Growing up, my incentive to cook tasty recipes and crush some laundry was driven by getting home early from farm chores.

As a grown-up farmer, triathlete, and business owner, my incentive to plan meals, make lists and think ahead is driven by better recovery and satisfied bellies (let’s be honest – a fed hubby is a happy hubby).

Devoting a whole blog post on planning probably earns me “super boring adult” status, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Here are 3 areas of planning that triathletes focus on (or should focus more on) for ironman success:

Ironman Training Plan:

My training plan includes 6 training days per week:

  • 2 runs
  • 2 bike rides
  • 2 swimming sessions with strength training
  • 1 rest day

My long runs are up to 14 miles and long bikes are 3.5 hours. Flexibility is key to accommodate my school, dietetics and farming schedule, but the overall structure is stands firm. I even manage to squeeze in a little sunburn (my PSA for the day: use sunscreen and check the expiration date).

Given that biking accounts for a large portion of the race, most of my training hours are committed t0 cycling. As training picks up, I’ll be venturing into century (100 mile) rides around the Finger Lakes with “rolling hills” (that’s tri for “crazy big hill climbs”). I also plan to scale the actual Lake Placid bike course in May (the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting is conveniently in Lake Placid this year).

It’s important to train for your race. The Lake Placid course changes elevation… a lot. This means I need to be training hills for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All this leads back to planning! Research your race course; look at elevation, usual race day weather, lodging options, if it’s BYOCM (bring your own chocolate milk), etc.

One last planning step most of us forget – make sure your equipment matches your training plan! To maximize efficiency and position my body better for the run off the bike I had my bike fitted… this whole IMLP is starting to feel real!

Planning for Ironman Recovery:

This may be hard to believe, but this can be the most difficult part of training. It makes sense: quality training + quality recovery = healthy progress.

It’s also tempting to stuff your face with your favorite treats after a 15-mile run, or stay out late on Friday before a weekend full of biking, running, or, in my case, doing spring cleaning at the farm after a long bike ride. I’ve had to train myself to say no to social invites, plan early bedtimes, and give up some empty-calorie temptations (cough, cough…peanut butter cups).

Just like training plans, recovery plans need to fit into your lifestyle. When I plan my meals, snacks, and treats, I can look forward to my nutritious fuel food instead of stressing through cravings and what to make. When I plan to help at the farm after I work out, you bet I’ll be sporting compression socks under my boots, recovery snacks in hand, and stamp ‘EARLY BEDTIME’ on my forehead.

In fact, I may have added to my compression heaven collection since I last wrote….

You can never over plan. Plan your training sessions, plan your day, plan your meals, and plan your snacks. Balancing life and training is hard – planning makes it possible!

Post-Ironman Planning (and planning your next adventure)!

Your training plan isn’t just a set schedule of workout session and drills. Think bigger! Joining a triathlon/running community (whether a club, mom group, family or friends) can keep you motivated for your big race, while keeping balance in check (suggestions on juggling life and fitness, prevent over/incorrect training, advice, etc.).

Individuals training for their first triathlon (or half/full marathon) are usually okay rearranging life to execute a successful training plan. When the racing bug bites you… and one race becomes two…then three… then…. you get the picture… support and planning are key.

Eventually, you’ll find training might shift to support family and social circles obligations. Tri-ing is contagious and attending races and bike shop sales can quickly become standard group/family activities. I’ve read countless stories about kids getting into kid-triathlons because mom and dad include the whole family in the triathlon process.

Needless to say, if you’re going to commit to the addictive world of triathlons you need to have some balance and support. For me, is a family affair – even my little bro is hooked!

mother and son

And although someone has to care for the cows, most of my village-sized family will be present for IMLP. As my dad would say, “divide and conquer.”

Spilt milk!

This month has been filled with a few hiccups, but this hotel pool situation sticks out the most.

On a recent trip, I had to figure out a way to turn this pool into a lap pool. Strategizing a lap route was hard! After tangling myself in the deep-end divider rope (twice) I took more of angled for laps to avoid the rope all together…. Just keep swimming!

As always, hit up my social media hashtags and handles and get moo-ving… because you’ll never know what you’re capable of until you tri