Get a wet towel, and slowly, bit by bit, turn by turn, wring every last drop of water out for hours and hours. Whatever your goals are for up-coming IM Tahoe, your energy expenditure will be similar to the aforementioned.
I’m continually learning about myself as I compete and I want to share a few takeaways from my recent day in Louisville that hopefully will help you too! IM Tahoe is less than 24 days away.
Be in the moment at all times in the days leading up to race day. I surround myself with family & close friends who understand the journey I’ve been on to get this day. This is absolutely key for me. Be careful with surrounding yourself with too much nervous pre-race energy. IM expects you to give all your energy for a good part of day. Release it at the right time.
Calories on the bike. Whatever you’ve been training with stick with it! Golden rule. Eating in the 1st 50-60 miles of the bike is key. I had to pee 8 times on the bike during IM Louisville. A good sign I was hydrated. If you get grumpy eat, if you start to mentally drift…drink water. Keep stimulated. Track these behaviors on your clock, set a timer to go off every 15 minutes.
Watch your heart rate like a hawk. Your heart rate will spike after the swim. Allow it to settle down. I kept my heart as low as possible for 5 hrs on the bike. Only 145 beats per minute. Heat will push your HR up so dial back your pace if it’s hot. Dial your pace back anyway on the first loop of the Tahoe bike course because remember it starts off relatively fast/east. Save yourself for the 2nd loop.
Patience is critical. If someone passes you like a freight train, let them. They are either way better than you, or they’re an idiot. Either way stick to the pace that’s right for you. (Andrew MacNaughton’s exact words to me pre IM Louisville). He was right!
Thank the volunteers & spectators along the way. It will give them energy, and you’ll feel part of their experience. It’s a healthy exchange.
The first 3 aid stations on the run are critical. Slow down, walk if you have to and get all calories into your tummy while it can handle it. Sponges on your neck, arms, ice in your mouth, down your pants/skorts, sports bra! Macca dumps his entire head in the ice bucket if he feels he is overheating. Don’t let your core temperature soar. Ice-ice baby!
Lean in. There are moments when you have lean into the pain and show mental toughness. At 15-21 miles on the run you may have to go to a place you have or haven’t been before. At IM Louisville over the last 6 miles my mind went back home to San Jose…and mentally ran my favorite Los Gatos Creek Trail 6 mile training run. It’s out and back… nothing to it.
Live for the blue mile. The final stretch is blue carpet, white barricades lined with everyone cheering for you. This moment is yours, and all yours. And everyone who supported you on the journey. It goes by so fast.Plan your finish. Cherish it.
It’s all about you and your experience and I want to hear about when you’re done!