It’s been a couple weeks since Ironman Maryland, and I’ve had some time to reflect on what I think I did well, and what areas need improvement. There’s no shortage of things for me to work on, but these are my top 5 that I’m going to focus on in the remainder of 2016.
- Introduce Strength Training into Weekly Plan. This is something I’ve talked about doing for the last 2 years, but have never taken seriously. Last week I had an assessment by a physio, and the tests made it clear that I have very specific muscles that are pathetically weak. My physio also gave me a plan to target those weak areas. My hope is that improving my strength will help me stay durable, both over the months of training ahead, as well as durable in the final hour of an endurance race.
- Run Faster. Running fast is all relative. When I first started running I was happy to go under 6:00/km for a single kilometer, now I want to run an Ironman marathon at close to 4:00/km. The problem is I still remember the days when I was a much slower runner, and when I see some of faster paces on my watch I think I mentally question whether I can really hold that pace before my body physically breaks down. That needs to change. I am going to do a run focused block where my priority will be track type intervals to raise my top end speed and shift my perception of fast.
- Swim Video. I have the luxury of a 25m pool in my condo. This makes getting in a swim a piece of cake. The drawback is that there is nobody to give me feedback, and usually not any other swimmers to watch to learn anything from. I am going to videotape myself in the pool at least once every 4 weeks. I’ve been recorded once and I learned a lot from watching myself. I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to get a couple good swimmers to look at the video and give me some tips or things to work on.
- Stretch and roll. Stretching is something I know I’m supposed to do, but rarely happens. I’ll usually do a quick stretch after a long run, but otherwise I skip over it. I usually only foam roll when I have a problem. I’ve been fortunate to stay healthy, but I need to be proactive to make sure I stay healthy as I continue to push to go faster. I will initially incorporate this into my strength routine and then go from there.
- Day to day nutrition. Outside of races I’d say I eat pretty well. Lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens, lean proteins, etc. But I’ve never really looked into whether what I eat is optimal. For example I eat a TON of carbs. I don’t feel bloated or weighed down by them but I’ve been reading about athletes taking big steps forward after adopting a low carb, high fat diet. I am going to experiment with my diet to see if there’s room for me to improve. LCHF will be one area I will try, but I’ll also try things like considerably larger breakfasts and smaller dinners, and reducing my consumption of meats.