Essential Sports Nutrition

5/13/18

The Ironman hat is ON!


It would be wrong to say that we are just now starting our Ironman-specific training for Ironman Austria as we don't like to break down the season from race to race. However, now that our two half Ironman events are behind us this season and next up is Ironman Austria, it's only appropriate that now is the time to put on the Ironman hat and put the mental energy into the next 7 weeks of training. While the training volume is going to increase slightly, it won't be anything drastic or extreme, relative to what we have already been doing over the past few months.

This weekend was a long ride of 5 hours followed by a 20 minute run. The ride was beautiful as we rode to Keowee and then back home with a big loop that included over 5000 feet of climbing (we actually picked this route because it was a more "mellow" route with not a lot of climbing. Funny how the elevation just adds up where we live! The last time I rode this long was in Ironman Chattanooga in September so it's been a while since I've spent this much time in the saddle but it wasn't too much of a stretch from our normal 3.5-4 hour rides that we have been doing over the winter/spring. Because we are still recovering from the eccentric muscle damage of St. George (downhill running), the training volume and intensity of running has been very low this week. My "long" run on Sunday was only an hour and it was one of those make-me-feel good types of runs.

With the race season in full swing, the excitement for training and racing is high. Warm weather makes it easy to start the workouts that you once dreaded and you may be tempted to go harder than you should, especially if you are training with others. Every workout may become a race-prep strategy and you may neglect proper fueling and hydration with the warmer temps. I find that many athletes get into trouble around this time of the season as bad habits from the winter/spring begin to become more noticeable or the excitement of racing takes over and there's little ability to make good decisions in the moment. I feel it's important to remind you that all the small things that you do - mobility, fueling, daily eating, good sleep, proper hydration, good recovery, etc. - are essential to keep you healthy and well all season long. 

If you are like us and have your racing "hat" on, don't forget all the good things that you have been doing all winter long to get you to where you are right now or else you may find yourself injured, overtrained or sick.