What Do You Know About An IRONMAN?
An opportunity presented itself to take on a FULL Ironman. Yes that’s right, a total of 140.6 miles in a single continuous effort....oomph. Now this wasn't on my radar or bucket list at all.. I am perfectly content with half distances. I have always held that a full would be something for later- when I have more time... But, when phrased to me as a challenge compared to my 21 days of half’s, I figured, well, why not?
So with a two and half months of prep time I am scheduled to perform, November 18th, 2018 in Tempe, AZ. I figured with only a few months to elevate my training efforts before the race, it would be better on my mindset to just jump right into the “it’s happening” versus setting up the race next year sometime and dwelling and possibly procrastinating the training efforts. I like to be prepared so when the race is this close that I can somewhat “sense” it, I’m firing on all cylinders to “get ready” But therein lies the Magic question- “ready”- what does it take? How will I handle the stress of the effort? The crowds of people? The short answer is I don’t know, but I’m not afraid of not knowing. Here’s what I do know- the race is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles on the bike and 26.2 miles on the feet- those are the knowns. The unknowns are all the things that you try and prepare for in order to handle or “be ready” for the knowns. I’ve been open about my training efforts as always being self-taught and have personal theories about what it may take to handle the distances. But again, these are just theories. I’ve had so much guidance and support from the endurance community on many of the disciplines. I’ve heard brick theories, heart rate theories, nutrition theories, time based theories and distance theories. And this just goes to show how awesome the endurance community truly is!! We are all vastly different in so many facets, that what may work for one, may not work for me. But as a collective, I think the shared knowledge is so key, cause maybe an entire theory doesn’t work for me, but part of it does, along with another part of another one etc. See where I’m going? Adaption! My adapted theory: My brain rationalizes that if I can “know” that 80 percent of the distance efforts have been accomplished during training, then my brain can bridge the other 20% on race day. This 80% theory would mean that I would need to show myself that I’ve traveled these distances prior to race day: Swim: 1.92 miles Bike: 89.6 miles Run: 20.96 miles With biking and running being the longest of the disciplines, my brain also rationalizes that accomplishing the above bike and run efforts as a brick (bike effort straight into run effort) would help me on race day to know that I’ve “been here before” and to keep going. Thus far, I’ve been forging further in my training distances than ever before, and I believe it is because of the training regimens I’ve kept from the journey and just in my daily routine, that has prepared me in some fashion to push further than half iron distances (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). And there is something superhero-ish to going beyond your imaginary limit. In addition to the physical training I must also remember to pay attention to an equal, if not more important component in training..Nutrition.
It is an area of concern that has been my kryptonite in the past. Because no matter the quality or quantity of physical training, if you don't have the proper nutrition you can kiss your end game goodbye. It took many complications (often cramping) during my triathlon endeavors that convinced me to rethink my routine. I had to get over the low salt diet, 'healthy' way of daily eating and transition to a performance diet.. something that was mentally very challenging for me. Little by little I've added to my core nutrition components with additional doses of salt and even, as I cringe, potato chips and Coca-Cola.
The influx of these added component has been vital, especially in more extreme temperatures, so I can plan on a more regular appearance these items
during my performance dieting. I'm thinking my effort nutrition will consist of: Core Nutrition: OM Mushroom mix in my hydration bottles along with water
Himalayan salt prior to efforts and about every 30 minutes or so depending on how hot it is outside.
Redd bars for substance nutrition on my rides and run (which don’t effect my stomach!)
Chips and Coca-Cola- During my longer training runs I have been using these as a halfway pick-up.. Small bag of Kettle Salt&Pepper Potato Chips and half a bottle of Coca-Cola. So there you have it... THE PLAN...
To keep the training rolling from day to day so I don't burn out before the big day.. I make sure to RECOVER! Recovery Nutrition: I’m currently using plant based proteins from Garden of Life, Antler Velvet from Antler Farms, and Mushroom powders from OM mushrooms. So there it is, the proposed recipe for accomplishing Ironman AZ. Come November, we’ll find out if my theory is worth its “salt” and should any of you have any suggestion/guidance as I prepare for what I consider a massive effort, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me via Instagram @thetriumphproject. I’ll be keeping a vlog of training efforts along the Ironman Journey, so be on the lookout for those (YouTube and Instagram Stories) should you be interested. See you out there my friends! In light and positivity Jeff Fairbanks