If you just pay attention to the details when you are in the final stages of building you will have a strong roof but if the foundation that strong roof is sitting on has cracks it is likely to all come tumbling down when faced with the big bad wolf. Therefore, I am paying attention to the details, not rushing things and trying to make sure everything is done right at this point. The cornerstones of my plan are nutrition, recovery, strength, and skill/drills.
I tell all my athletes this and I believe it myself, the time to focus on body composition and daily nutrition is not when you are in the depth of your training. Get into the habit early and those bricks will be nice and solid when you are putting them under the heavy load of miles. Compare your body to a high end sports or race car, you wouldn't expect the car to run on low end fuel, why do you expect that of your body?
It doesn't matter how hard you train and how many miles you do if you can't back it up consistently. So often the recovery part of our sport is overlooked, or we wait until we are tired or feel soreness to take care of ourselves. In order for me to do the mileage and intensity that I am going to do, I need my body to cooperate. (and to be honest it is 6 years older than the last time we did this journey and it broke down then) Therefore, I have gotten into the recovery habit. That doesn't translate into regular napping, although my weekly restorative yoga class could pass as a nap. I have regular body work scheduled. Right now I have ART/massage every other week, and I know there will be times I will increase the frequency.
Sunset beach walks are part of recovery
The course that I have chosen to race on is not a flat fast course. Therefore, strength will be an issue. I knew going into Leadville in 2010 that I needed to work on my strength and I did. I am once again working on my strength. Instead of just hitting the machines in the gym I am doing functional strength work and am doing Pilate's on top of that. Think that a Pilate's class full of retired ladies is easy, keep thinking that, I'll keep it as my secret weapon.
This is the time of year to be working on all my weaknesses and that means improving my form across all three of my disciplines. I think of the skills and drills sessions as the mortar that is holding my bricks together.
Right now my house is barely off the ground but if I continue to stack strong and solid layers upon layers I know that come May when the big bad wolf of Ironman huffs and puffs my house won't blow down.
Raw Zucchini Fettucini Alfredo