Who Moved My Cheese? is a fantastic book that I am sure everyone has read at least once. Life tosses change at us daily in our career, sports, relationships, etc. How do you react? How do you adapt?
Change is inevitable and the best thing you can do is be prepared, plan, adapt, stay level headed and move forward with a positive attitude. Not having the ability to adapt to change could be your demise. For instance, if my boss comes to me and says, “Kellie, the organization we support has re-prioritized the efforts they want us to focus on so we need you to manage this higher priority project.” I am not going to say, “Tom, that is great and I am happy they feel their priorities have changed but I am going to keep working on my existing project.” YOUR FIRED!
So let’s relate this to our sport of triathlon. There are SO MANY factors that can impact your race physically and mentally. Some are factors you are privy to and some Mother Nature surprises us with. No matter what your goal, it is critical to take these factors into consideration so you are prepared. Here are a few things that I found that may help for a few of the situations you may find yourself in…
Cold Water: I don’t like cold water, period. I sign up for 3 tris this year and what did I do? I signed up for 2 with temps from the high 50s to the low/mid 60s. Hypothermia is setting in just thinking about it. So I did a little research and I posted a forum topic on my favorite site, GOTRIbal, around “cold water” and got some GREAT replies from the ladies! Here is some advice for those of you that have the same question: Cold Water Swims. Also, one response set me into action and I purchased Blue Seventy Swim Socks & Blue Seventy Skull Cap for my half and full IMs. I am still trying to find out if the Blue Seventy Swim Gloves are legal. If anyone knows please leave me a comment!
Wind: One of the best ways to build power here in Jax is the dreaded wind! But mentally it takes a toll on you and if you go out with expectations of riding a 21mph, 60 mile ride and the wind is whipping at 25mph you need to reset your expectations! I found this quick read that has some great tips: Riding Into A Headwind. The key thing in my mind is to stay in your HR/power range based off of your workout and use that as your guide (not speed!). Wind is your friend, not your enemy (at least that is what I keep telling myself)!
Flat: I have had a few flats in training but, knock on wood, never in a race. Okay, one race I had a flat out of transition and rode on it for 56 miles and had no idea. Just figured I was slow as I had just completed an IM. We all need to know how to change a flat as it will happen at some point but you NEVER know when. I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Troy Jacobson at the Ironman Louisville Camp I attended last year. Cool guy and very knowledgeable. He could not remember my name so he called me “Jacksonville” the entire time but I will forgive him 🙂 Here is a great video to watch and learn: Changing a tube using a CO2 cartridge.
Heat: One of my advantages on warmer weather races is the fact I train in the heat. Out of the swim and off the bike I am usually REALLY far back in the pack but out of T-2 the best thing for me is for the temps to be in the 80’s-90’s because you start to see people dropping like flies. MUCH of it has to do with hydration/nutrition/salt consumption on the bike (you need to start preparing for the run on the bike!) and run. This varies by person based off of sweat rate, electrolyte needs, etc. so please take time to understand what you require.
But the one thing people need to remember to do is PRACTICE! If you live in a location that it never hits above 72 degrees and you sign up for an IM where the run is in the 90’s you NEED to practice in those conditions a few times. Sign up for a half or full marathon where the temperatures and conditions are similar, run inside on a treadmill where the temps are higher or sit in the sauna! Understand you can’t do that daily but you need to mentally prepare yourself for those conditions. I am riding a hilly course for my half IM and there are no hills in Jax. I took a few trips to Clermont, I ride my trainer with the wheel propped up, I toss my bike in a harder gear to mimic the conditions I will be faced with. Here are some Tips For Preventing Heat Related Illness.
Until next time…Midget…OUT!