Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ironman Hawaii Preparation

On the famous Queen K

On the Queen K

The Participants List

A Tough Road

The last week before the big Dance at Kona .I have no expectations because after 14 ironman races I know what it takes and unfortunately I haven't put in the work.As I had  drinks with the other legacy participants it takes a special person to win a slot and tons of focussed almost OCD mentality plus possibly some talent .All I don't have in spades and more than I can commit. 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 .Being here is great.

The final piece is to get the nutrition and mental frame sorted.

This is mine:

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose
         Star Wars YODA
Preparation’ is vital for running ultras. Physical health, nutrition, water, feet, support, weather, mental health and focus are all essential, but the fine line in racing, leading to dictate a DNF after your name or not, is what you do when your ‘preparation’ doesn’t go to plan. After all, even the best ultra race plans won’t go exactly to plan, that’s why we love them.

Matt Cooper
Preparation for any ultra race is about putting together many facets that will ultimately come together on Race day. There is the physical training and that is important. The logistics of getting to the race , getting the equipment/gear together and the necessary gear ,food and nutrition. What we most often spend the least time on is the mental preparation .

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.

At the Legacy Reception ,kona 5 ocotober 2016 with the legends Mark Allen and Dave Scott

At 2XU talk.Terrence Bozzone and Craig Alexander

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 Mossand Dave Scott at the legacy reception. Its knowing that it is going to be tough and being prepared forthe 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 IM

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 7 or 14 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 to make about
          1000mg  per  should  be    about right . In case it is warmer have added
           salt tablets available May add 600mg to make it up to 1000mg per hr
           Also take on cliff bars and whatever is on Aid station for something different on the bike.
           (I have eaten everything on the aid stations before )

           Off Bike/Run
           Carry 2 flask of  tailwind powder to make a concentrate at first chance and again   
           taking bars on the run course (cliff) and  electrolyte (endurance ) 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 aleternate 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.