Checklist for Ironman Race Week
Ok. Here we go.
You guys. I can hardly believe that it is here. I am in Lake Placid dialing in my last minute preparations before my first Ironman – something I have been training double digit hours for every week since December 2016.
No matter how this race goes, I am so proud and satisfied with the process. It has been an incredible journey and although I doubt I will do an ironman every year, it was worth the commitment times one thousand.
I did want to record some of the key things that I have been doing or have learned to do in the final week before an Ironman.
I talked to veterans of the race and browsed for Ironman packing lists to cross check everything to make sure I had what I needed. Some of the things were obvious (like a race kit and bike, etc) but others were less essential but added to the race (a plastic bag to help me put on my wetsuit on race morning, an extra GPS watch for the run in the chance that my main watch runs out of battery or dies for some reason.)
This helps me remain calm and meticulous to ensure that race day panic is not a thing.
REINFORCE RACE STRATEGY
This past week, I met with my coach and sports nutritionist to go over my race strategy and nutrition plan to make sure we are on the same page. One thing I have noticed through this process that triathletes are extremely helpful and offer race day advice. My focus is disregarding anything that doesn’t fit with my own race plan and considering it for next time when I have time to train with it.
GET A MASSAGE/BODY WORK DONE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK
As you taper, muscles relax which can bring niggles to the surface. The reason for this is because the relaxed surface muscles allow deep muscular tightness to be felt and I visited my physio and massage therapist to do some work on these areas (for me, they were deep in my calves and quads) and give my body time to recover from it for the race.
GET YOUR BIKE TUNED UP THE WEEK BEFORE
I took my bike to Ziggy’s Cycle last week so I could get everything tuned up, the carbon brake pads installed and allow me to do some longer test rides on my bike to ensure that everything was moving and shifting well. Rushing and leaving until the last minute is asking for mechanical issues.
This week, I have been making a concentrated focus to drink enough water. I find that hydrating a week out for my bigger events like adventure races in the past has made a big difference.
The same applies for sleep. I have been busy getting ready to leave for Placid but when I can sleep a few extra hours, I do.
I really liked this guide. I traditionally eat a carb rich diet to fuel my training but I always have a salad at lunch. I stopped this on Thursday and switched to less fibre rich choices (to be honest, I just ate a whole wheat egg and avocado wrap before hitting the road). I am still eating similar size meals but just making sure they won’t cause any GI distress come race day.
The best thing I did throughout this process is literally write out my game plan, line by line. I foresaw anything that could go wrong and what I would do about it. I am weirdly calm about this race because I have thought through everything I can control and come up with the best solution I can for things I can’t.
I hope this is helpful for any of you who are preparing for your first Ironman. For those of you who are veterans, what did I miss?