On Sunday I completed Ironman Mont Tremblant in 11 hours, 11 minutes, and 37 seconds, my fastest full distance triathlon. I went into the race with a strategy for pacing, nutrition, and how to deal with the humidity. My execution wasn’t flawless, but it was solid and got me across the line with a 45 minute PR from my previous Ironman in Lake Placid two years ago.
We made it, Race Week is here! Some how it’s only Week 50 according to my weekly blog, but I can assure you Ironman amount Tremblant is Sunday. The nerves are building, the confidence is growing, the front lawn has finally gotten mowed, and the legs and arms will soon be shaved. This week can be overwhelming as we figure out packing, travel, and equipment. So I’ll do my best to simplify it all and provide a few things each day to focus on, that way come Sunday you (and I) have dotted all the “Is” and crossed all the “Ts” without burying ourselves in stress and information overload.
Race day is so close you can taste it. For many of us, today kicks off the final big week of training before a two week taper. It presents us with a conundrum; train hard and eek out that last little bit of fitness or fall victim to second-guessing our training and comparing ourselves to others.
Choose the latter and you’re more likely to overtrain and underdeliver come race day. Choose the former and you’re accepting that the hay is all but in the barn at this point aside from a few mental straws to complete the bale.
Triathlon performance is, a lot of times, influenced by how much you weigh. That’s the reality. You don’t see very many 185+ pound athletes winning Ironman races. So it’s natural for us to fall into the trap of wanting to lose some weight before race day. But your ideal race weight isn’t synonymous with being as light as possible.
Tri Kit - check!
Swim cap - check!
Goggles - check!
Bike - check!
Helmet - check!
Running shoes - check!
Those are the obvious, and necessary, pieces of gear needed for race day. But there’s plenty more to think about on race morning and in the days leading up to the start line. Now, these too might seem like obvious additions to the transition bag, but you hear stories often enough from those who’ve forgotten things like anti-chaffing cream or socks! So it’s worth a reminder… just in case, you know?
Whether your goal is to win, hit the podium, nail a new PR, or simply just cross the finish line, there are things you can do right now to ensure the mental side of triathlon doesn’t derail your race or even worse, prevent you from getting to the start line altogether. Here are several mental training techniques you can use to build toughness and persevere when training, racing, and life gets difficult.
Summer 2019 is here! After a bitter cold winter and soggy spring in Upstate New York I skipped town and am kicking off summer in Europe. Italy to be exact. I’ve been here for over a week now and while I’ve allowed myself to take some liberties with my nutrition and exercise because, well #YOLO, I’ve been able to maintain a proper balance of quality training for Ironman Mont Tremblant and eating well enough without meticulously counting calories because, let’s be honest, that’s a major drag!
Training for an Ironman shouldn’t dominate your life. It should be a priority, but it doesn’t need to be all encompassing. I’m in Italy for the next two weeks vacationing with family. It’s not ideal in terms of timing with Ironman Mont Tremblant less than 10 weeks away, however there are ways I’m incorporating my training into the trip so I can maintain my fitness in this final lead up to the race.
It’s open water swim season, hooray! It’s been consistently warm for the past several weeks in my part of the world (Upstate New York), which means the opportunities for practicing in open water are increasing. That’s welcomed news to a wintertime curmudgeon like myself. But at the same time, it’s not feasible for me, and many other triathletes, to get into open water more than once per week. There are things we can do in the pool to best simulate your local lake, river, or ocean.
I’ve made recovery a priority so there are frequent, and specifically planned, complete days off almost once per week. I think it’s helped me become a fitter, more focused athlete. In addition to my one day of rest every 7 to 10 days, I’ve focused on THESE FIVE THINGS to help enhance my recovery and maximize my fitness.
There’s a sign that pops up at plenty of Ironman races around the world. It reads: “If you’re not divorced, you didn’t train hard enough.” While meant to be tongue-in-cheek there is a bit of truth to it. Ironman training can put a serious strain on your relationships with your spouse, friends, and family. With a wife and a two-year-old daughter, it’s important for me to balance training and you know, life.
It’s the First Saturday in May and that can only mean two things: you’re neck deep in your race prep training block and it’s Kentucky Derby Day! For as long as I can remember, the Derby was also circled on the calendar, the schedule cleared, and party plans made. As I’ve grown into the sport of triathlon, I can say the same thing about my A-race each season. Circled, cleared, and scheduled.
Believe it or not the similarities don’t stop at my personal priorities. Oh no, there’s plenty you too can learn from the Run for the Roses and how it also applies to your upcoming Ironman.
Here are five things Ironman triathletes can learn from the Kentucky Derby:
Miles seven through 12 felt like an eternity for some reason. I was still holding a solid pace below 8:00/mile, but I wasn’t spotting any of the mile markers along the course. They weren’t very noticeable. Black signs off to the side with white lettering. Around half way I got a bump of energy knowing I was halfway done. It lasted until Mile 15 when everything went south.
These two simple and effective core routines won’t take up too much of your time, will help earn those washboard abs we all covet, and will most importantly improve your stability. Everyday is #legday for triathletes, but without the necessary stability in your core you’re leaving several minutes out on the course. Let’s change that starting right now!
Because the swim makes up the shortest part of the race and training volume, it’s often the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. How many times have you heard it (or even said it yourself), “I’ll just survive the swim” or “So long as I don’t drown in the swim I’ll be fine.” Yeah, it’s said tongue-in-cheek but there’s always some truth to those comments. Chances are it’s because the swim training was often skipped, unfocused, or haphazard and didn’t prepare the athlete for what to expect on race day.
Compared to a typical person of similar sex, age, height, and weight my metabolic rate is 19% faster. That simply means I burn more calories than normal. Obviously the opposite is true too. Slow metabolisms burn fewer calories. Most people need to eat below their total metabolic rate to lose weight. There’s that calories in versus calories out research again!