I have 10 days until my first Ironman race, Ironman Mallorca. I am getting very excited now! :D :) :D :o
The day before Challenge Tønsberg I had the feeling that I am ready. I didn’t want to wait anymore. I wanted to hit the road and do the full one, not a half one, just a peace of cake. Well, a half distance triathlon is never a peace of cake. I can do always things better and be faster. I really think it never gets easier, you can just get faster. And probably I wasn’t even ready. I lacked some trainings that I still wanted to do. I don’t know if I really needed those, but I wanted to get the feeling of completing certain things and getting confirmation for my endurance and mental readiness.
I recovered surprisingly well from Challenge Tønsberg. I was overwhelmed how easy cycling (day after the race) and running (2 days after the race) felt, and how HR wasn’t any higher than normally. I was however afraid that the tiredness comes after a week, but it never really came. I could have paid an expensive price for the risk taking; training too much too early after the race. However, swimming felt somewhat powerless still almost 2 weeks after the race. I had planned to do a bunch of very good swimming sessions and utilize the last weeks well, but on my swimming sessions I just felt quite desperate. I swam but didn’t move anywhere. Luckily last weekend and this week the feeling has been much better.
During the last two weeks, I’ve tried to find myself a “You are going to nail it” feeling with these key trainings (I didn’t list all trainings):
- Friday 2.9. 3500m swim + 19km run (13 km @ 4:20/km), both in the evening
- Saturday 3.9. OW swim + 4x10min bike reps with HIM pace (3,5h ride in total)
- Sunday 4.9. 5,5h easy ride + 7,5 km brick run (4:50/km)
- Tuesday 6.9. 4000m hardish swim
- Wednesday 7.9. 7,5km morning run, 22,7km easy evening run. 30km day
- Friday 9.9. 95km semi-hard cycling + 1h trail running, both in the evening
- Saturday 10.9. 3500m swim + 5,5h easy ride in heavy wind
- Tuesday 13.9. 3500m morning swim, evening run intervals, 1x4km + 5x1km, 9,5km warm-up and cool-down (18,5km in total)
I have noticed that although legs feel fine and HR is the same, the mental feeling has varied on some trainings. On Sunday 4.9. I cycled 5,5 hours and it went really easily. However, there was no wind and sun shined. Last Saturday I also cycled 5,5 hours, but I was mentally quite tired and bored already after 2 hours. Heart rate was low enough and legs felt quite okay, but my head was empty. I fought through some boring kilometers – or 2 hours – and could enjoy cycling again when turning to the last road, only 35 km from the destination, my boyfriend’s place, waiting to hear nice words how tough girl I had been. I don’t know if one training matters in the end, but after that ride I felt mentally much readier. It wasn’t one of those cool rides where you stop by to take pictures of amazing views or drink coffee and chat with friends. It was just getting the required thing done. No training is always fun. I’ve learned that ages ago. When training for something very big, like an Ironman, you don’t turn home, if don’t like cycling or running on the particular day. You just finish it. It will matter in the end. At least I like to think so.
Another thing that made me mentally readier was to check if my legs are still capable of running fast and body handling true pain of running. I’ve been only running 4:00/km+ paces lately, which in my scale is nice running, semi-fast but it doesn’t hurt. So, I planned an interval training that should hurt in the end. It became 1x4km (avg 3:52/km) + 5x1km (avg 3:39/km). I didn’t reach the goal of hurting a lot, but I had to push at last a little on the last reps. I could have probably run still 2x1km more with same pace, but I left it there. It left me to think should I have done it? Would it have been a better training? To empty the tank or go home with some fuel in the tank? I think one must suffer sometimes in the training. If it never happens in the training, it never happens on a race. I was anyways happy with the pace, and feel that it was a good one before the Ironman race.
Now it is only keeping my head calm, sleeping well and enough, eating right, packing things and traveling to Mallorca on Sunday. No new tricks or tests. In Mallorca, there will be some easy training, bike, run and swim route checks and learning that downhill. It will be sunny and hot! :) My super calm dad, savolaispappa, is traveling with me, so everything will go as smoothly as they can (e.g. forgetting my wallet home, spending some extra 3h to get it, driving on oncoming lane) and will be so fun. :)
Finnish triathlete living in Norway