After having a few days to reflect back on Steelhead, I have come up with some areas in which I need to improve. These are strictly triathlon related, so no comments from the peanut gallery please – I know that I am deficient in other areas as well :).
#1 Core Workouts
I need to focus more on core workouts (eg. crunches, weight lifting, etc.). I really don’t enjoy lifting weights, but I think it will help with some of the soreness I had in my arms and back during the race. I have a book (The 12-Week Triathlete) that has a great section of strength exercises that can be done with only dumbbells; no fancy equipment needed. So, it looks like I am going to have to buy some dumbbells. Any recommendations on what to get? I really like the Bowflex SelectTech for their convenience and space savings, however, the price tag is a little steep. I’d sort of like something adaptable rather than individual dumbbells of specific weights.
#2 More Running
With the training plan I was using, I don’t think there was enough running. I maxed out at something like 25 or 30 miles a week with long runs of only 8 or 9 miles. I would be much more comfortable upping the long runs so that I was doing at least the full 13 miles once every other week. Coming from a primarily running background, I miss the long 15-18 mile runs on the weekends.
#3 Train Longer
Eight weeks isn’t quite enough to fully prepare for the half Ironman. I was sort of pushing the limit to get ready because I had been training for a marathon in early June and didn’t start focusing on swimming or biking until after that. I thought that the number of miles I was putting in running would offset the shortened training period, but I really needed more brick workouts to fully prepare. The only thing that really saved me for Steelhead was the two triathlons I did in preparation for Steelhead.
#4 Get a Proper Bike Fit
While not necessarily a personal improvement, this is probably something I should look into investing in. I struggled a bit earlier this season with pain in my upper leg after getting off the bike. I seemed to have solved this by lowering the saddle about a half inch or so. However, it still isn’t quite as comfortable as it should be. Also, I am wondering if an improper fit led to some of the back pain I incurred during the race.
As for recovery from Steelhead, I am just about back to 100%. I have done a few light workouts the past couple of days, but nothing too strenuous. My left hamstring is a little sore, but it seems to loosen up once I walk on it for a bit. I’ll continue to do a couple more light workouts this week; just enough to stay ready for the Millennium Triathlon on Saturday.