Money, clothes, cars, houses… I need, I want, I have to… It is toxic. Everything goes in and nothing comes out from living a such self-centered lifestyle. Dude! The world does not revolve around your persona. No one cares about your looks or possessions. All the people care is themselves and how they feel around you. Thats the way things are and that’s how they will always be, with or without you. Stop chasing your tail and trying to impress others. How much do you need to fill that hole inside of you? How much do you need to say – enough? Me-me, more-more…
The more you take, the less you get. The hole grows and sucks everything in and leaves you unfulfilled, at the minimum. Continue down this path and you will end up with depression. “Cranky train” will take you places you don’t want to be in.
Turn the tables. Pull emergency stop handle.
What if instead of taking, you begin giving?
Run the experiment. No matter what you have or where you at in life – start giving. “I don’t have anything to give” – bullshit. At the minimum you can give a smile to a stranger. You don’t need to wait until you make a billion of bucks to start donating money to charity. The life is short and most likely you will never hit that threshold for money where you say – enough, I don’t need anymore. You will never be enough.
Giving is receiving. However giving to receive is stealing.
Give unconditionally. Give without expecting anything in return. However if returned – don’t shy away from it. Learn to accept.
COPE Mental Health Program of Community Care Durham is a community-based program that supports mentally challenged adults. I volunteered my time to go through eight week training program and became certified to work as a group facilitator with emotionally and mentally challenged adults. Considering my passion for active lifestyle and interest in yoga, me and another volunteer developed the 8-week course which is aimed to help mentally challenged community members to become more mindful and healthier through the body movement and exercise. Every Saturday we meet for two hours, where we volunteer as yoga instructors. Each class is broken down into two parts: first hour is physical health through yoga practice; the second half is the mindfulness piece. I put together the slides and present the information about the nutrition and healthy living. We just finished our second week out of eight and I think we’re doing great! People are engaged, they show interest in doing different yoga poses that often seem to be challenging. During my presentations they often ask questions and make the discussion flowing. I feel that I am doing something really meaningful and valuable. I’ve been challenging my class with the balancing yoga pose – the tree. Only few people got it in the first class, but more than half of the class got it as soon as one week later. They were excited to see that quick improvement and I felt fulfilled, because I contributed into this. I felt fulfilled when the lady came up to me after my presentation and genuinely said: “Thank you Sasha”.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”, Winston Churchill.
Past Saturday I decided to bring Mr. Blake with me into the class. I thought he would be a great addition to my yoga teaching and indeed he was! Everyone absolutely loved him and couldn’t help but smile seeing Me and him doing our yoga tricks.
In fact, this wellness program is doing so well that got so popular that community center hit attendance threshold. 27 people step into our center every Saturday for a yoga class and wellness talks. It is really nice to see people coming back. I look forward to the next week’s session and excited to share with others my time and energy. I never felt comfortable talking on public and giving speeches, but now I am even looking forward to giving presentations on the subjects of health & wellness.
I wonder what will come out of it? There is only one way to find out…
Stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself. In return your stress levels will decrease. You will be more satisfied with yourself and your life.
Dealing with a mix of personalities you step outside of your comfort zone. You improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills.
Volunteering, gives you the chance to contribute to the community and world you want to live in. It gives you the opportunity to be apart of something bigger than yourself and use your own skills and knowledge to empower the people you serve.
Volunteering shifts your lenses and changes how you see the world. This shift in perspective opens your mind to what is truly important, and helps to become more empathetic.
Every person volunteers for his own reasons. No matter what the reasons are for you, remember this: Giving is receiving. However giving to receive is stealing.
To remind myself. So important to remind myself to slow down, look in the rear mirror and give yourself compassionate smile; to pat myself on a back and say “Good job partner!”; to shut down my mouth and open my eyes.
Three months to think, to reflect, to dig deep into myself. Physical pain is catalyst of many mental processes and quickly reminds you of main things in life. That Ironman race in Lake Placid could’ve been my last one… Looking back, it was a scary accident that could’ve put me into the coffin or at least make me disabled. It did not. It was a lesson, not the exam. A bad student was given a chance to try again. I like to think that I learned the lesson, however I also realize that the fact I allow myself to think so, proves me wrong.
It is comforting to think that the accident is over and I took the most of it and took good notes. I can turn the page now. Or I should rathe ask: Can I turn the page now?
“You can, but after you pass the exam.”
Two years ago I spent Thanksgiving with my friend in Austin, Texas. Jim signed us both for the annual Turkey Trot — fundraising event. Just starting my training/racing journey, I ran 8 kilometers in 41 minutes averaging 8 minute/mile. I ran it for fun, however competitive bug in me pushed me faster than I planned. It was a good run.
“Hey Sasha, we want you come join us for Thanksgiving this year. Will also run the Turkey Trot. The race we did two years ago, remember?”
— Jim called.
Of course I did remember and of course I would love to spend this family holiday among the people who care about me. “Hey Sasha, we want you come join us for Thanksgiving this year “ — Jim called. “Will also run the Turkey Trot. The race we did two years ago, remember?” Of course I did remember and of course I would love to spend this family holiday among the people who care about me.
“You NEED to make this race your “coming back race”. You HAVE to win your age group!!! You MUST push yourself as hard as only possible!”
— familiar voice popped up in my mind.
Hmm…. Sounds familiar. Heavy claws fell on my shoulders and immediately I recognized him… He’s back.
Sasha — the Ironman is now talking. That Sasha who almost killed me not that long ago on the course in September. I realized who was talking and the table turned. I was flashing the awareness light right into his face. Awareness gave me the right of choice. Remain a puppet of my Ego or take the captain’s post…
Yes, I will run! Of course, I will push myself hard! However, this time I will do it not because I HAVE TO or MUST, but because I CHOOSE TO. I choose to train and compete; I choose to enjoy every step I take. Now I know that every single race could be the last one and every experience is so unique and precious.
The ultimate failure in life is to achieve everything you wanted but still not find the happiness. No matter in what place you finish the race, you always lose if you did not enjoy it. It worth repeating:
No matter how well you perform, you are the ultimate loser if you did not enjoy it.
The ultimate failure in anything you do is to finish first and unhappy.
I learned to be careful setting the goals for myself. No hard numbers, no unrealistic expectations. Instead of making a statement and demanding a certain result from my body, I now ask. I ask my body: how fast can you do it, considering the circumstances? Bike accident, surgery, no training for 8–9 weeks…ups and downs. Considering all those facts, what my finishing time could be? What is the fittest you can get on a few weeks of training?
I’ve had three weeks to somewhat prepare for the run. Three weeks before the race, my surgeon allowed to resume light training and I immediately met with my coach to announce my 8 kilometers intention. Renee supported me, however warned to not set high expectations. I know, I know Renee… This is the lesson I needed to learn.
Only so few running workouts to get in shape. Each of them counts.
The work is done. I’m at the race venue. I feel so much energy. The fire within is searching for a way out. I am so grateful to be in this city, I am so grateful to be young, strong and healthy!!! I am so happy to be able to move my body, to see all this people around me, to smell the fresh morning air. So glad to be back at the start line and feel the competition.
Even the fact that I missed the start of my wave bounced off my mind and didn’t screw my mood in any way. I would run anyways, timed or not timed, rain or snow, hail or meteorite shower. I flew to the starting line, hoped over the fence and hit the start button on my watch.
I pushed it hard… and I pushed it hard again. I enjoyed every moment of the race. I loved the burning feeling in my legs and the heart pumping in my chest. Finished strong and hit the stop button.
Looked at the watch:
8.3 kilometers – 33 minutes 4 min/km 6 min/mi
Yes! Fuck yeah! So grateful, so grateful. I am back! I am alive! Mission complete…. Celebrate
It’s so important to remember all the lessons that life teaches you. It is so easy to fall back into the usual model of thinking and responding to the world.
Everyone is on some sort of diet nowadays. People try to control the foods they eat, the water they drink etc. However just like food we also consume information in large amounts, daily. We all want to have healthy, good looking bodies, but more than often neglect the mind. The concept of information diet has been popping out more often lately. Unnecessary information attacks us from everywhere. Everyone is trying to catch your attention and tell you something. This creates a massive impact on our performance in life and work. This noise sometimes gets so loud that we loose the sense of direction and get lost in the modern jungles. How to always stay focused? How to protect yourself from distractions? How to thrive in the world of information overload?
To achieve anything in life and work setting clear goals and expectations are crucial. Especially when it comes to team work, everyone should be on the same page and have a clear vision. Once the expected outcome of work has been defined, we let everyone go back to their desks and do their job. Seems like we’re on the same page, in similar conditions but still we see significant difference in people’s performances. I am not considering such subjective factors as laziness and lack of motivation, but assume that everyone is striving to achieve the goal. Why there is such a difference in teammates performance, given the same amount of time and tools? What is the one most important external thing that differentiate ones from another?
Watch your intake
Information intake is what makes a difference. Every human is a “black box”, meaning that we don’t know what happens inside. All we see is what goes in and comes out. One way to predict the outcomes of the person’s life and work is to asses what goes into the black box. What person eats, drinks, hears and sees if controlled, can deliver predictable results.
Going back to the workplace, daily information intake is what makes significant difference in people’s performances. The meetings you attend; people you meet and surround yourself with; emails you get or Slack channels you subscribed to — it all combined creates the information intake you consume on a daily basis. Often unconsciously we feed our minds with crappy stuff, but still expect to perform at the top level. How could you expect to have great performance and achieve your goals if all you take in is just a noise of unimportant things? Watch your intake, keep the log of the things other people ask you to do. Also determine the potential of each to move you closer to your personal goal or the goals of your organization.
Today I met with my surgeon to see how the recovery is going. I was secretly hoping to hear it goes better than expected and I can return to my training.
X-Ray pictures, then range of motion assessment… impressive! What?
Indeed, I’m healing really fast and haven’t lost any mobility in the shoulder. In fact I am moving so well, that when I asked about physiotherapy he smiled and asked Why? He said I already do the things people usually can’t in this stage of recovery. He also allowed me to slowly get back to the training, however warned me about lifting weights and stay away from it. Swimming, Running, Cycling? Yes, Sir!
What contributed to such fast recovery?
1. Continuous movement. I haven’t stopped moving and every day I would find a way to keep the blood flowing. My arm can’t move, but the legs can. Walk, walk, walk… a lot of walking. Blake might’ve cut a few pounds from putting so many steps.
2. Nutrition. I always stay on top of my nutrition and closely look what I put into my body. Clean, nutritiously rich foods sure helped with recovery by delivering all the necessary building blocks.
3. Attitude. It was not always bright and positive. In fact, I went through a lot of frustration and it got pretty ugly at time. During those time I haven’t stopped reminding myself that it will not last forever and it’s a good mental training.
4. Support. Mental support from the people around helped me to see a better future and find the positives in situation. Knowing that there’s is someone you can ask for help gives hope.
Would I do anythingdifferently?
This is a tough question to answer. I don’t think I would do anything differently… Maybe just working on cutting the negative thoughts and emotions. However without having those dark periods I won’t feel so good right now. No, I won’t change anything. All was good! Couldn’t get any better.
I am so happy and grateful for recovering so fast, so well. I am grateful for everyone who helped me along the way. A huge Thank you!!!
It’s been though, it’s been painful, but it was a good mental training. Time to roll up the sleeves and get back to business! Watch me evolve…
Always in car. So convenient, so comfortable. I can’t remember when was the last time I took the bus.
Took the bus today.
The first time since I arrived to Canada, the first time in a past several years.
November 2013, Austin, Texas… I’m 21 and I just arrived to Austin for internship. Alone, scared and cold. $300 cash in my pocket, one small suitcase and huge round eyes. I’m in survival mode.
What a flashback…. the feelings are not so intense but they are present. Why am I feeling so lost again…? I felt the way I was feeling back then, 6 years ago. The thoughts I had, the outlook on life and world… they’re all back. It’s not the pretty place. The smell of cheap fast food is just like then, so vivid. Stop it, it’s just a dream.
Did I take the wrong bus? Its a time travel bus.
It brought me back to the place I’ve started from. The place I don’t want to return, the ugly place I was trying to get out from sooo bad.
All of a sudden I’m back in Ukraine. At the bus station on a cold evening. I am a student, going back from school after a long day at university. I’m waiting for my jam packed yellow box that will take me back to another box – my tiny apartment room. The weather is exactly the same. Light rain in my face, cold and windy.
Tired and hopeless, I am miserable in my own eyes. Watching passing cars, feeling lesser than people in those cars. I am not worth, I am not enough. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to live like this. Like this? Sasha, you have everything. So many things to be grateful for… so many reasons to be happy. But you are not. You was not happy then and you are not happy now… Memories are sucking me back into the past.
No! I don’t want to go back! This is not my bus! Stop it! Let me out!… I need to walk.
I need to get these out of my head… I need to write them out.
Look in the mirror. Is it what I look like now? Why the picture of myself in my mind is so much different from what I see? Who lies? If it’s a dream, what is reality?
Acupuncture. Begin with x1 a week for 4 weeks. The session is typically 45 minutes long and the price is around CAD$100 for Toronto GTA area.
Nutritional Corrections & Recommendations
Increase daily caloric intake. Begin increasing the amount of food you eat on a daily basis by 200-300 calories a day. Pay attention to your weight and body image. If you notice a rapid weight gain, cut the increase to 100-200 calories. If there is no weight gain, increase caloric intake by another 100-200 calorie a day, totaling at about extra 400-500 calories a day.
Increase the frequency of the water consumption. Instead of drinking more water in total, make the emphasis on drinking it more frequent with little gulps. Drink the clear water, consistently and frequently throughout the day. Reduce water consumption 1-2 hours before bed.
Consume protein from clean animal sources. The list below is organised in order from most nutritiously rich foods to least:
Raw pork belly fat (30 grams a day)
Eggs & Plant based proteins
Chicken (The least nutritious. Nutritional value = 0)
Marbella race completely destroyed my expectations, flipped everything upside down. For about 3 weeks after the race I suffered from depressing thoughts and emotions. I got locked up in my head. I almost dropped out of sport of triathlon…
It was dark and I searched for help at different places. I was looking for someone to help me to stop my mental masturbation and make a sense of my thoughts and emotions.
My swimming and triathlon coaches, Bruce and Renee, my father – were able to find the right words and grounded me and kept me away from mistakenly turning my back on the sport. Thank you! I’m am grateful for you.
You can only lead the horse to the water, but you can’t force him drink. Still, all the mental work needed to be done. I had to re-evaluate and reassess the mindset I bring into the training and racing.
What role does the sport play in my life? What function does it have? Whom am I competing against? How do I see myself as an athlete, but more importantly who the Sasha is as a person? How do I evaluate my athletic performance? What expectations do I have for my body and how are they linked to the feeling of self worth?
I had to destroy and rebuild myself as an athlete. I bring a different mindset to this race, my expectations are different.
My goals for this race were:
SWIM: under 30 minutes BIKE: no specific goal here. Just give it all and see how it goes RUN: 1/2 marathon under 1:40 hr
3 day before the race, starting Wednesday, I increased my carbohydrate consumption from typical 300g/day to 300g+. Wasn’t tracking anything so it’s hard to say what the actual amount was.
I give preference to low glycemic, complex carbs. I like to have my foods simple and I get most of my carbs from:
Previously, for Ironman Marbella, I was carb loading with solely with oatmeal. It’s a great option, however due to the high fiber it’s not the best option for a day or two prior the race. This time I am loading with brown rice. I am hoping that low fiber content will make it easier on my GI and prevent digestion issues on the course.
A day before, on Friday afternoon suddenly felt really bad hunger. Ate a lot of rice, oatmeal and chicken.
Opening a can of peanut butter was a mistake. After I got a taste of it, I literally lost control… I ate the entire jar myself. (About 3000 Calories). I wasn’t tracking anything, however my curiosity took over and I threw in some numbers into MyFitnessPall to guesstimate the amount ate.
This is almost triple the amount of food I usually eat. Damn, I’m so full! I hope this extreme caloric excess will provide by body with the energy to unleash on the course tomorrow. Stopped eating at 6 pm, went on a 30-40 minute walk around the block. Planning to wake up at 4 am, which will give my body about 10 hours to digest all the peanut butter I ate 😅 I hope I won’t feel this full tomorrow morning.
Did not sleep well 😔 Had night sweats and woke up to the restroom 3-4 times. My usual resting heart rate went up from 40-41 to 55 bpm. Really bAD headache upon waking up.
Breakfast: Sweet potato (~300g) Oatmeal 50g 4 tbsp of peanut butter 1 tbsp of honey Banana Coffee
RACE VENUE: T1
T1 transition opened up from 5-6:15 am. I arrived at 5:30am and faced a huge line from cars. We were not moving at all. I heard one of volunteers saying that they’re already full and there are no parking spots left. Well, great! People were leaving their cars everywhere, on the side of the road, on the hills, anywhere they could find a spot. I was not an exception and left my car on the side on the road. I had 20 minutes left until transition is closed.
Clean transition. This means that you can not leave anything on the ground. All your bike gear has to be off the ground.
Walking down the isles of bikes with my wetsuit hanging over my shoulder I’ve been getting weird looks from other athletes. I a few minutes I realized why. My bike rack neighbor, when saw the suit on the ground, said: “Nice wetsuit, man! Is it legal to swim in suit?”
This is when I realized that NO ONE had a wetsuit , besides me 😆. Went back to the car to drop it off.
I was very disorganized. I couldn’t focus, I could think straight. I felt I was in some sort of mental fog 🌫 On top op it, since waking up this morning I had a REALLY BAD HEADACHE.
slow but enjoyable
Idiot brought a wetsuit.
My wave, 25-29 was starting 25 minutes after the official start. First, they let older folks get wet and slowly moved downtown to the younger athletes. Each wave was separated by one minute time.
10 minutes before the start had a half of Cliff Energy Gel.
Despite headache, felt ok through the swim. It was not as crazy as Marbella start and I found out that I was competing with only 42 athletes, my age group.
It was hard to sight. Because of waves and small size buyees. Another thing was the sun. Being a left side breather I was constantly blinded by the sun, zigzagging throughout the course.
There were a lot of space between athletes. Because of wise separation between age groupers, there were enough space for everyone to swim at the comfortable pace without getting kicked in the head or pulled by the feet.
The swim course was absolutely beautiful. The water was so crystal clear, that you could even the tiniest fish swinging around the corals on the bottom. Turtles foot steps could be seen on the white sand. I almost wanted to slow down, just to watch the wildlife.
The last turn, straight to the finish line, sun was hitting right in the face. Couldn’t see anything, so I was jut following other folks.
Exiting the water, you’ve got to run up the hill to T1. It was about 2 minutes run that would bring your HR up.
Approaching the bike, I had a volunteer by my side offering to hold transition bag and help to lift the bike. The young kid was really nice.
Headache is getting worse.
challenging but fast
At the *mandatory pre-race meeting, organizers made a big emphasis on drafting rules and penalties. At least 6 meters between front wheels. Two penalty tents on the course. Yellow card – 30 seconds, blue card – 60 seconds if I recall it correctly.
T1 was quick. No need to take the wetsuit off, just put your shoes, helmet, sunglasses on and fill your pockets with nutrition, previously prepared.
First 20 km flew by fast. It was a bit windy here and there, but nothing crazy. Approaching the hill is when the wind started to pick up. The higher we went, the stronger the wind blew. About 10 km to the top of this monster hill the wind was BRUTAL. Rocks and sand flew into my face. Along the route I’ve seen quite a few flats and respectively frustrated athletes. Unfortunately you can not prevent it, but you can prepare. “Every hill has a downhill”, I kept repeating in my mind and oddly enough this hill was not an exception. Halfway through the course, on top of the hill you turn around, grab your G2 and fly downhill. I felt I could use a higher gear ⚙️ but my cassette did not carry any. With gravity and wind working for you, not against, second part of the ride was definitely more fun and enjoyable.
Nutrition: Aid stations were offering Gatorade Endurance at each tent, so I planned to rely solely on it. Brought only one bottle of electrolyte solution, leaving the second bottle cage empty for G2. Also only aid station#3 had GI gels.
Planned to consume & Actually consumed:
Pretty close to what was planned. Sugar in Gatorade accounted for the rest. Also G2 endurance tastes good. I loved it.
Headache continued chasing me through the entire bike leg and followed into the run. I could feel the veins pumping on the sides of my head.
Quick Tip: in hot climates like this, solid foods most likely will melt. If you don’t want to drink your protein bar, pack gels or liquid sources instead.
hot and painful
REALLY-REALLY HOT🥵 is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the run part. Right the second I dismounted off the bike, sharp pain 9/10 hit me behind the left knee. I could not even walk…
“The race is over!”, flew through my mind. Somehow I limped up to my running bag and put on my gear. Again, volunteers were really helpful and helped me with my bike. Thank you!
First 5 km were painful to even step on the leg. However I felt a little bit better 30-40 minutes into the run and slightly picked up the pace.
We were running along the golf course, often on the grass. Wild goats were starring at people from the side of the road. They were more confused than us, having no idea what was going on.
Two loops with 7 aid stations on each. Gatorade, water, coke and ice. In addition there were ice sponges, GU gels, oranges and bananas. Very well organized and setup.
Planned & Consumed through the run:
Twice as much as planned.
15 km into the run, really fast and sharp pain hit my knee again 8/10. Ever since it never went away and rapidly increased to the point where I could not resist it anymore… I suffered each step I took. However I did not walk. I was slow, really slow, BUT I did not walk! and it took a lot.
Dropped my race belt, which I later lost. I also found it much more painful to run downhills rather than uphills.
Suffering was real, especially for the last 5 km.
“It’s all good mental training Sasha!!!”, I keep repeating in my head. My mind crossed the finish line, not the body.
Total consumed through the race:
According to carb consumption formula (0.33 x body weight (150 lbs)) x 5 hr 40 min = 277 grams of carbs were required to cover energy expenditures.
Looks like I’ve done a pretty good job with my fueling and it’s almost gram to gram precisely close to what formula suggests.
I tend to binge eat the night before race. I don’t repeat such behavior during regular days. Could be due to stress and anxiety, could be out of fear of coming into the race under fueled and bonking, could be because of deeper psychological issues I am not aware of.
Overeating before bed will not fuel up your glycogen stores, but will compromise your night sleep. You will wake up exhausted and feeling like crap.
Do your homework and carefully research on race rules, requirements and regulations. Failing to do good research made me bring the wetsuit into the event where it was not permitted.
Rice and sweet potatoes are better alternatives to oatmeal for pre-race meal. Consuming low-fibrous foods reduce the chance of GI distress during the race.
Gatorade Endurance G2 is a great hydration tool. If possible, use it in the next race or hard training.
Some gels can cause your liver to spasm. Don’t experiment with unfamiliar fuel on the course. If got a spasm, deep balled breathing: in through the nose, out through the mouth.
Absolutely gorgeous race course!
This is definitely the race to remember and experience worth all the money I payed.
I did not perform as I wanted to. I suffered a lot.
I trained my mind. I experienced 50 shades of pain and will be more appreciative of pain free body.
I enjoyed the race!
I’ve been there, I’ve seen the fish and felt the warm water on my skin. I smelled the melting road and enjoyed the cool breeze of salty air on my sweaty face.
I put my all, physical and mental. It’s all that matters.
Special thanks to Volunteers along the course! You guys were EXTREMELY NICE AND HELPFUL! You were one of the highlights of my experience.
REPEAT AFTER ME:
You are doing triathlons because YOU CHOSE TO, not because you have to. Don’t forget that!
You do it FOR YOURSELF, no one gives a f*ck. Don’t forget that!
NO ONE FORCES you to train every damn day. No one, besides your ego or whatever motivation you have.
You can quit anytime you want. No one gives a fuck!
It’s your life, it’s your decisions. Don’t forget that!
Fueling: 700 Calories (116C/18F/31P) Cliff Energy Shot Cliff Bar “ONE” Protein bar (zero sugar) – don’t like it. Medium Banana
Workout was hard. Barely held 200W. 1 hr into the ride had to lower power down to 180W as I found it really hard to continue holding same output. Really challenging workout. Glad to be done… sore and exhausted.
On May 19th I am doing the SPARTAN race near Montreal, Quebec. A day before, I’ve got scheduled a long bike ride which I planned to do in Mont Tremblant. Why there? This is where one of the most popular IRONMAN races take place in June. I am not doing that particular race, but since I’m in Quebec, it’s a great opportunity to ride along the bike course. Mont Tremblant bike course (100 km).
Arrived to the Mont Tremblant at 8 am. Had no specific agenda for the ride. The only plan I had is that the ride had to be no longer than 3.5 hours. Studied the map, packed the pockets with protein bars and headed out on the course by myself.
Leaving the parking lot I noticed two guys with fancy TREK bikes, getting ready to head out. I started the conversation by asking if they’re going to ride to IRONMAN course and what should I be aware of, going into such a long ride.
I learned that they came to Mont Tremblant for a training camp. And they, along with the group of other athletes are going to ride the full course. They also said that the group will be heading out in an hour and invited me to join them for the ride. I was hesitant to agree for two reasons:
I haven’t payed for the training camp;
One hour wait seemed like forever.
However since I haven’t done the course before and wasn’t familiar with it I decided it will be a good idea to follow the group so I don’t get lost and it’s always more fun to ride together. I agreed to wait and I am glad I did.
One hour later I met the rest of the team on the main square. There were about 20-30 athletes all excited and ready to roll. Everyone seemed to be talking French – the foreign language to me. I introduced myself to the coaches and asked for permission to join on which I got a positive response. Great!
Athletes were really nice and welcomed me into the group. I met a lot of cool guys and made new connections. Thank you for being so nice and accepting a random guy off the street to your group.
At the beginning I got assigned to the slower group, however after the first 10 km I was suggested that I go ahead with 3 other faster riders. Christopher and me went ahead and were cycling side by side for the most of the time. Two other guys couldn’t keep up so we just dropped them. Sorry folks =)
At the beginning I was worried it will take me much longer than 3:15 hr, but now I am really surprised to see how perfectly the time aligned.
How me being here at that exact time, that exact parking lot allowed me to meet all this people and cycle with the group for free. WOW!
It took me 3hr 16 minutes to do the full IRONMAN course. Have no idea of how good or bad, slow or fast this is. Moreover I don’t give a crap.
The question that matter is: Did you ENJOY THE RIDE? Yes I did!
Could I’ve done it faster? You bet I could, but this was not the day and time to give my all. Hawaii 70.3 will give me the chance to push the pedal to the metal.
We had a support vehicle and a mid way fueling station with bananas, oranges, Gatorade and this “Fruit” bar:
They are 25g pure sugar in a form of jelly worth of 100 calories. I loved it. And what a boost I felt after just taking one. Felt the warmth in my stomach and the power in my already pretty fatigued legs. Rocket Fuel! Unbelievable!
Note: Don’t be afraid of sugar while racing or training.
Fuel: 145g Carbs 30g Protein 21g Fat Total: 822 Calories
I don’t think I am consuming enough calories.
The nature at Mont Tremblant is so beautiful! Woods, lakes, mountains… Being an outdoorsy guy, I can’t stop enjoying the scenery along the course.
There are IRONMAN signs along the course, which makes it easy to follow and not get lost. They look like this:
It was a great ride! A challenging one.
Training 95% solo I made a new discovery and learned the lesson: it’s much safer and enjoyable to ride in a group of like-minded people.
IRONMAN Marbella 70.3 is over and Kona race is in 2 weeks. I took about 10 days of recovery and this is the first somewhat serious bike workout.
Since Hawaii race will be done in much warmer climate than I’m used to, I need to train for that. To do so, I implement the “heat training“. I am not using fan + wearing warm cycling pants, windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt underneath and a heat.
10′ easy spin
Complete 75′ ride holding 150-175 At the top of the 20th min put in 5×5′ bouts at 205-210W on 3′ soft pedal
5′ easy spin
FUEL No fueling. Workout performed in PM. Properly hydrated and eaten.
I totally failed to complete this workout as prescribed. Again… I am beyond being disappointed with my bike performance over the past 2.5 months. I’ve been steadily declining up to this point, where I can barely hold 140 Watts… I try so hard, I put so much effort, but I keep on failing and failing. I am not enjoying the workouts. With so manny failures I am afraid of bike. I don’t even want to touch it. My confidence on the bike is below the ground. I absolutely HATED this workout.
What is wrong? I can’t find the answer. What am I doing wrong? What is missing? I need help, I can’t figure it out on my own.
Didn’t learn anything… Besides that next time use the “standart mode” instead of “erg” on the trainer.