“It's not so much where we are that's important, but in what direction we're moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Winter isn’t the time to dwell on your past performances. After a brief rest period – 2 to 3 weeks of an alternate activity or active rest – it’s time to lay down the base for the up coming year.
The first thing you should do is choose a key race. This is your “A” race. The race you are pointing all your training towards. This will allow you to design a training plan that will prepare you for the distance you’ve chosen and get you into peak shape by race day.
Second set your goals, be very specific, but be reasonable. Set a distance and time goal – for example complete your first Ironman (or first triathlon), complete a Half Ironman in under 6 hours. Write your key race down and write down your goals. Put them some place where you’ll see them every day. Tell your friends and training partners. Now you’ve got something to aim for. A target that is clearly defined is much easier to reach than a vague idea. And you’ve made your goals public.
Then, start building a good solid Aerobic base. By building a solid and big aerobic base you accomplish two things. First, you will have the cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness to reach your goal. Second, you raise your aerobic ceiling. This raises your anaerobic threshold.
You build an aerobic base by increasing your mileage and training within your aerobic zone. Gradually increase your training load – increase the number of days per week you’re working out and increase the distance you’re covering. But, don’t increase both in the same week. Work at the same level, number of days and total distance, for two weeks before increasing your workouts. In addition, gradually increase your long workout. Again, do this every two weeks. Increase the distance by no more than 10% each two weeks.
After four weeks of regular training add one hard workout each week. This should be a hill workout. Avoid races during this period. After four weeks of hill workouts, you can add an occasional race. These races should be at less than maximum effort.
Focus on your daily workouts. It’s much too early to be dreaming about your key race and avoid reminiscing about your past races. Enjoy being active and not having any pressure during your workouts.