Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yeah, I Hear Voices, Don't You?

At any time when I am talking about my upcoming Ironman (which I have found that I can work into any conversation, but that is another post) I am usually asked "How long is it going to take you?" Normally, I would have my time figured out, broken down and over analyzed to a T.

A good friend of mine (His name is Ted) opened my eyes to this nonsense. Ted is a badass when it comes to endurance sports, and is actually the one guy that got interested in this little adventure many years ago. Anyways, I bug Ted a lot with my questions and my training plans, and Ted ALWAYS gives me an honest frank, blunt answer. We recently had one of those conversations.

See, I started listening to those voices in my head that always pop up during a recovery phase. The voices that say stuff like "a 2.7 mile run??  why bother with that, you need more miles fella!"  (I guess my voices are Irish?) Then I get all, "I can't do this" "it's too far" and "there is no way I can finish this mileage"!! And that is when I usually text Ted for my quarterly kick in the pants.

Ted quickly tells me to shut up and stop over analyzing it. Stop over training and remember that I am not making my living as a pro triathlete and I should stop obsessing about it. Remember to keep it fun and that I could go out and finish it right now, which should be my goal; Just finish it!

The way he breaks down a race for me is simple. Go have a 90 minute swim, keep my HR at a certain level on the bike and be prepared for a run walk marathon. I tried to tell him I think I can do better than a 90 minute swim, more like 80 minutes and his reply was simply Why? Why limit myself that way? And I get what he is saying. I have to manage my race. I am not looking to set records on my first Ironman attempt. I simply want to finish it and have fun.

Let's say I do set a goal for myself of an 80 minute swim, 1 hour 20 minutes for 2.4 miles.  What happens if I miss that goal? Then I am mentally looking at missing a mark already. Do I try and make it up on the bike? You bet I do, cause I know myself! Then my run is shot cause I went to hard on the bike. A 90 minute swim is respectful! And I know I can do better, but let's say I do come out of the water in 80 minutes, then I am feeling good and I know I am having a good race.

So Thank you Ted for always shooting it straight with me and calming me down. I am so looking forward to doing this and calling you afterwards and simply saying, "I did it Brother!"

This triathlon thing is all mental I am finding out. From the workouts to the race, you have to make sure you are mentally ready, and let's be honest, the only goal I need to focus on is 16:59:59!

Or maybe 16:37:09, Yeah that's a good goal!


  1. It's great that you have a sounding board to keep those voices out of your head! Sounds like he is level headed and smart. Listen to that guy!

  2. Plan the Work
    Work the Plan... better beat that.

  3. The mental game of the Ironman is something that we all learn the hard way. A training schedule never includes "feelings". When I started having the voices about 2 months ago I started asking around to find out how to control them. I'm racing to finish ... And beat Brad. Hahaha! Your friend is right, you could finish one now!

  4. Trust me, your goals will change by the minute during the race... and they should. Set realistic goals to start and back off as the true reality sets in... and if you are doing better than that... icing on the cake

  5. I can only imagine all the time predictions running through your head. Hopefully you can block that out, enjoy the day and take in all the sites and atmosphere as you become an Ironman.


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