14 February 2019

Missed Workouts? Inconsistent Training? What to do...

I've had the best of intentions to ramp up my training, be consistent, get all my planned workouts in, lose a bit of weight, and be ready and perfectly prepared for my "A" race. Ah, the best-laid plans! Things happen beyond our control. Our priorities are constantly shifting. Work gets crazy busy. Outside demands take precedent. Health and/or sleep is poor. Weather sucks. Goals are forgotten/ignored/unclear/unmotivating. Whatever our reason (or excuse) is for not getting the training in that is expected or wanted, here are a few suggestions for what to do:
  1. Set new, more realistic or motivational goals.
  2. Do what you can to get your workouts in as scheduled. Even if you can only do part of a workout.
  3. DO NOT beat yourself up over missing or having to compromise your training schedule. While missing workouts and having inconsistent training is not ideal, it will not automatically ruin your race goals. Life happens. Let it go and focus on doing the next workout. If you don't let it go then it's like missing TWO workouts. Look at the next workout and decide what the goal or purpose of it is. Do what you can to execute it perfectly and draw satisfaction from that.
  4. Listen to your body. Sometimes you should miss a workout because you're tired, fatigued, stressed, excessively sore, or for some other reason. Fitness gains come from appropriate training + recovery/rest/sleep. 
  5. Ask your coach for guidance (if you have one).
  6. Shift workouts around if that will lead to more efficient use of available time. E.g. swimming at a pool usually requires travel time and shower time. There are scheduling limits due to lap swim hours. Riding for an hour on a trainer at home could easily take less time than a 1/2 hour swim.
  7. If options are limited, it can sometimes be okay to "stack" workouts. In other words, make 2 workout sessions into something of a brick session. For example, swim before a ride. You don't necessarily have to quickly move between workouts like you would for a true brick - take your time (if you have it), get some nutrition in, recover/rest a little, and then move on to the bike.
  8. Miss a day or two? DON'T  move workouts around. DON'T stack workouts. Just move on to the next sessions. (Yes, this is the opposite of #5 and 6!) 
  9. Are you looking ahead and seeing a week of landmines? Find out what the most important workouts are for crossing finish line. Make those the priority when you can't fit it all.
  10. Can you only find 10, 20, or 30 minutes at home? Do some core routine or strength training or dryland swimming at home, even in front of the TV.
Sometimes the key to success is simply to adapt and move forward. Sometimes it's smart to reevaluate and adjust. Sometimes it's about setting SMART goals that motivate you. And sometimes it's just about giving yourself a kick in your backside. 

Train smart, have fun!

05 December 2018

Ironman Kona Legacy Slot

I'm a week late but I just submitted my application for the Ironman Legacy Program to get into Kona based on completing 12 Ironman 140.6 races. It's bittersweet as my goal for the past 8 years has been to qualify outright by placing high enough in a race to earn a slot. I never quite made it.
In filling out the application it asks you to list your Ironman races as a sort of resumé. It was a good exercise and made me reflect back on this long journey and appreciate what I've done, what I've experienced, and all the support I've had from so many along the way. Some highlights:
*2009 IM Arizona, 12:32:02, 59th place, first full Ironman
*2011 IM Texas, 12:09:12, 3rd place, 2 Kona slots available
*2014 IM Chattanooga, 11:56:31, raised $18,000+ for Team Challenge
*2015 IM Arizona, 11:29:27, 9th place, PR (best time)
*2018 IM Chattanooga, 10:49:11 (no swim), 4th place, raised $13,000+ for Team Challenge

The application also asks you to tell them about yourself and why you applied for the Legacy. I didn't want to make it too long but here's what I wrote:
t "In 1986 my ulcerative colitis was so severe that my only real option was surgical removal of my large intestine. I began triathlon in 2007, not sure I could possibly finish a sprint race. I did my first Ironman in 2009 and dreamed of going to Kona. On March 10, 2012 I had a vision of me crossing the finish line in Kona wearing my (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's) Team Challenge orange race kit and carrying the flag, hearing Mike Riley call out my name again. I had this vision while listening to Chrissie Wellington speak at Endurance Live awards in Los Angeles. It has been in my mind ever since. Triathlon and Ironman training have been a lifestyle for me for the past 10 years. It's my fountain of youth. I also coach beginners and intermediate athletes. Some of them even come to IMAZ to get a taste of the Ironman experience. I've helped inspire dozens to go beyond a sprint and take on a 70.3 or full. My passion as a coach is to help people overcome fears, change their beliefs about themselves, and help them be successful."

The slots are announced on February 28th. It may take another year or 2 before it rolls down to Linda and I. In the meantime I'm signed up for IRONMAN Arizona in 2019. I am incredibly blessed and so grateful to everyone who has in some way chosen to be a part of my Ironman obsession and my quest for Kona.