Updated: Mar 3, 2022
I have a confession to make to everyone I know -- I’ve had recurring AIDS and sometimes have had relapses of the BLAHS in the past few years, but I’ve learned how to become immune to this “illness”.. I know that others of you have or will have suffered at least from one of these, but there is a remedy. They are treatable and preventable; you just have to be proactive to prevent their onset or recurrence during the rest of this Season of training and racing. Before you panic, relax and read on….
For these maladies, AIDS stands for After Ironman Depression Syndrome – it’s almost a “given” after you’ve done one (to date, I’ve started 18 IMs and finished 14) If not AIDS, you’ve probably had a similarly debilitating condition after any distance competition OR as you get into your training and it’s called BLAHS: the feelings and reflections of being Beaten, Lazy, Agitated, Helpless, and/or Stumped = BLAHS concerning your athletic efforts and achievements thus far in the Season. AIDS and BLAHS can be treated the same way: by evaluating the Season so far and reflecting back on what did (and didn’t) happen in during the last few months.. It enables us to adjust and develop a better focus on a “game plan” for the rest of the Season. Answer the following questions truthfully and you’ll probably discover ways to improve during the rest of 2018.:
~~ So, did the racing or training thus far turn out the way you’d planned? And that’s a key word: PLAN. Did you have one, and did you keep a training log, review it routinely and adjust it for injuries, goal changes, and unanticipated factors? A training and race plan shouldn’t be written in stone; make adjustment changes when needed. Swallow this “vitamin”:
HAVE A SYSTEMATIC, METHODICAL PLAN FOR MIXING THE INTENSITY, FREQUENCY, AND DURATION OF WORKOUTS. WRITE OUT YOUR ATHLETIC GOALS FOR THE SEASON. PUT THEM SOMEWHERE YOU’LL SEE IT EVERYDAY. TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW; COMMIT TO ACHIEVE
~~ Has training been well thought-out? TRAIN SMART. Were your aspirations too high or did you underestimate your abilities? Did you prep, build,, peak and taper properly? Did your own stubbornness cause or extend injuries? Take this “mineral”:
USE A HEART RATE MONITOR FOR RUNNING, BUT DON’T BE IT’S SLAV; SOMETIMES TRUST YOUR PERCIEVED EFFORT. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS AND STRENGTHS; TRAIN TO IMPROVE BOTH. TRAIN WITH SOMEONE WITH SIMILAR GOALS. SEEK HELP AND ASK QUESTIONS. GET A POWER METER FOR THE BIKE AND USE IT – IT’S BETTER THAN RPE OR HR FEEDBACK.
~~ Have you been realistic in estimating your finishing times so far this Season? AS applicable, ere you satisfied with your race performance or generic training progress lately? Hey, lighten up !! ENJOY YOURSELF. We are all competitive, if not in our age group, within ourselves. The world won’t end when you don’t live up to your own expectations (trust me on this one). Don’t beat yourself up with negative feedback - - focus on what’s gone well recently AND learn from bad outcomes (called learning opportunities or “teachable moments”) - - use expeeriences in the next training session, every race, throughout the Season.. Hopefully in every instance, you’ll have good memories and made new friends. Chew this “supplement”:
LIGHTEN UP. HAVE FUN. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCES OF NEW PLACES, NEW CHALLENGES. RELAX, SAVOR THE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, THE ACHIEVEMENTS, AND THE LEARNING.
Whatever your aspirations for training or racing the rest of the year, approach it with a better focus on beating or avoiding AIDS and the BLAHS - - start taking your medicine now! REALISTICALLY PLAN, REVIEW PROGRESS, MAKE ADJUSTMENTS, AND ENJOY YOURSELF; LIFE IS SHORT; EAT DESSERT FIRST!. Train hard, race smart and stay safe.J