How I Nailed My First Ironman
Coaching and Camp Prep Gave Andrew Gunn the Edge
Ironman Canada 2014 was going to be my first attempt at the distance. In total it was just my 5th triathlon, so I had plenty to learn. After spending the 10 months leading into Ironman working with LifeSport coach, Andrew Powell, I was gaining in all areas. The idea of the Ultimate Camp came up and I jumped at the chance to spend a full weekend training on the course with experienced coaches, but also with other athletes.
As those who have done triathlons know - the swim, bike, and run aspects are not the only factors that need to have ample consideration given to them. The nutrition and mental aspects of the sport are potentially harder to train than the physical aspects. By spending the time working with and hearing from the LifeSport coaches, the fear of the unknown around the two disciplines were easier to understand. To be able to hear first hand of some great and not so great experiences was invaluable.
All aspects were covered off – turn-by-turn walk through presentations of the complete course, nutrition advice for each stage of the race, how to get back in the game, what to do when the going gets tough – we spent time on it all. To then be able to gain the experience of riding and running (1 loop) of the complete course, plus swimming in the lake, was amazing. The detail gone into of how each transition area will be set up, what is available at aid stations at different times of the day, it all helped to visualize what will happen come race day.
On race day, some things didn't go 100% according to plan – I am yet to hear of any race that actually does? To be able to draw on the knowledge put in the memory bank from the camp helped me get through some really tough times. On the day, temperatures were hotter than expected. The tip for putting ice down my top over my midriff had a huge impact on the day. Due to the heat, my nutrition plan on the run just simply wasn't working. To be able to not panic and make decisions to change things up was a savior – I ended up negative splitting the run due to changing things up and staying positive.
There is so much to learn, and being in the environment where everyone wants to share (and learn) is one of the most effective ways to be able to take it all in. Never was there a time when someone wouldn't get a question answered, no matter how big or small it may have been.
LifeSport Coaching is offering the 2015 version of the Ultimate Camp for Ironman Whistler. For more information click here.
LifeSport Athlete Andrew Gunn is coached by Coach Andrew Powell. Coach Andrew is NCCP Certified and has been prominent in the West Coast Triathlon community for several years. He is a multiple BC Provincial Triathlon Champion, and competes on the Elite/Pro level in the Ironman and 70.3 Distance. Andrew enjoys working with athletes of all levels. Contact Andrew to tackle your first triathlon or to take your training to the next level. Get more tips on Twitter. @LifeSportCoach