It was never a question of if – I wondered when I would finally take a step back from the consistent progress I’ve made since 2011. After a 3 year run where I tackled over 20 races ranging from 5K to Ironman, I had my first major blowup at Wildflower Long Course last weekend. Unlike the mini-blowups I had at The Great Race and Bay to Breakers where I could regain my composure and approach a PR time, Wildflower was a total derailment that had to be chalked up to the loss column. Lucky for me, I’m still over 8 weeks away from my A race this year – Vineman 70.3, and I have plenty of time to refine my methods before I go for a 70.3 PR. Here are my main areas of focus for the final weeks leading up to the race.
- Loosen up. I haven’t been stretching nearly enough this year. My volume is quite high, and unlike my last Ironman training cycle, weight lifting has become an integral part of my plan this time around. Lifting and training have made my muscles tighter and shorter; I need to work on making them longer and looser if I’m to regain top form and approach 5:30 at Vineman 70.3.
- Moo-ve over dairy. I’m fortunate to not have any serious allergies other than lactose intolerance. Whether it’s the not so occasional froyo, travel, overnight oats (Taylor’s breakfast of choice) or post workout pizza, I’ve been consuming entirely too much dairy recently. I’ve made a concerted effort to once again eliminate dairy from my diet in the past week and the results have been staggering – I’m going to stay away indefinitely.
- Get aero. No, an alien-looking aero helmet is not in my future. Instead, I need to spend much more time riding aero – something I haven’t been doing enough recently. Although it’s advantageous to sit up and drive sometimes, part of my success during the Ironman Lake Placid bike leg can be attributed to maintaining a solid aero position throughout mellow grades. I paid for this dearly at Wildflower – my lack of aero training meant that my power output from the aero position suffered, as did my legs and my bike time.
- Turn up the heat. If I’m going to race in hot weather this summer, I need to train in hot weather. I’m going to spend more time running and riding outside of San Francisco where I can experience the elements and fuel accordingly.
- Get back out there and race again. I was on the fence about adding an Olympic onto my schedule before Vineman, but my performance at Wildflower sealed the deal. I’m going to race Vineman Monte Rio on June 8 – a course that’s indicative of Vineman 70.3 only weeks before the big day. I’m hoping to use this race as an opportunity to push the pace on the bike, follow up with a very strong run, and reset mentally before my next 70.3.
- Stay positive. It’d be unrealistic to think that my times would consistently improve in every discipline without a setback. I’m determined to bounce back stronger than ever at Monte Rio next month and go after the PR that I know I’m capable of achieving.