2018 Races and Training
When people ask me what my race plans are for 2018, I have a difficult time answering them. I am seriously all. over. the. place.
I am taking an Olympic weightlifting course. I am joining a friend for an ultra length FKT. I am taking up bike racing. I am doing a 4 day stage race. I am doing one, maybe 2 marathons. And I am committed to doing my annual Ironman branded race.
That mixed bag up there is why I will never be the best at anything but MAN do I have fun doing it. Although it looks like I have gone completely mad, I do promise I have a bit of structure. Here is what is governing my logic for 2018.
I want to become a better multisport athlete in adventure racing and triathlon. To do this, I genuinely need to become a cyclist, not just identify as a runner.
If 2018 had a theme, it would be cycling. I am putting running on the backburner a bit and dedicating the lions share of my time to cycling development from road to TT to mountain biking to cross. I am on a cycling race team and will be doing bike only races this spring and summer which is brand new for me. You can’t fake it out there without putting in the work and I have been working my way through the sweet spot base programs in Trainer Road. I currently have an FTP over 210 and the goal is to have it over 250 by the time the race season hits. Crazy? Maybe, but as a new rider, it shouldn’t be crazy to see big jumps in progression. I routinely jump over 10 watts in fitness every time I retest (about every 6 weeks) so I am hoping this trend continues.
I have been using a Stages power meter for my metrics and actually have ditched the heart rate monitor for the bike training, in favour of using it elsewhere (more later).
This year, I will be racing the O Cup series. Cycling is where most of my hopes, dreams, goals and rainbows lie in 2018 but that doesn’t mean I am leaving the rest behind.
I am keeping a solid run base to do a marathon in the spring. I am keeping a solid base over the summer for some long training events and a fall stage race.
So here is what I am planning on doing for running this spring. I haven’t solidified the fall as of yet.
Chilly Half Marathon – March
A nice little primer/workout to test my fitness and see if I will race or just have fun at the…
Waterloo Marathon – April
I am proud to be running a local marathon for the first time in a while this spring. I have never done this race and will be outlining some of my training and workouts leading up to both the Chilly and the Waterloo. I’ve never done either event so I am looking forward to tackling both with a newcomer perspective.
RunWaterloo Series –
I have a number of the races in the series I want to do, including the all-new duathlon they are introducing this year! The plan is to use some of the races for workouts and make sure I at least stay on the leaderboard for the time in my running club. 🙂
I will keep swimming at least twice a week to ensure that I stay fit for my triathlon and multi-sport events.
I have signed up for Mont Tremblant 70.3 and want to see how much I can improve my time! I have done one other 70.3 on a similar course but with an ironman under my belt, I am guessing I will see significant improvements. Triathlon is not my key focus this year but I would like to add another one if I am feeling up to it.
I have a 4 day stage race in September where Brad and I (my adventure racing team mate) will be returning to Quebec to defend our goal title in the coed division!
Play hard and learn lots.
This is a new one for me, but because I don’t make a living at doing any of this, I want to insert a play year every now and then. 2018 is just that for me. I was very serious, focused and selfish in 2017 to get ready for my race and while I don’t regret a single thing, I am happy to have a year where I am training with lots of people, relaxing with my program and trying things I haven’t tried before.
I am doing Muay Thai classes more regularly with a friend. I am taking a Women and Olympic Lifting program from January to March to ensure I am deadlifting and squatting with proper form and to build strength for the season. I am doing training days and adventure trips with friends that would totally derail a serious build to a key event, but because this year (other than my cycling racing at the beginning of the year) is more just for fun and fitness, it is perfect.
You may be reading this and being like “Jess – that is a lot. What about injury?” And you have a valid point. I am going into my 4th year of ZERO injuries and I am bet and bound to keep it that way.
Even 2 years ago, I don’t think my body could handle the volume, but year after year of layering on stress and training has lead me to have a pretty solid foundation. And I have become much better at listening to my body. I do not get psychologically bothered by skipping a workout or modifying it if I am feeling fatigued.
That being said, I am still not bulletproof so I have a few metrics in place to make sure I don’t overdo it.
- I monitor my HRV and my body cannot lie about the stress I am under. If it drops a few days in a row, I adjust my workouts.
- I work on a 6 week cycle. I build for 5 and ease way off for 1, allowing my body to recover.
- I put everything out there. I share my training on my Strava and instead of making me want to train more like it did at the beginning, it inspires me to train smart because I know everyone can take a look back at my history and see if I am being wise or not.
Right now, I am doing about 8-12 hours of training a week. I swim 2 x a week, lift 1x a week, run 3-4 x a week and bike 4 x a week.
Thank you to everyone who follows along with my training and gives me feedback, encouragement and new ideas. I am looking forward to tackling 2018 alongside you!