19 October 2019

Ironman 70.3 Arizona 2019 Race Plan

Ironman 70.3 Arizona 2019 Race Plan – October 19

Outcome Goals:
A Goal– age group top 5
B Goal– finish!
Performance Goals:
Silverman 2015 splits – 6:11:30– :35 (1:49/100m / 5min34s / 3:08 (17.80mph) / 5min12s / 2:16 (10:26/mi)
A Goal– 5:58 – splits – Swim :33 / T1 7min / Bike 3:00 / T2 3min / Run 2:15
B Goal– finish before the cutoffs
Process Goal:
  • Mental: I will be emotionally "even" for the entire race, not allowing anything to get me too up or too down. I will be focused on racing. I will carry gratitude, joy, love, and strength in my heart 
  • Swim: I will start strong but relaxed and settle in, draft where possible, anchor left hand
  • Bike: I will start easy-ish; keep heart rate in zone 2, allowing CONTROLLED power spikes out of turns and on hills
  • Bike: I will cycle thru my mental check list – relax shoulders; shift hand positions; use full pedal stroke; take in nutrition/hydration (early and often); pick my lines with safety priority; ask “Will this set me up for a good run?”
  • Run: I will resist my early excitement. I will take walk breaks at every aid station and get plenty of ice and water to manage core temp; 5+ times every mile go thru mental checklist – back and shoulders relaxed, straight waist w/lean, take in nutrition/hydration, “Can I do this pace on the 2ndlap?”
  • I will finish strong and hard.
Experiential Goals: 
  • I will represent my family and Team Challenge with pride, good sportsmanship, and in a positive light
  • I will race with joy, with gratitude, with an open heart.
  • I will have fun with spectators, smile, and thank volunteers.
  • I will race hard and test my limits under the conditions of the day.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Race Week:
· Plenty of sleep – 7.5hrs minimum
· Daily quiet time: gather mental energy, visualize race, mini meditations, affirmation questions.
· No caffeine for final 3 weeks
· Minimize stress and avoid negative people
· Keep fiber consumption low beginning Saturday 
FRIDAY: Check-in before 6:00, Briefing 5:00pm; Hyatt Place; charge bike devices
SATURDAY: Dryland Swim, Bike, Run; Bike turn-in ~11:00am; meet with Tony; (extra briefings @12 & 2); Drive different bike course sections; relax; mess with Garmin
  • Eat late lunch, smoothies for dinner
  • Lay out everything
  • Blend breakfast smoothie
  • Shave; apply tattoos; body marking; chip on; write with marker (Joy, Gratitude, Open Heart, TC Tri, Razorblade Slade Fire Up)
  • Mental – affirmation, visualization
Race Morning:
3:30am Wake up
3:31 Bathroom; Drink breakfast smoothie (almond milk, vegan protein, UCAN, l-glutamine), eat ½ bagel; take antibiotic, probiotic.
3:50 Tri kit on; timing chip; body glide calves, arm pit/lat area; Sunscreen arms, shoulders, lower back, neck, face; Heart Rate monitor; wrist bands; last minute stuff; Bathroom; checklist;Pack car – nutrition, wetsuit/speedsuit, swim stuff, pump
4:15 Bathroom
4:20 Drive to venue and park
4:40 Swim band warm up
5:00-6:20 Transition open – set up transition:
Mat, towel, run stuff, bike stuff, nutrition
Bike ready: Garmin; aero bottle w/water & Tailwind; fill 40 oz. reservoir w/water, Tailwind; place nutrition; check tires, low gear.
Bento box: SaltStick Chews, tube with 2caff pills split, chamois creme; butt wipes, inner tube for pocket. Wash hands. Focus, visualize, relax, be grateful to be here
5:20 Portapotty; Wetsuit/speedsuit on, body glide (arm pit area, calves), goggles and cap; keep and carry water bottle BeatElite and cold bottle for pour over
6:00 Walk to race start w/Mom; pump, tubing, and clothes handoff
6:20 Swim Start (2 at a time, 5 sec apart)

SWIMGoal: :33
Race Plan for Success:
- Find clear water quickly; find someone to draft behind
- Steady, sustainable effort – even-paced
Technique Focus:
Early catch; “anchor” left arm
Easy 2 beat kick
Relaxed and strong
"Strong and steady"

T1 (Transition1):Goal :07 
It’s a long run. Put on cool wings, no socks; drink small water with UCAN, swallow 5 Perfect Amino, 300mg caffeine; running mount on bike

BIKEGoal:3:00 – It's not a sprint! Ride steady to run strong
Race Plan for Success:
-Monitor HeartRate - keep below 130; early on in low 120’s MAX
-Monitor Power – keep 200 or below except to pass or out of corners (but don’t burn matches)
-Resist the excitement, shift gears often, spin up the hills, pedal down hills, caution on turns (live to race IMAZ in 5 weeks)
-Stay alert to avoid drafting
-Take water at all aid stations to spray arms, head, back
-Head check top down: Aero position when appropriate, hand position, relax & stretch neck and shoulders, hydration/nutrition, breathing, flat back, stretch back, full pedal stroke
-Calories (fuel for the run!) ~900; Hydration – bottle from aid stations every ½ hour may not be enough – start early
-Bento Bag – 1/2 sleeve Clif Bloks pkg (100cal), lense wipe, SaltStick chews, pill container
-Speedfil frame reservoir (600cal/40oz) – prefilled on race morning with 3 Tailwind, 3 Fuel5, and water
-Electrolytes – in Tailwind; carry SaltStick chews for back up
-First aerobottle filled with 2 scoop Tailwind and 1 cap of SaltStick. Add water from aid stations. Refill as ride progresses
-In pill container – 1 Caff tab
-In pocket – extra inner tube, Aquaphor

Technique Focus:
Relax shoulders
Relax into elbow pads when aero
Stretch neck and back early and often

“First loop is a warm-up.”

T2:Goal :03
Shoes off at dismount, helmet & sunglasses off
Aquaphor on toes, socks on, shoes on; hat on, race belt on while leaving.
In pockets: 2 Clif Bloks sleeves cut open, WetOnes, SaltStick Chews, Tums
Carry bottle with water & UCAN bar - take 5 Perfect Amino and 200mg caffeine; 

RUN Goal:2:15
Race Plan for Success:
-Managing core body temp is #1 priority
-Resist the excitement - control heart rate - low 120's early, low 130's in later miles
-Walk aid stations to get calories, water, and ice
-Focus on form and efficiency and ease 
-Start at easy pace, holding back until later
-Calories = 150-180/hour
-Water and ice – drink UP TO 30oz per hour as needed from aid stations. 
-Clif Bloks - take in 1 sleeve/hour (200cal)/1 block every 1 mile starting around mile 2 or 3
-Electrolytes – included in Clif Bloks; carry caffeine, SaltStick chews for back up
-Tums peppermint as needed – carry 
-Base pace on Heart Rate and perceived effort, NOT mile pace – even split or descend

 “Hall of Fame” by “What would it feel like to run with grace, with speed, and with pure joy?”
"Easy, then light, then effortless"
"What if I let go of my limitations and be a far greater athlete than I ever imagined?”
“What have I decided is not possible that truly is possible?”

Race to test limits, push my body, challenging myself, and proudly representing Team Challenge, “my” athletes, and my Linda, keeping Ironman Arizona in mind as the priority.

29 September 2019

Deal Maker

When it comes to workouts and struggling to finish, or even start, I sometimes make deals with myself. This afternoon was one of those times. It was the 2nd week in a row that I'd done a Sunday 100+ mile ride. Last week was a good one, though I struggled at the end. The brick run after the ride was tough as the sun was out and the humidity was up a little.

This week's ride was a struggle for the final 15+ miles. I just wanted to get to the end. As the final miles began to accumulate and fatigue got worse, I made a deal with myself: "Just finish the ride. You can skip the run. Get home so you can eat and recover." That got me home and off the bike but then I started reneging on the deal. My legs felt heavy and tired but I put my Hoka OneOne Clifton 6's on anyway and went back out the door, deciding I could head back at any time. By the time I got into the 2nd mile I was feeling okay and pushed on. By mile 3 I was actually feeling good and my speed had picked up without really pushing it. And mile 4 followed - it was the best one. In the end I ran way faster than last weekend's brick run and did much better than I had any right to expect going into it.

Whether it's drinking a cup of coffee, remembering your goal, or making a deal with yourself, the most important thing is TO START. You might be pleasantly surprised with what results!

02 May 2019

Run Defensively?

We’ve probably all heard about defensive driving. What about defensive running? If you run on the road you should “run smart” and “run defensively”. Don’t assume you are being seen and that you are safe. Your life can depend on it! Here are some tips for being smart and defensive and safe. When running on the road (not on a sidewalk):
1.    Run FACING traffic, not with your back to traffic. See what’s coming. Just make sure you’re more alert to people pulling out of driveways or side streets as they may not be looking your way.
2.    Be careful if you’re using headphones. Be able to hear cars, bikes, and people around you. 
3.    Wear reflective clothes and lights if you’re running at night.
4.    Tell a trusted friend or family member what your plan is (what route, how long you expect to be gone, etc.)
5.    Carry your cell phone with you in case you need help (e.g. get lost, get injured and can’t continue, have a negative encounter with someone who means harm). Use a live tracker and let someone you trust monitor your whereabouts.
6.    Women especially need to be cautious (sorry to say). Consider running with a friend, know the area, be alert, don’t where a ponytail or long hair that can be pulled, carry pepper spray or some other form of defense.
7.    A courtesy thing: use hand signals at an intersection to tell a driver when you are turning left or right instead of crossing the street in front of them.

Hope these will help you be safer out there! Chime in with your own suggestions!

09 April 2019

"Transporting" Your Swim Workout to the Pool

Your coach gives you a swim workout made up of a warm up, drills, sets, etc. How are you supposed to remember everything once you’re in the water?
There are many ways to bring you workout with you so you know what to do. Besides having your coach be right there on the pool deck telling you, you can:
• Print the workout with your printer and put it in a ziplok bag.
• Write it down on a piece of paper or postit note with ball point pen, get the paper wet, stick it to a kickboard or pull buoy that you’re not using, and prop it on the pool deck to read. Good paper will usually last the length of the workout.
• Put your phone or tablet in a waterproof case and display the workout on the screen.
• Write it on an underwater writing slate (the kind sometimes used in scuba diving).
• Memorize the workout along with the intervals.
How do you do it? Any other ideas?

27 February 2019

Ironman Kona Legacy Slot - Day Before Announcement

Tomorrow at 9:00am west coast time Ironman will announce who will receive the Legacy Slots that send 200 eligible athletes to Kona. I applied at the end of last year and am in the cue for a slot. The slots are not awarded by merit or how close you got to qualifying or how wonderful a human being you are or anything like that. You simply become eligible when you finish 12 Ironman full distance 140.6 mile races. When you do 12 you can submit your qualifications, listing the events you did, etc. and get put onto the list of athletes according to when you submitted your Legacy slot registration.

I wrote about this after Ironman Arizona last November but here’s my Ironman history in a nutshell. I’ve finished 12 Ironmans. My first one was Ironman Arizona in 2009. I’ve done Ironman Texas twice, missing a Kona slot by one place at the first Texas race. I’ve done Ironman Chattanooga twice, finishing 4thlast year. I’ve done Arizona 8 times now, with my best finish there also being 4thin 2017. 

My goal has always been to qualify for the Ironman World Championship and go to Kona. I never expected it to take so long or to be as difficult as it was. I have always had other goals for each and every race but of course Kona was always the dream. 

Now I’m in an odd position. The goal, the dream, for now anyway, is no longer there to drive me. That goal has been part of my thoughts for 10 years. Last fall was a whirlwind finale. Ironman Chattanooga was the focus: fundraising, training, planning, aiming to win my age group and earn a slot. The swim, my strongest discipline, ended up being cancelled. I wouldn’t have won anyway but might have moved up a place (or 2?) from 4th. Less than 2 weeks later we went to Kona to support another athlete in her first chance to race there. I had always said I didn’t want to go until I qualified but having an athlete there was probably the only thing that could have changed my mind. I was very grateful that I got to go and share the experience with her and I learned a lot but it did alter my mindset a little. Finally, the next month we were off to Arizona to race a 2ndIronman just 7 weeks after Chattanooga. My resolve, determination, and drive were not the same and it showed in my performance.

So now I wait to hear if I’ll be racing in Kona this coming October or if it will be in 2020 or 21, I’m not in a hurry. I have mixed feelings about it all. That’s because it’s not the way I dreamed or imagined I would get there. It’s not what drove me to put in all the work. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the opportunity and the privilege to possibly get a Kona slot. They are VERY hard to get. And I’m sure I will be excited and anxious and happy I get it tomorrow. But there’s also going to be a part of me that’s a little sad and disappointed. The emotions are just not the same when you compare receiving a legacy slot versus winning your age group at a race, showing up for the Kona slot “rolldown” procedure, and registering for the Championship after standing on top of the podium for your age group.

I’m not looking for sympathy here. I’m not posting this on Facebook either. Many may not understand this but it’s my truth. I just wanted to put my emotions down BEFORE the announcement because, who knows, I will probably feel a LOT different when they offer me a slot to the Hawaii Ironman World Championship!

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!