January 2012: Back to Basics

Preparation Training

It went a little quiet here in November and December – mainly because I decided to take some time off to enjoy birthdays and Christmas parties before knuckling down to train for my big half ironman races in 2012.

I’ve now coached myself through January – the preparation phase in my plan. That basically means January has been (relatively) easy: only easy zone 2 heart rate training (i.e. I feel like I’m not working hard enough) and 8 hours a week.

So far, so good! And here are some lessons I learned throughout the prep phase …

You don’t get better at something if you don’t practise!

Seems obvious, right? Well nowhere is it more obvious than in my swimming abilities after 2 months out of the water! Some serious work is in order here …

One has to be super-organized to train 10 hours a week and work in management consulting

And fortunately I am. My fridge is more often than not filled with lunches and protein shakes I have prepared for the week.

I can’t think about racing if I want to do training in heart zone 2

In the prep and base periods, I need to spend a fair bit of time in relatively easy training to build my aeribic base. But whenever I think about my upcoming races I get so excited my heart rate sky rockets!

Europe can be really, really cold

I was fine in -4 degree temperatures whilst skiing in the Austrian slopes last weekend – with my thermals, ski pants and ski jacket. But -4 was a different story when I returned to Amsterdam. How is this related to my training? Well, I think it means another few weeks in the gym…

It’s nice to have support around you when you train

… such as last week when I was doing a two hour brick session at the gym, and the gym manager used the PA system to cheer me on: “Go Monica Hardcore!” (who knows what anyone else thought of this bizarre announcement!)

February has arrived, so it’s now time to start base training. Let’s hope Europe’s cold snap doesn’t last too long and I get get some training done outside … Especially since I pick up my new¬†Cervelo this weekend!