Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Part IV - 90 Tips and Secrets for Your Best Ironman Experience

31. Head out to the lava fields and build a rock pyramid. Paula Newby Fraser-and the outstanding coaching team at have taught me many things – and this is one of them. (I was a repeat Multisport camper for many years). Build a pyramid out of rocks on the lava fields. It will give you energy and peace during the race. In some way, you will then have a part of you that is a part of the island, and you also will have something to look for on the race course. The squish, squish of your running shoes and long white and yellow lines on black pavement do funny things to your mind. Stack some lava.

32. If you're really worried out about losing your goggles, just put an extra pair in the back of your bathing suit trunks. This is the only place you can safely carry something extra.

33. Go to the Carbo Load and the awards EARLY. The place is massive, but the good seats get reserved early. When you’re there, meet everyone at your table.

34. Go to the mandatory meeting to learn about the course changes, and the specifics for this year’s race.

35. Learn about the signs of dehydration. Chills, etc. If you cannot ingest any more liquid during your race, or you start to throw up on the run, then your carbo intake may be too much. Drink water or coke only if this happens for a while. Drink before you’re thirsty, but don’t bloat yourself with too much.

36. Don’t cut your toenails the night before the race. Do shave your legs the night before.

37. Get to the starting line early. Body marking in Kona is notoriously a long process, and it takes FOREVER to get through the body marking line – and they do not let you into the transition area until you are marked. So plan on an extra 20-30 minutes in the body marking line. If you get there at peak arrival – it could take up to 40 minutes.

38. Have a post finish plan. Where will you meet people, how will you contact them if you come in early? After you meet, what will you do?

39. When you’re swimming back to the pier, do some more extended kicking so your legs work when you stand up. With the same theme, when you’re coming back to town, just before you arrive on your bike, lower your gear and spin for a bit to clear your legs out after the hammering.

40. Remember that Ironman will change your life, but it’s up to you how. No matter when you finish, make sure to come back to the finish line to witness the last finishers around midnight.