When I was planning my race season for 2015, like 2014, I wanted to target a half distance (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run) at the end of it and as a progression from last year I wanted to aim to race this as a Pro. After much research and course inspection, Mallorca seemed not only at the best time (17th October) but also a tough, stunning course that I thought should suit me. So I entered and I was accepted as a Pro and to my surprise asked to be a race ambassador for 2015 – WOW bring on October.
As an ambassador I will share my journey to the race on 17th October 2015. This will include all areas of race preparation in the form of training, nutrition, mental battles etc. So please follow, ask questions and join in the fun with #chmallorca on Facebook, Instagram (@eloisedulu), my blog (eloisedulu.wordpress.com) and to enter visit: www.challenge-mallorca.com
So firstly, I thought I would write about the barriers I need to overcome to get to the start line in fighting form to achieve my main race aims.
5 months and 2 weeks to go…
The main priority and most important factor of my training at the moment is to recover from a bike crash I had just over 3 weeks ago that left me with a broken collarbone. In terms of recovery, I am on track to be back to full training in another 3 weeks that will give me 4 weeks for my coach and I to ensure I am in racing form for my first half distance of the season – Luxembourg 70.3. However, as you will know if you have ever broken a bone, it truly is a waiting game as its Biology that bones need time to knit properly. It is important my collarbone heals correctly before returning to full training and racing or I will be out for longer which will start to affect my race on 17th October 2015 if recovery drags out too long.
So how will this affect my race?
I am confident this minor blip at the start of my professional triathlon career will not affect my race in Mallorca or season. As firstly, in essence I have been given a natural mid/pre-season break to fully recover and let the winter miles really sink into the legs. I am also just over two weeks away from finishing my finals at University.
Only being able to train ¾ of the time I usually do should means I can finish my work off successfully to ensure once I am recovered I can 100% concentrate on full-time training, leaving me mentally refreshed. Lastly, with the aim of still racing in Luxembourg in just under 7 weeks to qualify for the 70.3 Worlds to ensure good experience and tough competition before Challenge Mallorca I am having to prepare more than I would have mentally. I know that Luxembourg will be a case of mind over matter due to the time I have missed swimming and running. However, I am know this will make me stronger as an athlete for the season ahead and come Mallorca I will be ready to put everything on the line and be thankful I can.
Other factors that will be paramount to a successful race in Mallorca will be recovery, nutrition and injury prevention. I am first to admit I forget that training your hardest in the pool, on the bike, on the road and in the gym are not the only components of a successful athlete. However hard it is to believe that sometimes lying on the sofa and doing nothing really is as important as thrashing it on the bike, even when you start getting nervous twitches! Limiting time off your feet means that come training you have more in your legs to make sure that the session is successfully executed, which unlike fatigue will get you closer to your race aims.
After personally experiencing how ill you can get through the wrong diet I am a strong believer that nutrition can get you healthy, stronger and make you recover faster – all of which are important to athletes competing at any level. Whether it is ensuring you have your recovery foods to hand after a hard session or carrying sufficient fuel on long training rides it really does all count. However, this does not mean never eat dairy again, be vegan or maybe paleo, no chocolate ever or forget drink, as it must work for you and balance is as important for a healthy mind. And anyways I love the daily piece of dark chocolate, endless jars of nut butters and eating out with friends!
The most defining factor for any athlete – injury prevention. The power to prevent and recover from injury will define the most successful athletes whatever the sport. Through mindful training; whether you use a coach or plan yourself, sufficient recovery, solid nutritional plan to meet your needs and being realistic this can be helped. More than once I have talked myself into either coming back from injury too fast or denying I had one to the point it gets so bad I have to take months not weeks off training. So when that small niggle comes let your rational mind speak for once not the “I have to train” one – its not easy but if it means you can get to the start line it will be worth it. Especially, as a few days/weeks in the great scheme of things really is nothing in terms of your athletic career.
Lastly, just enjoy every minute of it and SMILE. Sport, especially Triathlon, is powerful at mobilising groups of people to help realise their goals, so sign up and start discovering your limits, testing your body and learning new things about yourself and others – see you there #chmallorca2015.
So keep going and follow your goals!
Lots of Love,