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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 goes...it'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.

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

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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 !!


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

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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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