I am now in the peak phase of training for the Ironman, which means all of the over distance workouts get a little longer each week. The tempo workouts now have bursts of high intensity segments. For the swim, bike and run interval workouts, the recovery periods have been reduced and/or done at a higher intensity. (For example, I was walking in between intervals, and now I keep a moderate jog).
With the added volume, I needed to increase my calories and pay special attention promoting recovery. With consistent use of the Amino Boost, Muscle Defender, and Recover and Build, I have been able to recover and come back stronger. Thank goodness.
Triathlon is an interesting sport, that teaches you strategies that work for life.
I learned this concept from author and top competitive Ironman Triathlete, Don Fink. Don realized that all he needed to do was become 1% faster and he could achieve his goals. So he would brainstorm on ways he could get 1% faster.
This fun and powerful concept can be applied to anything. Can you be 1% faster, stronger, or leaner? Can you be 1% better in your job, career, school, or relationships? Just by asking yourself, “Can I be 1% better at _______you receive the answer.
Next ask yourself, “How can I be 1% better?” and write down any and all ideas that pop into your head. The ideas are endless.
I knew I could at least improve1% in my technique, nutrition and hydration, training protocol, equipment, mental training and the like. For example, I got my running and swimming technique videotaped and critiqued and learned the drills necessary for well over a 1% improvement.
Just look for the next 1% improvement you can make from where you are today. If you look too far ahead too soon it can be a little daunting. It’s like climbing a ladder; one rung at a time and you’ll get there.
Don Fink also wrote about using Race Segmentation. Basically you break down the 140.6 miles into smaller bite-size chunks. I use segmentation for various parts of training now and it has made a profound difference in my focus and attitude.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you look at the entirety of the training day or training week all at once. You can only live one moment at a time so why not focus on one segment at a time. I see each segment as an independent piece of the plan.
In my workouts now, I break up the course into segments that are easy to picture and mentally digest. Then I only focus on the segment that I am currently in and let go of the past and future segments. It is much easier for me to concentrate on proper form, pace, cadence and so forth up to the bridge or park instead of thinking, “wow I need to keep this pace for the next 5 hours.”
I like to write out the segments in my journal the night before, which allows me to plan for proper hydration and refueling and gives my mind a chance to rehearse the game plan and work out any kinks that may need to be addressed. It also adds confidence and excitement seeing the whole plan in front of me and knowing that I need now is execution.
This present moment awareness can be used for swim, bike, run, and strength training workouts as well as in every day life. At your job, on a special project, or any endeavor you are engaged in, simply write out smaller, more manageable segments and just focus on one part at a time. Before you no it, you’ll be driving through the final segment and at completion.
Well, I just finished up a 5.5 hour ride and am acclimating nicely to the sizzling summer heat. With 7 weeks to go, I am more motivated than ever in my training and cannot wait to hear my name announced as I cross the finish line of the Ford Ironman Louisville.