Friday, October 15, 2010

Setting Goals (for 2011)

The problem with having your biggest event of the year at the end of the year is that you basically have to start setting your goals for the next year before you've even completed the current one(s) - because next year's right around the corner. And the problem with Ironman events is that you've got to commit to and register for any marquee event almost a full year in advance. So, despite not yet having actually completed my first Ironman race, I'm already trying to schedule my second.

I'm not going to have the budget or vacation time on-hand for my next go-round, so I'm looking to stay in North America. The options aren't super compelling. I'm strongly considering Canada at the end of August, but that feels somewhat aggressive in that I'd only have two months of "down time." Maybe that's enough, though? General entry for Canada is sold out, so I'd have to raise some dough for a charity to secure a spot on the start line. None of the U.S. races really excite me, but Arizona might make a good potential back-up option and it isn't until late November.

When scheduling a race like this, all I've really got to think about are the training requirements. Location really doesn't matter to me. I just want to be sure my quality of life doesn't totally suck for all of 2011. I won't try to log the same kind of training hours for Ironman 2.0 as I have for this one, but I'll still need to dedicate 24 weeks of near-monastic living to the cause.

If I choose to race in late August, that means I need to kick off "Base 1" at the beginning of March and "Build 1" at the beginning of June. The early part of the Base phase could be rainy and cold, but the latter half would take advantage of the nice weather we get in the spring. Build would be during the cold, foggy summer months, and my season would end just before San Francisco's Indian summer (a good thing, in a lot of ways).

If I choose to race in November, the start of training can be delayed by three months, starting in June. The schedule would be very similar to this year's - Base during the foggy months (though maximizing the longest days of the year) and Build during the warm, autumn months. On the plus side, I'd be able to reward myself with a massive, post-race Thanksgiving feast.

If you haven't already guessed, the foot injury's the primary reason why this is already on my mind. I'm adjusting my goals for this December's race with the provision that I'll take some time after to fix whatever's wrong with me and come back even better in 2011. Western Australia's going to be awesome - I fully expect to stomp the swim and do very well (for me) on the bike, but the run will be questionable. For Canada (or Arizona, or whichever one I settle on), I'm going to put all three disciplines together, add a dash of experience and really try to crush it.

More on my actual, modified Western Australia-specific goals, target finish times, etc., coming in another blog post some time over the next couple weeks.