Sunday, January 22, 2012

Multi-sport training or social event?

So I've been 'following' a training plan for about 5 weeks now as I make my journey to the White Lake Half Ironman event in May. I put 'following' in quotes because I'm not as strict about following the plan as others might be. I'm trying to cover the distances specified, but I don't always do the drills specified or work out at the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) specified. Usually (except for the swim), I am going harder and longer than specified.

What's this going to mean come event day? I'm not sure. Some could say that I will be over-trained. Not sure what that really means if indeed I do complete the event and in a reasonable amount of time. Could it make the difference in hitting a goal time and missing it by 3 minutes (like the 2010 Assault on Mt Mitchell)? Perhaps, but I'm as much doing this event for the social interaction with my friends as I'm doing it to stay active and in shape.

So, what about the social interaction? There is a group of 17 of us that are planning to stay in a cabin in White Lake. It's one big Half Iron support group! It is really fun to be able to share the experience of training with these peeps. Despite the fact that we're not really spending all of our training time together. We occasionally get together for a run or a sufferfest session, but not necessarily even once a week.

What's cool is seeing their posts, tweets, texts and emails talking about what training they have done that day, or how that training is going. Of course, we're all responding to each others communications with words of support and advice when asked or appropriate. It brings a whole new perspective to what for me has been mostly an individual pursuit.

So, am I going to White Lake to participate in and challenge myself with a Half Ironman event, or am I going for the social event which is the White Lake Half Ironman? In all truthfulness, it is both. I'm looking forward to sharing the camaraderie in the hours leading up to the event, as well as the 'race recaps' following the race. And of course, in between all that there will be 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking and 13.1 miles of running. Bring it on!

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