I'm starting to rethink my race plans and goals for the year, a bit. First thing I think I'm going to axe from my schedule is the race in a couple of weekends...the 5k trail race. Not because I don't love it--I had a blast last year--but because we are going to be out late at a yearly wine party with friends (having it a week or two later than normal) and the day of the race is DS's birthday.
I'm also thinking I will nix the second sprint triathlon I had been eyeballing for late August. It is expensive (and this year is already going to be really $$ with Vega$ in early Dec.), the distance is sorta odd (first running leg is 2 miles, instead of 5k and the cycling leg is 20k, instead of 30), and it would fall right in the thick of training for my target half-marathon...the one I really want to PR and finally finish under 2 hours (Vegas in December is really going to be more of a long run with 30-some friends than an actual race).
But the biggest change is in how I am approaching my training this year. I had previously been shooting to run 1500 miles this year and then supplement with cycling. But after looking at the duathlon training plan (from Training Plans for Multisport Athletes) and talking to my hubby about century rides I realize that I need to put just as much emphasis on cycling as I do on running. So I am cutting back my running miles by about 250 miles for the year...instead of averaging 29/week I will be averaging 24. Not a huge difference, but it means actually being able to take a needed rest day each week, instead of taking a short run.
I will be running 3x/week and biking 3x. My runs will essentially be 2 mid-length runs (1 with some speedwork) and 1 long. Cycling will be where I recover, a bit. My rides will be 1 shorter, easier ride, 1 mid-length ride with speed work of some sort, and one long, steady-state ride.
I am not following the 11 week training plan in the above book to the letter...even the more advanced plan is WAY light on the running mileage and geared for someone used to training for and casually running only 5-10k races. I will be following the cycling training from that plan and adding a fair amount to the running portion, as I have a 25k race 2 weeks after the duathlon. My running mileage will still be about half of what I was doing in marathon training, so as long as the cycling doesn't kick my butt (don't expect that it will, as I am already ahead of the game where the training plan starts) I should be OK.
Next year I may consider skipping the 25k so that I can really focus on training specifically for the duathlon. I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy participating in multisport events, as long as I can avoid falling off the bike or crashing!
After the duathlon and 25k I start targeting my trail relay and first century ride and starting to train for my September half-marathon.
It's also becoming painfully obvious that my core needs strengthening. My lower back has been been tight, weak, and sore. When the back is weak and in pain everything else falls apart. So at least 2 days/week I will be doing some sort of abs/back work, even just something quick will be better for me than what I have done for the past 4-5 months, which is pretty much nothing.
I just need to figure out what approach to take with the back. I have always been really pleased with Cathe Friedrich's DVDs and she has one that targets the core and uses nothing more than a stability ball, medicine ball, and mat--all things I already have. The DVD has 3 20 minute workouts, so I could easily rotate those with a couple of 15 minute ab workouts I have and be able to do 2 weeks without repeating a workout--keeping those muscles challenged.
Now, if I can just drop these last 20#s with their death-grip on my frame...