The weeks are flying by, but I think I feel more relaxed this time around. Because I’ve already done IRONMAN Australia and therefor know a bit more now about what to expect, I feel confident that my body can go the distance.
One thing I’m pretty nervous about with regards to Kona is the heat. Competing in these kinds of conditions is something I’ve never experienced before, so I guess that’s my main concern at the moment. My coaches always remind me to “control the controllable.” I try to focus on preparing myself as much as possible for the things that I can control. The conditions are unfortunately not part of that.
I’ve learned a lot more about training in general since doing IRONMAN Australia. This time around I know to pace myself a lot more! The training sessions I’m doing now are slightly harder than before, but I feel like my body can cope with a higher training volume now. For me, training is not about flogging myself. It’s more about consistency—if I show up every day and keep taking small steps towards that goal, I know I’ll be ready. As part of my preparation, I’m going to Thanyapura, Thailand to train and see how the old body holds up in the heat and humidity.
I think as well I’m much more attuned to how my body is coping (or not coping!) with the training. It’s so important to listen to your body, and to have a plan for the days when it needs rest over training, or when you need to be pushed despite your mind telling you to stop. For me, that’s when a good coach makes a big difference—they give you structure and help you plan for inevitable moments. The support of my coaches, Bruce and Christina Thomas at EnergyLink, has been an absolute game-changer for me.
As far as nutrition goes, I’ve found that the more organized I am, the easier it is for me to eat well. I’ve got a standardized meal plan happening at home and I’m pretty meticulous about counting my carbs. I have the whole spreadsheet thing going on and at the end of the day if I have a carb deficiency, I’ll make it up in liquids.
Mentally, I have two strategies I use when things get tough either in training or in a race. Firstly, I think about everything I’m grateful for and really focus on that. It helps shut down any other thoughts that have a tendency to creep in. The other strategy I call on is that I compare what I’m going through to my recovery. I’ll say to myself “well girl, the pain you’re feeling right now is nothing compared to what you’ve gone through before.” Reminding myself of that helps me stay mentally strong.
Off to Thailand!
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