Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ironman 70.3 Dad Tips or Rookie Errors

My feet have healed, and I won't lie my activity level dropped off dramatically, people were calling me thinking I had died due to a lack of strava updates. In fact my new hashtag which is not really trending at all #gettingfat is how I have been thinking, tackling chocolate muffins in my morning break, the odd beer and meaty snack. Reflecting on the event I have some rock solid Dad Tips for anyone thinking of taking on a 70.3 or just a major triathlon event.

These tips are more errors I made that I'm turning into tips so I look like I know what I'm talking about.

#10 Book your hotel Saturday/ Sunday 
We drove in Friday night which was nice and waking up Saturday in the race town was certainly helpful, but not essential. Come Sunday afternoon the last thing my burning hamstrings wanted to do was pack a car up to go home. Thank-fully super wife drove home.

#9 Make sure it has a kitchen
Self contained. That's what it is all about! I don't care much for baby wrestling at restaurants pre-race or any night for that matter. A place with a cook top and good size fridge means you can BYO the food you love, and more importantly trust prior to the big day.

#8 Pack Everything
If you think you need it, pack it, why not you've got a boot full of baby stuff an extra pair shoes or spare bike helmet stuffed in next to the 3rd Bunny Rabbit toy might be just the thing you need or missing.

#7 Family Time
Spend that morning the day before checking in with family and do something non-triathlete, I checked in had a look around the expo for a few moments and then went to the local swimming pool with Z Girl & Super Wife, nothing takes your mind off a big race by playing 'shark' in the swimming pool with your daughter.

#6 Eat A Big Lunch/Small Dinner
I worry about over eating at times, and when I'm less active on a pre-race week I find my food levels can sky rocket (boredom eating) Smashing a large Cesar Salad for lunch left me just needing a small bowl of pasta in the evening.

#5 Water and Hydrate
I cheated, I used hydration powders the day prior to my race, sipping on these helped keep my levels just right. I even toned back my coffee in take. For some it doesn't matter a glass of wine in the week leading up, for me I wanted to feel prepared so I left the booze alone since Christmas.

#4 Have a spectator plan
It was a hard day on the wife, with lots of spectators coming to see me race (super grateful) meant she became the ''communication center'' which can be tough when you're juggling a baby, Z-Girl slept for the bike leg (I wish I did!) and Super Wife found it hard to spot me on course, I suggest having a spot on each leg where you will see your loved one/friends etc almost like an ''encouragement corner'' you know they are there and they will just stay there and look out for you. Seeing Super Wife as I entered the finishing chute was the best, I don't normally celebrate finish lines but her face certainly dragged a fist pump out of me.

#3 Go to bed when you normally do
It was a short walk to the transition from the hotel, but when you say the words 6am check-in you automatically feel like you need an early night. I went to bed to early, I tossed and turned and over thought everything. Just go to bed at a good time, as an evening sports watcher I should of sat up and watched the end of the match before bed.

#2 Lay it all out
Have it all there, the bag the gear, the shoes, the hat, the creams the tablets. The lot! I had it waiting for me on a chair ready for the morning, I even had my bottles filled, my coffee in the mug and my breakfast in the bowl just needing milk. Make it easy for yourself, just get up and get it on.

#1 Socks
Who knew. I had always done sprint triathlons, socks are optional. Despite watching video after video of Ironman Athletes to look at technique and what they do training wise nobody mentioned socks, or did I look at what they had on. My feet were cut up! I just made my goal time, imagine if I only had to fight mental demons instead of bloody feet next time around, who knows how fast I could of run. Socks, have them, wear them! Tip #1.1 Side note not once did my training partner Ivan bring this up, so get a training partner that will remind you of this sort of stuff.

Bonus Tip
Be calm. Be methodical. Be in the moment as they say, I didn't charge into the water as the gun went off , I jogged not sprinted out of the water to T1, I ran with my bike with purpose but not with a sprint. It's a long event, with lots of changes work with them not against them is my best advice, and just slow down when you need to think. Don't try to do everything flat out, that 15 seconds I lost leaving Transition with my bike in a jog, actually gained me 2 mins as my feet were in my shoes correctly and ready to pedal hard, I saw too many people rushing and slipping, falling or having to stop. Enjoy the challenge you don't do it because you have to, it's because you want to.

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