2014 Ironman® Lake Placid will be noted for rain, lightning, and steamy heat!
Now that Ironman® Lake Placid is in the books, it’s time to start focusing on the rest of your season. And if you’re like most age groupers, the completion of your Ironman® has left a gapping whole in your life — the event provided a focus and urgency to most of your daily activities…and then POOF, that focus goes away, leaving what is often called Post Ironman® Depression Syndrome (PIDS).
Ironman® athletes try to fill that void by often jumping right back into the familiarity of Ironman® training. But there’s more to this game than just working out. There’s training to be fit, and then there’s training to improve.
As a competitor you are fit as a result of your training to improve; you don’t improve just because you are fit.
Inside Endurance Nation we spend a great deal of time helping age group triathletes reach their peak potential by making sense of the big-picture element of their training. We call it the Triathlon Season RoadMap™ and it’s our approach to stacking races, training events and your general training to help you maximize your fitness on a schedule that fits your life.
Taking A Mental Break
There’s recovery and then there’s RECOVERY. You will want to be active, but you need to be aware of the downstream cost of getting back too work too soon. Your body will let you know if it isn’t ready for the work of training by putting you to sleep in the middle of your day or making you eat everything in sight after a 30-minute easy run.
But your brain is another story. All it remembers is the endorphins of the finish line, and very little of the cost associated with all of the training and hard work you did to get there. In other words — your tiny lizard brain wants to workout and race.
But you can’t…not yet.
You need four weeks where you stay active, but you don’t have any goals. Workouts where you aren’t pushing yourself mentally, but you are letting the workouts come to you. But don’t worry, Endurance Nation is here to help.
(aka The Guide for successfully transitioning from your Ironman® to the rest of your triathlon season.)
Setting Late Season Goals
Since Ironman® Lake Placid is an mid season race for most of you, there’s still a chance to put together a second half of your year.
Given the enormity of Ironman® Lake Placid, the conservative bet is on a late season Half Iron. This gives you two quality build up periods (and races!) to build some fitness between earning race day experience. Along the way you can also schedule in any epic cycling adventures you want; these are great ways to build your fitness year-round without putting your body in a state of excessive fatigue or in danger.
From a scheduling standpoint it’s best if you can aim later in the year such as September or October. This will give you enough time to recover before you begin building again. Anything sooner will have to be a shorter distance (think Olympic) or lighter expectations (have a good day at a Half Iron vs trying to set a personal best).
Many folks sign up for August races without appreciating the mental and physical fatigue associated with completing Ironman® Lake Placid — as well as all the training that led up to it. Don’t set yourself up for a challenge that you aren’t ready to handle!
Whatever your plans are for the final half of your year, make them reasonable and keep it fun. Your best bet for improvement in our sport is staying active and remaining excited about training and racing. If Endurance Nation can help, please let us know! Happy recovering…