Last minute tips for a successful Wisconsin Ironman

First-time Iroman Triathletes Marty Findeisen & Kara Smith

First-time Iroman Triathletes Marty Findeisen & Kara Smith

Marty Findeisen and his training partner Kara Smith are enjoying a leisurely pre-race lunch on State Street.  With less than 30 hours to go until race day they polish off their last heavy meal at Frida Mexican Grill.

“We’ll be back on Monday for Tequila shots!” says Findesisen to the waiter.

These first-time Ironman Triathletes are up from Chicago on Friday to register and ease into last minute preparations before the big race on Sunday.

“We’ve been coming up to train pretty regularly,” says Smith, 27. “We’ve got a good idea of what to expect.”

Findeisen, 50, says they’ve put in a lot time getting ready. “We’ve done about 20 hours of training a week on top of our regular jobs,” he says. “Plus we’ve got a trainer and a nutritionist. We’ve been pretty smart about it.”

Even though this will be their first Iroman Findeisen and Smith have made a lot of good choices in their training. And they can expect to have a good race on Sunday. If this is your first Ironman there are several things you can still do or least keep in mind to assure you enjoy the experience.

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* Don’t change anything

Jessica Laufenberg is a personal trainer who specializes in preparing athletes for Ironman

“Whatever your plan is stick with it,” she says “Put it down on paper and don’t change anything.”

* Stick to your nutrition

“That’s basically what’s keeping you going.” Laufenberg says. “If you don’t start at the beginning watching your food you’re going to get behind and your body is not going to catch up. You’re going to mess the rest of your race and might wind up in the med tent.

* Pack electrolyte tablets

“They’re pretty much the only thing that you won’t find at the aid stations,” Laufenberg says. “That and sun lotion. It’s going to be hot out there this year, hotter than last year.” Make sure you don’t lose too much fluid. Keep drinking!

* Check your tires for any defects or embedded objects. The last thing you want to be doing is changing a tire during IM. I did a tire check on Monday and found a piece of metal in one tire and glass in another one.  ~Audrey Drake multiple Ironman finisher

* Don’t blow out the bike!

“That’s a mistake a lot people make,” says Tara Smith. “They kill themselves on the first lap and they have nothing left for second.”

* If it feels like work, it probably is

Slow down and assess your physical condition. ~ Jill Karofsky 2007 Ironman finisher

The Wisconsin Ironman is one of the popular races in the country because it offers  a challenging course, terrific volunteers and wonderful spectators. These last three tips will simply help you enjoy the day. Good Luck!

* Wear your bib with your first name on it so people will cheer for you!

* Smile as you come across the finish line

* Have Fun!

Drop me a note with your bib number. I’ll be out on the course taking pictures. I’d love to include you in the post race photo stream -JEM

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.