I'm winding down the 2008 season with the Toronto Marathon in October, but with a goal as ambitious as Ironman for 2009 I will have to plan my next season sooner than normal.
... January 1, 2009. This gives me around 2 months of rest/relaxation between the Toronto Marathon and the training grind for Ironman.
I'm still deciding which training plan to use, but I think I'll generally go with this 36-week training plan. It seems to match much of the common wisdom for the "novice" Ironman, ie. to build up over a longer period of time (36 weeks).
I'll also leverage the knowledge I've pulled in from other sources, mainly the book "Going Long" by Joe Friel. There is also a 20-week training plan aimed at beginners that I'm going to take into account.
36 weeks before August 2009 puts the start date for Ironman training somewhere in mid-December... I'll probably push that out until the start of January and shorten it to a 34 week plan, depending on how life goes around Christmas!
I'm going to merge all this into a formal detailed training plan over the next month or two.
This is a rough plan of what races I'd like to do.
The only "A" race is Ironman Canada, the rest are for experience, for fun, and for motivation.
March - Around the Bay 30K
April - Paris to Ancaster (Mountain Bike Race)
May - Sporting Life 10K or a 1/2 marathon
Late May - Sprint Triathlon
Mid-June - Muskoka (long course - Swim 2km, Bike 55km,Run 15km)
Early July - Peterborough 1/2 Iron
Late July/Early August - Sprint Triathlon
August 30, 2009 - Ironman Canada
My weakness is the swim, so over the winter that's my focus. I'm taking swim classes again, and will be spending a lot of time in the pool.
I'm hoping for a mild winter so I can get some outdoor bike miles in. Either way, I'll be making good use of my trainer. And I'll run through the winter again - I got through last year's record snowfall, I'll get through it again this year.
I don't want to think too far ahead, but based on training plans and such the main goal is bike bike bike! That's basically what I've always done, so this should be just another season for me, only with more miles.