9 DAYS REMAINING
A perfect opportunity to reflect on where I am with my 2011 campaign and where I'm going.
With 9 days to go until race start, I think I am in the best form...physically I have ever been for an Ironman Race. The campaign has not been smooth sailing but what campaign is! It's about managing these ups and downs both mentally and physically that is important.
The campaign was based round my goals and the 5 commandments that I put together to make myself accountable throughout my training.
The goals are:
- To get as close to 10:0? as possible.
- To get as close as possible to the qualify time for Hawaii Ironman (40-44)
The 5 commandments:
- Thou shall not give excuses (work, diet etc.)
- Thou shall not procrastinate
- Thou shall be a leader in training
- Thou shall be accountable to my peers
- Thou shall put a great importance on completing 2 core sessions a week
This campaign has seen a mixture of different strategies......the golden oldies and some new ones that reflect current trends and practices in long distance triathlon. I believe the new strategies that I have employed have enabled me to prepare in a way that I have not be able to do in the past 3 campaigns.
The new strategies that I have used are ones, that in the past, needed to play a greater part in my preparation and training and tended to be neglected for a variety of reasons. Some of the strategies that I have focused on in this campaign are hinted at in the 5 Commandments presented above.
Nutrition and Weight!
They go hand in hand and make a HELL of a difference to ones performance in training and racing.
This campaign I made the commitment to use a sports nutritionist.....what a great move! as people always say....I should have done this before now. You ask....why do you need someone? It's a very similar argument, to that of why do people need coaches?...in my case it's about bringing in some accountability and to be given everyday nutritional ideas and strategies that can compliment my training and racing. It is about developing a plan to cater for the needs of the type of training that is involved with Ironman. (Long stuff)
In getting my eating under control it has enabled me to get my weight under control.....big time!
I am currently @ 79kg....the goal was to race at 80kg but I have been able to maintain around that 79kg mark for the last couple of weeks......I have been training at 82kg or less for the last 7-8 weeks and it makes such a difference on the outcomes of the training....the body can be pushed harder and survive.....well most of the time!
I have never raced IM at this weight and CAN sooo see the benefits.....which I hoping to see out of my race result.
A principle of any type of training is consistency of training....the more consistent you are out there, the more your performance improves.
This is a principle that I am very aware of, but this time, I have nailed it! Apart from the periods that I have been struggling with illness.
If it's down on the program it is there for a reason. The program completion rate throughout this campaign never fell below 85% (which means missing no more than 2 session over a fortnight)
One thing about this IM training it is about finding a balance between home, work and life. One of the things to support this is being flexible and getting smart about completing session. (whether that be riding to work as a part of a session, using the facilities at work etc.)
As triathletes it is really all about being good managers (of time, people, resources, money etc.)
This campaign I am committed to my goals and with the level of focus and determination I willing to put into achieving these the consistency is paramount and calculated sacrifices have had to be made.
This campaign has been one where I have taken control of the mind! There has been NO 'little voice' working away in my head this time round, no negative thoughts....it has been positive....good has won over evil.
I have managed to stay in the positive mindset through thinking positively when it gets tough and pushing through. In fact, there have been very few excuses. It has been about establishing a good attitude and work ethic towards my training and knowing that I'm not going to achieve my goals through a negative, 'give up' attitude....when it gets tough it's time to get tougher.....there has been many a wrestle but 100% of the time I have been able to push through and achieve the training goal/outcome.
Simple....get in the pool....and swim....the more you swim the stronger you become......you become one with the water.
Back starting 20 weeks out, I spent 4 weeks living in the pool....this has been foundation that has stood me firm for the rest of the 16 weeks and of course the race. I am finding that my swimming has improved and feel stronger through the water. The other evening in the pool we did approx. 20-25 100's and I was able to consistently hold 1:25. Very happy!!
I think the key has been, of course, spending time in the water but all the strength work I have continued to do....pool buoy and paddles...many a session has been spent with these 2 swimming toys.
It really the same principle as the swim here to, time in the saddle.
This campaign has seen an 'upgrade' in cycling apparatus....a new bike (2...a TT and road)....a carbon bike...the old alloy Trek is gone.......what a difference...so much easier to push around, especially with less weight on it. The road bike has been exclusively used for the hill and strength session and has been a great asset.
The bike build from Weeks 16 - 12 again set me up for a solid foundation for the 12 weeks. The regular strength work on Mt Cootha or the number (and I mean number) of time riding out to Dayboro and back from Petrie, and not to forget the 2 times I did the 200km ride to Caloundra via the Blackall range has paid off.....the improvement that I saw in the bike was amazing...I really couldn't believe it.....TT improvements.....the time to Caloundra was dramatically coming down each time I rode up there....it was looking good!
The key here has again been the consistency and the amount of strength work in the hills throughout the campaign.
The strength work has again aided the development of my running this campaign.
The use of a treadmill has been worthwhile to work at running at a consistent pace throughout.
Drills, strides, hill repeats have all been an important part of this campaign and I am now a runner again.....in a triathlon context of course!
All this hard work and embracing new strategies has seemed to paid off. Times are coming down and the body is becoming stronger. Whether it be an OD Triathlon (3min PB), a 200km training ride (45min improvement). Things are looking good for May 1!
Blogs to follow:
Reflections on the affect of my illness 3 weeks out
The Race - what's planned!