knew I needed to change both my diet, as well as look at my training plan and make adjustments.
I am phasing out most of the processed "food" I have been eating, including all those 100 calorie snacks. I went to costco and bought lots of fresh veggies and made a massive salad to get me through most of the week. I am going to cut down on my consumption of bread. My focus is eating natural, less processed foods. This has always been the basis of my usual diet, but with iron training and other things keeping me busy, I have neglected my diet because I did not make time to cook or prepare the good foods I need. This is the first part to me losing weight. I have also restarted taking my supplements, including fish oil, Vitamins B,C, and E, and Bromelain.
The second thing I did was to analyze my training plan and think about making some changes. I am not going to really change the weekends long run and rides or my weekly bricks, but I am considering some changes to my weekday training plans. There are a couple of different philosophies when it comes to training for ironman. The usual method involves training long and at low intensities, mainly Z1-Z2 with a small amount of speed work. There is another school of thought that stresses quality over quantity. I have about two months left until my 70.3 and then another month after that is B2B. By training mainly at lower intensities, I have not been getting the metabolism boost that I would get with higher intensity training. It has also been harder for me to regain running speed under my current plan. I am considering doing more tempo runs and hill repeats at high intensity. Some of this is already in the plan, but some of it isnt. I also think I need to get back to running with the group on Saturday mornings, because that is also a big part of how I got faster. When I first started running with the group, I couldnt hang on with the group. Eventually I was at the fromt of the group and at some point I was running faster then the main group. By running with the faster folks, it'll help me push myself.
On the bike, my training has been at a high cadence and low resistance. On the trainer, I can barely get into mid Z2 on the bike using this method. In order to build more strength in my legs, I am going to build in periods at the same high cadence at higher resistance.
For the swim, the biggest thing I can do is loose weight. I cannot seem to get my splits down on the swim. I have a strong feeling this has to do with the excess drag.
While I may be taking some risk by altering my training plan at this point, I really feel that the metabolism boost that comes at slightly higher intensities will do more to help me lose weight. I feel the benefit from losing weight will be more then the benefit of training at lower intensities during the week. I will continue to train long, but I may also allow my HR to go into Z3 on the bike and possibly low Z4 on the run. This is the first year I have trained by HR and I feel like I have made the least progress. As long as I do this in a smart way and listen to my body, I feel I will see better results on race day.