THE T:ZERO BLOG
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T:Zero coach Cheyne Murphy recently made the trip north to Cairns for the Ironman. T:Zero had a strong showing of 21 athletes racing the two distances and there were loads of PBs and positive experiences had over the day. But as always with endurance racing, there are always some lessons to be learned. Here’s Cheyne’s top tips on what to think about for your next Ironman race.
Preparation is key.
As a coaching group, T:Zero prides itself on being personalised in regards to programming. I think our athletes need to ask more questions of our coaches and gain more race knowledge. I had a few questions pre race that concerned me a little. We have some super experienced coaches with a lot of race knowledge that the athletes can tap into. Take advantage of the T:Zero collective and ask questions. There's no silly ones, and I'm sure by you asking a question, 10 other people will benefit. Read the athlete guide back to front a thousand times and take the stress out of pre race, and don't burn any unnecessary calories with worry. Have all the answers before you arrive.
Nutrition is the 4th leg on race day
I heard it a number of times in Cairns.... that I'm still deciding what to do with my nutrition, I don't really have a solid plan, this is what I think I'm going to do, I'm just going to use what's on course. It's such a crucial part of race day to have locked away to make sure you are fueled to the finish line. First and foremost you need to know what you are losing so you know what you have to put back in, especially from a fluid standpoint, but also from a sodium loss. Most people wait to be struck down by the cramp monster in a race that they've paid thousands of dollars to be at before they ask these questions. You can do fluid loss assessments on your own, but sodium is a little trickier. Organising to do a sweat test is a small expense in the scheme of racing ironman and sets you up with an accurate plan of what you need to be putting into your body to stay ahead of the cramp, dehydration and fatigue monsters. Once you have found a nutrition product that sits well with you in training, then it's time to see someone to sort out a genuine plan.
Put your trust in your coach.
There was a great story to come out of Ironman Cairns from a guy who through injury hadn't run further than 10k in the whole Ironman prep. And this would be his first Ironman attempt. This guy first of all has a massive ticker, but he also put his trust in his coach and his experience through having been down the same road with injury, and did what was asked of him. It proved that it's not all over (on some occasions) if you don't want it to be. In the lead up, he took to the pool and did water running, and hit the elliptical trainer for lengthy sessions to keep the running motion going without the impact of pounding the road. Plan for race day was a strong swim and bike, and really just feel his way into the run, and get to the finish line the best way possible without causing further harm. He was prepared to walk the whole way if he had to. Strange things can happen on race day! He went out and ran / walked the whole marathon with a smile from ear to ear, and came home in 12 hours, and in one piece. Don't ever give up, work with your coach, take the advice of the professionals, but also know when it's time to hang up the runners when an injury takes hold. No race is worth long term time away from the sport.
Believe in yourself.
Triathlon is very numbers based, numbers in training correlate to what can be physically achieved on race day. But without belief in yourself, the numbers will be squashed if you let your mind tell you that you can't do it. Because you can. Your brain is always going to tell you to stop, or slow down when things get tough. That's its job, to make you survive. Ironman and 70.3 racing are grueling days and you need to believe in all that you have done to be on that start line to get the most out of your day. I saw this in one of the athletes in Cairns, the numbers on paper scared her, but she had time to get her head around it, believed in herself, and she went out and achieved something great, a 30+ minute PB on her last Ironman that qualified her for Kona. That's pretty epic belief, and a testament to hard work does pay off.
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An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!