Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Year-End Review

Well, it's that time again. Another year comes to a close. How did it go, and how do I want 2010 to go? Wow, I've been doing this for how many years now? Do you know I've been doing this since 2005 (the blogging)? The triathlon since 2004. Interesting to reflect.

Here is 2006 and 2007 in review:
In 2006, I moved to San Diego and became a small fish in a big pond (well, okay, ocean). I got my ass handed to me, overtrained perpetually, and in the end, got into better shape. In 2007, I did my first half-ironman distance and became comfortable with volumes of 8-10 hour weeks for the first time. In 2006, that would have spelled disaster. Funny, that 8-10 is now my minimum requirement for happiness and normalcy. That line of what is "normal" keeps moving. Anyway, my volume from 2006 to 2007 basically doubled.

In 2008 (, I did my first Ironman. My volumes increased again. I was very happy with my training but I specifically stated that: "I don't think I want to increase the time of my training from this year to 2008 very much." And for the first year, in 2009, my volume was lower. So, mission accomplished. Yet, a part of me feels let down. I'm such a mileage junkie. I wanted to trump 2008 with more miles. However, I think I was fitter due to more intense and hillier rides. This is a very subjective opinion. I guess I could measure increased fitness by looking at speed but I don't feel like it. I complained in 2008 about slow swim and run times.

In 2009, I ran more than ever. Did I get faster? I would like to think so. Oh, wait. I did do a speed analysis ( So I guess I am a data junkie. Anyway, it shows I have gotten faster in tris, and the swim, bike and run from 2006-2008. Did I get faster in 2009 compared to 2008? Hard to say because I did a lot of new races (can't compare race times from different races--like apples to oranges) and my "A" race was Ironman Canada, at the end of August, and the end of the season (in which I had the stomach flu). However, I had 2 PRs, one of which was Ironman California 70.3, a major PR (25 minutes). My 2nd PR was the 10K Turkey Trot, where I was completely out of shape and just showed up for fun. So I guess my run has gotten faster. Also, I moved up in my age group, place-wise, which says something.

Honestly? I don't care too much. I'm happy with where I am. And that's all that really matters. Did I meet my goals for 2009? Sure. I completed my 2nd Ironman. That was my biggest goal. Did I get faster? Sure. Why not? I think my biggest goal was to do less. Do I do that? Not really. Also, I wished for a slower, more relaxed year. Nah. Didn't get that either. Maybe 2010 will be more stable. More routine. That's my plan. I will discuss 2010 goals in a later post but I have a 3rd Ironman (Utah) planned and then some preliminary plans to move into ultrarunning.

Here's the data for all you junkies out there (and I get 1 more week to add to all this. Honestly, it's not too far off from 2008).

Here's the 2009 breakdown in gory detail:

I see a nice, long build-up to Ironman Canada (week 39). I started training in December with a "Prep" phase. Peaked for CA 70.3 around week 18. Then, shifted over to marathon training for RnR San Diego, which was supposed to be week 27 but I suffered a hip injury and a major sinus infection. Afterwards, from week 29 until the taper at week 36 (6-8 weeks), I focused on Ironman-specific training, putting me into the perfect position for Ironman Canada. It would have been perfect, except for bad luck, which gave me the stomach flu race morning. After week 39, you can see my "off season" and then a "Prep phase" following that, which is just about where I am now.
For an even more in-depth analysis, here are the 2009 hours by sport:
What's most interesting is that I alternated between "bike-focused" and "run-focused" blocks (while maintaining the swim throughout). The Prep phase in the beginning was balanced. This was followed by a "bike" specific phase (weeks 11-15), then a "run" specific phase (weeks 20-24), then a "bike" phase again (weeks 29-32), before entering into a "Final Push" right before the taper for Ironman Canada (where all 3 sport volumes increased/or was maintained at a high level while increasing intensity as well). This allowed me to keep it interesting while actually improving my speed/strength at one of the three sports. Since biking is my limiter, I planned on focusing on it right before my "Final Push" to keep it fresh in my body.
For 2010? I plan on doing more fun workouts and caring less about volume or speed. I want to do more cross training, more trail running, and stick less to a plan. Ironman Utah will be a fun, challenging course for me but it's not about speed.


Renee said...

I love your graphs! What a great way to look at a few years worth of hard work! Here is to an even better 2010!

Nicole- Geek Turned Athlete said...

Wow! You are so detailed!! I need to do that! Good luck with Ironman Utah and your more relaxed schedule!

Alisa said...

I really like all these graphs, I'm not an excel wizard so I probably couldn't figure it out.

I think fun workouts and new challenges are what keeps life interesting. I'm interested to hear about your ultra training, my husband is signed up for one.

Christi said...

Great data! I wish you best in 2010!

Mark said...

Your graphs look like your doing analyses of various wave forms—sign, square, saw waves—or the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise measuring for a F.T.L jump (faster than light) to some far reaching corner of the universe. In short, this rocks. I wish I had the patience and fortitude to get this done. Awesome job training. I am joining the IM community this summer and could not be more scared—thanks for the inspiration!

Happy Training!


Southern Cernock said...

I think your goal of a slower, more stable life is a great goal to have. It's one I have to work on all the time!

Bob D said...

Awesome data.....I gotta do that this year.

Andy said...

Wow! Lots of Data! But it is good to be able to look back and compare everything year by year, month by month, etc... I like how you going to have an open-ended year and let whatever happens happen! So carefree! Happy New Year to you, talk to you soon.