--------------------------------------------------------Alis Aquilae--------------------------------------------------------

Friday, July 20

A house of Iron (Part 2)

Physical conditioning for Ironman has been anything but parochial in manner. Similar to my methods of mental and nutritional training, it reflects a deep desire to pursue all things in life wholisticly.

Early on (Jan, Feb, Mar) I incorporated P90x and other such body weight activities for strength, Yoga or stretching for flexibility, and speed or hill training for cardiovascular capacity.  It has been important to me to not let any one activity dominate my physical conditioning which is why I would occasionally incorporate other activities such as soccer, basketball, ice skating, rock and ice climbing, hiking, and skiing.

The reason I posited such an approach to training was to avoid weak links in my conditioning in order to prevent injury allowing me to train in my core activities (swimming, cycling, and running) at a high level throughout the past six months.

I guess the big question would be: 'Did it pay off?'  Maybe.  I still had physical issues such as hip tightness and IT band stresses.  What I do know is that I'm very happy with where I'm at and how far I've come which is what will ultimately carry the most weight come Sunday morning.

The following is a collection of my Ironman training experience.

Total time since April 1st: 15.8 hours
Cumulative length: ~21 miles

Swimming is a matter of technique.  The first 10-15 minutes are tough; getting the breathing down, concentrating on stroke, body position, and glide, and getting over the fear that I'm drowning.  After that it's repetition and focus:  tuning out the gargling sounds of the water around my ears, avoiding the occasional inhale of water, and not letting my mind drift from my technique.

Piseco Lake, NY
Forging the sea
Total time since Jan 1st:  102 hours
Cumulative length:  ~2000 miles

In January I feared the cycling leg of Ironman because of its sheer length.  What I've learned is to stay calm in the saddle, avoid jostling from side to side, keep my upper body relaxed and shoulders extended.  All the while keeping a tight reign on feelings of pain and discomfort as these are signals that my form may be slipping and that a simple shift one way or the other can prevent the dominoes from falling.

The Fuel
The Vehicle
The scenery
The Journey - 115 miles in 6:25
Total time:  90 hours
Cumulative length:  ~677 miles

By far my favorite activity throughout training.  Running, for me, is like getting a good nights sleep or relaxing at your favorite place; it offers a sense of freedom from persistent thoughts and stresses culminating from life's responsibilities.  My mental health improves the minute my legs break into a run.

However, during a triathlon the run is definitely the wildcard.  The swim happens when your the freshest, the bike happens thereafter but you are able to drink and eat almost limitless as the jostling is minimal and therefore cramping is less likely.

The run is where it all begins to break down.  If you didn't drink enough on the bike be ready for a good round of stitches.  If you didn't eat enough don't count on getting much down running.  If you ate too much or the wrong thing, look out for a stomach fit to ache.  The list goes on.  I've never been good at roulette; Tinman and Syracuse 70.3 have taught me much and I will apply every bit of it.

Crisp morning
My favorite place, the trail
Racing with friends along the way:
My perspective on racing is that you get to challenge yourself while scrubbing shoulders with people who are out to have just as much fun as you.  It really is contagious and never stops to thrill me.  Here is a collection of events that helped tune my race day anxieties.

Seneca 7 - 1st place men's team
32 mile mountain adventure, Pemi Loop, NH
Tupper Lake Tinman - 42nd
Boilermaker 15k - 226th
On Sunday the 22nd of July 2012 I will put my efforts to the ultimate test.  It's clear to me now that the only way out of this beautiful house is through the pain...

 IM #1157

1 comment:

  1. Hummus wrap!! Rainbow!! Wahooooo!!! I can not wait for the last installment. Youre so freaking hot. Xoxo :)