However, the last day of the camp was specific to swimming. Thankfully, no more weight bearing exercise as my body has done more than I could ever expect and I could not be more delighted with my endurance, speed, power (specifically my power to weight ratio on the bike) and ability to overcome mental and physical fatigue. Today was about putting in just one more quality workout when my body and mind wanted to scream "no more" but I found myself also hungry for more. I have to admit, my body is tired (can't wait for some quality sleep!) and a bit on the sore side. My body feels somewhere around day 3 or 4 post-Ironman.
I found this saying on a website http://potential2success.com/develpomentaltoughness.html:
Mental Toughness- Having a physiological edge that enables you to be consistent, confident, focused, and determined during high pressure situations in order to perform at maximum potential.
“Obstacles can be discouraging and can create the feeling of failure. Once that feeling is there you may entertain thoughts of giving up the journey. In order for you to bounce back quickly you must prepare yourself for these obstacles internally and externally. Do all that you can to prevent these setbacks from happening but if they do happen, remind yourself of your goal. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you when you are tempted to give up. Keep motivational materials around also. Posting motivational quotes or reading success stories may give you that recharge that you need to keep you going.The quicker you bounce back the quicker you will reach your goal.”
I think we can all relate to overcoming obstacles. Perhaps that is what drives us to compete in long distance events as it isn't normal to train to participate in a 26.2, 70.3 or 140.6 mile event. It's important to recognize that a finish in a long distance event is inspiring, motivating and indescribable but many never reach the finish line...nevertheless, reach the starting line. While many people jump on the opportunity to train for a long distance event, I will not sugar-coat the truth that it is a huge commitment and you are not alone in your decision to train for a marathon, Half Ironman or Ironman. Your significant other, family, work, friends, etc. must be on board with your long distance training. For the final push (4-6 weeks until taper) can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. This is why it is VERY important to NOT overdo it in the months leading up to your long distance event. While you may feel like 6 weeks isn't much time to train for an Ironman, believe me when I say that those last few weeks of training before taper are the most important as it is necessary that you use those workouts as an opportunity to put together all the little pieces that make up your "quality" training. And if you are doing the "long stuff" in excess in the 12-16 weeks before your race, it is likely that you increase the chance of burnout and injury. If this is you right now, just be patient...you have PLENTY of time. :)
As much as you try to achieve balance in your life and with your training, there is a specific amount of training that is necessary to prepare your body for the demands of your long-distance event. However, with the right training plan and the right attitude, you should consistently feel yourself progressing in a way that doesn't feel rushed. I don't know how many times I have said it on my blog but I am a planner. I love having a plan that is realistic and flexible in helping me reach my goals.
I found this on another website: http://www.motivation4athletes.com/mental-toughness
See yourself finding the ways and means of realizing your desire, overcoming obstacles one after another, all the obstacles that can possibly arise. See yourself called upon to display, and displaying, alertness, promptness, courage, confidence, resourcefulness, patience, push, enterprise, expert knowledge, insight, shrewdness, tact, self-control, decision. See yourself face to face with the situation that confronts you in real life and manifesting the qualities and doing the things necessary to your purpose. Put yourself body and soul into this picture. Multiply details. Rivet your mind upon it.
The other day I was speaking with one of my athletes who will be participating in his first Ironman this weekend (IMWI) and has overcome many obstacles, such as surviving prostate cancer. I have been helping him with his nutrition for the past month (both daily nutrition, training fueling and IM race week/day fueling) and the other day we were discussing his plan over the phone and I wished him lots of energy and excitement for his race. He didn't need a wish of luck because I know he is ready and he has a great fueling plan. He told me something that I just had to share on my blog (with his permission) and I think it is just perfect when talking about getting ready for an event.
He told me that training for an event is like studying for an exam. Of course, I could totally relate as soon as he mentioned that.
When he started to talk about race week he told me that he felt prepared to do his best. He wasn't expecting a 100% on "his exam" nor did he train to get an A. He said there would be some "questions" that he probably wouldn't know the answer as he had never taken an exam like this before, but he felt he "studied" the best he could and really felt as if he grasped the "information" to help him "pass" the exam. Most of all, he felt relieved that he didn't cram for the exam nor did he feel like he left out anything in his prep. He said he felt really confident and was ready to "TAKE THIS EXAM!!".
I just love it!! I hope you can relate.
As for my LAST workout to conclude my 4-day Trimarni Kona training camp:
6200 yard swim (outdoor YMCA pool)
7:30am - 9:20am
2 x 1000 warm-up (#1 swim, #2 pull)
2 x 400 swim
3 x 300 swim
4 x 200 pull
5 x 100 swim
Between each set I did a 100 w/ paddles (no buoy) as recovery
My cycle for everything was on a 1:30 pace (ex. 500 was on 7:30, 400 on 6 min, etc.).
Trimarni Kona training camp is complete. I would say this was a HUGE success and I thank Karel for giving me my first solid 4-day block of training...and instructing me to minimize outside distractions like 5-8+ hours a day on weekends on the computer (ex. coaching plans, nutrition write-ups, writing articles - which I managed to do last week-well as much as I could- in order to plan ahead). But now comes the most important part of training.
Time to recover, rejuvinate and reflect.
32 days until the 2011 Ironman World Championships!