Saturday, October 08, 2005

90 Tips To Have The Best Ironman Experience – Part I

Here is the first installment of the 90 Iron-Tips & Secrets,

I’ll post 10 every day, so be sure to come back…
1. ONLY DECAF UNTIL THE DAY OF THE RACE. I’m not a nutritionist, but this has worked wonders for me. I go totally caffeine free for the week before the race, then race morning I have a coffee, and then the day’s immersion into GU-ville and de-fizzed Coke on the marathon. It seems that when I drink caffeine all the time, its effect dwindles. Once I started doing this, I felt energy for the entire marathon. So bag the caffeine until race day.

2. DON’T SMOKE – I’m not talking about cigarettes, if you smoke tobacco and are doing the Ironman, you truly are insane. I’m talking about “smoking” others on a training run or ride. This is a NO NO. Surrounded by some of the fittest and some of the most successful people on the planet, your may feel the urge to ruffle your fitness feathers, and go anaerobic to prove a point. Don’t.

3. LOW SALT UNTIL THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE. This is the one thing I did that stopped me from cramping. Once I started not salting anything until the day before the race, when I salted everything – even my ice cream. I never cramped again.

4. ICE YOUR INJURY. Many of us arrived here injured – or sore. Make sure to ice your injury before and after training.

5. GET A MASSAGE. Flush out the toxins, drink water after the massage, and make sure when you are actually getting the massage to RELAX. Remember, you’re here to have fun. I’ll be posting some phone numbers of the best local massage folks this week.

6. TIME YOUR DIGESTION. This week, you want to be regular. In all senses of the word. It’s always a good idea when traveling to make sure yogurt is in your daily diet to strengthen the healthy bacteria in your digestive system. Try to eat at regular times, and schedule your multi-meals, and plan out what you are going to eat in advance. Now is not the time to experiment with exotic foods.

7. KEEP A JOURNAL. Your great-great-grandchildren will never believe you did this, so write them a letter, even though they’re not born yet.

8. WHEN YOU SWIM, STOP. Look around. You’re in Hawaii H-E-L-L-O… I see swimmers do the pre-race swim course without even noticing the fish.

9. MASTER PAIN MANAGEMENT. This is a tip from a pro, who, years ago, would win the swim regularly. Rob was his name, and I asked his advice the night before my first Ironman in 1994. His response? “Master Pain Management.” Think long and hard about this one.

10. MEET SOMEONE NEW. Make sure they have done the race before, and then ask them for some advice. Remember to gather advice like you’re on a treasure hunt. And be sure to throw out the advice that does not work for you.