Hey guys! I just posted my top tips for ironman, and it also got me thinking, what would I do differently next time around? Each race or event is a learning process, and there are always a few things to take away. Plus these are a few intentions I can bring into 2015.
Consciously dedicate more time to friends/family. Ironman [or any endurance] training is sometimes an easy distraction from life. Like many triathletes, I’m very routine oriented and love structure, so it grew into a routine to wake up, workout, work [eat lots], possibly workout again, go home eat, cook & pack for the next day and sleep. Then repeat! While my training program was focused on efficiency and not high volume, it was still a lot to do with 9-10 hours per day also dedicated to work. It got too easy for me to make everything training related a “have to” instead of taking a step back and unplugging every so often. Even though we occasionally ran together, my husband and I were on largely different schedules and I wasn’t dedicating the time to him I should have (I blogged about it here). It really wasn’t fair to prioritize training so highly. We’re trying to do a better job this year of making sure we schedule date nights each month and pick something fun to do – or do weekend getaways here and there. And I want to do a better job of organizing more social things or meeting friends up for training when possible.
Listen to my body. I was fairly good at this in 2014, but I was SO dedicated to my plan that I was afraid to miss anything. I recall only one time when I really should have taken the day off; I had a Thursday night 3-hour ride followed by a 5:30 AM Friday swim. By Friday mid morning I could tell I was spent. I even closed my office door and laid on my yoga mat for 15 mins during lunch that day, but despite being tired I was just unable to sleep; my eye just twitched. Next time, I might back off a little before this occurs. With experience I’m getting to know my body and when I need to rest. Plus, I realized that taking a day off here or there will not kill me or put me behind. In fact, I had to take two weeks off of training in October (for medical reasons) with only very light walks, and I was still able to bounce back and run a strong ten miler just two weeks after. Your body might surprise you and a little rest never hurts!
Dedicate 5-10 minutes here and there for stretching/foam rolling. I know, I know, every triathlete says this, right? It’s really so easy and we just don’t take the time. I had some hip agitation (my TFL and sciatic area) during the tail end of ironman training, and I think stretching would have helped a little. Hips are so complex and we sit so much in life anyway. I’ve gotten better at putting my yoga mat in front of the TV when we start watching so that I am urged to do some stretching mid-way through a show. I truly think my body feels better the more I stretch (even simple back / hamstring / chest stretches before bed) and I think the foam roller increases circulation. Nothing to back this claim up, it’s just what I think [hubby rolling eyes as he reads this].
Along with more yoga, one of the other things I want to do this year is meditate more often. While I find I have the time lately, I find I am not making the time. I don’t really have a “spot” in our apartment or a time of day that is working for me yet. Any tips for this?
Do you have any changes you are making in your training this year?