Ironman is still 3+ years away, but now is the time to lay the foundation. These are the milestones I am working towards.
Cycling - Century Ride - Complete!
I completed a metric century (100km) in 2006, then followed it up with a full century 160km (100 miles) in Fall 2007. Every year I set my cycling goals a little higher, but this year I want to just improve my form for the century and work on speed. Last year I stuck with the 30km/h group, until I had a flat tire and lost the group. Final average was around 28km/h, so this year I want to be in (or beat!) the 30km/h.
Running - Full marathon - Target: 2008
I plan to run my first full marathon this year, either in the spring or fall. My goal is sub-4:00 for the first one... slow for most runners! Right now, my focus is on running the distance, but I plan to work on my running pace through 2009, by dropping weight and training for speed.
Triathlon - Give-it-a-Tri distance - Target: 2008
I haven't swam in a lake in about, oh, 15 years... and my swimming needs a lot of work. So this year I want to do my first triathlon, just to get my feet wet and understand the sport better.
Duathlon - International Distance - Target: 2008
This varies from event to event, but most likely I will do the Coubourg one again. Last year I did the Sprint distance duathlon, which was :
5km Run | 20km Bike | 2.5km Run
This year I plan to do the International distance:
10km Run | 40km Bike | 5km Run
That's about 3 hours of work... well short of the 17 hour time limit for Ironman! But a good challenge anyway.
Triathlon - Ironman 70.3 - Target: 2009?
Muskoka (Ontario) has an Ironman 70.3 event now:
The distances are half that of the full Ironman. This is an obvious milestone for completing the full distance! I would like to do this a few times before I attempt the full distance. There are other 1/2 Ironman races out there as well.
How I'll meet these goals
Cycling - ride ride ride. Put on the miles, bring down my times, I have a pretty good handle on how to get better on the bike.
Running - run run run! I'm building up mileage for the events by doing a long run (LSD) every week, with mid-week runs focusing more on speed (tempo runs). When I'm done the marathon I'll maintain my base, and keep a 15-20k weekly run so I'm always ready to get back into it full-throttle.
Swimming - I don't have a good handle on where I'm at yet, let alone how to improve... so right now I'm taking the swimming lessons and learning some of the basics. It's very weak for me, but I don't think I'd be the first person to swim terribly and finish Ironman if it came down to it. I really want to get better at this though, so I will practice until I get it right. I'd imagine this means some hours in the pool.
Goal for Ironman
Right now? Finishing in the 17 hours seems incredible... so I'll set the goal a little closer to the time!