This is the first of our series about the road to Ironman Canada. When you sign up for any big event or long distance event like an ironman often one year in advance, race day can seem so far away and yet so close that there can be a lot of anxiety building up even now. 10 months to go…
It’s 10 months away. There’s plenty of time!.......Or, is there?
Location, Location, Location
For 2020 we are so excited that Ironman Canada is returning to Penticton, BC after some years away. We can’t wait! This is true for hundreds of other athletes, their families, and supporters as witnessed by the fact that the race sold out in only a few hours.
This means it will be a fun and exciting day but it also means that it really is not too early to think about some of the logistics involved. Where are you staying? Where is your support crew staying?
Start having a discussion with family, friends and teammates who may be joining you on your big day. Who will want to be there? Who would you like to be there? It’s time to ask and plan! Coach Lesley has done this race four times and done four training camps in Penticton so she has a lot of insight and ideas about where to stay and how family and friends can see you in key spots and how to keep the stress down so make sure if you have questions to talk to Coach!
Once you know where your teammates are staying or what might work for your friends and family book those rooms now. Maybe it is a hotel, maybe an AirBnB or VRBO. Also don’t forget to request the time off at work for race week if you need to.
Put in that time now figuring logistics and it will be one less thing you have to think about as you get closer to the race and have so many other things to think about.
Where are You as an Athlete Today?
Where are you as a triathlete today? Are you a newbie? Are you a seasoned veteran? Either way it’s time to do a few assessments.
Do you have any injury issues? Maybe you have some little niggle that always come back or a true pain that you have been ignoring. Now is the time to really take care of these. You can afford some time off now, if needed, to really heal. What you don’t want to do is ignore it and think it will get better (even though it has not so far) and then be sidelined mid season when the training is more critical for race day.
What about Equipment? Do you have what you need? Do you know what you need? Now this can be a slippery slope as triathletes in general tend to love gear. No, you don’t need it all. But, you might want some of it. Think about what you really need and maybe put on your list for Christmas or for a Birthday.
What's Your Routine?
“Off season” or the winter is a great time to review your routines or establish some new ones.
It is important to figure out a workouts schedule that will work for you and stick with it. Do you need to workout in the mornings to make sure to get it in? Is the evening or at lunch your only option?
This doesn’t mean putting in load and loads of volume (i.e. lots of long runs, trainer rides, or swims). Instead it means being deliberate and a smart athlete and figuring out what works with your family life, social life and other commitments. Adding in too much volume now is a great way to risk burnout or injury.
This is something many of us don’t think about enough. Yes, sleep routines are important too. They might not be as important now as when the volume and intensity are high but why not create some habits now so you don’t have to think about it later. When you sleep is when the body repairs so if you think about that you can see why as we build toward ironman this will be important.
Strength and mobility
What's that? If that is the question then this is for you. Ironman is a journey. Getting to the start line healthy and ready to race should be your main goal. Many things can go wrong. Taking the time to work on strength, flexibility, and mobility will help create a more durable athlete.
Should you address strength and mobility issues? (The answer is always yes.) As a triathlete, it is natural to gravitate to doing more of whichever sport is your favorite. It is much harder to put in the time for the sport that requires some work. Create some habits now and make the time to do some strength training or the physical therapy exercises you have pinned to the wall. Make a routine of doing a little foam rolling or other mobility and flexibility work a few times a week. Even if you cant “see” the results of this now, trust us, down the line it will pay off.
Remember those family and friends you’d like to have come support you? Now is also the time to give back to them. You don’t need to be spending hours and hours training right now so use this off-season to catch up and connect.
Is there an event your friend, partner or spouse wants to do this winter or early in the new year? See how you can support them and give back to them so that when the time comes that you need help, they are there. If it means missing a few workouts of your own now that is fine. This too will pay dividends later.
And finally, Relax. Even though it is a short amount of time, 10 months is a long time too. Ironman is a journey so take the time to enjoy it too. You will see as we get closer to race day that by working away at things a few at a time it will all come together and hopefully Ironman will be a magical day!
Cheers to 10 months to Ironman Canada - Penticton - 2020!