General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Ironman - mind over matter? Rss Feed  
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2013-08-24 3:07 AM

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Subject: Ironman - mind over matter?
I did IM Copenhagen last week. It was my third IM race (IM Austria in 09 12:45, Outlaw UK in '10 12:33). Then I took two years off to do my MBA part time. Basically, because I'm working, I had to do the MBA in my training time. I entered IM Copenhagen thinking my MBA would finish in April and I'd have a nice block of training. As it happened, it finished on August 1st with the race on August 18th.

This meant my training was severely limited and I considered pulling out but I'd invested too much money into it so didn't. I managed to get round a HIM in 5:53 in May and that felt ok.

I got round in 12:14, so a 20 minute PB over the distance on a harder course. When I got back, I analysed my training and found that in the 10 weeks prior to IM I averaged 6.5 hours a week and in the 10 weeks before that I did 10 hours (massively subsidised by a 3 day, 335 cycling event) and 8 hours a week in the 10 weeks before.

I realise I'm still going slow and I really hope to ramp things up and get under 11 hours in Germany next year but this is a post to those who worry about missing the odd workout leading up to their IM. It really doesn't matter. There's nothing athletic about me - I'm 210lbs, 39 years old and with no particular sporting background since i started tri's in 2008 - I did a bit of high school swimming.

I'm not suggesting that the training I did is sufficient but I would have pulled out of the race if I'd have known what I'd done before hand. As it turned out, the swim was comfortable (1:09), the bike was a joy (5:48) and the first 20 miles of the marathon were fine - I slowed to a jog/walk for the last 6 miles but it was still good fun.

Makes me wonder just how much of an IM is mind over matter. Of course 'completing' v 'competing' are two very different things and I've just been out to complete before now.

2013-08-24 9:56 AM
in reply to: Dan-L

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Subject: RE: Ironman - mind over matter?

Maybe your cumulative training from 2009-2013 has been better than say your cumulative training from 2005-2009, or 2006-2010?

Or maybe the course conditions were a bit easier.  It's hard to compare IM finishing times on different courses...but as far as training's not just about what you do during the 18 week training plan.  It has a lot to do with the fitness you've built up over the past several years.

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2013-08-24 3:46 PM
in reply to: Dan-L

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman - mind over matter?
Congrats on your 3rd IM. 12:14 is certainly a nice time and significant improvement over the prior 2.

Your experience might also be a factor, .the Mental push might be stronger due to your prior races and knowing you can do it.

And you can waste a lot of time in transition and at aid stations, also walking / stopping when you don't need to
Time can easily slip away at a long distance race like IM.

The fact that your body was more rested could've been a factor as well.

who knows, but good job on your PB !!

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2013-08-24 5:54 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: Ironman - mind over matter?
Thanks Metafizx

I've been thinking about this some more today and one significant difference was that I didn't feel under any pressure at all in the lead up or during the race. I think having two races, albeit two years ago, in the bank reduced the fear but given the build up I was happy to come in around 13/14 hours if that's what my body told me to do. I was quite fearful in the lead up to the other two races - could I handle it? Would it hurt? what would happen if x,y,z happened?

I wonder if having my mind in that relaxed state meant less energy lost to stress and the experience of having done a couple meant less fretting about unnecessary stuff.

I'll certainly be paying more attention to mental preparation from now on. I don't really know what that means yet! But I think there could be plenty in it. Time to get some books out!
2013-08-24 7:58 PM
in reply to: Dan-L

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Wendell, NC
Subject: RE: Ironman - mind over matter?
"If you don't mind, it doesn't matter"
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2013-08-25 8:45 AM
in reply to: metafizx

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman - mind over matter?
Originally posted by metafizxCongrats on your 3rd IM. 12:14 is certainly a nice time and significant improvement over the prior 2.
. Yeah...I would be ecstatic to get that time, too!
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