The Abuse Begins…Hill Repeats

A while back, a training buddy of mine remarked that he trained with another Ironman guy who basically did everything he could to make it hard on himself. He would not take nutrition on training rides while force his body to greater effort. He would also not use as much fluid, and also ride hard paths versus easier ones. His reasoning was that if he could get used to the abuse beforehand, then the race would seem like a cakewalk.
I am believer in pre-training my ability to deal with the physical abuse of racing Ironman as well. It is a combination of mental and physical training.
During this phase, I am building strength and endurance on abusing myself on hill repeats, both on the bike and on the run. Every week I go do my favorite hills and add one or two more repeats. I didn’t do this in previous years and it has showed in my inability to deal with hilly races. I aim to change that this year. I am hoping that introducing these hills into the middle of training, or at the end when I am most tired, will increase my ability to retain my strength through any terrain.
Are they fun? Ha. I wouldn’t call it fun. But it’s the only way to build your body to deal with hills mid-race and also when you’re in a tired state. I am a big believer that the body can do amazing things. But sometimes it’s super-uncomfortable and there is definitely pain involved. Dealing with pain is a fact of life and we should not be afraid of it.