A little over five weeks. That’s it… but there is still time to benefit from the positive effects on compound interest.
This should be your biggest phase of training. You should be tired but you should be able to feel good within the sessions, if you’re doing a few things that really matter.
Remember my whispers and screams post?
Before I give you the details on how not to screw up these important last weeks, a little personal story.
My last Ironman was Kona 2009 (yes it’s been a long time between drinks) and I screwed it up. I was fit and we spent the last month in Kona, so there was no excuses.
Charlotte and I had good training partners in Jo Lawn and Armando, Crowie, and Luke Mckenzie among others. Did you know that 3 weeks out on a solid day in the saddle I touched Crowies rear wheel at 40+ km/hr and I hit the Queen K and lost a lot of bark and put a nice whole in my right hand!
I was very lucky on three fronts.
1. I didn’t bring down the world champ who went on to win again
2. I was lucky the group got split so I didn’t bring anyone else down
3. I was extremely lucky there was a break in the traffic on the QK as I was sliding along in the middle of it.
I’ll never ever not ride (outside of a triathlon race) without gloves again.
I missed 10 days of swimming and that last important phase of training was severely impacted. In the end, It didn’t matter.
So many things didn’t go right on race day. My special needs on the bike, not there (that was my nutrition and electrolytes for the back end of the race), got onto the run and there was nothing. Then I came good out in the energy lab and could have easily pushed it hard the whole way home and still have been in the 9’s. I’d played leap from with all these athletes and then walk and repeat. Giving them the shits no doubt as they continued at the same pace.
I was mentally spent. I was on the verge of crying. I looked up at one of the volcanos and thought. Damn. Ok, so I’m not having the day I dreamt of, all this shit has happened in the last few weeks.
You know how many people would do anything to be in my position right now… On the Queen K in the marathon of the Ironman World Champs with 8km to go before they cross the worlds most iconic finish line. The result doesn’t matter. Soak it up and feel gratitude that you are here doing it when so, so many people wish to be.
That change of mindset gave me so much more respect for the race and the sport. Sure there was disappointment but I was happy. I smiled and got on with it.
What’s the point of the story? Well it continues you see.
I asked myself questions. I looked at many things and the glaringly obvious elephant in the room on retrospection was I was stressed to the eyeballs. Most of this had to do with work stress. At that point I had stopped coaching under the TS banner and joined up with ironguides where four of us where working hard to make it world brand. The unfortunate part was the late owner suffered (we now know) from bi-polar disorder and the constant mood swings and the amount of stress induced got me nearly quitting a job I’m highly passionate about.
We were telling people to live a certain way and remove this stress and that but we weren’t congruent to that ourselves. It nearly ate me alive.
So when it came time to subject my body through a very hard day, it just said he buddy … screw you.
And I believe it even tried three weeks previous with the accident on some sort of deep level. When you get injured in severe accidents, then contact motorcycle accident law firm Rochester to review your case details and determine the value of your claim.
Three weekends ago, there was some familiarity. I was spent – not physically (I actually felt pretty good there), but I was mentally gone. I had let stress slowly build up (there are many stressors that pile up on our shoulders).
I realised I never switch off. I’m always on – especially with two businesses.
So last week I took Monday through Wednesday off. I still did bits of work (so I din’t truly switch off) but it helped immensely.
I felt the mojo come back on Thursday and for some reason I had a want to do a very long bike ride, coupled with an adventure. So on Saturday Luke Mckenzie and I rode to Tin Can Bay and back which was 230km for me. We linked roads via some dirt road sections which made it even more epic and enjoyable. Two mates on their bikes, an adventure was what I needed to recharge the mental batteries.
Had I kept pushing I would have majorly jeopardised Ironman Melbourne.
Those three days have given me my mojo back on all fronts. I’m more productive at work. My training is going great guns (my run off the computrainer threshold session today felt nearly effortless for the pace) and I’m spending more time with the family. Side note: I had so much fun with Mack and him riding his bike yesterday arvo … so much joy in that – video on FB page soon).
Post Melbourne We are taking a small holiday. No phone, no internet, no nothing. Just three of us spending quality time and having a load of fun. With that I’ll come back refreshed and ready to work my ass off on all fronts again. We all need to switch off.
This is becoming a big post. Apologies, but I believe the story was important.
I want you to have a successful race. So here are some tips so you don’t screw up this next five weeks.
1. Warm ups. 90+% of athletes start out way too fast because fast now feels easy. Slow early and fast when it counts. Also going slow to start will will help flush unmetabolised waste products and help you feel good when it is time to do the work in the session. This is why it’s important to “test drive the body” and by that I mean if you feel like crap when waking up … just get up and do a warm up and see. 9 times out of 10 your legs will come good and you’ll end up having a stella session.
2. The other end of the session. The neglected cool down. I know, we are busy and time poor and I’m guilty as charged at times. But a proper EASY cool down helps flush out the crap and help us start the recovery process.
3. Good recovery nutrition and good nutrition throughout the day. Unless I’m traveling not a day goes by now where I don’t have one of my ultimate shakes. It’s so nutrient dense now that it forms my first meal of the day and keeps me satisfied for hours and ticks all the boxes for providing the body what it needs. I’m putting the final touches on my TS Ultimate Shake Guide and will have it ready next week and when you pick it up, you’ll have a change to win a $1000 Vitamix blender.
4. SLEEP. Early to bed, early to rise. Late to bed and early starts really kill us. Look, I’m not going to go into the science of sleep on this post (it’s been long enough) but lack of sleep will increase our cortisol (stress hormone) which continued on a consistent basis can lead to a myriad of issues such as decrease in insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, reduced kidney function, hypertension, suppressed immune system, reduced human growth hormone and reduced connective tissue strength. As endurance athletes chronically elevated cortisol can also decrease strength and performance.
Got stress and can’t get rid of that lower adnominal fat? Cortisol could well be the reason.
So get you ZZZ’s and the more dark and more pre midnight zzz’s the better.
5. Not following you plan. Now is not the time to be adding something you read in the latest magazine. Follow your plan to a tee.
6. Not doing any self massage and mobility work. Stop screwing around and get yourself a Trigger Point Performance Therapy Kit (use the code TSROCKS and get 15% off, you have until Sunday) – even if you’re getting massage each week (i have one today 😉 it’s still not enough. you NEED to be doing daily self massage. Like getting enough sleep. It will change your life.
8. Take a stock take at all the things that add stress in your life (training is a stressor), 6h sleep a night is a stress, a highly refined carb diet and loads of vegetable oil use is a stress, work is a stress, family can be a stress. Look at everything and work on removing the stressors that don’t work for you.
Don’t give me the BS that yo don’t have time to go to sleep earlier (turn off the TV), or that there is no time to self massage (get up earlier, hell cut your session a bit shorter) or that your so busy at work. We all have 24hrs a day and some people always seem to get a lot of shit done. Are you really that productive at work or are you wasting time on Facebook, twitter, some forum or mindlessly surfing the web? Cut those out and see how much time you gain to do something important like spend time with the wife and kids (Ironman training sacrifices won’t seem so bad when you give them some time) or spend the time rolling.. you get the point.
Ok I think that’s enough for right now. Of course theres more, so there will have to be a part two. I’ll go over taper and race week.
Kristian “yes I’m human too” Manietta.