>>>The mental game of Ironman

The mental game of Ironman

Ironman is a wild and long journey.

You need to never give up and never lose faith in the taper, don’t panic if you feel bad & lethargic, that is normal. Resist the temptation to do extra to boost your ego or to silence the insecurities.

The hard work has been done. Relax and have fun with other non physical things.

IM will be a roller coaster of feelings and emotions but the body can switch at any time from good to bad and vice a versa. Slow down and eat in the bad patches and don’t accelerate and hydrate in the good patches. You need to stick to your race and nutrition plan whatever happens.

SWIM:

For a mass start, start fast and find some feet so you can get dragged along the entire way and so that you avoid traffic around the first buoy and getting bashed too much. For rolling start, build into it slowly. Think about having a good and relaxed stroke. If you have a bad swim, it does not matter, it is only 10% of the race.

BIKE:

Stick to power, HR or RPE for the bike. Don’t start too fast. The first 90kms will feel easy and the last 90kms will be hard. The race starts at 120kms on the bike. Whatever happens before this point does not matter. The race starts there as well as the mind games. The body is starting the struggle and the big ups and downs become noticable. The negative voices will start talking to you and will start playing tricks on you to slow you down. That is normal, the body will always find ways to slow you down to protect itself from pain and from struggling. Silence those voices with a good thought, by looking at the view, by thinking about your kids, by thinking about how lucky you are to be doing this, by thinking that some people will never be able to do an IM, by eating something you like as a treat to make you feel better.

RUN:

Is where the race is won or lost.

-You will feel great the 1st 10kms if you have stuck to the race plan on the bike.

You will need to think about slowing down constantly.

-Next 10kms will feel perfect. It will feel like you are hitting the right pace and HR and you will feel confident.

-The next 10kms is when fatigue will start to settle in and you might start struggling. Don’t panic if you do, relax and enjoy the view and the atmosphere.

Good time to start having Coke but when you start Coke keep going as your body will crave it. If you struggle, have an extra gel on top of your nutrition plan and keep the focus on cooling down the body constantly.If you cramp, Crampfix really works https://crampfix.com.au/

The last 10kms is survival and can be hell.This is where the negative voices will beg you to slow down, walk or stop. Think positive, think about your form and your cadence, drink, eat and cool down as much as possible.

Remember that trying is fighting and pulling out is giving up. Never give up unless there are health or mechanical issues. My two biggest triathlon regrets is pulling out of Port Mac IM in 2005 for bike issues and in 2016 for health issues.

 

WHEN YOU GET THERE:

Relax, enjoy the experience, have fun and don’t walk around heaps. Stay in your room, watch tv and read books but nothing to do with triathlon or you will get an IM overload and you will lose nervous energy. I have seen people being wiped out by nervous energy and have nothing left on race day. 

Pressure, worry, panic, self doubt goes 100% against performance.

Don’t worry about anything. Too late anyway to worry. You can only control the controllables. Have fun because at the end of the day, that is why we do this sport 🙂

ON TAPER:
1) Relax and do not overthink
2) Sleep heaps
3) Don’t change anything now
4) Don’t train extra and stick to recovery
5) Watch your calorie intake & eat clean
6) Don’t over analyse
7) Feeling shit is normal
8/ Try not to get sick (load up on Arma Force)
9) Reduce caffeine intake so you can get to feel what your body is feeling instead of masking it
10) Be organised and don’t leave for the race last minute as travelling is taxing and will make your body feel sore and stiff .

By |2019-11-26T16:10:54+00:00November 21st, 2019|Categories: Racing|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on The mental game of Ironman

About the Author:

4x AG World Champion - Stephane originates from Belgium and spent many of his early years racing triathlon there. It is in Belgium through the influence of his parents that he fell in love with the sport. A natural competitor Stephane became a student of the sport always searching for ways to give him an edge over his competition. This constant study and striving for improvement has naturally progressed into a passion for coaching triathlon and it’s individual disciplines.