Friday, April 18, 2008

You Won the Ironman Hawaii Lottery; What the Hell Do You Do Now?

Another year goes by and yet another person I know wins the lottery. What a small circle I am in...or it is a small world.

Here it is. My two cents on what you should do knowing that on October 11th you will be in the Super Bowl of Triathlon. The big dance.

1) Get a coach - It doesn't have to be a big name but work with someone who will return your calls and customize your workouts for YOU and your schedule. If your budget doesn't allow for a coach, I strongly recommend Don Fink's book Be IronFit. The book and an objective observer of your training is a strong substitute.

Gordo's book. Now...I don't agree with everything Gordo says but it works for him, is sound advice and offers another perspective. Some of what he does wouldn't work for me, but its certainly a good read.

2) Re-develop your Race Schedule around Kona - Too many athletes who win the lottery want to race too much the year they win the lottery. Your time is better spent training for the biggest race of your life. Kona is a heavyweight fight with the elements and I promise you that it is nothing like any other Ironman you've ever done other than the distance. I strongly recommend NO RACING AT ALL 6 full weeks out from Kona. Why? Focus on Kona, you never know when you'll be back racing it pour everything into it.

3) Arrive early - A lot of athletes come late. Why? Get a condo. Get there at least the Saturday before the race. Preferably two weeks before the race to get used to the heat and to chill out. If budget is an issue, get there Saturday like I said or look for a home stay. Get creative.

4) Outfit your bike for riding in a hurricane - A jet stream water bottle in the front, bento box and two water bottle holders will do it for you. Make sure everything is secure to a violent shaking - Ms. Pele may shake you up on the bike a bit.

5) Understand and show respect for Hawaiian Tradition and Local residents - This means changing in your condo and not in the parking lot, don't wear your Speedo and flip flops to Pay 'n Save Market, say 'Mahalo' and treat these folks like you are a guest in their are.

6) Train - Yes, you're nervous, scared, freaked out even. Get your ass outdoor and put in your time. This shows respect to those who came before you.

7) Don't discuss your epic training days - I trained...blah, blah, blah. Everyone did. Those who talk about it loudly don't seem to believe they even did it. So don't flip out when you hear some clown say he rode 200 miles and then ran 13 miles. Let's see it on race day buddy.

8) Use a heart rate monitor - If you are a rookie in Kona you should have a monitor. The goal is to finish. If you roach yourself on the bike and don't finish it will be disappointing.

9) Finish - You may be battered or bloody but you finish. So you didn't go what. You finished. The simplicity in finishing the Ironman World Championship is something worth sticking it out for regardless of if you are a top pro or a lottery winner. Those pros who have a "bad day" and blow up trying to win...and finish anyway... earn my admiration and respect forever. Screw ego - FINISH! John Collins said, "You can convince everyone in the world that you didn't quit but in the back of your mind you'll know if you did or not."

I hope this helps in your quest for Kona.

Mahalo nui loa for reading.

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