One of the challenges of writing this blog is that it’s easy to sound like an idiot. I’m blathering on about Ironman before I’ve ever done one. But, before I know it, I’ll be floating in Lake Monona and all of these words, postulations, and unknowns will be mute.
The last nine months have taken my fitness to levels I never dreamed possible. Four hour bike rides followed by hour long runs. Four thousand meter swims in the morning and two hard hours on the trainer at night. And through it all, one thing has remained the most important factor in my training: I have trusted my gut and listened to my body.
I’ve never seen the point in chasing miles. I take a lot of shit for this, but I do not like to go to extreme lengths, especially when I’m deprived of sleep. I would rather skip or delay a workout than risk injury because my muscles haven’t recovered. In many ways, I’m still building my base for years to come.
I’ve learned a lot since we started training in January, and one thing is undeniable . . . no plan is fool proof. Everyone has their own methods but most of us struggle with the same questions.
Mileage . . . nutrition . . . burnout . . . wheels . . . strength training . . . race weight . . . recovery?
I’ve been fortunate to have a coach to bounce these (and hundreds more) questions off. He has laid the groundwork, adjusted to my fitness level, and been there for motivation at the right times. The rest has been up to me.
I’ve yet to bike more than 80 miles and my furthest run is 14. A ton of people have told me about the dreaded biking and running walls, but I’m trying not to get caught up in that because triathlon is so mental it’s mind blowing. I’m focused on remaining confident, training hard, and trusting my strategy. The struggle will be there, it’s just a matter of how I handle the pain.
On September 8th I will be chasing Ironman a mere 13 months after my first Sprint. It has been a daunting journey which has transformed into a lifestyle. I’ve become highly tuned into my body and it says some powerful things when I let it talk. I just hope our conversations haven’t gotten lost in translation.