These 4 Principles Will Keep You Strong in Your Next Ironman
A few years ago my friend Keith and I discussed how awesome it would be to ride from sea level all the way up to the peak of Mt. Baldy at 10,064 feet.
We finally made it happen!!! We started in Long Beach, rode up the San Gabriel River Trail to Glendora Mountain Rd. and eventually to the Ski lifts at Mt. Baldy. From here we changed into our running gear and ventured up to the peak of Mt. Baldy. In total it was 68 miles to the ski lifts and then 5.5 miles up to the peak of Mt. Baldy.
It was a VERY tough day and a good reminder of what we all need to do to be successful when racing Ironman and half Ironman distance. Here are 4 reminders:
- Feed yourself before your big day. Cutting back on calories a few days (in hopes of attaining a perfect "race weight") before your event will be disastrous. You need the additional carbohydrates to top off your glycogen stores and give you a little extra water storage since every gram of carb can hold onto 2-3 grams of water. This is what you want going into your big event.
- Control early so you can push later. If you look at the bike splits of any Ironman or half Ironman you'll see a big difference in average pace of the first half compared to the second half. Those who remain steady throughout have the best results.
- Calories on the bike help your run. When you are pushing a decent intensity your body needs plenty of supplemental calories to continue operating at that intenisty. If you want the most out of your race, be sure to fuel on the bike with your run in mind. Our race doesn't end with the bike. In fact, this is where it can get real challenging if you finish the bike in a calorie deficit. How much should you take in? Most people can handle 60 - 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This is individual, so be sure to experiment and make this part of your training.
- Hydration should be your #1 concern. We all have different sweat rates. Be sure you know how much fluid you need to take in for your race intensity. If you get behind on hydration, it's almost impossible to catch up.
Nothing revolutionary here, but these are all things that can help you race to your full potential (assuming you have put in the training of course).