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.
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.
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.
This is the first article in a five week series where we discuss proper nutrition for triathletes. The first week focuses on basic nutrition practices for general health. Moving forward we’ll explain the importance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate as well as share strategies to calculate your daily caloric expenditure and the proper macronutrient breakdown to improve your athletic performance.
Basic nutrition practices for general health
The evidence of poor nutrition is rampant. You don’t need to look further than your friends, family, and coworkers for proof. It’s an unfortunate reality, but there’s no sense in sugarcoating everything just because they do.
I was reminded of this fact on Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 4:00 AM (yes, on a Saturday) and it was 17F degrees outside. I had a 90 minute bike ride with an hour at or near threshold followed by a 20 minute brick run. My pain cave is the uninsulated garage and I forget to get the propane heater refilled. Alas, I was left to battle the workout plus the frozen temperatures. Good mental training, right?
Training plan templates make a hell of a lot of assumptions. Those silly PDFs and app icons assume we have unlimited time to train, zero friends, are unemployed, and that our lives revolve around triathlon. Perhaps that’s you in a nutshell. Though, more than likely it’s probably not. You have to ask yourself…
Training tools are all well and good by themselves but unless you know how to use them effectively, they’re meaningless. With (hopefully) a renewed sense of focus on my swimming, here are the most essential training tools, aside from your cap and goggles, for triathletes to improve their form and get faster in the water.
Triathlon saved my life. I made a promise to myself that I’d start living healthier after my mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. I was overweight, unhappy, and settling for one job after another with no real desire or direction. But what started out as a goal for myself later blossomed into a passion for endurance sports and helping others realize the freedoms in life and sport that triathlon has afforded me.