The last week before Ironman WA 2018 . The priority is to rest , swim a little more and
1 have a plan for the day
2 A checklist.
3 A nutrition Plan
4 Be Mentally ready for the day The desire and the mental strength to race and win is critical.But having said that it is good to be prepared and to know what is doable and to enjoy the journey which I have .After 20 months of no racing it is great to be at the start line reasonably healthy and fit ..
The final piece is to get the nutrition and mental frame sorted.
A few mantras help as well:
A few mantras help as well:
This is mine:
Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to loseStar Wars YODA
What is great about such races is the challenge .There is no doubt about that . What makes it interesting is to be able to test the plan and hopefully pull it off on race day. The article by Matt Cooper called the The mental side of Running is a good start. It is important not as he says when everything is going well but when it is not . When it all doesn't go to plan . The negative thoughts pile in and its easier to give up then go on.As Chris McCormack says in Ironman racing we have to Embrace the Suck because at some stage everything will hurt and thats when you have to find your happy place. (see my blog piece My Happy Place )
Chrissie Wellington provided some advice in a piece called 10 tips from the Worlds Top Female triathlete She said :
It amazes me how little time people spend on mental training. 30K into a marathon on race day is too late to figure out that you need to train your brain. There are many different tools you can use. Have a bank of positive images and songs. It doesn’t have to be related to sport at all. That way, when the going gets tough—and it will get tough—you can draw on those images and have peace of mind.”
She suggested having a mantra or two. Finding a happy place and not allowing the mind to wander or to be filled with negativity .That is the slippery slide to the DNF . Our mind is our most powerful tool and can be used to overcome all difficulties and equally is the most vulnerable link in bringing the whole game down. Chrissie Wellington used Rudyard Kipling’s If.
It encapsulates everything you need to do to be a good athlete, especially the mental side of the game. ‘If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;/If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,/But make allowance for their doubting too…’There are many more great words/thoughts or visions to race by and to use as a mantra/a focus when times get hard . Just think of that Happy Place.
These are from my previous blog in preparation for a race but it was comforting hearing the same thoughts being repeated first by Craig Alexander , Terrence Bozzone and Anja Beranek at the 2XU talk in kona on5 October 2016 and again by Julie Moss and Dave Scott at the legacy reception. Its knowing that it is going to be tough and being prepared for the challenge ,not shying away and keeping to the plan as best as possible and breaking it up into segments. If Ironman teaches you anything , it is their motto Anything is possible and you eat an Elephant one bite at a time.
The Nutrition Plan For Ironman is:
AM : Breakfast Toast jam coffee
Bidon Tailwind 200calories/ 50gms carbohydrates .
Before swim a cliff bar and water sip throughout before the start
Water as going thru transition
Start nutrition regime on bike
Bidon of concentrated tailwind 2 scoops per hour for 6 or 12 scoops = 200 calories
per hour Add every hour to Aero bottle and dilute
down with water from aid station .One bidon every aid station
Salt 300mg per scoop so 600mg per hr plus extra salt (half a 600mg salt tablet )to make about
1200mg per hr should be about right . In case it is warmer have added more
salt tablets available May add 600mg to make it up to 1000mg per hr
Also take on bananas or cliff bars and whatever is on Aid station for something different
on race day . (I have eaten everything on the aid stations before )
Aiming for at least 1000mg salt
41g carbs per hour
933ml of water per hour
Will be taking a cup of endura and water at every aid station and coke
taking bars on the run course (cliff) and electrolyte (endura ) plus water at
aid stations to make up about 200-300 calories per hour plus food on the aid stations to make
up another 100 calories .I usually alternate electrolytes and water but given the heat will be
drinking a lot more . Finally if I can mange it only taking Coke at 20km point if I can hold
out till then. Salt intake will be 1 tablets an hour (about 600mg /hr ) plus the endura , water
at least 640ml or more if needed .
The key points are:
Get to transition early and have enough time to get the wetsuit in and warm-up.
Make sure the wet suit put on properly as the tightness around the shoulders will fatigue the shoulders.I have had that happen to me and I will try and get help to get into the wetsuit.
Don't panic....it is better to slow down and always breathe .Sounds basic but I have done that to.
Try and catch a swimmer and stay on his legs or side but don't impede his stroke as it will slow him and you down.
Try to keep straight .my biggest problem . Paul Newsome did state in his blog that swimming straight tends to be easiest when someone is strong at bilateral breathing. I have had a relapse and tend to be strong breathing on my left
( see his helpful hints : Racing Tips for Ironman )
- get the nutrition right and do the maths as to how much you need to eat on the bike before hand.
- Eat and eat
- drink at least a bidon an hour or a litre if it is hot.
- keep the pace as constant as possible for each lap.
- (everyone tends to slow down on the last lap) If you can keep a constant pace there should not be a huge difference in lap times.
- Its OK to go hard but know when to pull back so you do not suffer on the run.It is a triathlon .No prizes for the fastest bike time ...well there is but I am not in the running and I would rather have a new PB for my Ironman than a PB for the bike leg and bonk on the run.
- Stretch every hour by getting up off the saddle.
- Be aware that the draft zone is 12 metres
- Again have a few mantras or happy thoughts when your mind begins to drift as it will on a 180km bike ride.
- It is the last leg .don't go out fast
- Drink at all the aid stations
- try and take in some nutrition preferably gels
- again keep the pace steady.
- Have a plan and a pace in mind
- Have a Plan B
- Run all the way , if you can't walk the aid stations , if that hurts follow a walk and run regime.
- But if it hurts walking or running than its better to just run
- Absorb the atmosphere and the energy from the supporters.
- Have shorter goals or break the race up into bite size portions. Have various milestones along the way to achieve.
- Always visualize the transition and go through as many times as you can what needs to be done.
- Get in and out as quickly as you can.
- Don't rush just go through everything that needs to be done preferably like a checklist you have practiced before.
- Keep your sunglasses and anything else for the run in a zip lock bad which you can take out and use as you get on the run course.just one bag to carry and then distribute the items once on the course.
- Use sunscreen
Finally the 25 most common mistakes in an ironman ....read Ironstruck article: Common Ironman Mistakes
Most of all Smile and enjoy the day.
body glide (for back of neck)
goggles x 2
tire pump (pump tires up day before, adding a few psi to compensate for overnight pressure loss)
chain lube (apply day before)
Profile Aerodrink bottle
2 water bottles
Sweets and dates
seat pack with tubular, tire irons, multi-tool, and CO2 inflation system
small flask i fI want to carry a some gels in flask
salt tablets in a tictac container
a change of run top (in case)