Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting Close

It is that time of year where we look at our watches, calendars, or anything else with a date and wonder how the heck time flew by so quickly. This is especially true here in the midwest where it feels like we didn't even have a summer. It has been one of the most temperate summers I can remember. There have been a total of 2 weekends that could be classified as "warm" and even those were not bad. The beaches remained open all year, when they usually close due to algae blooms. If you want a little more perspective, the low tonight is 39*, with freezing temps possible just a little further north. BUT I have a few words of caution if you think that the Ironman here will not be hot. The long term temperature trend shows the mercury rising and that gulf humidity making it's way back to town, just in time for race day.

Many of you are either racing this weekend or will be toeing the line at Ironman Wisconsin in a few weeks. Some of you are coming into your big races after a season with no issues to speak of, while others of you feel like you have been in an uphill battle from the beginning. You may have had your best training sessions, numbers and times to date. While some of you might not have, or have had to think outside the box to build your fitness.

Regardless of where you fall, there will always be at least a few thoughts of self doubt that creep in as race day approaches. Some examples for you

  • Can I do this?
  • Can I go faster this year?
  • I didn't do as much as I have in the past, does that mean I am less fit?
  • I am 10lbs heavier this year, does that mean I am less fit?
  • Can I qualify for Kona.
  • I haven't felt great in these last few weeks, does that mean I won't have a good race?

In short, here are your answers

  • You are capable of much more than you think. You don't have to prove it in training, before race day. Whether you haven't run over 2hrs, or you haven't ridden 100 miles, it doesn't matter.
  • Comparing times from year to year is a tough thing to do and should be avoided. There are too many variables that come into play from race to race.
  • NO! More is not better. I am training 40% less this year and am much more fit...
  • NO! Again, I will use myself as an example. I am 12lbs heavier this season and going much, much better. Remember Ironman is about strength, not speed. It is not about going fast, but slowing down the least.
  • Again, something you can't control....all you can do is execute your race!
  • No, many of us are very tired leading into the taper. Feeling good in training means nothing, the only day that counts is race day!

It doesn't matter how your season has gone to this point. It doesn't matter what you have done and what you have not done. The important thing to remember is that you can only control ONE thing and that is the next thing that you do! Worrying about the past or things that you cannot control is wasted energy.

I am not saying you shouldn't look back at your training, because you should. But only look back at the positive. There is a huge connection between mind and body. If you think positive, if you remember those great sessions that you have had this season and if you picture your race going well, you have a much better chance of it happening! The day will be hard at certain times and if you have a positive mindset, you will come out of those low points much more quickly.

Another point to remember is that in these last few weeks, you should try reduce negative stress as much as possible in your life. I have talked before about how in many ways your body will not differentiate where stress is coming from, i.e. - training, work, home, etc. Reduce negative stress anywhere in your life and your body will likely react positively.

There is not one way, or a "right" way to get fit. It is just about what works for you, your body and your life! Remember that and know that in just a few weeks you will be rewarded for all of your hard work! Believe in yourself, believe you will accomplish your goals and believe that you will have a great race and it just might happen!

+++++++++++++++++

A quick note on my training....going very well. I am fit, I am strong and I am just waiting for these next two weeks to pass so I can out there and race. I'll end with a quick quote that I read once, which will stick with me on race day.

"If it's hurting me, it's killing them!"


See you all soon!

BB

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Believe...

"Game On"

++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Many of us are getting within reach of our key races for the season. We are counting down the weeks and the days until we get to that start line. Some of us are rocking out in our training and some of us are wondering whether we have done enough or will be ready.

Regardless of what category you fall into or how your last weekend of training went, you need to remember one thing. The only day that matters, the only session that matters, is race day.

If you are training well, great! But it means nothing unless you can transfer it over to race day. Pay attention to why things are going well; your pacing, nutrition, etc. Remember what works, a well as what doesn't. Draw confidence from your great sessions and use it if you start to doubt yourself as the race gets close.

If you are not training well, or aren't sure whether you will be ready for race day, don't stress. Stick to your plan and believe in yourself. If you have a session that goes poorly, learn from it if you can and then move forward. The only thing that we can control is the next thing that we do. Focus on executing that as well as you can!!

If you are not sure whether you will have done enough for a race due to injury, life or sickness. Know that as endurance athletes, we tend to do too much. That the only time that we feel accomplished is when we have shelled ourselves. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we think (especially when rested) and many times we see a breakthrough without the 200k rides and 30k runs.

So get out the door, train hard and love every second of it. Winter will be back soon enough and we will all wish it was August again!!!!

Life is good~

BB