Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ironman Lessons

After finishing my first Ironman and making it out unscathed I do not want to take anything for granted. Thinking my preparation was perfect would be a recipe for dissaster next go around, and if you are not improving, you are taking a step back. Two weeks have passed since the race and many points have come to mind, both good and bad that will help in the next race, and hopefully others venturing out on their first Ironman race, so take these as a grain of salt, because everyone is different and that leads me to my first point.

Everyone is different - Just leave it at that leading up to a race. People prepare and strategize for Ironman in their own way. Different coaches, different goals, different abilities. The only thing that comes out of trying to convince someone else, or defending your plan is doubt entering into your mind about your plan. Confidence is a huge part of making it to the finish line, so come up with YOUR plan and leave the race to unfold.

Fueling - M2 has it right in that people tend to over-fuel during a race. Some tweaks may come for my next race which will be HOT, but here is what I took in on the bike. 1 Bottle Perpetuum, Powerbar Chews, 2 Gu, 2 half bananas, 2 bottles Powerbar drink, 2 bottles water, half bottle cola. The run was alternating between Water and Cola to Powerbar drink, 1 Gu, 2 handfulls of pretzels.

Let people be - The day before a race people need to do what they need to do. If someone wants to leave dinner, let them, but make sure they pay first. If they want to sleep a little longer, fine. Just don't expect anyone to help you, or get pulled into other's problems (if you have the time or want to, that is entirely up to you). Personally, I'm extremely selfish race morning. I hope that doesn't come back as bad Karma for me, but anyone who races should understand (significant others will not).

Ab work - After countless hours swimming, thousands of miles biking, and hundreds running, don't neglect the core strength. This was missing from my workouts in the last month and that is probably where the ab spasms in the beginning of my run came from. It took a lot out of me in the first quarter of the the marathon so I need to remember this come next race.

Stay with your strategy - On the bike I got away from my original goal and tried for more. I was on track for my 5:00 bike, and got greedy too early and hammered out on the the way out of the second lap. Sticking to your plan is the best antidote if you can keep control of the devils in your head. Hammering a flat when hills are coming may feel great, but the end result is a slower hill climb, and legs that won't perform over the long haul.

Hopefully this helps me for next time, and maybe for someone else too, but like I said, everyone should race the race they prepared for. Its a shame to go out and feel you left something out there.

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