So to honor these last five days leading up to the race I wanted to share five things that I've learned as a result of training for my first 140.6 iron-distance triathlon:
- Training is easier when you have family and friends that support you. In my case having a husband to train with and friends to train with as well as my Rev3 teammates has really been so valuable. My work has also been supportive too. On days when I felt low they were there to lift me up. On days when I felt high they were there to share in those moments too. I am blessed to have the support of so many people, which has helped me get to where I am today.
- Planning is key but plan to have some fun too. You must have a plan to get in the needed hours to train for such a big event. You have to get up early and workout, fit things in on your lunch and workout at night before dinner. Weekends during the build period can be consumed with key workouts but you can still have fun. Plan some workouts and races with friends and make some memories as you train. I look back on all the good times we've had with friends this summer and the training went by so fast!
- Embrace every part of the training. I've been guilty of ignoring the swim in past years but that was not an option this season training for a 140.6. I started the work on cold, snowy days and it continues a few times each week. In particular I have fallen in love with open water swimming. I've spent many days swimming at Mentor Headlands this season and each time I am out there I feel so alive. It is challenging and fun and I look forward to it. Not to mention that swimming gives my tired legs a break! I hear other triathletes complain about the bike or run. Whatever your weakest of the three is make sure you put in the work in that area especially!
- Recovery is part of the training also. I have had knee pains, foot pains, back pains, total exhaustion and days where I feel like a million bucks. There will be aches and pains. Make sure to rest and recover. Stretch frequently. Use a foam roller. Get a massage. Eat well. Sleep well. Hydrate. Take vitamin supplements. Take days off when you need to. My foot has been bothering me for the last month or so with tendonitis or my arthritis flaring up. I've taken up to a week off and been in for treatments on it. Don't wait too long if something hurts. Fix it!
- Keep calm and carry on. This phrase is used often now but I had to use it. This is so important to successful training. There will be ups and downs in your training. And as I just mentioned there will be aches and pains. There will be days when you just want to throw in the towel. Accept those days. It will pass. Just stay as calm as possible and carry on with your plan or as close to your plan as possible. You will get to where you need to be. For me, I can remember being so nervous before my first 70.3 also at Rev3 Cedar Point. I don't feel as nervous for this. I feel more calm than I expected to the week of the race. Sure I am excited and a bit nervous but I know that I have done the training and I know that I will give it my all Sunday. I can see my goal. The finish line awaits