The start of football season has a way of distorting time. All the endless days of snaps seem to run together and it’s easy to get distracted from the task at hand: Ironman Chattanooga.
But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Most of us have been thinking about this race on a daily basis for a year. It’s the big elephant in the room of our lives. Whenever we turn around, there it is . . . and it’s almost time to climb on its back and let us take it wherever it wants.
That’s always the question with Ironman, right? How much do we control, how much are we at the mercy of the race itself. The conditions, etc.
Our will can only do so much and I think that’s the most important thought to keep in mind. Keep a reserve tank of “will” for times when you really need it.
Ironman is a “race” but most of us would be better served by not racing it in the truest sense. More pacing, less racing.
It’s so tempting to jump on the back of that cannon and swim like a wild woman to get out of the water fast. And the roar of your bike wheels trick you into thinking those first 5 miles actually matter. And, shit, “I know it’s a marathon, but the legs are awake! Let’s get that pace down out of the gate!”
I’m really trying to go into this race with a negative split mentality. Can you imagine feeling stronger toward the end of each event? It’s not easy, and rarely executed, but it sounds fucking amazing.
This will happen for me naturally in the swim. I’m slow to get going and usually feel good toward the end.
The bike is a little tricky because you have this stupid pace goal in mind and it’s really scary to drop too far below it on the first half of the bike. Why? Because we’re usually gassed by the end and the thought of “making up time” sound ridiculous. But I’m gonna try.
Negative splitting and Ironman run sounds all but impossible. But, the mentality is possible and could be as simple as getting your short walks out of the way early. Easing in slowly. Taking your time on the first loop. Then dipping into that reserve tank of “will” at the end. It’s gonna hurt and if you need to use mental tricks, why not use them at mile 22 instead of mile 12? Just a thought.