As a member of the San Diego Triathlon Club, I am very lucky to be invited to 10-20 events per week. The triathlon club puts on group swims (pool and ocean), group bike rides, and group runs each week at various locations all over San Diego county. Additionally, they host free races including the monthly summer aquathons, the beginner triathlons and the club triathlons. If that’s not enough, the club hosts beginner information clinics, beginner cycling clinics, club meetings (with an amazing raffle), happy hours and networking events.
Long Course Networking Dinner
Although we take advantage of several of the offerings of the triathlon club, we can never make it to all the events. There have been several networking events that I have wanted to attend but due to scheduling conflicts it never happened. Luckily, this past Sunday the starts aligned and I was able to attend a “Long Course” networking event. The event description was:
“This is a great opportunity to get together and revisit your accomplishments
of the current season and start getting ideas for the coming season, find
some training partners, and get some new ideas.
If you’re doing, or contemplating and Ironman or long course event, this is
a great opportunity to meet others that have raced and will be racing, and
find some new races.
There will be first timers, people just considering doing a long course
race, and seasoned veterans, all anxious to share their experiences.”
Since I LOVE reading blogs about people who have swam/biked/ran the arduous 70.3 or 140.6 miles, I knew this was an event I’d enjoy. I rallied up my training buddies Mike, Jeremy and Asia and we set out to dinner at a “healthy” and vegetarian Mexican restaurant in North Park called Ranchos Cocina.
When we arrived (right on time for once), we discovered that everyone else was as early as us and we ended up at the end of a row of tables. There were about 10 people there. Luckily Asia was able to get herself at a table with three women but Mike, Jeremy and I ended up at a table alone. So much for networking! Asia got straight to talking to the three women at her table about Ironman and I tried to get in the conversation when I could. One of the women had done several 70.3s and she talked about very long sessions on her indoor trainer during the winter months. Unfortunately, none of the women had done a full Ironman but a couple of them were signed up for Oceanside. Eventually I gave up on trying to lean over their shoulders and just talked to Mike and Jeremy while I ate my “healthy” burrito.
Finally….An Ironman to Drill!
After we had finished our meals, the organizer of the happy hour, a very fit looking guy named Liam who was wearing a jersey from a local bike shop, came over and introduced himself. After discovering that he had completed several full and half Ironman races and telling him that we were signed up for Oceanside and Couer D’Alene, I proceeded to drill him with questions such as (summary of his response in italics):
Have you raced Couer D’Alene? Do you know anyone who has? I haven’t raced it but I’ve heard it’s beautiful. Definitely practice your bike rides on hills! It is a very hilly course.
Do you recommend separating your long run and long bike by at least 2 days (ie do long run on a weekday rather than the typical Sunday)? Yes – I highly recommend doing a long run during the week instead and taking Sunday to do a light swim and easy run or easy bike. Or, take the whole day off and relax.
Do you take a rest day every week? Not every week but it’s important to get rest days in. It’s important to listen to your body and don’t be afraid to slightly change your workout routine if you are feeling tired one day. If you aren’t going to do your “hard” workout hard, then switch and do it easy and do your hard day another day that week. Don’t feel pressured to stick exactly to the schedule.
Many training plans have bike rides in minutes, but since I’m a slower biker, should I go longer to make sure I get enough miles in before the race? (ie the most my plan calls for is a 6 hour ride but I can’t realistically get 100 miles in during that time including stop lights). Yes, it’s ok to go a little longer if necessary to get up to your bike mileage.
Any other advice? Trust the plan. You will be prepared on race day if you follow the plan (although you can switch around days like he said above) so trust in it. Trust in your training and don’t go overboard just because you think it will make you more prepared. Remember to rest, sleep a lot and eat healthy too.
Although I kind of already knew most of the things that Liam told us, it was nice to hear it from another person. My boyfriend Mike has already done an Ironman and I always ask him questions but then I will go and research it myself or ask someone else. I just like to have multiple opinions!
Key Takeaway: REST!
The main thing I took from this networking event is that I need to put more importance on rest. If I’m bad at one thing, it’s resting. Up until 2 years ago, I was a 3-4 day a week workout gal. Now, I’m a 6-7 day a week workout fanatic, often with a couple double days in there. I sincerely enjoy working out, but there are times that I don’t want to and I force myself to do it anyway. I need to listen to my body more and realize that taking a day of rest isn’t going to set me back at a race or make me blow up and gain 10 pounds over night. If anything, my body will thank me and make my next workout even better. I plan to track my Ironman workouts and make a note of how I felt each time. If I ever have 2-3 bad workouts in a row, it’s time for a break. I used this principle during marathon training and it worked well. I noticed at one point that I was getting run down and I took some time off and felt much better.
This morning I had planned a spinning session with Mike but when my alarm went off and I told him I wasn’t getting up and slept for another hour and twenty minutes. A step in the right direction!