When racing Ironman distance events the most common trigger for the death spiral of performance is bad pacing. Most triathletes begin a race mentally and physically prepared and with high performance gear and nutrition well planned and ready. The personal best performance seems inevitable…then the race starts and the patience and planning get lost in the adrenaline and excitement of racing.
Over-pacing wreaks havoc with nutrition. The athlete that is incapable of patiently pacing within his/her ability will face chronic bonking and stomach problems. In order to nail your nutrition you must first pace appropriately. I often hear athletes seeking the secrets of Ironman nutrition to avoid the bonks, nausea and performance crashes and when racing at a slower pace is suggested as a solution it is frequently discarded as unrelated. If you’re pacing properly you’ll be performing within an intensity that balances your carbohydrate assimilation and availability in tandem with fat burning for fuel.
A few tips to improve Ironman pacing:
– Race like you train. Don’t try to race faster than you’ve trained even if the race day adrenaline and excitement are persuading you otherwise.
– Know what you’re capable of. Be brutally honest with yourself. Even if you’d like to be faster don’t succumb to convincing yourself that you’ll do something miraculous on race day.
– Be a patient racer. Be confident in your ability to finish stronger as you are disciplined to patiently execute your race plan. Impatient and undisciplined racers will have moments of impressive performance but can lose hours in the end from the compounding complications of poor race execution.
Pacing correctly is a veteran secret that significantly mitigates the physical complications of Ironman racing. Learn to properly pace and you’ll unlock your best Ironman performances.
As a new year approaches it’s healthy to reflect on the past year and look forward to what opportunities for achievement are in the year to come. As the top goal for any triathlete or endurance athlete I always recommend: Consistent Training.
Few athletes ever enjoy the benefits of compounding training over weeks, months and years of consistent training. It can be easy to get a few workouts in each week and excuse the days missed or gaps of a week or two as life happens and training takes lesser priority. For next year’s top goal I’d recommend finding the way to eliminate these time gaps in training.
Don’t accept excuses for missing a workout or two and plan ahead so that peak demands in your work or personal schedule also accommodate time for training sessions (even if they are shorter duration than planned).
Train more consistently and achieve better performance next year!
I just want to make a quick post for those of you who will be taking the step into Ironman triathlon training and racing this year. What an exciting adventure you are embarking on!!
As I think back on my first Ironman experience, I recall being deeply naive about the training demands and the race. I think being naive, to a certain degree, is a benefit that you’ll only enjoy this first year so take full advantage of it. Find some good training partners if you can, find a good coach and/or training plan and then simply execute and believe in yourself. As you do, you’ll enjoy an experience of learning, self discovery, and deep personal satisfaction. When race day arrives you’ll be ready for the rich experience of becoming an Ironman finisher.
I’m convinced that the mental decision to become an Ironman finisher is far more difficult than the months of physical training. As soon as you’ve arrived at that mental conclusion you’re already more than half way there.
Do your first Ironman or achieve a new personal best with a training plan or coaching from AllTriathlon.com.
For the rest of the month of April I’m waiving the $125 startup fee on all coach supported personal triathlon training plans. Coach supported plans now start at $40.
A brief testimonial received from an email from an athlete last week:
“For the first time since 2008, I am enjoying and following a plan. Before it was taking literally every bit of motivation to get me going it was a struggle, now it is a pleasure, it is fun.So in all scheme of things, this plan has brought way more than I expected.”
Don’t let your season go “unplanned”!! Click here to learn more and share this special offer with your friends!
My “Triathlon Training Motivation 101” tips:
- PAY THE RACE FEE – You’ll find more motivation once you’ve put some money on the table toward your goal. In moments that you feel like you want to back out, the thought of wasted $$ will motivate you to stay on track.
- FOLLOW A PLAN – I’m certainly an advocate of personal training plans, but even a plan template at minimum can help you to stay focused on achieving one day of training at a time and provide the essential “road map” to your successful preparation.
- CONSISTENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN INTENSITY – Make sure your training efforts are in-line with your physical and mental limitations. A consistent effort over time will help you to be best prepared for your event. Sporadic intense training won’t.
- BE CONFIDENT – You can do this! Don’t let any doubts or uncertainty creep into your thoughts. Each workout is preparing you to reach your goal on race day.
- BE REALISTIC – Your training and preparations will be challenging at times and your goal will not always feel easily achievable, that’s the reality. Stay focused and committed during the most challenging times and you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment on race day.
Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals!
I use social media and enjoy the free flow of thought and the windows which it provides into lives and activities that otherwise would be inaccessible to me. However, as a coach and endurance athlete I frequently see distractions and lack of simplicity in training and lifestyle as some of the most significant impediments to performance maximization. Where does social media interaction fit, or not fit, into the life of the pro triathlete? Can it be a positive or negative influence on performance?
I understand that social media has become a powerful force for pro athletes to maximize their personal brand and promote their sport. Fans enjoy the private tidbits that flow on twitter. Tweets, FaceBook interaction and blog posts can endear athletes to fans in ways that traditional media never offered in the past. However, is there a performance cost? Is social media a distraction or an effort that adds unnecessary complexities into what needs to be a simple lifestyle to achieve performance maximization?
I’m also open to hearing opinions on how social media could be a benefit to performance. Does social media give an athlete more opportunities to maximize sponsorship and secure necessary financial support? Does sharing life, training and racing experiences with the public deepen commitment and focus?
Coaches and athletes please weigh in on this. I would love to hear your thoughts?
Check out the triathlon training, coaching and free training log at AllTriathlon.com.