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Ironman Canada close to selling out for Whistler

Local trainers offering programs for athletes

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They say it takes a full year to prepare for Ironman, but Suter says most athletes don't start training heavily until January, giving them almost eight full months to prepare.

"Right now, before January, is the time to work on your weaknesses," she said. "Most people come into the sport with one strength or one or two things they feel comfortable with, and they need to round that out. If you're not a strong swimmer, you need to be in the pool. Or if you're not confident on the bike, then you need to be on the trainer if you can't get outside."

As well, she emphasizes strength training until January, because once the endurance training starts they won't have another chance.

"It's a good time to correct muscle imbalances and do some strength training, because all the heavy endurance training will start eating away at your muscles," she said. "Doing that now is a great thing to get ready for when you start to pound away the big mileage, and you won't deplete your body as much."

Suter says most people are put off by the level of commitment that's required, with a minimum of 10 to 12 hours of training a week from January to May, and increasing that significantly in June and July. By then athletes are putting in big days and long distances, and linking up two or more of the Ironman disciplines into a workout. "It can almost become like another full time job," said Suter.

As for race-day inspiration, she says it's not hard to come by.

"I've done Ironman races in Canada and the States, and at the start wherever you are they always sing the national anthem. In Canada it's O Canada. It's so cool to hear that before you start — I don't know any athletes standing on the beach singing along with that without tears in their eyes. It's so powerful."

Suter's website is C2skymultisport.com.

Ultra athlete Jen Segger of Challenge By Choice in Squamish is currently working with a group of six Ironman athletes, and is also organizing a mix of camps and clinics at her gym facility.

The fact that the course is challenging will draw people from outside the community to train, which she says will be good for local trainers offering programs.

"I think it's going to be huge," she said. "We've watched how the interior and Penticton have capitalized on Ironman for years, that's been the hub for training camps and they have lots of people going there to be on the course."

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