Preparing For Your First Ironman

By Tom Piszkin

This series was originally written in preparation for Iroman USA in Lake Pacid, NY 1999.
1: Calling All IronPeople 2: The Road To Lake Placid 3: Bring on the Power 4: Jump to Warp
5: Cruise Control 6: The Need for Speed 7: At the Crest 8: The Two Week Tweak

The Two Week Tweak
by Tom Piszkin

This is the eight and final installment in the Lake Placid Ironman
preparation series. August 15th is drawing near.

Basically, your last two weeks are an exercize cutting back your activity
without going crazy as the "energy nymphs" build up in your body.
Working backwards from race day, I'd suggest a schedule something like this:

Day R-1 Stay off your feet as much as possible, drink water to help
        supress your appetite. Do some non-strenuous stretching
        (considering you're not warmed up)
 R-2    Ride casually for an hour--ideally inspecting the bike course,
 R-3    Run easy for 30 minutes--ideally inspecting part of the run course
 R-4    Swim easy for 45 minutes, stretch
 R-5    Run easy for 60 minutes @ 70% max HR, stretch
 R-6    Ride for two hours @ 70% max HR, stretch
 R-7    Swim continuously for 60 minutes at sub-race pace.
 R-8    Run for 60 minutes @ 80% max HR, stretch
 R-9    Ride for two hours @ 80% max HR, stretch
 R-10   Swim contiunously for 60 minutes at race pace.
 R-11   Run for 60 minutes @ 75% max HR, stretch
 R-12   Ride for 90 minutes @ 75% max HR, stretch
 R-13   Swim a typical interval workout at moderate effort
 R-14   Run for 45 minutes at 85% max HR, stretch

Think of these two weeks as follows:  You are now casually walking downhill 
from your peak and somehow storing the potential energy of your descent 
in some kind of bio-chemical rubber band mechanism. As the band tightens, 
you will want to bleed off some of the energy so as to not overwind (and
break) the mechanism. You'll want to toe the line on August 15th with
your system fully loaded from the fruits of your downhill cruise. 
Visualizing this model will help you manage your energy build-up.

In the mental dimension, your final two weeks should include as much
positive self-talk as you can muster. Tell yourself how much you are
looking forward to the much fun you're going to 
you've earned the right to be called an ironman. Good luck.