Spectathlete guide for Ironman Arizona

This just got real.

AF CF Vitals

We’re exactly three weeks away from Ironman Arizona. Can you believe it? Neither can we.

And, as per usual, we’re wholeheartedly jacked up to get out there and take on the beastly 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

The support we’ve received throughout this journey has been humbling, not surprising and incredibly inspiring.

We’d love to see as many familiar, smiling, screaming, holla-ing, cawing faces as possible along the course on race day.

And if you’ve never witnessed a race like this before, you’re in for a treat: the atmosphere of an Ironman race is unlike any other, and well worth coming out just to experience the insanity.

Here are the key details to help you plan your day:

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AF race strategy: Ironman nutrition plan

How I’m going to fuel my way across the finish line

Food

Nutrition and hydration play a huge role in your performance on race day – especially if your race entails 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running.

So it’s crucial to nail down a nutrition plan that’ll fit your specific needs.

There’s a ton of nutrition info on the internet, at the bike shop and from other athletes.

Whittling it all down can be tough, especially when the line between genuine advice and methodical marketing has grown so blurry.

I don’t consider myself an expert on nutrition, and I haven’t received professional training or guidance on how to properly fuel during exercise.

However, after a couple years doing triathlon, and many hours reading books (like The Paleo Diet for Athletes and currently The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and online articles (like this excellent post on Endurance Corner) I’ve developed a critical and objective eye for food, and feel confident in the approach I’ve outlined to fuel me through Ironman Arizona.

Read on to see a breakdown of my nutrition plan for the race – now less than a month away!

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Join the Tri for Les support squad: buy a t-shirt!

All proceeds benefit the Arizona Humane Society

— Update: T-shirts sales are now closed! —

AHS

TFL IMAZ tshirts

You know you wanna look as cool as this guy, and wear a limited edition Tri for Les t-shirt to support Adam and Cecily on race day. Plus, you’ll be supporting the Arizona Humane Society!

Can you say win, win, win, win?

Click the DONATE button below to order your shirt and email Adam with your size. Also, hurry up: the deadline to order is Nov. 3!

— Update: T-shirts sales are now closed! —

Thanks for everyone’s support! And if you still want to donate $30 to the Arizona Humane Society, click the Donate button below. You just won’t get a t-shirt.





Why are we doing this? Click here for more details.

We’d love to see you wearing these shirts out along the course on race day! If you plan on coming down, see our Spectathlete guide for logistical and helpful information.

The Most Graceful Freestyle

Swimming inspiration from Shinji Takeuchi, with Total Immersion Swimming Method

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A couple weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good about myself after racking a 2:44:06 at the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon in Tempe.

But even though all three of the sports seemed to go well, when I dug into my race stats, one thing glared back at me: a super slow swim.

Now, I’ve always been a slow swimmer. And part of my Total Immersion strategy focuses on swimming effortlessly to conserve energy for the bike and the run.

However, I shouldn’t be swimming so effortlessly that nearly my entire age group gets out of the water ahead of me.

Indeed, I have found my hurdle.

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What’s Your Hurdle?

Registration

Flashback to November:

Q1: This’ll be your first Ironman. Are you worried, excited, in shock, all of the above?

Answer: “…The biggest part of training for something like this is making the commitment, waking up and showing up every day – and that’s what I’m going to do. I want to show up on November 17th knowing that I put everything I could into this thing – no regrets. So no, I’m not scared that I won’t finish, because if I don’t finish it won’t be due to something I could have changed.”

Flash forward to today:

The theme of my past eight months of training has been to put in the work, prepare for the unexpected and take all steps necessary to show up on Nov. 17 feeling ready, with butterflies in my stomach, excitement, pride, some natural anxiety, but with zero doubt.

The race is six weeks from today, and I feel great. Endurance-wise, I know I can get through this thing. Hell, if I needed to, I could get through it tomorrow. I’ve followed my training, built up the mileage, honed my confidence and already see myself as an Ironman. Like I said back in November:

“Becoming an Ironman (or an ultra runner, or a brain surgeon, or a freakin’ fairy princess) isn’t something that happens overnight. When I start the 2.4 mile swim, the transformation and achievement will already be done. Crossing that finish line will just be like walking across stage on graduation day. Work’s done – now you just have to prove it and get your medal.”

grad cap

Now is the time to continue building those last few miles, nurture that confidence, and try to find and address any of those last hurdles that might come your way. While working through a long brick workout yesterday, I found the last hurdle I need to focus on for these last six weeks in order to show up to Ironman Village next month with not a doubt in my mind that I’m ready. Ironically, it goes back to one of the first blog posts I wrote.

I need to take care of my poor, neglected muscles, tendons and joints.

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AF Race Report: Lifetime Olympic Triathlon

Smooth sailing, no injuries and a time of 2:46:09

Mill Ave. Bridge at Tempe Town Lake in the morning

Last time we spoke, I was getting my bearings after a rough bout of idiocy, recovering from an infected foot, and cautiously preparing for the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon*: 1-mile swim, 24.6-mile ride and 6.2-mile run, and my last triathlon before the big one on November 17.

Even though this race was significantly shorter than Ironman Arizona, it was a big test for me.

Why? Because, of the three races I mapped out at the beginning of this year, it was the first I’d been healthy enough to complete in its entirety.

I had to skip the DIY Olympic Tri scheduled in March thanks to posterior tibial tendinitis.

In August I still wasn’t quite ready for the Boulder Ironman 70.3‘s half marathon section, and I limited myself to just the swim, bike and half the run.

So I was more than ready to test myself, unleash the fury and cross my first finish line of 2013 at the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon on September 22.

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Beware of Tucan Sam

Two months out from race day. Training is ramping up exponentially by the week and I can see the light at the end of this crazy tunnel. I must be excited, right? I mean, I even posted a pump-you-up Ironman AZ video on Facebook yesterday. Facebook doesn’t lie.

Then what, you may ask, has led me to ditch training on this Wednesday night, disregard any and all weekday, paleo-centric rules I have and dive into this bowl of Froot Loops?

Froot Loops

This fruity-licious, artificial ingredient-filled dinner is a result of a week of training gone awry and the unhealthy relationship I have with my training plan.

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Idiot infected

A long ride, sloppy swim and infected blister support the strong claim that I am an idiot.

The Idiot

Ladies and gentlemen of the Tri for Les community:

I am an idiot.

Many of you already know this and the following story will surely re-enforce that label.

For those who are not aware of my boneheaded state, prepare to be convinced by a spectacle of wrong turns and general ignorance, spanning the past month.

Let us begin.

Up until this point you’ve seen mostly cheery, positive and overly excited blog posts about awesome training efforts, and how much fun it is to push the limits.

Clearly, I was excited after a promising performance at the Boulder IM 70.3 race: “We’re galloping with a full head of steam toward Ironman Arizona.”

Well, shortly after that mile-high experience, it all came crashing down in a slow-motion train wreck that left me with a wounded, bandaged foot (yeah, the left one) in a surgical walking boot, sinking deeper and deeper into an idiot spiral.

Read on to see how the wheels fell off.

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Running unplugged

Why I don’t wear headphones when I exercise, and how I still hear the music.

Harmony

It’s Sunday morning and you’re about to head out the door for a run.

Fifteen minutes ago you were lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to convince yourself to get moving.

The good side won the battle, and now you feel motivated – proud even – to tackle your training plan, but still not happy about leaving your comfy bed.

You lace up your shoes, put on your hat, grab your keys and phone, and take one more gulp of water before stepping outside.

You lock the door behind you, zip away your keys and are almost ready to go get it.

Only one task remains before you go galloping off:

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