Hey all you Kats!!!
I hope that you made it through our Polar Vortex unscathed and are settling in to some sort of routine for your season of races coming up.
This is the Ordinary Fellow and I’m here to finish the story of how I got ready for my Ironman distance triathlon at the Michigan Titanium this past August.
Installments 1-3 got us from just thinking about doing the Ironman distance to training for the thing. I ended issue 3 picking myself off the ground after having fallen over on my bike (I didn’t really fall off since I was still clipped in!) during my second century practice ride of my training program.
In the last issue I mentioned that I had a coach to help me with my training. Last year he had 4 people train with him for a full Ironman and several 70.3 people. All of us completed our events! (I got second in my age group!!)
Todd developed a plan for me and a schedule for that training. One problem that I had with this schedule is that it didn’t realistically fit with my work schedule.
I may have mentioned it before but I work 6 days per week in a factory, yes this includes Saturdays. My long bike rides were scheduled for Saturdays with a few longer rides and runs during the week. I had to adjust my workout schedule to fit into my life. I start work early so need to be in bed early. I just couldn’t fit everything in on a day.
My job is quite physically demanding at times and the shop is not air conditioned making the hard work a little harder during the heat of the day. There were a few times when, at the end of my work day, I just had nothing left to give to put towards a run or bike ride.
Open-water-swimming during the week was a challenge since any open body of water is filled with people (and you thought I was going to say fish!) playing and splashing, tugging on the swim buoys and having a good time thus making swimming in any sort of straight line impossible. On some Sundays I was able to get to Eagle Lake at Ft. Custer Rec Center and be the first person in the water. I eased into my swimming and over the course of a few weeks was able to reach the target goal of 2.5 miles in a fairly decent amount of time. This was a real source of encouragement for me.
I spent more time training for the bike portion of the event than on others. I knew that the major focus of the tri is on the bike ride, I took as many training rides as I could. Cereal City Athletics has a fun 100k bike ride in June and Sunday Fundays bike rides with the TriKats was very beneficial. Riding with others helped me to push myself to go faster. I highly recommend finding at least one other (faster) person that can be a buddy for you during some portion of a run or ride. It makes a hard thing a bit easier to achieve.
Miscellaneous Things - Some odds and ends that I want to touch on, don’t necessarily have to do with training or workouts.
- - Get quality equipment that is affordable. If you need a bike, purchase a good quality road bike and not a time trial bike. The price of even a used TT bike can be quite expensive and do you really need it? Unless you’ve got money to burn (see me if you do, I’m looking for sponsors) a good road bike will be more than sufficient for your needs.
- - Take the swim class sponsored by Athletic Mentors. It’s worth the time and money!
- - Find nutrition to use during your long bike rides and try out everything before race day. I used two different types of drink mixes. One was Hammer Perpeteum and a custom blend from Infinit. Both were good although I settled on the Infinit brand. I did make the mistake of ordering too much. Hopefully it doesn’t spoil!
- - Another thing I used during my tri was a mesh bag. My wife uses a small mesh bag while doing her laundry. I borrowed it and secured it between my aero bars. This gave me easy access to snacks during the race but didn’t interfere with any critical functions.
- - Listen to your body – I had to skip some workouts because of being physically spent from doing my job. Give yourself permission to miss a workout. Some days it may not be wise to do an outdoor run or bike due to weather or maybe you’re recovering from being ill. Realistically, as much as we make of the event and wanting to do it, it’s still just a hobby and not something to jeopardize our health over.
Well, my stated goal in the beginning of this blog was: …to encourage any of you who may be thinking about doing the ironman distance but perhaps question the “do-ability” of it, whether you could do it or not, that you can do it!
I hope that I’ve met my goal. If any of you readers have a question feel free to contact me. Blessings!!
I’m just an…