Ok so I was a bit behind the pro but hey-I was on the same beach!! We ran with HR monitors and I was trying to keep my HR below 132, which for me is very frustrating as this slows me down to a snail's pace. In metaphorical fashion, I was in the middle of the pack as usual. But what Mark basically teaches in training is to train mostly in your ""aerobic zone" and only do very little speed work to get faster nearer the race. Now this is the simplified version but if you hear him talk, it is very convincing. I mean 6 Hawaii Ironman wins-can you argue with that? I like to think that my svelte young feeling body could tolerate a higher HR than that because for heaven's sake, I am running 12 min miles at that pace. Supposedly your body learns to utilize fat burning and you eventually get faster. This is how I trained for the last IM but I think my "middle age" was not factored in. So I am a Mark Allen groupie now and think I will use his coaching for IMCDA.
Sunday of the conference was a mix of talks from Mark: Nutrition, weight training. Stuff I basically knew already with some tweaks of info I didn't know.
Then Brant Secundo: ceremonies and Huichol Indian rituals and info. Very good. His website is: http://www.shamanism.com/ for those that wanted to know more info.
I realize the value of a balanced life in training for Ironman is essential. Something I already believed but obtained some tools to utilize a bit more. Secretly, I want to win my age group one of these days at one of these big races. Someone asked me last night why that is so important to me. I have to ponder this. Maybe cause I was always one of the slower swimmers on the swim team. Maybe cause I never got the approval from my parents I wanted. Maybe I always wanted to be one of those athletes in high school. Who knows? I don't think I have a particularly competitive spirit with other people ie; "Man I really want to beat her!" It is just this inner drive to win at something. Be the best athlete..well in my age group anyway. I may have to wait for my 60s or 70s-who knows?
So I am doing my darnedest to make this a reality. If it takes me balancing more, then I shall. If it takes training more, or less, slower, I will.
In the end, it is all about the journey, really..