Friday, October 20, 2006

10 More of the 50 IRONMAN Secrets and Tips From Mitch Thrower

21. The Ironman is TOMORROW. You're done. A year or perhaps a decade of preparation is behind you. It's time to shut down, and relax. Nervous energy is normal, so expect it.
20. Just before the cannon blows during the swim, lift your legs to the top of the water so you're horizontal rather than vertical for the start.
19. If your goggles don't fit very well or tightly, and you're worried about losing them, feel free to bring an extra pair and tuck them in the back of your swimsuit, just above your butt. You won't likely need them, but you'll feel much better on your swim. It's like biking with a spare.
18. Eat early tonight, don't change your routine.
17. Don't wait to relieve yourself on the bike. Just do it. Get it done. It's hard to bike when you have to use the, um, "rest" room. So stand, check behind you. Veer safely to the right and relax. Please use a water bottle to rinse yourself and your bike, but only if you have enough water. One year I was unable to, um, relax on the bike until mile 80. Miles 65-70 felt awful. If you have to stop and pull over, then do it. It's a long ride.
16. If you cramp on the run, let all your air out of your lungs and bend over slowly. Then stand up WITHOUT breathing in, and slowly start to run, and viola! Your cramp will subside - repeat until cramp is gone.
15. Limit the amount of time you're walking during the marathon - set an exact moment when you'll start running again.
14. If you can, save the Coke intake until after Mile 13 of the run, use everything else that you like, and then start to use the Coke for the last half of the run
13. PUT ICE IN YOUR RUNNING HAT - This will change your race. As you come up to the aid station, they will need to know what to get you, so yell up to them with your needs, e.g. ICE, water, etc. That way they will be able to prepare.
12. Hold on to your handle bars, tightly, but when you are biking, relax the non-stressed muscles, e.g. this is a race and you will tend to tense up unnecessary muscles from the excitement of the day. If you remember my words here, and relax the parts of your body that you can when you're swimming, biking and running - you will have a much better race with a much faster time.
11. If I had to pick one thing for you to remember tomorrow - just one thing above all else, that changed my races in Kona and around the world for the better, it would be this: to take in your calories early on the bike and consistently on the bike and run. Don't overdo the carbo drinks, and if your stomach bloats and you need to boot - then don't worry, you can still finish, just stick to simply water after the ordeal, and get calories from the other stuff. Eating earlier on the bike gave me great strength on the run.
Think out there. If you do the bike course in 5:30, that's a great deal of digestion and caloric burn time, and then you need the energy for a marathon, so don't be shy. On a personal level, leave your inhibitions at home tomorrow about bodily functions -- it's an Ironman, we're all human, we're all in the human race, and we may have to do human things, so stop at the porta-potty if you have to. Take in the calories you require -- calories are the basis for your energy on race day -get them in early.

Dear Athletes,

I know what you're feeling right now, and though I am not on the island, I am there in spirit - cheering you on when you make your way into the lava field and you hear the squish, squish squish of your running shoes on the pavement.

Tomorrow, race swiftly - leave your troubles behind, trust me - you'll find some new ones ahead.

Try and feel the energy of the island underneath you. Think for a moment about the fact that you are being filled with energy, from the earth's core, and from the sun - and from you.

It is not a coincidence that this great planet earth has a core, and that core is between 5,000
and 7,000 degrees (which is how hot you may feel tomorrow)... but...on the eve of your ironman triathlon - what may just give you the chills - is when I now share with you the fact that the earth's core is made up primarily of the element known as Fe. That's right. The earths core is made mostly of Iron. Just like your core.

Tomorrow, introduce
you to yourself. You are alive - that's possible. You are in Hawaii - that's possible. You are at the starting line of the Ironman - that's possible. The cannon will soon fire, and you will show yourself and your world what's possible...