After three progressive build weeks, I welcome this recovery week as I prepare my mind and body for my 2nd Ironman World Championships. Although Ironman training can be tiring, one of the most often overlooked components to properly preparing for a long-distance event, is adequate rest and recovery (both for mind and body). Even though I still have 10.5 weeks until race day, this last block of training will be the only 3-week build that I will be doing throughout my Kona-specific training. Because the training intensity and volume will be increasing as I near Oct 8th, I can only reflect on years past (prior to IMWI, which was IM #4) and how my body responded to training as I approached the third week of the conventional training block of "3-week build" + "1 week recovery". In other words, 21 days of swim, bike run-specific training, "ok body, you only have 7 days to properly recover until I do it to you all over again and again and again". While I am always careful to recognize any symptoms that may mirror an injury, overtraining or extreme fatigue, I believe that most Ironman athletes are always teetering on the edge of being injured or overtrained. While I certainly have the same motivation and drive that most Ironman athletes have, to do x-miles for x-amount of time (especially on the week for "long" training), it's important to me that I make every workout be the best workout it can be and to work on the little things (which are often NOT volume-related) which will make me a stronger, faster and smarter athlete. Sure, I have my share of up and down days, some being fantastic and some feeling a little "flat", but I am mindful to respect my body during every workout and adjust training zones as needed. One thing I do not lack is motivation and I rarely find myself waking up in the morning, needing an "unplanned" day-off. With a balanced approach to living life, I believe my focus on my diet, sleep and attitude has a major affect on my energy and I sure do have a lot of it! For my training plan is structured to my lifestyle and daily requirements and we are careful to not overload my day with too much quantity-related training. Furthermore, I realize that I don't need to train for an IM to be healthy...so rather than doing two-a-days on the days when I can "quality" train in the am (when I feel best), I use the evening hours to stretch, do my hip exercises and go for long walks with Campy. So, with this 3 week build period behind me, I am really excited for the next 2 week build + 1 week recovery which will include many different types of workouts to adequately prepare my body for the Ironman. Thus, on race day, I will feel energized and confident to race my plan.
As for the rest of my Ironman training (which is designed by both Karel - hubby- and myself), we will continue with 2 week build + 1 week recover until 2 weeks before race day, which I will then taper.
(IRONMAN WISCONSIN 2010)
As for my other life, I recently started a new job as a PRN (as needed) Clinical Dietitian and I am currently training and getting familiar with the 100% electronic charting system. I am absolutely loving the role that I have when it comes to helping the lives of others and having a significant impact on the nutrition status of an acute care hospital patient. I am working at Baptist Medical Center Beaches and spending time in all units (Surgical, Progressive Care - PCU and Critical Care - CCU).
I wanted to share my latest article on Hydration from USATriathlon.org. We have all read lots of articles on hydration and it is a topic that is often discussed. However, athletes continue to struggle with the concept behind adequately hydrating AND fueling for races and there continues to be some confusion as to the best way to meet both hydration and calorie needs during training and racing. While there are lots of credible recommendations available, I find that it is important to understand the physiology of the body in an effort to recognize your individual needs based on your environment, current diet and training goals (racing venue). I hope you enjoy it, please let me know if you have any questions.
Hydrate Yourself for Summer Training | USA Triathlon