I have been pressured into writing another blog post by my newly acquired buddy Laura Jane. Unsurprisingly she will be featuring in today’s written verse rather frequently. To be fair to LJ though she raised some good points yesterday… and indeed this morning.
I’ve said before that I like writing about conversations that I have with friends and family etc etc. So to give this some background I know Laura J through another friend of mine, Rhona. A long story short = Rhona sent my Ironman blog to Laura J, Laura J read it, got inspired and decided to sign up to do her first Ironman 70.3 – or something along those lines. Firstly, this is freakin AWESOME that anyone read my post, ha, secondly I have massive amounts of time for anyone that takes the plunge and signs up to something that seems pretty mental. Whether it’s a 10k, marathon, C2C or Ironman.
So we currently have Laura Jane…. now give a warm welcome to Cat (yeah confusing right?). So Cat is training with my Ironman coach from last year. He put her in touch with me, she’s awesome too. Now the best part is Cat, Laura J and Chris (boyfriend) are all doing the same course! Weymouth in September. Ideal. So we have this little group of us now, to be fair Chris is sliiiiiiiightly more experienced than us with his wall of medals and his Kona goal (birthplace of Ironman and the scene for the World Championship each year aka the Mecca for Ironman athletes).
So the title for today is pretty self explanatory but to give it some grounds here are some questions that either myself (when I started training in triathlon), Cat or Laura J have asked:
“Will it be catastrophic if I don’t wear a swimming cap?”
“Do I have to wear proper cycling shoes at Ironman?”
“Can I train in a bikini?”
“Why do I need two pairs of goggles- do you swim with the other on your head?”
“Do I wear anything under the wetsuit?”
Questions are so important but they can also be the downfall for so many people. How many times have you watched something on YouTube or Insta or seen someone doing something in the gym or read something on Facebook and not known what it was or not known how to do something? If you are like me it will be quite a few times. But here is where people differ. Laura J summed it up well yesterday actually “Some people are arrogant and find other people’s lack of knowledge amusing”. This is SO true I can’t think of a better way to put it.
There is NOTHING worse than being made to feel stupid in the gym or when you want to try something new in life but you don’t know what you’re doing or even where to start. Having people around you, another Laura J quote here, “to encourage others and train together makes it all seem so much less scary”. CORRRRRRRECT. Now in the interests of being open minded I understand not everyone will be like this. Some people get online, read about it and crack on. Kudos. That’s awesome in itself but if you’re not likely to learn the anatomy of a road bike on your own some times you need a little help.
There is NOTHING to be ashamed of or embarassed about when it comes to asking questions or not knowing everything. Shit if I counted the number of times I thought I knew everything about training and diet then I’d be moderately well off and look like a total dick. No one knows EVERYTHING. It’s pretty much impossible because things change all the time. I guess the important thing is to recognise your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to knowledge or experience and then USE other peoples strengths to better yourself. AKA not being afraid to ASK a question, regardless of how stupid it may seem. Any person worth knowing will want to help rather than sneer or mock (I have a certain person in mind when writing this – NO I WASN’T BEING OVERLY SENSITIVE YOU ASSHOLE)….
Humph – that almost turned into a little rant there but there is no need for it to be ranty. I just think the health and fitness industry should be less judgywudgy and more “sure whaddya wanna know?”. And that’s why I train with Tom. Ha.
Moving on! Another conversation I have had a couple of times recently involves sleep and the importance of it. I would have to google the science behind it and I’m not gonna do that but basically sleep let’s your body heal, repair itself, correct hormone levels and generally wipe the slate clean after a day. So… lack of sleep = short cuts on all the above. How do we get better sleep? I actually DO know quite a bit about this. Here’s my list of stuff that ALWAYS helps me…
- Get your bedroom set up properly. It should be cool, dark, tidy and quiet. Get blackout blinds from Ikea, crack a window, put your crap away properly and get rid of the tv. If you live in a noisy area get earplugs. They will change your life.
- Stop charging your phone next to your bed. I am TERRIBLE for this. Move the charge across the room or better still into another room altogether. If you need your phone for your alarm then this will benefit you as you have to get UP to turn the alarm off if it is on the other side of the bedroom. STOP SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AT BEDTIME. This will make the biggest difference of all.
- Get some Magnesium spray. Not essential but I love it. I use this one. Follow the instructions on ze bottle. http://amzn.to/1Ye77nd
- Don’t eat a massive meal before going to bed. This really affects me. It’s not about avoiding carbs or any of that bullshit. It’s just about letting your internal organs chill the eff out. A full tummy will be trying to digest whilst you get to sleep. Not ideal.
- Don’t drink 20L of water before you go to bed. Sounds obvious. Think about.
- If you have a bath at home get some Epsom Salts and some lavender oil. Do as per the instructions, don’t make the water too hot, out the bath into a cool clean bedroom = zzzzzzzzzzzzz (You can get Epsom salts in Boots. Get the big bag. Not the little pot)
- Don’t live with me. I snore. A lot. Sorry Chris
Ok – I think that’s enough for today. Didn’t mention food once! That has to be a first! I’ll write something tomorrow or next week about how training with Tom is going. Oh and swimming – ‘cos I’m kicking ass at that and have an aaaaawesome field trip tomorrow.