Now that I have been through one Ironman build Chuckie V style I feel like I'm starting to get things down. It's not so much that it gets easier. Let me stress, it does not get easier. But I have become more familiar. I have started to develop expectations that are new. There are new rules that govern my training and the more I get used to them, the more I understand them.
Rule 1: You will never have just one workout a day. The typical week has about three days that include swimming, biking and running. Yes, three days a week I do some sort of mixed up triathlon with very long T1 and T2s. The rest of the days include two sports, but I'm no longer shocked to see run, then go bike, then go run again.
Rule 2: fear shorter days. When you see 2 hours on your schedule it probably means that it's going to be two hours of hurt. Learn to love the long days, because you probably won't have to go "all out" for 5 100's straight, or 100 25s straight.
Rule 3: fear the long days. You will be told that you can "eat all you want while training" but despite leaving on the ride with your pockets as full as possible, you still have to stop at the store to pick up more food. Going through 8 bottles is typical. Chuckie V will only go through 2, as he is a camel. So at least you can always steal his bottles if you need to.
Rule 4: Do not EVER go harder than you are told to. This is the key with Chuckie V training. If you go harder than you are told to, you run the risk of not recovering in time for your next workout (which will be less than 10 hours away, even if you are going to get a nights sleep in between). If you go harder than you are told to, then you will not be able to go as hard as you are supposed to for the next workout (or the next day). The magic comes in getting ALL the work in, not in getting some of the work in at a harder level than prescribed.
Rule 5: Do every [legal] recovery process that has been proven or not proven. If someone told me I would recover faster by wearing two ponytails in my hair and sleeping on my stomach, I would do it. The name of the game with Chuckie V training is to hasten recovery so that you can get the most out of your next training session. That means: great (not just good) food, compression tights/socks, foam rolling, sticking, self massaging, Troy massaging, icing, legs upping, hydrating, staying lean, sleeping, napping, Tri-massaging, calm thinking, meditating, smiling, walking.
Rule 6: planning is the key to success. For me, the main importance is planning for Annie to be in a happy safe place while I'm training, so that I have "mommy peace of mind". But also, planning to have great food options at all times so that food emergencies don't happen is really important. Staying proactive on laundry, house tidying, and keeping everyone in the know about my schedule is really important to my success with this plan. Pre planning limits stress, and that's the name of the game.
Rule 7: Keeping a steady mind. Monitoring your emotional state can provide great insight. If I'm starting to get irrational it usually means that I need to get back on top of the recovery methods. Sometimes I am actually just too tired to lay on the floor and foam roll, and I instead lay in bed and ask Troy irrational questions (which he just loves to answer). Keeping a steady mind while your body is going through the pummel/recover/pummel/recover cycle is a challenge. But it pays off and lowers stress if you can master it. If you can't, then you have something to work on (and I have something to work on).
These really are just a few of the things I am learning. I actually filmed an entire day of my training and made a little video for you all, but Vimeo is being ornery about uploading it. I will link it here when it gets finished. (Vimeo uploaded it and I attached it to the bottom of this post, it's 11 minutes, pop some popcorn)
It's really starting to sink in, This training I have committed to. It's a process, but one that I really enjoy. There's something about going for something that brings out the best in people. I love watching people chase goals, myself included.
So, most of one week down (and it's been a BIG week). 11 weeks to go! We have all our flights, cars, snorkel trips, and lodging for Kona. So I'm looking forward to a huge reward for these next 11 weeks of hard work. Now I just need to find a bikini!