So, there was quite a range of fitness fun that went down this weekend, and I thought I would share little tips for each. I know that I had no idea about a powerlifting competition going into this, and so I wanted to go into some detail about how it all goes down just in case that's something that you are interested in. Powerlifting is actually the new thing, so there are a lot of girls that are getting into it. It is is of note that the people we were with are LEGIT. Becca set a national record for this federation (APF) in bench press (for her age and weight) at 170lbs. And it went up so easy!
Anyway, let's get right to the details. Tanner told me it was going to be a long day, and I certainly did not prepare for the 14 hour day that was ahead of me. I brought a quest bar and a beef jerky stick and I basically had ridiculous amounts of hunger all day even though I ate the food they had there. WHAT was I thinking? ha! Now I know!
So powerlifting is by weight class. You weigh in the night before, and some people do ridiculous water cuts to be able to fit in a certain class. This could obviously make you more competitive but it also could make you feel weak, and not as strong. Tanner was in the 198 lb class (everything is in kilos but I'm going to just convert for better understanding for most of my readers haha). He's actually 193, so he didn't have to cut. He knew going in that this wasn't to be competitive. There are so many guys with insane amounts of weight under that bar, and he just wanted to see what he could do.
This should be the goal for everyone. When you are there, it is not competitive really at all. The whole day is just about what each individual person can do, and everyone yells and cheers for everyone. It's a really cool thing, and something you don't see often.
You go through three lifts (squat first, then bench, then deadlift). There are different "flights" which is just a round of people. This means that the entire flight goes through 3 times (for their three attempts at that particular weight), and then it moves onto the next flight. They also had special olympics at this one, and that was INCREDIBLE to see these sweet boys lift weights and how excited they would get no matter what (even though they were squatting like crazy amounts (450-500lbs sometimes). So, for clarity, if you were first in your flight, you would attempt your squat, then it would go through everyone then come back to you for your second attempt. This gives you rest in between. You want to aim for something on your first attempt that you can "easily" do. You don't want to miss that first attempt or it's going to be a mental battle coming out of that, and you can never decrease weight after that.
There were 4 flights and each had about 10 people and they all had to do 3 attempts. This is also why it takes forever. Then, they had to set up for the next lift (bench). On all of these lifts, you have to wait for commands. On squat, you can't go up until they say you've gone all the way down (to 90 degrees). On bench it is hard, and you have to really listen for commands. Tanner missed one of these commands, and pushed back up before they said he could, which means that even though he pressed the weight, it didn't count. (This is also why you get 3 attempts)
They was a lot of bro up in there and it was hilarious. The amount of awkward man chest and bumps and growls I heard on Saturday could last a lifetime. The amount of yelling was so electric and so fun. I'm not into powerlifting but I was like down on the floor yelling at my friends that came with us and Tanner. It was so much fun and even though it was 14 hours, it didn't feel like until the end during awards when I was like OKAY I AM DONE. haha!
It's such a sport for improvement, and he cannot wait for the one in January and I think I'm going to do it as well (clearly just for fun). I'm not giving up endurance to do it so it really is 100% just for fun.
LONG RUN ADVICE
I was supposed to do my 20 miler with my running group on Sunday morning at 6am. We got home at midnight and I felt like trash. I hadn't ate enough or drank enough, so I knew I couldn't do it then. Thankfully, it's fall so I knew I could go in the afternoon. I just wanted to share some tips on something that I know could happen in marathon training which is to see this as daunting and not complete it.
You have to open your mind. I know that is not a good tip but really. I segmented it into 5 milers...4 times. Easy! You have to be willing to think that you can. I am always nervous to do a long run, but you have to trust yourself and your training and you have to think about people who do more intense stuff and that this "really isn't all that bad."
You have to be prepared. As I said, I couldn't go at 6am and I knew that. That didn't mean I had to give it up. You need to be hydrated and you need to have gus...or you are going to feel awful. You need to have rest (some people get up after 3 hours of sleep to do these and kudos to you. I don't know how you do it). You HAVE to stretch, and get moving before you start.
At 5 miles, I stopped just to change from a sermon to pandora. At 10 miles, I stopped for water and a gu. I don't normally stop on long runs, but I've found the value in it. Don't do it close to home. You'll want to just stop. Set water out somewhere on your route.
Make plans for different segments. For my first 5, I listened to a sermon (Andy Staley is really good if you want to download his app called Make Your Move-it's free). For the next 5, I actually turned on pandora but it turned off from signal and I just enjoyed the weather. For the next 5, I listened to another sermon. For the final 5, I listened to music again. Flip flopping makes the time pass and sermons help more than music in my opinion because it gives you something to ponder and think about. Podcasts are good too of course. My last 5, I was going to try something new which is speed up. I have a new book that I'm reading on training, and the end is where it's so hard to push and I want to train my body to expect bad stuff, so mile 18-19, I did 7:20 pace. For the final mile, I slowed it back down to about 8:30 as a cool down.
However if you are new, don't put pressure on time....at all. There is a threshold that you can stay below for basically forever. You think you can't run that far, but almost anyone with some running background can. You just have to go slower to go further. There are calculators online of what your long run pace should be for a certain goal marathon pace. My goal is 7:45 pace at my next marathon but online it says I should do 8:39 for my long run. So, to be frank, I do my long runs too fast and I always know that. But, the one thing I'm focused on is finishing so I try to just listen to my body and run.
If you are like me, and hate intrarunning nutrition, man up. haha! I hate it but I've had to get used to it. Your machine cannot perform without fuel. You cannot maintain muscle without carbs. You've got to have carbs on your run or you will feel so much worse at the end. It makes ALL the difference, so plan ahead for that.
The long runs are always the biggest mental breakthroughs. When you finish, you are so thrilled because you know that you can do the marathon. You have completed the training. When I started this marathon cycle, I told myself I wouldn't leave a stone unturned. I wasn't going to be lazy like past cycles. I want to get better. I want to be a true athlete and competitive in this sport. 40-50 mile weeks have been on the plan for many weeks now, but it's leaving me feeling more ready than ever!
That half ironman on the other hand......... haha!!! Because I'm less trained (and my "readiness" is not all there), I'm having a shorter taper. I'll do a blog on fatigue, fitness levels, and readiness and how to do a taper. There is a science to it so that your body peaks in the right way for the race. I'm just powering through this half ironman. I've done a lot of training but not near what I should, so we will see! Recap to come on that in 2 weeks! EEK!
I hope everyone had an awesome weekend!