We’re off and running, literally, for our second crack at the Ironman distance. I made some changes this time around and I’m bringing a few athletes along for the ride. Aside from now being a coach the other big change I made was not starting my base training too early.
I trained nearly 13 months for Ironman Lake Placid in 2017. If I’m honest, it was far too long. By the time summer rolled around I was already burnt out, struggling with motivation, and longing for race day. This block of base training for Mont Tremblant started this week, some 37 weeks out. Some might consider that to still be too long. Though, I’m firm believer that base training should start with low intensity and low volume. One of my athletes who is training for 70.3 Connecticut said that a run workout earlier this week was, “boringly easy.”
It’s by design, trust me. We have 30-something weeks to ramp up the volume and intensity. Those days are coming.
The goal right now is to work on being consistent. It’s not so much about nailing every workout and crushing all the intervals, but rather getting back into the habit of getting to sleep early and waking up before the sun (weekends included), showing up ready to work, eating the right foods to fuel life and quality training, and rearranging the routine to accommodate family, friends, and daily training. Consistency is the most important thing for the next few weeks.
From consistency comes improvement.
The base phase also gives us an opportunity to practice our nutrition. I say practice because now’s the time to experiment. We have some wiggle room since the race is far enough away. That means by spring and summer we should have things pretty much dialed in.
Pre- and post-workout nutrition is where many triathletes focus a lot of their attention. But, I believe that what we eat and how much throughout the day, away from our workouts, is far more important during the base phase. That’s where we gain the proper fueling for future workouts and recovery. I could dish out some crazy formulas and say that we should be eating a certain percentage of calories of protein, fats, and carbs but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. A simple habit-based approach is what I work with our athletes and other nutrition clients on.
We all know the right foods to be eating but actually eating those foods in the right amounts is difficult for almost everyone. One of my athletes this week was feeling frustrated from a nutritional standpoint and it was trickling into workouts and beyond. We had a very frank conversation about patience and consistency. Our goal over the next few weeks is to build sustainable eating habits. How do we do that? Accountability and education. The SENS Fitness nutrition program has a healthy dose of both!
Back to training now and looking at the week ahead, I have planned:
Next week we’ll dive into my philosophy of structuring workouts and intensity. Thanks for reading!