The Ironman World Championships are on today! It’s Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast and we’re getting ready to go in and watch the elite of the sport do their thing. It’s a sport of gruelling challenge. It’s where cardio and mental fitness come together to push the athlete into extreme zones. The “70.3” refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run
Lets step back from the competitive nature of the championship for a moment and just look at what needs to be done just to get to a “I FINISHED”, level.
Being an amateur Triathlete myself – a widely respected resource for training and nutition is content generators “Training Zone”. These guys put together some fabulous articles on bikes, swimming technique, food, the latest in research, mental strength and they put together training plans.
The link below shows the training required to get started into your first IRONMAN 70.3. You may notice that It prefaces the plan with;
“An Ironman 70.3 is a tough race, and so these training plans are no pushover. To start them you should already be able to: Swim 1,000m front crawl, non-stop Ride your bike for at least 90 minutes Run non-stop for an hour”
Grin. That’s the entry point. Awesome, so this is the 12 week, time-poor training schedule. Lets take a sneak peak at week one.
So that’s a solid hitout, why don’t we jump ahead a few weeks and look at say…..week 7.
Yup – it’s ramped up substantially. By anyone’s measure you’re now pretty goliath like in your fitness and it’s taking a substantial chunk of your time. But hey, no commitment, no results. That’s why not everyone just pops an IRONMAN. The other really important aspect is nutrition. You can bet these men and woman are putting the best balanced nutrition into their bodies as possible. We won’t even talk about race-day food intake because that’s a diatribe and half on it’s own.
Food and Prep:
Some great nutritional information can be found through the IRONMAN website itself.
The key becomes more about WHERE you are getting your intake from and in what forms. Do you want solid intakes for certain things or is it preferable to get it as liquid? These question make or break a good training session and a solid understanding of not just how this works in general, but how it works for you, is vital. Everyone reacts to certain things differently, so its taking the time to trial the information and adapting it to suit your requirements.
It all comes together. The training, the food and then setting yourself up with enough rest beforehand. Getting enough nervous sleep. Having everything set up in transistion so that the routine you’ve practiced 50 times just happens comfortably. You melt through, and smoothly change from one set of muscle groups to another, minimising the lactic-acid build up, the fatigue and time to get the new leg of the event into a working zone.
As we prepare to head into Mooloolaba today – to see these incredible athletes do their thing – I am more motivated than ever to join the cadre of people who can call themselves IRONMEN and IRONWOMEN. There is a selectivity to it, by sheer dint of…….if you don’t train your ass off for this thing, then it’s just not doable!
Okay – time to head out. Let’s see some awesome.