Part 1: What to Think First when Planning to do your First Ironman
By Vinnie Santana, Coach, ironguides.net
With the rapid growth of Triathlon, it is normal that the Ironman also has become a very popular distance. Moreover, what is happening are beginners in the sport are already doing the Ironman in their first year in the sport, and sometimes even as their first triathlon. This creates a conflict of ideas with more experienced athletes, as they think they do an Ironman only after many years in the sport.
But from what point can a triathlete be considered “ready” to participate in an Ironman?
It all depends on the purpose of the athlete. Doing an Ironman, even as a beginner in the sport is generally not a practice recommended for a few reasons that we will explain in this article. What can be seen with athletes of this type is that for them, the Ironman takes more characteristics of an proof of adventure than a triathlon. The pace, the goals, the equipment used and the focus is only to complete the race and nothing else, any other time of the end goal is be secondary. The experienced athlete often has difficulty understanding that the goal is completely different from what he has; much less “the race” and more an “adventure race”.
Regardless of your history in the sport, your goal should be to finish, this will to take all the pressure off and you’ll be more relaxed and compete better. Even professional athletes and amateur high performance on short races must enter Ironman races only in order to “explore the distance”, not attempt to endure so many hours or win such a position.
When you send a message to your head that this is “exploring something unknown,” an automatic way has no more expectations, and this will avoid frustration and leave you more relaxed.
The first care and the major concern of athletes and coaches regarding their participation in a first Ironman is in relation to injury. This happens frequently in athletes with no experience in the sport, mainly in during the race. The body is simply not prepared or used to the impact or intensity of the effort.
So if you are a beginner athlete, unless you have a history with more basic races, make a conscious plan to avoid problems resulting in injuries. Another point to consider is that you will probably walk much of your marathon in Ironman, one must understand and consider this when drawing up a training strategy.
The experienced athlete is not safe from problems, quite the contrary. Even to be more conditioned and more confident, this often tests your limits and requires training hard too. This can give you problems not only with structural lesions, but also affecting the immune system, which opens up opportunities for other problems.
Understand that the secret to train for an Ironman is the consistency of training for months, not only doing longer workouts.
Enjoy your training!
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