Pre-Race Schedule

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We all want to improve on our past performance, continue to grow as athletes and achieve greater things.  I recognized quite a long time ago that if I want to improve my performance as an Ironman I must identify three things; 1) my weaknesses and how I am going to improve them, 2) what pre races I will be doing in order to assess my progress, and 3) how to structure my training so as to gain the most out of every effort.  In my last blog post, I defined my weaknesses and the plans to overcome them.  Today I wanted to outline my pre-race structure.

Pre-Race Schedule – This is tricky because triathlon and winter do not mix well!  But the current race prep schedule is as follows:

  1. I will schedule a simulation Olympic distance race in February. The Olympic distance is 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.  I will be in Florida for a week as I manage a crew of 4 people supporting one out of 50 athletes through Ultraman Florida.  Afterwards, I will take one morning to myself and do a simulation Olympic triathlon.  You have to maximize every moment you have!
  2. Track Cycling Provincial Championships in February – This will give me an opportunity to test my bike fitness, speed, confidence and focus. I will be racing in several individual and group events.
  3. I plan on racing Around the Bay 30km in March to test out my nutrition and pacing on the run. This run will likely be done after a hard bike ride the day before.

That is pretty much it!  The plan might change slightly in order to accommodate any unforeseen incidents or to capture some opportunities should they arise.  In an ideal situation, I would complete a half ironman race 6-8 weeks before my Ironman.  But traveling down south yet again this spring is possible.  While it is not ideal to schedule a spring Ironman living so far north, it is completely possible.  You must learn to love the treadmill and indoor bike training.  Lucky for me, I love riding on the velodrome.  I will continue to do so, but it will not be my own form of bike training in preparation for Ironman.

Some of you may be wondering; considering the length of the winters we have will I even be able to get outsides and do a long ride before April 22nd.  Likely, I will not.  Which means I will be doing 4-5hour bike rides on my trainer, and sandwich it between rides on the track in order to give me some variety.  I came to terms with this when I first registered for Ironman Texas.  I knew what I was getting myself into and accepted it.  That is very important when deciding which Ironman to do.  I choose Texas because it has the exact race profile that I desire and that I am the strongest at.  As a result, I have to conform to the demands of the training associated with a spring Ironman.  I want this, so I am going to push through hell for it.

 

Stephanie Nogueira,

Registered Physiotherapist

Dynamic Health and Performance

 

Amp up your brain health!

Have you ever had a huge exam you weren’t prepared for, and you thought that maybe eating a square of dark chocolate, or having a piece of salmon would help your brain to recall and retain information? Well, you’re not TOO far off with that thought. The way we fuel our body is the way we fuel our brains. Brain food is a real thing! Not only will the way you eat improve memory, clear thinking, brain energy, brain mood but it also proven to improve mental health and decrease psychiatric disorders. Food production and manufacturing techniques, coupled with changing lifestyles and increasing access to processed foods, mean that our intake of fresh, nutritious, local produce is much lower, at the same time as our intake of fat, sugar, alcohol and additives being much higher. It is no wonder that 1/5 Canadians will suffer from a mental illness, and children’s mental disorders such as ADD/ADHD, OCD, anxiety etc. are more prominent.

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It’s not only what you eat that will have an effect on your brain health but the health of your gut! For example, serotonin a major brain neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating sleep and appetite, mediate your mood and inhibit pain is produced in your gastrointestinal tract. Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.

Foods to consider incorporating into your daily diet to improve your gut health and amp up your brain health:

  1. Fatty Fish
  2. Whole Grains
  3. Lean Protein, Avoid red meat
  4. Leafy Greens
  5. Yogurt with active probiotics

 

Olivia Harty
Nutritionist
oharty@dynamichealthandperformance.ca