Olympic Triathlon Training 1: Half Recovery and No Preparations Made

It’s starting… except that it hasn’t really after last year’s failure. This post is going to follow a lot like those half marathon updates you’ve been reading but for this week it’s what I’m doing or not doing to get prepared and a little bit on my training strategy. You’ll notice next week I’m not starting at week 1 that’s for a lot of reasons really but it’s totally on purpose. The thing is our springs can be wicked unpredictable and this spring was no exception. This race is really my ‘real’ goal for the race season and the half I did last week was just to get my overall fitness where it needs to be. It’s easier to run than to bike or lake swim in the cold and snow, and there was a lot of both this spring. In some ways the half put me where I need to be at the start line months down the road and not really in other ways.


The race will take me probably, round about, ball park a shade over three hours and my longest long run was over 2:50. Let me clarify here I will have a time goal on race day but it will be a long way off the winners. I’d just like to finish it and not embarrass myself too much and mainly to collect a medal at the end. This race will be an expensive one because I’ll be travelling to it, I’ll need to spend a bit on my bike and buy some goggles but the race fee is dirt cheap at $60. Along the way you’ll also see that triathlon doesn’t have to be expensive! I’ll be running in the Melmerby Triathlon which is a Johnny Miles event held in New Glasgow. It’s also my birthday present to me all in all between the race, gas, accommodations, meals and gear I figure I’ll spend about $300 on the whole shebang.

What I meant to get done this week

  • Prep paddle board mooring (no)
  • Drop it (obviously no)
  • Recovery run Sunday (no)
  • Light cross training (no, sort of)
  • Recover from half (yes)
  • Fix up both bikes (no)
  • Find wetsuit (no)
  • Book accommodations (yes)
  • Register for race (yes)
  • Clean the house (yes sort of)
  • Get all the laundry done (yes)
I did get on my paddle board for the first time this year!

What a busy week!!!! We’re behind again and this week we realized that we forgot about someone recently. I bought a white board for the fridge to keep track. The thing is even though we’ve been working till dark every day this week for every item was cross off two more get added. Needless to say we’re really behind again! Which brings me to the cross training thing… Did I lift weights or go to a yoga class no but trust me I got it covered it just wasn’t ‘light’. I did however make it a point to book accommodations this week because that really is the cornerstone of the plan.

The town where the race is, New Glasgow, let’s jut say it’s not booming exactly so they weren’t too expensive. My trainee’s might join us as dedicated cheerers on race day so I booked a three bedroom house on airbnb. Bonus the house isn’t fully finished with it’s renovations yet so I think I got an even better deal on it. The host directed me to his other listing saying this one will look just like it 6 weeks before race day and if so it’ll be swanky. Since he manages other properties I’m not worried and it turns out he’s a long time volunteer for the race! I made a note of why I would be in town an he offered to stock the kitchen with pasta for carb loading, so cute right? Honestly if it looks just the way it does now that’s fine with me all I need is a bed, a stove to make tea and wifi, I definitely need wifi!

The training plan for the training plan

For the next two weeks things are crazy with work and also tutoring. Then the tutoring goes away, thankfully. Like I did for the half I’ll be looking at my schedule for the week for work and training and finding the pockets to slide in training. There will be early morning runs, bike rides and occasionally swims. I wrote this plan for myself and it only has 5 workouts a week and never more than one a day. Many triathlon plans include days where you have more than one workout to fit in and that’s just not realistic for most humans. I plan to do quite a few of the cycling workouts on my mountain bike for two reasons, I like it more and if I can get a 33 lb bike going fast a 17 lb bike is bound to fly and I know that I can. I haven’t ridden my road bike a whole lot and I just want to get to a point where I’m comfortable with it for race day. I also have to learn to change a bike tire on the go because with big old heavy mountain bike tiers I’ve never had to. I’ve taco-ed a wheel but at that point why bother with the tire?

One little issue that’s come up right away is water temperature. I’ve been b-itching and moaning about this cold as b-alls spring we’ve had and the proof is in the lake water as they say. Usually by now we’ve had a few hot days and it’s swimmable especially with a shorty wetsuit! By June 15th I’m typically in there for a Semi-nightly bikini sunset swims and or boat retrievals. Today I bought a pool thermometer and it’s 10 degrees Celsius! That means a 5/3 wetsuit with booties, WTF? It’s freaking June in three days! I mean we do have those for diving but holly smokes I’m not even sure how one swims in those. Do I have to wear a partial weight belt to go with it? It also means a deep, deep dive into the shed to find all the matching pieces. So to a pool right? Well the city is an hour away and it’s short on pools at the moment. The Dartmouth sportsplex is closed for renovations, Northcliff got torn down a few years ago and I think the DAL pool might be closed at the moment too. The only two I think might be up and going are right downtown (centennial) and all the way in Cole Harbour. I might just replace it with a run or bike ride for this week because as soon as we get a few hot days and stop having frosty nights that temperature should shoot right up! But I’ll have to figure it out for next week.

So this brings me to why I decided to do a half and then jump into tri training at week 4.5 after a few days off. Even though it’s totally reasonable to do an ocean swim triathlon in July here but the 12 weeks of training leading up to it not so much. Running is more feasible in a cold spring compared to biking and definitely compared to outdoor swimming.

Looking forward to race day

This is going to be my birthday present to me this year and it’ll also blow the rest of my race budget for the year in one go. I might do a couple more little ones but it’s also important to spend time not in training every year and after 5-6 months it’ll be time for a break. But this is also the first race I’ll be traveling for, even if it’s just a couple of hours and overnight and that makes it special. I think it really will be birthday weekend celebrations for me and honey since he’ll be away on a fishing trip on the big day. The map for the race location looks super cool and even though the olympic is the sprint course twice which is kinda boring it means I’ll see my cheerers at least 6 times! Now all I have to do is train them not to mention ANYTHING about time!

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Doesn’t that look crazy pretty, and it’s in a park!

If you’re interested in the plan I’m using it’s the realistic olympic triathlon training plan I wrote available here. While you’re there check out my other plans too including the new bare minimum 1/2 marathon training plan, more info here. What are you training for this season?

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