Friday, June 22, 2012

Pedantic & Purposeful Preparation for Switzerland

I use Social Media 2.0 in a variety of active ways. My preferred applications include Twitter, Facebook and Blogspot. I use these tools for learning, sharing and building online and face-to-face relationships. I gratefully appreciate the opportunity to sense and recognize different perspectives from the experiences of others. Seek and ye may find. Ask and you may learn. Apply and you will realize through your experiencing, reflection, genuflection and insights.

In recent weeks, I have interviewed my Ironman friends (Reeves Lim, Neil Franks, Walter Strach III) who completed Ironman Switzerland since 2007. I have learnt that the bike course used to be three loops, and it will be done twice this year. The run course is relatively flat around Lake Zurich.

Most of my questions revolved around the ride, including two climbs known as ‘The Beast’ and ‘Heartbreak Hill’. As such, I have focused on building my riding strength, so as to ensure more resilience during my marathon. To earn my sub-4-hour marathon, I would have to not only improve my run but also to ride strong and not be fatigued. I recall the challenging times and experiences climbing in Ironman Lanzarote in 2008 and 2010. My lack of training and experience riding hills, led me to my longest race rides and a compromised marathon time. I took 4:44 to complete my marathon last year on the Canary Islands.
Running my ass off, for the final sprint into the finisher's chute. A tactical race (and tempo-training run), I had to start near the line and complete first. In terms of nett timings, honorable participant 5240 ran slightly faster than I. However, I placed a position ahead of him. Congratulations, mate! That's the way races go.
The past two weeks, I have earned my personal bests in training and racing. All my races are strategically arranged to allow me to peak on-time, and develop my sense of competition. My A-race is Ironman Switzerland (15 July), and so I need to be in my A-Game, with my A-races supporting my preparation. All the racing and [mostly] solo training will, hopefully, converge to a surprising finish, with memorable milestones throughout the race period. My friend, Dex Tai will be doing three back-to-back Ironmans beginning next weekend. It is part of his Cause and charity of choice, while I will be using my race to promote my Causes. I am grateful for my current fitness, supportive community, and dedicated family for allowing to achieve my performance best.
Another training run, a month ago. I used this race to assess my relative fitness for the 21K. A marathon would have affected my recovery and recuperation. I was pleased for holding this pace and still earn a sub-1:40 finish. My ranking was still top 1-percent of the field!
Leadership Lessons: Do your homework. Research thoroughly, interview comprehensively, and study the course assiduously. Mental rehearsals can help you create a sense of familiarity and déjà vu. Training is the ‘done that’ while your attempt is the ‘been there’. Create simulations to achieve a ‘been there, done that’ sensation. Make your training sessions tough enough without scaring yourself. Enjoy the process/journey.
Photo-credit: Running Kaki

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