Whether you’re targeting Augusta 70.3, IRONMAN Chattanooga, or the Lake Lanier Sprint, we are just about 12 weeks out at this point. I generally look at 12 weeks at as the time to start getting your house in order as we enter the race specific period. Sure, there are some training implications of being 12 weeks out. For example, at this point your training may become more race like and you may see a lot more race pace efforts start to show up on your schedule as well as a simulation or two. Beyond training, all of us have additional obligations to work, family, and beyond. Here are some practical implications to consider at the 12 week mark:
1. Schedule Big Weekends– Unless your schedule is free and clear, now’s the time to sit down and discuss with the invested parties, which weekends work for big training and which simply won’t. You can structure your biggest training blocks around immovable obligations whether it’s the family vacations, travel weddings, or similar. Don’t be discouraged if you have a lot of travel or family obligations, everyone has something. Just plan ahead of time and those can be worked into the schedule as cutback weeks, run heavy weekends, or whatever makes sense. If you really don’t know know how you’ll get in those long rides, consider the option of taking a few strategic half days at work where you can slot that ride in during the week.
2. Equipment Changes – Now’s the time to order that replacement pair of kicks if yours have seen a few too many miles. Don’t want until a few weeks before as you’ll want time to break them in! Same thing with bike fit. Small changes take awhile to absorb. Go ahead and schedule that refit now along with a tuneup or new tires if you need them. And don’t forgot about equipment changes on the swim! Will your race be wetsuit legal or will you use a speed suit? Make sure you try out that race day combo in training sooner rather than later.
3. Health Appointments– If you see a health care provider on the regular to keep your body intact, make sure you schedule regular appointments up to the race whether it be with a physical therapist, massage therapist, Chiropractor or some combination of the above.
4. Practice Nutrition– If you haven’t been doing it already, you’ll want to start practicing what you’ll do on race day during your long rides. This includes knowing you can tolerate the drink served on course.
5. Wear the Kit- The advice above also applies to attire. There’s nothing worse than starting a race and realizing your new shorts of the same model will chafe you horribly and there’s nothing you can do about it. Not that I’ve tried that.