The 5 p's as Fos (aka Dad) would say.
The biggest factor in doing what we do (endurance sports) is preparation! With preparing properly for the race you are targeting, more often than not you will achieve the goal you set out to achieve.
Over the last few weeks, the talk of Ironman Melbourne has been massive around these parts, but also the excuses about not being able to train have followed.
It is too Hot.
It is too Windy.
I hope it is not this hot at Melbourne
Now, I understand that Melbourne can get quiet hot & windy, but what I cannot understand is why people shy away from the fact that they have to train in it. To be successful at the race you are aiming for, you have to be prepared for the potential conditions it will throw at you.
Other Ironman & 70.3 races around the world are far harder than what Melbourne can provide and these races sell out just as fast.
In the preparation, with what I found out whilst being in Hawaii for 4 weeks prior to the race was you need to suffer, hurt then suffer and hurt some more to fully prepare for the worst conditions on race day. I remember riding along the Queen K in training, hating the world at 15-18kph wondering what the heck I was doing here. By doing this, it still gave me the confidence to have a crack on race day and no matter what I was going to be able to get through. The end result....4hr 43min + change ride.
With the run, exactly the same. Why constantly run in the early part of the day when the sun is not as it's hottest when most of us will be running in the race from 1pm onwards right through until midnight. Surely this is when you need to be training, when you are racing. It will eliminate the reason why you didn't have a good race as you will be ready to run during that time. I can assure you that the race won't be switched around so that you can ride & run in the morning out of the conditions.
I did sooo many runs in the heat of the afternoon in Hawaii and once again suffered on many many days (just read my blog from September last year), but once race day arrived, I once again was ready for this and when the temp hit 53 deg Celsius along Ali'i Drive, I was ready for it as I had experienced it before. The end result....3hr 15min A pb of 5 min over the Ironman Marathon distance.
I am not one to give many of my training hints or secrets away, but this one, I just think that it is that simple that it is not a secret. It still just astounds me how many people shy away from training in the potential conditions that you could be racing in.
Make sure you are properly hydrated and carry enough fluid to keep you that way. Even plan your run/ride so that there are adequate stops along the way! I also noticed that my nutrition intake was so much different by training in the times that I am expecting to race in. Food for thought?
Just next time you think about avoiding the heat or wind, just ask yourself... What are the potential conditions for my race?
It might just change the timing of your training for the better!
The other part of the preparation is knowing the course, doing a course recon is also advantageous as you get to understand a whole lot more about it than looking at a course profile. Knowing what gear ratio to use, both for climbing and descending is important along with knowing road surface for tyre choice. If it is flat, undulating or hilly, how long the hills climb for. There is a whole lot more to preparing than reading the athlete handbook. If you know other who have done the course previously, ask them. You can never ask too many questions to get the most information for yourself.
Don't forget, doing the right preparation will lead to the right result!!
This one is for you Mum (25/12/53 - 25/03/07)...