Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Part III 90 Tips & Secrets for Your Best Ironman Experience.

Here are tips 21-30. Stay tuned for the rest!

21. One of the biggest hurdles for first-time Ironman participants is their perspective on time. The race finish line will always seem farther away when you question whether or not you will ever get there. So put your race in “time-perspective.” Do the math. It takes about 5 hours to fly to Hawaii from LA. It might take you 5 hours to do the marathon portion of the Ironman, or much longer. What % of your entire year will your Ironman race time be? What % of your total life clock? Likely pretty small, but it’s amazing how important these few hours can seem. Does it really matter if you’re 1 hour slower or faster in the grand scheme? Will your daughter be any more proud? Likely not. Go as fast as you can, but keep perspective. It’s a race. It’s YOUR race. You can finish.

22. Simple advice many people don’t follow -- this week, work out in your race stuff. If you get new stuff, try it BEFORE race day. You want to run at a blistering pace, but not with blisters.

23. Really know the biking course. Hawi will be windy – and the winds will change direction as the island warms up. Don’t expect a tailwind if you have a headwind. You should be mentally prepared to bike into a headwind for 112 miles. If you are fortunate enough to find a tailwind coming back from Hawi for a few miles, then ride it hard. If you’re very tired, then ease up a bit and get ready for the long haul back to town.

24. Find a pool. A few years ago, I completed the Ironman in 9hr 59min. Two catapults helped here...

a) the weather
b) the week before the race I was in the pool religiously, not swimming, but running in the water. This stretched out my running gait, and when I got off the bike, I felt so fresh on the run. Running in a pool (without the vest), is a sure-fire way to improve how you feel when you get off the bike and start to run.

25. Go to Wal-Mart and get chalk to write inspirations for your friends and family in the street before they run out.

26. Minimize your sun exposure before the race.

27. Put an extra pair of running shoes and socks in your run special needs bag, in case you want to change out of your soggy squishy ones for your run back to town.

28. Plan your next race before you start this race. You need to be able to see past the Ironman when you start it for the best experience. At the end of the marathon – don’t retire, even for a moment.

29. Give your feet a break – and some air. When you’re not on your bike or running - wear comfortable sandals. Just don’t run in them.

30. PRO tip: From Mark Allen, tonight on the way back from dinner -- get a good night's sleep Thursday night. He should know. I have heard that your performance is not impaired if you do not sleep the night before the event, but that it is the sleep you get two nights before the event will actually impact your race. Mark is a sage; get some rest that Thursday night.

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