After a relatively inactive year in 2007, I am looking forward to getting into a few more races in the summer of 2008. I have already decided to try the half-Ironman again, and will be returning to Peterborough on Sunday July 6th. I had been thinking of signing up for the new Ironman 70.3 race in Muskoka in September, but the quick sell-out of that race helped me make up my mind.

Looking back on my first attempt at the half-Ironman in 2006, I am sure that I made two crucial mistakes in my preparation and race day:

  1. Not Enough Training
  2. Poor Race Day Hydration / Nutrition

Heading into the race in 2006, I was definitely under-trained. I had only done one 90km-plus bike ride (ever), had run a half-marathon that spring but nothing more than 15km for a couple months, and had only swam 2km once. I definitely hadn’t tried putting them together, or even doing long brick workouts.

This year, in an effort to make sure I am better prepared come race day, I am following a program from Triathlete Magazine’s Week by Week Training Guide. This book has training programs for all distances of triathlons, with a number of levels to choose from based on your experience and available time for training. I choose a mid-level half-Ironman training program, which has me training about 10-12 hours a week. I’m six weeks into it, and I’ve already noticed that it’s a lot more volume than I used to do. After a letting myself get relatively out of shape, I feel like I’m slowly getting there, though still have a long way to go to be able to handle the half-Ironman again.

As for nutrition, the biggest mistake I made was not replacing electrolytes during the race. This year, I’ll experiement a little more with my nutrition during the long training rides and runs, and make sure to take salt tablets or a sports drink with electrolyte replacement during the bike ride. I’m hoping that with better training and better nutrition I’ll see a better performance and maybe knock a few minutes off my previous time!


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