Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Make The Days Count

AM: 1 hr trainer ride (w/3x8' at 100-110% FTP)
PM: Easy 4.5 mile run

Running through the snow today, I thought back to that warm July evening in Lake Placid.  Sitting with my friends on the steep hill overlooking the Oval, listening to Mike Riley announce the finishers.  I've got to think that the Ironman finish line is one of the sweetest places on Earth (at least to the like minded individuals who swim, bike, and run countless hours).  It's the place where dreams come true.

Or is it?

Rather, perhaps it's the days along the way when the dreams come true.  You know, the "it's the journey, not the destination".  So instead of counting the days...we need to make the days count.  If what you're doing isn't making you, or the world better, don't do it.

I'm an Ironman rookie.  I don't know squat.  I'm going to do stupid things along the way.  Luckily, my training partners will help keep me on the right track, and I them.  I've boiled the 6 months ahead of me into the following categories for a successful July 28th race.

  1. Swim/Bike/Run
  2. Nutrition (race day)
  3. Nutrition (diet)
  4. Strength
  5. Mental Outlook
  6. Keeping My Family Happy
1. Swim/Bike/Run:  In many ways, this is the easiest of the bunch.  Consistency is the key.  The important workouts every week take priority.  Put the time in, and stay healthy.  It sounds so easy.  My philosophy took a while to develop, but it was molded greatly by the Endurance Nation approach and Joe Friel (notably his book Going Long written with Gordo).  Simply put: work works.

2. Race Day Nutrition: I don't want any surprises on July 28th.  I want my body to know exactly what's going in...and when it's going in.  So I've been training using exactly what I want to do on race.  Tweeking along the way as necessary.  

3. Diet: I've done a small overhaul on my daily nutrition.  You could say I'm partially plant powered now.  I've committed to the Super Foods after watching Food Matters and countless conversations with my training partners about guys like Rich Roll (my friend Pat Egan's hero).  One of my guiding principles has been:  If you have to open a package to eat it, don't eat it.  (I have exceptions to this rule, namely Clif Bars, and other things like PB, bread, cottage cheese, etc)  Bottom line, whatever is on me, I'll be dragging up and down the Adirondack mountains on July 28th, for 112 miles on the bike...and then 26.2 miles on the run.  It's simply physics...your watts/kg go up the lower your kgs go.

4.  Strength: Something had to give.  When trying to set up a plan, there was just no way to get everything in.  So I made an important decision to streamline my strength plan.  Simplify.  Three workouts a week built around improving my core strength and functional power.  More on this in a later post.

5. Mental:  Assuming I can get into Mirror Lake at 7am, July 28th is absolutely critical that I enter the water with the right frame of mind.  This will no doubt take some work, but I think this will come from the confidence built over the next six months.  

6. My Family:  Finally, I've got to make sure I don't lose focus of what's important.  This is fun.  This is a selfish endeavor that my family has been willing to let me pursue.  I need to make sure they know how much I appreciate that.

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