It’s been a month since we last caught up with Jeremy Dutton on his Ironman journey. In this edition of “Enjoying the Journey,” we delve into the mental challenges and life balancing act that comes with Ironman training. Jeremy’s story is not just about pushing physical limits but also navigating the intricacies of maintaining a healthy mindset and finding balance amid life’s demands.
The Zone Two Dilemma:
Jeremy opens up about the mental hurdles he faces during the current base-building phase, especially in adhering to zone two training. The frustration of slowing down and trusting the process challenges him, and he reflects on the shift from all out running to structured heart rate-based training.
“It’s challenging…dialing it back to just running at a slow pace…It’s the mental process of trusting the coach and trusting the training plan and trusting the bigger scheme of things.”
The zone two dilemma is faced by all athletes who are working to slow down during training. This isn’t new, but it doesn’t make it easier for Jeremy. The idea of slowing down is in contrast to his desire to get faster for racing.
Race Frequency and A-Race Priorities:
Balancing a packed race schedule, Jeremy shares his perspective on racing frequently for the social aspect while acknowledging that not every race is a target for a personal record. He discusses the significance of distinguishing A-races like Ironman Maryland from other events and how each race contributes to his overall journey.
“A lot of these races are just…a long run day in the grand scheme of things. However, I don’t want my long runs to be a half marathon of three and a half hours. I want it to be a three-hour run for a half marathon.”
Mental Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles:
When faced with challenges, Jeremy emphasized the importance of trusting the training plan. Would he be able to find satisfaction in the process? He shared tips for managing heart rate during runs and discussed the mental tricks he employs to maintain pace while keeping his heart rate in check.
“I’ve got to have the confidence in a coach and I’ve got to have the confidence in the plan…So I just got to find the satisfaction in the fact that I did a half marathon and deal with that.”
That type of mental strategy to overcome obstacles will be paramount especially during the long winter months. If you live in San Diego you don’t have to deal with snow fall during these months. For Jeremy, the snow has already started and indoor workouts are part of the training plan.
Winter Training and Indoor Workouts:
Transitioning into the winter months, Jeremy talks about learning to embrace indoor workouts. He outlines his approach to Zwift workouts, incorporating intervals to break down the monotony. This can create a sense of achievement and highlights the importance of mental strategies during long indoor sessions.
“It’s the little rewards…If I’m right on the cusp of where it’s either pushing the down button on the speed or pushing through, [breathing techniques] help out where I can maintain my pace.”
Weight Loss Journey and Building Confidence:
Reflecting on his weight loss journey, Jeremy discussed the transformation in his confidence and self-perception. From the initial self-consciousness at 360 pounds to embracing his journey at 265 pounds, he emphasized the shift in mindset. He also mentioned the importance of taking pride in personal achievements.
“This journey is about me…It’s not about them. This journey is about how I feel and what I’m doing for me and about my personal growth.”
Life Balance – A Constant Challenge:
Addressing the delicate balance between training and life commitments, Jeremy opened up about the challenges of juggling two jobs, an EMT course, and family responsibilities. Acknowledging the difficulty of maintaining equilibrium, he emphasized the need for understanding and flexibility in the face of life’s unexpected interruptions.
“That balance of life is very challenging…It’s harder than actually doing the exercises. It’s harder than getting out to be on the treadmill and running the run or being on the bike.”
Balancing life and Ironman training is something that will be part of his journey to the starting line at Ironman Maryland but also before that. Jeremy is focused on the outcome at Eagleman 70.3 as that will have a profound impact on his training for the remainder of the year.
Setting Goals for Eagleman and Ironman Maryland:
As Jeremy approaches the upcoming races, he unveiled his goals for Eagleman and Ironman Maryland. With a realistic target for Eagleman and a more ambitious goal for Maryland, he outlines his strategy, acknowledging the uncertainties of race day variables like wind and swim conditions.
“I have two goals for Eagleman…I want to shoot for a 6:15. That will help translate to a 16:15 [for Maryland] finish under 17.”
Jeremy’s journey is not just about conquering physical challenges. His journey includes navigating the mental landscape and striking a delicate balance between training and life. His strive for balancing life and Ironman training are a reminder that this journey is not easy. The path to Ironman is as much about enjoying the journey as it is about reaching the finish line.