Final Preparations for Ironman Chattanooga

Time waits for no one and it seems like it was just the other day I was starting the first rounds of my race specific workouts, but now I am gearing up to race Ironman Chattanooga tomorrow, Sunday, Sept.27th.  Follow live (GPS enhanced) coverage here –

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Training has gone well: no missed workouts, no injury, fitness has steadily progressed with the workouts progressions and I have really enjoyed the workouts which includes adding a few new sessions to the mix in the last 5 weeks.  As an athlete dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in this sport I am always trying to learn and evolve my approach.  And a busy summer that included moving into a new place has forced me to really ensure that I was prioritizing quality over quantity.  Of course there were plenty of 5k swims, 4+ hour rides, and 30+km run days, but all in all it was quality over quantity with more of a polarized training approach used until the last 5 weeks before the race.  I am a student of this sport and still trying to find the optimal training and race preparation approach that works best for me.  I feel fit and well rested so we will see what happens out there tomorrow.

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The family that I am staying with have been incredibly accommodating (driving the bike course, by myself, in an Audi convertible was a nice way to see it – Thanks Rick!).

Homestay IMChoo 2015

Race preparation location. Very lucky to have such an amazing homestay. Thank you Rick and Katie.

So I would be remiss if I didn’t say THANK YOU to them in as many ways as I can.  I have been very comfortable at their house between all the necessary preparations.  The picture to the left shows the house where I am staying. (Lucky me!)

There is a lot of males and females on their respective Pro Start Lists and this always makes for a better race, in many ways.  The majority of the bike course takes place on beautiful rolling country side roads, but there is little to no shoulder for the most part and this could cause a bit of congestion on the 2nd loop of the bike course when the elite athletes catch up to the age groupers.  The race official have made it clear they are aware of the inherent issues on these roads and the rules will be enforced properly but the safety of all athletes and fair play for all will be taken into consideration in every circumstance.  Either way the race will happen and dealing with every situation as it comes up is part of what we have to do as athletes in an event of this magnitude.

Little Debbie PG food thing

I really don’t care how good this may taste. You would have to pay me to eat it.

The Chattanooga community has embraced this race and this has really made the event feel that much more exciting.  Little Debbie is the sponsor and that is great because I am sure they were able to put up a decent amount of financial support.  We got some of their products in our race package and dare I say what we got today in 2015 was a bit different than what they were serving in 1928 and through the ensuing Great Depression as their company was in it’s infancy.  The food product doesn’t even register in my brain as food.

[av_heading heading=’Quick Course Outline’ tag=’h5′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading]

With the swim course being in a down-river current everyone should come out a little more fresh than usual, and likely in a big group.

The bike could very likely play out as it did last year with a group of ~20 athletes finish the course within ~2min of each other (~4:35:00).  The rolling terrain lends itself to group of athletes being able to stay together to push each other along and keep the pace moving from start to finish.

The run course is no joke – Course Info Here – and I feel I have prepared my legs well for the beating they will take on the hilly portion of each lap each lap on the hilly sections (miles 8-13 and then again from 21-26).

Bike is cleaned, bolts, tightened, repair kit attached and ready to roll.

Bike is cleaned, bolts, tightened, repair kit attached and ready to roll.

[av_heading heading=’Final Thoughts’ tag=’h5′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading]

Motivation is at an all time high for this race.  I have not raced much over the past year and a half.  A broken elbow and some other life commitments have taken priority.  But the fire never stops burning deep down inside to train and race to the best of my ability.  Every single training ride I have done that has had any significant work load I has been coupled with this youtube motivational music mix – – next time you have a tough trainer workout slap this on repeat.  As 7:20am Sunday morning quickly approaches the fire continues to get bigger and bigger and it can be a real challenge to bottle up that energy and save it for when the gun goes off.  There will come a time in tomorrows race where I look forward to being able to push the barriers of my fitness and achieve a personal best.  What is a personal best?  I think it is more of an emotion than a result on paper.  Yes I want a good result on paper, but those race splits are a product of being able to perform to your maximum capacity.  A personal best for me tomorrow will see me execute my race as I have played it out in my mind many, many times of the past weeks as I continued to gain fitness and confidence from my training.  To finish I will state that my goal result is to be in the top 10 and anything outside that could leave me feeling unsatisfied with my race.

Lastly, I would like to thank the people that support me in my athletic endeavours.  I couldn’t continue to do this without the support of my family, my employer and sponsor Purica, product supporter Nova Probiotics, Synergy Health Centre’s team of Chiropractors and Physiotherapists for keeping the machine moving smoothly, Lifestyle Markets for helping me keep my nutrition optimal, and Front Runners for the very necessary running shoe support.

Best of luck to everyone participating and competing on Sunday at Ironman Chattanooga!




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