Training Tips For Your Ironman And Half-Ironman Races

Training tips for an upcoming Ironman race are strewn all over the internet.  Just type in Ironman Training Tips into Google and you will find 3.4 million results show up.  The problem now is figuring out which of these tips is the best and most applicable to your scenario.  You could sit there and read and read and read until the race is practically upon you.  There are some rules to follow that these training tips will point out but my training tips to you do not necessarily touch on the physical but more of the mental and how to stay happy and keep your family and friends happy. [caption id="attachment_8896" align="alignright" width="275"]training tips - ironman - triathlon Thought this was a great sign for those that just signed up for Ironman Chattanooga.
Source: Another Mother Runner[/caption]

Training Tips For An Ironman Regarding Family

  1. The first of the training tips I can provide you is to ensure that your family is on board.  I am talking about your immediate family, but also let your extended family know as well.  There are going to be birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and proms that come up that you may not be able to attend because of your training schedule or because you are exhausted.  My first tip for you is to sit down and write out a calendar of those days and figure out which ones you can attend (the ones during the build phase and taper) and which ones are going to be difficult to attend (those during overload weeks.)  By doing this in advance you can put it into your training schedule and will not leave anybody feeling neglected.
  2. Lay out a budget with your family because this sport will get expensive.  You do not need all the bells and whistles and there are certain things you can get by without for the training and racing.  You are going to have to always restock your nutrition so that is going to take up quite a bit of your budget.  You are going to want to get a bike tune-up and that is going to cost money.  That aero helmet may not be necessary at this point so hold off on that until you know for sure that is going to make a difference in your racing.

Training Tips For An Ironman Regarding Friends

  1. Similar to your family being upfront with your friends about what you are embarking on and why will do a couple of things.  One it will let them know in advance why you will not be able to hang out on Friday nights like you used to.  Secondly, it is an opportunity to get them involved in your training and if things go well with your race.  Having support of your friends is beyond crucial.  When I raced Ironman Texas 2013 I had a group of friends on the run course and while I did not know where they were on the first loop, knowing where they would be on loops 2 and 3 were huge.  I was extremely focused on the run and did not wave or smile but I got chills when I passed them despite the fact that the day had a 103* heat index.
  2. There are going to be days of really long bike rides and really long runs.  By recruiting some friends to either meet you and run/ride with you at different points will make the time and miles go by fast.  If they cannot run/ride with you maybe they can meet you at a designated spot/time to provide you with refills for your nutrition to allow you to keep going without having to do loops to ensure that you are getting the refueling that you need.

Training Tips For An Ironman Regarding Work

  1. By now you know I am going to say that you should layout your training and racing with your supervisor.  You are going to need days off prior to and post race and you want to make sure that you can schedule them far in advance so there is no added stress to the training that Ironman brings onto itself.  In addition to those days don't forget that you are probably going to race a Half-Ironman or doing century rides that you will have to travel to and from and you are going to require some understanding from your company and supervisors.
  2. Get them excited about what you are doing and the undertaking by creating a goals chart.  You have a goal of reaching 500 miles biking or 150 miles running.  Maybe it is breaking 2:00/100y in the open water.  Whatever it is make a contest out of it.  Make it fun and raise funds for your goals to donate to the charity of your choice.
Everybody knows that there are going to be lots of hours put into swimming, biking and running but it is how you deal with the world outside of those training sessions that is going to make or break your race preparation.  My coach, Maria of No Limits Endurance, said to me constantly during lead up to Ironman Texas that stress is stress.  I chose to ignore that comment as I felt that stress from work was different that stress from family and friends which was different from stress from reading the training schedule.  After being 'off' for the past couple of months and getting through very stressful moments I now realize that stress is stress and how you handle that can make or break your race prep and race. With over one year before Ironman Chattanooga I have an opportunity to put my training tips into practice.  Karen has gave me a list of items that must happen before she would concede to me racing Ironman Chattanooga.  That list included easy items like join a Master's Swim Class (she always wants me to do well) but also a vacation where there is no training at all (pre-planning this now so that Maria can put my training schedule together knowing that the week/weekend we go away I will do nothing but lounge around.) By having this race planned out so far in advance and having the experience of having gone through 3 various training programs for the Ironman races I am better equipped to get through the training with the knowledge that my wife and family are on board.  That my company understands what I am heading into and that I also have friend and tri-club members to train with throughout the year.  I am very much looking forward to training for IMChatt as the past experiences will lead to greater experiences for this race.

Do You Have Any Training Tips You Would Like To Share?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.