With only 8 weeks to go until Ironman Santa Rosa race day, I’ve gathered a few more advice tidbits I’d like to pass on, which have spilled across my table since my last blog entry. To say the past few months have been challenging is an understatement. The flu made its way to my house, kitchen was flooded, car needed major repairs, and other struggles + adversity…. So you get the point. Rather than say ‘’why me?” I clung to my most recent discovery of power of mindset (which I’ll recommend those books below), which not only apply to athletes, but professionally, with family, etc.. all the important areas of life.
So with that, here’s more tips + tricks to Ironman training with a family (more specifically, a toddler!).
Put your health first. I’m taking this one directly from my coach’s IM plan for our team. Get to know yourself. If you are achy and feverish, NOT the time to train. If you are feeling bit fatigued, but on an energy scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) you are a 6, then do a light version of training session. I had to take 6 days off training due to a virus I had. 6 whole days. I cannot stress enough how psychologically challenging this is, but I tapped into the power of mindset and moved on quicker emotionally than I usually do, allowing my body and mind the rest it needed. your key training sessions.
Define (and prioritize) your key training sessions. It’s so easy to get caught up in your training schedule and think every session is critical. Newsflash. They're not. There are key sessions - speak to your coach on these. Long bikes, yes. Long runs, yes. Swims, yes. BRICKS, sure. Strength training, yes. But if you have to skip an hour or two here and there, do not fret. As athletes, we can easily forget strong efforts made a day after we’ve made them, already on to the next thing. But pocket that long training day. As David Goggins says “Put it in your cookie jar” (so you can access later when you mentally need to!). So what if you have to skip 2 or 3 days due to unexpected events in your life. Hit it hard when you get back! Also, negotiate time away from your family. I have several long training sessions, which I try to fit around key family time, which means hours grinding on my own rather than with a supportive team (and I miss them on these days!!), but the way I look at it is, I get stronger for race day, because as we know, race day you drive the whole day - everyone is in their own race.
Create an ENERGIZING "Get off the couch" playlist. One that makes you dance, run, bike with unstoppable energy. One that picks you up from a bad mood. I use YouTube music app - specifically an auto-created “Heidi’s offline tape” (which I can also add customization). Sometimes if I don’t “feel” like training, but know I am beyond capable of it, I start driving to workout, playing my songs… by the time I arrive, I am ready.
Make Your Sessions COUNT. You’ve made your way through obstacles (illness, home improvement, etc), so when you get training time, USE it to the best of your abilities. Sometimes, I have to shorten bike/run back-to-back training sessions, so rather than skip one or the other, I abbreviate distances. Mindfully tune into your training sessions. Repeat a mantra that may be useful and simple as “I am here. I am swimming. Think about my stroke” if your mind goes into ‘monkey’ mode (scattered thoughts)
Continue to build mindset [your most powerful asset]. Mindset: one simple word that has profound impact on the way you live your life. Training your mind to adapt to life’s challenges not only helps in the athletic space but personally, professionally + family life. You'll begin to see obstacles as opportunities. Transitioning from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset allows you unlimited possibilities. As Marianne Williamson brilliantly said "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."