The Road to Ironman Raleigh 2014

Today I began my next triathlon journey: Ironman Raleigh 2014. Ironman Raleigh is a 70.3 (half ironman) distance race put on by World Triathlon Corp (aka: Ironman). The inaugural Ironman Raleigh was run this past June and I was proud to be a finisher. It was my challenge race for 2013 and I trained for many months to get the chance to run down that chute and hear the announcer call out my name as a finisher! But as excited as I was to finish, I wasn’t terribly happy with my performance. In short, Ironman Raleigh kicked my rear end! So when registration for Ironman Raleigh 2014 opened up this past August, I jumped at the chance to tackle this race again. I feel like I have a little unfinished business as I want to improve my time and finish a lot stronger.

Training for Ironman Raleigh 2014

training for Ironman Raleigh 2014

My road to Ironman Raleigh 2014 started today on the greenway at Horseshoe Farm Park in Raleigh.

Today I began the journey to Ironman Raleigh 2014. We’re a little less than six months out from race day (June 1, 2014) and I’ve been working on a plan that has me getting started with a “base building” period. The purpose of building a base in triathlon is to get your body up to speed for the demands that you will place on it when the full training regimen begins. My base building period will take about 7-8 weeks. Though I continued running a bit after my last triathlon of the season – the Lake Royale Sprint Triathlon held this past October – I’ve stayed off the bike and out of the pool, mostly due to spending time with my family and taking care of work needs. This means that my endurance and fitness levels are not quite up to par right now. The base building period should help dramatically.

Today’s workout was a simple run of 40 minutes. I wasn’t trying to push hard, set any records or make this the best workout I’ve ever done. Instead, I simply went for a run. I ran four miles in just under 40 minutes for slightly better than a 10 minute mile pace. For many, that wouldn’t be a very good run. For me, it was a sign of how far I’ve come since I picked up running about three years ago. Previously, I would have a very hard time maintaining an 11 minute per mile pace; today I ran 10 minute miles like it was nothing!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll ride a couple of times per week (weather permitting) and run about three times per week. I’m staying out of the pool until probably late January or early February as there’s a direct cost associated with going to the pool and I don’t want to incur that just yet! I’m also doing some strength training consisting of planks, squats and light weight workouts. My goal with the strength training is to prepare the muscles for what will be asked of them in the months ahead.

So, that’s it. Training for Ironman Raleigh 2014 has begun. This is going to be a challenging round of training as my wife and I are expecting our fourth child in late January. I’ve already been checking into bike trainers so that I might be able to continue riding without having to head out from the house. But, I’m in a good place about that. Triathlon is an endurance sport. The goal of the race is to do all three events as well as you can, which means you need endurance. And you build endurance over time. And the time for training has begun!

Author: Jon Parks

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