Day zero is a term used for the preplanning needed to put a project into motion. With IronMan, like every other big project, there are lots of things that need to be done in order to even be able to optimally prepare for the race. I spent months in my day zero activities. I thought I would share what I did to be ready to start on my journey.
1.Do Some Research
Start with IronMan.com
What race or races interest you?
Look at the resources section
Search for other triathlon events in your area. Check out Meetup Groups for Triathletes and check Facebook Groups as well.
2. Find A Coach
I can’t stress enough how important this will be as you go through the journey. Even if you have been successful in other types of races, IronMan is a different kind of race. Having a coach can make or break your performance and give you the plan that will optimize your time management and minimize the wear and tear on your body. This is how I found my coach Jason Lentzke of Toro Performance. I spoke with him months before I was ready to start so that I knew it would be a good fit. Being 50, I wanted to make sure he was comfortable with the unique needs I might have not being a young spry athlete.
3. Take Swim Lessons
Personally I’m a big Total Immersion fan. I learned about it from one of my favorite podcasters Tim Ferris who interviewed the founder, the late Terry Laughlin back in October 2017 here: https://tim.blog/2017/10/29/terry-laughlin/
I googled “Total Immersion Phoenix AZ” and found my swim coach Anne Wilson of Camelback Coaching. She has been wonderful in helping me learn to swim properly and I’ve really grown to love my time in the pool.
Speaking of pools – you have to figure out where you will swim. No, it can’t be in your pool in your backyard, it just won’t give you the distance to perfect your technique. When I am not with Anne at McDowell Mountain Aquatic Center during lessons, I go to my gym, the only gym I found that has pools at their locations… EOS Fitness.
4. Get Your Run Analyzed
For this I used Anne’s husband, Bill Wilson, also of Camelback Coaching. He is also an IronMan coach. He was able to video my run and do an analysis of how to improve my posture, strike, pace etc. By the end of my session, it was amazing to see the side by side comparison of the before and after! I’ve been improving ever since! This is very important especially since I want to be very careful not to get hurt, or to overtax my joints since I’m 50 years old and don’t want to be in pain all of the time.
Also on my list is to take a ChiRunning class. This form of running is renowned for making running easy and effortless, not to mention less hard on the body!
5. Make A List Of Equipment You Will Need
There isn’t a ton of equipment that you absolutely must have to start with, but there are some things that are non negotiable as well as some really nice to haves.
Here is what I started with. I will do a much more in depth article on the equipment and tools I use separately.
- Running Shoes – After trying on many pairs of shoes and running around the store, I ended up with Hoka Clifton 6 in a wide width. Please note I linked to the Hoka website so you can see the shoe, but I highly encourage you to go to your local running store. Running stores have great resources and communities and I really love supporting my local store, rather than purchasing from an online retailer.
- Swim Suit and rash guard – if you swim in an outdoor pool, it is nice to have the rash guard to help stay warm in the colder months.
- Bike – I have to be honest, I spent a lot of time on my husband’s bike while I was searching for the tri bike I wanted. I found a previously loved Trek Speed Concept through my coach. I’m super excited to have an exceptional bike to use for my training and races! Many coaches like mine will have information on bikes for sale – either clients who are upgrading or folks who are no longer doing IronMan races and are selling off their gear. Another great place to look is Ebay.
6. Make A Plan
I can’t stress this enough. Figure out the times of your workouts, preparing everything so you are ready to walk out the door with your gear – e.g. earphones, water bottles etc. Have a backup plan for when life gets in the way too – I learned that pretty quickly that if you don’t have a plan B, your workouts can quickly go out the window. See my blog post on missing workouts here.