Karel and I are getting excited...wow, 42 days until race day! It feels like yesterday when we signed up for the IM (last July!). For each Ironman I have trained for, I have considered it a blessing that my body can "race" and compete in an 140.6 mile event. No workout or day is taken for granted and continuously thank my body for what it allows me to do. Without a doubt, I love the feeling of being able to take my body and mind to new places as I get stronger, smarter and fitter as an endurance athlete. But with this being my 6th Ironman and I get to share it with Karel for his first IM, I guess you can say that Ironman Lake Placid
on July 28th, 2013 is going to be a very special day for both of us.
After the morning pre-workout snack around 5:45am (alarm set for 5:15am which included doggy walk, start the coffee, feed the furry ones) I was off to Nocattee (6 miles down the road) via car to get set for another key Ironman brick. We will be doing the "big" long ride of 112 miles next week (I think - I need to check with Coach Karel and Training Peaks on that one) but this weekend included another quality bike + run workout. Because the process of building endurance can not be rushed, I feel that you can still adequately prepare for Ironman races and learn a lot about yourself (and what to expect on race day) by focusing less on multiple centuries (100 mile rides) and "long, slow" workouts and instead, make your miles count by building endurance. I believe every athlete needs a confidence booster workout but in order to build confidence you also have to have a body that can withstand the stress of repeated training. Nutrition before and during, pacing, mental focus, body toughness, clothing, gear, etc....There are a lot of little things that are often forgotten when athletes train for an Ironman and I love considering every possible area that I can work on before race day in order to have a great race day performance.
Today's workout for me:
4 hour ride + 30 min run
Karel's workout (He had to work around noon today):
3.5 hour ride + 5 mile run
My workout (super windy day today) which was mostly with Karel:
25 minute warm-up (solo)
3 x 8 min @ Karel's pace (which was low Z4 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
20 min @ Karel's pace (which was mid to upper Z3 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
Group ride: ~49 minutes (which was mid Z3 for me for power)
Regroup with Karel for his last interval: 25 min @ Karel's pace (which was mid Z3 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
35 min Z3 low (solo) w/ 4 min EZ
25 min Z3 low (solo) w/ 4 min EZ
Total 4 hours, 83 miles
4 mile run off the bike:
Mile 1: 8:07 min/mile
10 sec walk
Mile 2: 7:59 min/mile
10 sec walk
Mile 3: 7:55 min/mile
10 sec walk
Mile 4: 7:56 min/mile
I know it seems like a lot of intervals but it works because the body adapts quicker than doing long, slow rides or trying to do too much (too fast) at one time. There's a lot that needs to take place within the body to prepare for an Ironman and luckily, adaptations can be made with hard workout and you don't have to be an exercise physiologist to know why or how things are working. However, eliminating the "junk" and focusing on the quality will not only help you experience more consistent performance gains but it will also keep the training fun and exciting for you won't feel as if your Ironman journey is taking over your life.
After the workout, I cleaned myself up to make my way to the farmers market to buy a delicious-looking watermelon. After a recovery drink, FIZZ
and some stretching, I made my way to Ponte Vedra to meet with one of my athletes who is doing his 2nd Ironman next weekend. I love helping my athletes (online/in person) with race day strategies for I feel the best way to go into a race is to know that you are able to race with your current level of fitness.
I finally got home in the early afternoon and someone was super excited to see me. On went the 110% Play Harder
gear (ice + compression = love it!) and I was excited to get a meal into my belly. I was really happy with how my nutrition went today as one thing I pay close attention to is any signs of my tummy being "off" which rarely happens before workouts. It is expected that the body can do some crazy things after a long workout with sport nutrition but the past few weeks have been ideal for my tummy post workout as the recovery meal is just as enjoyed (and welcomed) as the pre training snack.
Although certain foods are ideal post workout (carbs and protein, minimal fat/fiber) it is important that you recognize what foods "work" the best for your body post workout. I feel that in the Ironman prep journey, you must make a lot of mental notes as to what works and doesn't work. The athletes who get wrapped up in the miles often overlook critical areas such as gear, nutrition, the mind, pacing as areas which can make or break your race day performance. The Ironman doesn't care how many 100+ mile rides or "long" runs you did in training if your tummy is hurting, your body is fatiguing, your mind is wandering and your muscles are aching on race day. It's very easy to be obsessed with how many miles you need to swim, bike and run to check-it off your training daily to-do list but you must ask yourself, what can I accomplished within those miles that will set me up for a good race day? Certainly, race day is being able to execute your training and race with your current level of fitness. If you don't have an effective nutrition and pacing plan, all those "long" training sessions will quickly be forgotten. Set yourself up for success by focusing on quality workouts. If you are confused as to how to do this for an Ironman, I strongly recommend getting a coach who can guide you through the process and to keep you motivated and excited to take part in this exciting journey.
So...on to more yummier topics.
I think I will call this PB&J French Toast - yummy in my belly creation.
2 slices rye bread (this sits well in my belly post workout)
Peanut butter (smear)
Fruit jam (no HFCS)
Red currants (you can use raisins)
Banana (I try to consume some type of fruit post workout)
2 egg whites + 1 whole egg + dallop greek yogurt
Kale (I try to consume some type of veggie post workout)
Goat cheese (This sits well in my belly post workout)
1. Scramble eggs w/ dallop of greek yogurt (about 1 tbsp) and add a tbsp of water to help with mixing. (I love to use greek yogurt with my eggs - it makes them fluffy).
2. Turn on pan to medium heat and saute kale in a little olive oil (~2 tsp) until slightly crispy.
3. Remove kale from pan.
4. With a little olive oil, drizzle pan for bread.
5. Dip breads into egg mixture and cook bread on one side for 2 minutes until slightly firm and then flip to cook for 1 minute. See step 10 if you want to create your french toast as eggs are cooking.
6. With a little olive oil, drizzle pan for omelet (you can use cooking spray if you just need a little).
7. Pour leftover egg mixture onto pan and sprinkle a little cheese into the egg mixture before it gets firm.
8. Flip after 2 minutes (or when eggs are firm).
9. Place kale in center of cook egg mixture (turn off heat) and place some greek yogurt on kale and then close egg as you use spatula to remove from pan and onto your plate.
10. Smear a little nut butter on the bread as well as jam and then top with sliced bananas, red currants and a drizzle of honey.
Remember - no workout is complete until you recover. Even if you stretch post workout and eat "well" - don't forget about keeping the body recovered throughout the day. We LOVE our trigger point set
(+ foam roller/grid) which we use several times during the day (morning and night). I highly recommend investing in recovery tools for you can only train hard if you recover harder.