So, it’s almost December, and nigh on a month plus since I’ve done any real dedicated training. So I heighed me ho to yon Groton Public Library and snatched up a brace and a half of triathlon training books, and dug through the recesses of the Great Library of Jankexandria, where I unearthed a Navy Seal based program that got me thinking about getting fit almost three years ago now. The book links are through to Amazon. It also needs to be noted that these reviews are based on a less-than-thorough reading of the three tri books, and will likely be tweaked.
Triathlon 101 – Good stuff. Probably my favorite book in terms of balance of content and detail. Geared towards folks getting off the couch, but with enough meat for people who have been running or swimming or biking for a while. Great big flick book. My biggest gripe? Crummy to nonexistent training plans and minimal detail on stretches, exercises and weight routines, etc.
Triathlete’s Edge – On the initial “read”, this is my least favorite book. I’ll probably grow to like it about this time next year, after a full year of focusing on tri. It’s got great info on non-couch potato training plans. Good selection of stretches for all three sports, great swimming drills. Lots and lots of meat here. Gripes: Not enough pictures when describing exercises. Training plans are completely non-specific; focus on weekly and periodic targets. Again, I can see myself getting into this book in about a year, but for now, it’s a bit over my head. Think I might burn copies of the exercises, though.
Navy Seal Workout – I remember why I like this book: It takes me back over a decade to being yelled at by Marines and loving it. Lots of pictures. Lots of detail on stretches and upper and lower body gravity (as opposed to resistance or weights) exercises. 18 different stretches. 5 different pull ups. 4 different push-ups. 14 exercises for the core. Decent training plans for continuing training, with some info on how to transition from beginner-intermediate-advanced. In my mind’s eye, this is the program for me for the next few months. Gripes: No information on how to kill people with your bare hands. More pertinent, no accounting for overall lack of coordination, and the last straw here – no cycling. So, in practice, this is the program for me for the next few months, assuming I spend the next few months back on active duty and confined to a ship.
Triathlon Training – My favorite book. Shiny and glossy, few words on big pages. Lots of pictures, lots of bright colors. Motivational. The bits on training are a great compromise between Tri 101 and Tri Edge, and the training plans are the way I like them – specific to the day. Good drills for swimming and running. Cycling section includes recommendation to watch old TDF films. Gripes: All the training programs are race targeted; there’s nothing about maintenance or building base.
So, I know that y’all are asking at this point “What’s the plan, Stan?”
To which I answer – still dunno.
What I’m kicking around is something like the following:
First, I’ve got to add some gym time while the weather’s gnasty. Think I’m going to start doing M-W-F mornings at either the Y or the Newport base gym. TT recommends 2-6 weeks of “Muscle Endurance” – 12-15 core exercises per day, 12-20 reps in a minute per set, 30-60 seconds between sets, 2-3 sets per exercise. (Hey, there’s 12-15 core exercises in the Seal Book!) Dec to mid-Jan
Next phase is 4-6 weeks of “Strength-endurance”. 8-10 exercises (doesn’t specify core), 4-6 sets per exercise, 8-12 reps per minute per set. mid-Jan through Feb
After that, it’s strength and power for 4-6 weeks. TT’s got 7 exercises spec’d out – dumbell Bench Press, chin-ups, knee-tucks, inclined leg press, step-up with barbell, prone leg curl, and calf raises. March and April (Hey, it’s time to max the PRT!)
Then, Competition Phase, which in my case is going to be focusing on the Terramuggus Tri series. As soon as they announce the schedule, I can work backwards from the 8 week sprint tri program in TT.
On top of this, I’ve got to keep moving. The basis for the sprint training program is as follows:
Monday – swim
Tuesday – bike
Wed – run
Thu – swim
Fri – rest
Sat – bike
Sun – run
I’ll switch that up a little bit – probably swim Tues/Thurs nights still, and tack on a run or bike to the M/W/F gym sessions. Move the rest day to Sundays. Running intervals Wednesdays. Do one weekday bike of about 40 minutes. Keep the non-interval run to about 35 minutes. Alternate long bike/run on the weekends – bike weather permitting, or run otherwise.
Sweet. We’ve got a plan. If this were Navy tasking, I’d head down to the SK (storekeeper) shack and get a three ring binder to put it in. Got a binder, you’ve got a program. Got a program, you’ve got a fitness report bullet. Got a binder, you’ve got something that can be audited.
BTW, did you notice the intellectual sleight-of-hand that got me permission to sleep in tomorrow morning? Got to squash that.
So the plan needs tweaking, notably specifics as to which exercises I am going to do during each portion.