I have been very unsure on how to target my training, and keep switching between two different mindsets. To put no finer point on it, out of the three triathlon events running is by far my weakest.
I have always been a strong swimmer, and feel like I can maintain a decent front crawl pace forever. The only things that stops me from swimming is that after an hour or so I just get a bit bored.
Likewise cycling is something that I seem to find it very easy to get better at. As I have been riding the road bike I feel that my fitness, and average speed have both improved very quickly. I really enjoy putting the miles in on the bike, and cannot wait for better weather so I can put in a few long rides without freezing my Jacob’s off.
Running, or more specifically long distance running has never ever been a strength. Even when I played football twice every weekend I was never able to run long distance without getting tired very quickly. Now I am old (er) running now causes me knee, shin and foot pain even if it is only a relatively short 5k.
So back to these two mindsets (outlined below)
1) Train on your weakest discipline, whilst maintaining the other two so they all become equal
2) Train up your strongest disciplines whilst trying to make steady progress on the weaker
Now I am more than sure that neither of these options is absolutely right, and if I engaged a coach they would probably advise something different. This whole Ironman journey is all about discovery for me, so I am going to try and figure things out for myself.
As a result I am going for option 2 at the moment, and working on my swim and bike fitness whilst going for an occasional run (when my aches and pains allow me). Swimming is zero impact and as such does not aggravate my legs like running, and I also find that Cycling is much easier on my aging limbs. Also I figure that a fast swim and cycle time will stand me in decent position just to endure the run as best as I can. Even if I am overtaken my faster runners I will be happy that I am out of the swim and the bike quicker than most, meaning that finishing even an Ironman will be just about getting through the run stage.
I am also hoping that as I lose weight and get generally fitter the running will become easier and I will slowly be able to cover greater distances with less injury. It is also my intention to get properly fitted for some running shoes, and possibly have some run training to help me stay injury free.
So there we have it. Concentrate on the swimming and cycling for the moment, get some properly fitted running shoes and hope for the best.