In this episode of The Athletes Compass, hosts Paul Warloski and Marjaana dive deep into their recent athletic endeavors. Marjaana recounts her challenging yet triumphant experience at Ironman Texas, where she overcame mental and physical obstacles to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Nice, France. Paul shares his journey back to competitive gravel racing following heart surgery, highlighting his progress and challenges in recent races. The episode explores themes of resilience, mental fortitude, and the importance of having a strong support system.

Key Episode Takeaways:

  • Mental Fortitude: Both Paul and Marjaana emphasize the importance of mental strength in overcoming race day challenges.
  • Support Systems: Having a support system, whether it’s family, friends, or coaches, is crucial for motivation and success.
  • Emotional Preparedness: Athletes must be ready to face emotional and psychological battles during their events.
  • Training Insights: Strategies like breaking down the race into smaller segments can help manage the mental load.
  • Resilience: Both hosts illustrate how pushing through tough moments can lead to surprising achievements and personal growth.
  • Adaptability: Adapting training plans to life circumstances, like family commitments, can still lead to successful outcomes.



Paul Warloski (00:27)

Hello and welcome to the Athletes Compass where we navigate training, fitness and health for everyday athletes. This show is about everyday athletes, those of us who are training for some kind of goal event. We have several episodes planned where we talk with everyday athletes and their ventures and their training and their accomplishments. Today to start, Marjaana and I as everyday athletes, we'll be talking about our own adventures.

Marjaana with her Ironman and me with a series of gravel races I've been doing in April and the beginning of May. So Marjaana, congratulations on your Ironman Texas finish and qualification for Kona World Championships. What a feat. What were your expectations going into the race?

Marjaana (01:14)

Thank you. It was pretty surprising actually. It's not in Kona though, it's in Nice, France. But that will be... I think it will be even better for me. But yeah, so expectations. I honestly didn't have any expectations other than to have fun. I didn't... Every time I...

Paul Warloski (01:21)

even better.

Marjaana (01:36)

get the bib on, I'm ready to go, but I didn't like have any expectations to qualify or, you know, placement or time. Like I always try to do my best, but this time, as you guys know, I had some troubles the last seven weeks. So I really didn't have any expectations other than just to have fun. I just wanted to have fun and do the race.

But things just went a little differently.

Paul Warloski (02:07)

They went better than you.

Paul (02:07)

Was it fun?

Marjaana (02:10)

Honestly, it's such a weird, I did not have fun. Like it was such a struggle the whole day. And I've never, ever wanted to quit a race. I've quit a race one time. I was 16 and it still bugs me to this day. It was such a shameful experience. I never, ever wanted to quit before. So.

This race, I wanted to quit so many times, but I couldn't find any.

good reason to quit that hadn't or wouldn't disappoint my family, my coach, my friends. Sorry.

Paul (02:51)

And your ego. And your ego.

Marjaana (02:55)

and my ego. Yeah, totally.

Paul (02:56)

Yeah, exactly. Cause I, yeah, sorry to interrupt, but that's, I had the same exact experience. I did not finish one of my Kona races actually. And it was, it haunted me for, you know, for years after I felt like, kind of like you said, you know, shame, whether that's right or not, but it's like, I just, I was like, I knew I could have continued to walk and finish that race. Why didn't I do it? yeah, I was in this very strange.

mindset where I thought that, you know, if I couldn't have an amazing time, perfect time, that I wasn't going to finish it. Anyways, that was wrong, but it served me thereafter pushing through some of those hard moments. Like it sounds like you did on, it did for you, Marjaana, on your race too.

Marjaana (03:42)

Yeah, yeah, totally. It's just, I just couldn't bring myself, I was thinking like faking up a mechanical.

There were so many, like your weak mind is just telling you like things that make no sense whatsoever, right? Like fake up a mechanical and then you're like, you have this conversation with yourself. Yeah, but you know how to fix that. Like, and then you have to pay for the parts and that that would be stupid, Marjaana. Like, but I was in such a dark mindset. Like the more, I was just like not having fun. I was like,

Paul (03:52)




Marjaana (04:16)

contemplating like, what am I doing? Like I'm not having fun. Like, what am I doing? And especially on the bike, because it was such a windy day and I was going slow and I was looking at my watch, like how slow is my pace? And I was mad. I'm like, screw the watch and data. I can't even watch, like, look at that because I'm going so slow.

And the first round, it was two loops. The first round, we didn't even know how long you have to push on this concrete, nasty toll road, headwind, before we get to turn around. But once we got to turn around, it was, we, I was flying. And what's surprising to me was that I was seriously like flying, but people, other people, like I was passing so many people, they just sit up.

I'm tucking into a small aero as I can and people are like sitting up and I'm like, what are you guys doing? This is free speed. Like you gotta keep pushing. and then the second round was, it was like, you knew it was coming again, the headwind, but the first round was way worse for me because I didn't know how long we're pushing this low pace against the headwind. And then you got that nice flying section and then you do it again. That was fine.

But yeah, it was mentally really struggle the bike, which is funny because I didn't even like look at my bike file before a bike results before like week later. And turns out that my bike was actually pretty strong. I was third on my age group on the bike. And I like, good thing I didn't know.

Paul (05:41)



Yeah, you're actually, you're actually, you paced your, we can, we can include this in the show notes, but you, yeah, you paced the bike actually quite well. And, you can see that in your, in both of your, your heart rate, you know, your heart rate just sits right on the threshold heart rate, the whole sort of the whole time there. you can, you can see quite clearly the, the laps are just so obvious because the power has to go up when you're pushing into the, into the headwinds, right? It's the same as if you're going up a hill.

There's a, there's a drag component. There's an inertial component that winds up making more force along the pedal stroke that raises that power. and of course you feel that too, right? It's harder on going into that wind, but yeah, it's just so evident in the bumps in your, in your, in your profile when you're going back and forth in those, in those winds. but yeah, I know you, and again, you, you paced it very well.

Marjaana (06:45)


Paul (06:52)

And yeah, were you using the strategy of feel in that bike phase, Marjaana?

Marjaana (06:57)

Yes. So your and Gordo Burns podcast really, it stuck my head. Like your voice was in my head the whole time. Like, will you be able to keep this pace and effort the last hour of the bike? That was like, that I was constantly thinking of like, okay, can I keep this pace and effort the whole, you know, six hours that I was aiming at?

So that helped me a lot, especially when I wasn't looking at my, I don't have a computer, but my watch was there. So yeah, that helped a lot.

Paul Warloski (07:31)

Thank you.

Paul (07:34)

Yeah, it is. I mean, and this is the art of getting that feel too, right? So this is what we all want to develop. We want to develop what it should feel like. And it doesn't feel easy, right? Like it's, it's a long, slow, dull ache. You know, it's not like you're doing, you know, we just added rowing into the...

Paul Warloski (07:35)


Paul (07:54)

Athletica suite of sports that we offer and rowing, a rowing race is like a 2k all out, right? Where it just burns like heck at VO2 max. It's totally different, it's totally different in terms of the pacing feel that you get when you're doing an Ironman where you are, it's just like this dull, long ache and you go through constant mental battles like you've just described to us where you want to drop out. You want to find, think about,

Paul Warloski (08:00)

Thank you.


Paul (08:23)

excuses that you can use to drop out and you can't, and you got to like, you continually have to fight those. You're not alone. Professionals get that as well, Marjaana. So, they speak about it all the time. It's like, I wish that I wished mechanical would happen so I could, I could justify the excuse to drop out. And, but yeah, like what you.

Marjaana (08:24)



Paul Warloski (08:41)


Paul (08:47)

What you went through is totally natural and this is what we all deal with. And this is why when we, before we go into a race, we need to be very clear that these, these devils are going to come into, into the picture and we need to be ready to battle them so that when they kind of arrive mentally, you're ready for them. It's like, no, I have to continue to push through it. And if you can just, just go to that next telephone pole that's up the road.

or just go to the next marker sign, just get up to there and then let's see how we feel, right? And then of course you go back through this cycle, right? So those are some of the strategies that we need to be ready for when we work towards pacing. And look what happened when you did it, right? Like the third overall fastest bike in your age category, amazing.

Paul Warloski (09:17)

Thank you.


Marjaana (09:35)

Yeah, it was pretty amazing.

Paul Warloski (09:37)

Marjaana, let's go back a step. And when you were hitting those bad spots and you were hoping for a mechanical and there were really dark spots, there were some pictures of you too that were like, this was not a person who was having fun. You could see it in your what did you do? What were some of your strategies?

to get through.

Marjaana (09:56)

was honestly, I was just trying to figure out what was my why. And I figured it out when I crossed that finish line and found my family and my little guy Axel who is turning 10. And just went straight into your embrace him and just like we both started crying. And he said, mommy, I love you so much.

Paul Warloski (10:22)


Marjaana (10:23)

it was just like such a deep gut cry, like ugly crying there. Just like that was the moment. Like I didn't know at the moment when I was doing it, that that was kind of like pushing me, before I was in that moment. and it was so beautiful because he saw in what kind of pain I was, especially on the marathon, like the marathon was the struggle fest. and he saw that.

And he, like that little person understanding that mom went through such a pain and she pushed through it anyways. It just, it was just so beautiful that moment.

Paul (11:02)


Marjaana (11:02)

so I think, I think I just pushed through because of my family. yeah, totally. Yeah. And it was so funny because they, they saw me start on the swim and then for the bike, they went home. And then as I'm coming off the bike, or I didn't even tell you about the cramps, but, I'm coming off the bike. I was hoping to see them because.

Paul Warloski (11:04)

So you think that maybe that was in the back of your head? Yeah.

Marjaana (11:31)

I wasn't having fun and it also, you know, picks up the mood when you see your loved ones. I didn't see them. There was three loops on the, on the marathon course, 14K each. I didn't see them on the first, after the first lap. And I'm like, where are they? Like, I need them right now. Like, where are they? Where did they go? The second lap, I think, I think it was around 18, 20K. I see them the first time and I'm like, I'm stopping for hugs.

Axel runs to me, he wants to hug me. I hug the other two, they weren't so keen on hugging a sweaty and wet mom. And then my husband asked, how are you doing? And I'm like, and he's filming this. So this is on film. Like, not good. I'm going through hell. Hell! It was so funny. But once I saw them, you know, like how much power it gives.

Paul Warloski (12:07)


Marjaana (12:24)

You just get a hug from your kids. It was a lot easier after, because I knew every lap I could see them a little bit.

Yeah, I don't know if I've even answered you.

Paul Warloski (12:35)

You know,

No, you did. Your kids were definitely your motivation. Knowing that they were there what you were looking for each time. For those of our listeners who don't know, Paul, Dr. Larson here is Marjaana's coach on Athletica. What role did he play in you? You were hearing his voice. What else was he saying in your mind or what else was he doing?

Marjaana (12:44)

Mm -hmm.

he's been such a monumental help for me, especially understanding, you know, like, I don't have to be training 25 hours a week to do well, and hit my goals and all the mental battles. And just he's, well, he, first of all, he helped me become healthy and stay healthy. That's always the, you know, the go -to.

Just try your best to de -stress and do yoga and meditation during the training weeks. As a busy mom of three, it's difficult to balance Ironman training, but he's made me more confident that I can do it with 10 to 15 hours a week and balance everything else too.

So yeah, his advice is so good.

Paul Warloski (13:56)

Paul, what were some things that you...

Yeah. What were some things Paul that you told Marjaana? What were some things that you were focusing on in your coaching?

Paul (14:09)

Well, I think it was, you know, I think Marjaana's kind of described a lot of them, right? But it's just to be really prepared for exactly what she encountered. there's no surprises for me, right? Like, that's what, I knew that was going to be the day she was going to have. That's why we do pieces of the event throughout.

the program in Athletica, right? So Athletica works towards building up your system to be as fit as it can on that day. And then from the coaching standpoint, my job is to really help remind Marjaana that with throughout every single session that she does, it's a part of the race that she's building her system up for. And you have to be ready there mentally for that.

And, I did my best to do that, whether or not it sank in or not. And maybe it was, it sounded like the blow that Marjaana took on the race was even a little bit higher than, on the, on the volume than, than she sort of expected, but that's, that's what she got. but she, she passed with flying colors, obviously, right. Coming, you know, top 10 finish and,

and punching her ticket to the world champs. But now it's the world champs that we need to slowly prepare. Is it gonna be any easier in Nice? Heck no. It's gonna be all of what she just encountered, if not more. And if she's not ready for that, she's gonna have a real hard day ahead of her. It's gonna be a hard day no matter what. Every single Ironman that we do, any race that we do, period, you're seeing what you've got. You're putting everything on the line. And...

You know, Athletica can do a great job of preparing you physically, but you need to be ready there mentally and emotionally, because it will be an absolute emotional and psychological battle the whole entire way. And yeah, it's going to, it's, this is, this is the metaphor for life, right? And this is why all of these things that we do in Athletica are so...

instrumental to making us better people, making us healthier people, hopefully helping us live longer and contributing to our wellness because they give us purpose in life. They bring us back health and performance. And even though the day, I'm not sure if the day itself is that healthy, it's probably a little bit too much. But I believe, you know, when you look at...

Paul Warloski (16:38)

Thank you.

Paul (16:39)

the overall build process that you go through, these are giving all the various different signals in the body that we know lead to, more health, better health outcomes, right? It makes, it builds you up to be a more robust person. So you can deal with the various different things that happen in your daily life, right? Like this is what a lot of people say after they do an Ironman is they can't believe what a strong person they've become.

And the things, you know, when they actually, when they're, you know, stress is happening at work or in family or these sorts of things, they're able to kind of go through and do those things a little bit easier because they've had these hard challenges in the whole training process and even the day itself up there to build that resiliency. So long -winded answer to it, but I'm, I'm so excited that Marjaana,

punched her ticket and then grabbed the spot and is going to continue to go forward here in the next few months. And I'm looking forward to holding her hand in her journey as she goes towards being the best she can be at World Champs.

Marjaana (17:50)

Thank you. I appreciate it so much. You were with me the whole time, the whole day. It was super, hard and I was not having fun. So having you there with me was so good. It was the hardest of my three Ironmans, no doubt about it. Not just because usually I'm very cheerful and I'm just in the zone and I'm loving it, but this time none of that.

and one of the reasons, and I think like, I agree, Ironman is just like, it prepares you for life's, you know, challenges so well, because it's a very long day and you always doubt, can I do it? It's long enough so that you start, even if you're trained, can I do it? And 15 % of people who started did not finish because of the conditions. It was really windy on the bike and, it was hot.

and humid. So a lot of people struggled already on the bike. It was hot, but especially on the run and just like mentally not giving up was so difficult. So what I did was I just tried to, you know, like not looking at the staircase ahead of me, like thinking because after the bike, I thought like, how can I run a marathon? You know, like thinking,

that you're going to run a marathon, it seems impossible for me. But then I'm like, okay, well, you just have to get to the next aid station, cool off. I put ice water in the bra, ice in the hat, just grab some coke, oranges, and then make it to the next aid station. So breaking it up helped kind of manage it all.

But also at the end, like after the second round, I think like when wheels come off for most people, I pulled one guy who was on his knees on the ground. I stopped and I'm like, Hi, are you okay? Are you dizzy? Like, what's wrong? Like, let's get you up. So I pulled him up and he's like, no, no, my quads are cramping. And I'm like, okay, well, you're not sitting down. You're not staying here. You're walking with me. So I walked with him for a little bit. And I realized like, when I...

you know, focus on other people for a little bit when I'm struggling, it helps me feel good. I feel good about myself when I'm helping others. Like I'm not there to cheer, like sit and like, you know, have a coffee with everybody. But when I see somebody struggling, I pat their backs and hey, keep going. You can make it. And, you know, like helping others makes you feel good. And then when you feel good, you can see, you know, light at the end of the tunnel.

So I found that that helped me through the marathon too.

Paul Warloski (20:37)


Marjaana (20:40)

but yeah, it was, it was mentally really hard because my first cramp showed up on the swim. So I had a calf cramp and then I had my, when I was on T1, I, my left side abs cramped when I was putting my shoe on and then coming to T2, the same side abs cramped again, when I was taking my feet off my shoes to get ready to get off the bike. And I'm like, my God, what's happening?

Paul (20:56)

Mm -hmm.

Marjaana (21:07)

calf was bugging me on the bike too. I could feel it. I'm like, here goes marathon. What am I going to experience during the marathon? I've had three cramps already. That also added the insecurity in your head. Like, hey, how are you going to run a marathon after this? You've cramped already three times. Totally, the whole day was

Paul (21:28)


Marjaana (21:31)

such a challenge.

Paul (21:35)

Hopefully, Paul, we can do a podcast in the future on cramping, because that's a whole topic in itself. So yeah, that's a goodie that a lot of other people experience as well.

Paul Warloski (21:51)

Yeah. Yeah. I've been having them as well. Marjaana, talk to us about what kind of training week, you know, what did a typical, I know there's no such thing as a typical week, but what does Athletica having you do? Is it a, was it a focus on one element in particular? Was it a balance of all three? Kind of run us through what your typical training week looked like.

Marjaana (22:15)

Part of the reason that I didn't have any expectations was because my training for this race has been a little bit unique, I would say. I didn't swim much. And the last seven weeks I didn't run much. So I think my longest run was 21k since February. So, but typically, so I'm on full Ironman.

mid volume plan. And so typically three or four bikes, VO2 max, strength, endurance, one longer run and ride, and then some shorter runs. And if I got one swim per week in, it was pretty good, I think. But totally, I think 10 to 15, probably average 12 hours a week.

Paul (23:06)

Yeah. And keep in mind the context as well too, right? So mom, mom of three running around, boys in baseball, blah, blah, blah. Like she's, you know, your typical, your typical, everyday athlete. She, that's Marjaana.

Marjaana (23:20)

Yeah. And so one reason that I didn't have expectations then was because, I was kind of mentally pulled apart a little bit because those weekend long rides and long runs didn't happen because I'm at the baseball fields. And now while I'm at the baseball fields, I'm mentally thinking, I should be training.

So I was actually ready to put Ironman training on hold for a little bit. But I guess one more big push towards World Champs now.

Paul (23:57)


Paul Warloski (23:59)

Yeah, so when is world?

Marjaana (23:59)

It's just really challenging to balance. Worlds is September 22nd.

Paul (24:06)

Lots of time.

Marjaana (24:07)

and like seeing.

Paul Warloski (24:08)

So is that, are you doing anything in between that?

Marjaana (24:12)

I don't know. I don't know what I'll do. I might do run races, but it's heating up in Houston, which I want to talk about the polar bear versus heat. I had to, I had to face this issue because I don't like heat and I got.

Paul Warloski (24:14)


Marjaana (24:37)

I got to experience that, you know, that my demon, it was face to face with me and I melted on the run. But looking at what I've done, like I've done the test week last week and my MAF it was really interesting because I did my MAF run and the pacing was exactly what I did on the marathon, right Paul? And pretty much the same conditions as well. So.

Paul (25:01)


Marjaana (25:04)

So I think just having to face that heat and humidity, it's been good to me to show that actually it's not, my running pace is not that bad considering the conditions and that I can actually handle it.

Paul (25:26)

So Paul, we should probably also get to your race too, right bro?

Paul Warloski (25:28)


Absolutely. This is kind of fun. We can talk about, you know, one Ironman for so long and there's still more stories to be told about it and hear about your training. Yeah, so I have done some gravel races in the upper Midwest, you know, in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin now. And they have gone well. The

They've all been 60 -ish miles, 60 to 70 miles, taking anywhere between three and four hours. And what's been good, the good part about it has been that after the heart surgery last fall, I lost a lot of my power. Like, you know, we've talked about that where my FTP dropped by at least a hundred watts, if not more.

And it's been really slow in coming back, I struggled a little bit during the week in training, but during the third race, the power started coming back and it was like, all right, it's not where it was, but it's returning. And then this weekend I was up in Northern Wisconsin and I decided I am just going to just go.

and hang on to the front group as long as possible until the wheels came off. And then the wheels came off once I regrouped. And it's always that they're coming up off. The wheels are coming off going up long hills and that's been my nemesis lately. that's something that I bring to you too as well. Like what can, these are climbs that are about probably four to five minutes.

Marjaana (27:05)

pretty steep on And the other short ones I could

Paul Warloski (27:04)

pretty steep on gravel you know, the short ones I can power but the, these longer ones are definitely, I just kind of start pedaling in mud. You know, you know, you know that feeling where it's just starts going slower and slower and slower. I, I bring that here to, you know, ask about it because that's

Marjaana (27:09)

but the longer ones are definitely, I just kind of start to get peddling in mud. You know that feeling where it starts going slower.

So I guess that's

Paul Warloski (27:24)

the last piece in terms of the power puzzle when I'm doing these races. Otherwise they've been, they've been improving a lot.

Paul (27:30)

Well, I think we're going to be talking about this, Paul, in the next, podcast, we might speak about that, Paul, where we're talking, we might talk about the importance of having a VO2Max

that seemingly might lack specificity for something that is of three to four hours, right? Which is mostly kind of sub -threshold type of work. But here you're just giving kind of a classic example where there's aspects of this race where we got to dip into the red zone for a bit just to functionally get over these things. And that is, you've just highlighted one spot where this is...

really important to have that in the program. So this is why you see short intervals, long intervals, and even strength endurance sessions in there, right? So all of those aspects, all of those pieces of the puzzle are sitting in your athletic program to try to help you through those, those different phases. Now, you know, may, you know, did the,

Did your Athletica program help you maybe, hopefully, but maybe that's highlighting the fact that maybe we need to do a little bit more of that work in there in the program so that you can feel better in those, we often call them pinch points of the race. So yeah, those are kind of my thoughts initially, Paul, but otherwise I just commend you for, especially your...

your battle. And once again, this is this, this podcast has been about the everyday athlete. You've just described your, the, you know, your comeback from a heart issue. And, you know, again, I commend you for your journey back to, to getting fighting fit and racing again, mate. It's just, it's awesome. Well done.

Paul Warloski (29:00)


Thank you. Thank you.

Marjaana (29:18)

Let's talk about Hell of the Wind since that sounds like it was a breakthrough race for you. Can you tell us more about that?

Paul Warloski (29:30)

Yeah, hell of the wind was in Iowa and it was a big open course and there was a lot of wind. The day before when I got there, I was pre -riding and the cross winds were literally blowing my bike across the gravel sideways. And it was an incredibly disconcerting feeling and it wasn't that bad during the race.

But it was one of those days where you felt like the wind was at your head three directions, you know, and you had, you had one tail wind and the rest were all headwinds. And it felt like I was able to simply put out a consistent power. I didn't look at my power. I didn't look at my heart rate. I was just going basically as hard as I could.

And I spent a lot of that race by myself and it was one of those, one of those races like your Ironman, Marjaana, where it was too much thinking time and too much time in my head.

I took a wrong turn and that got me off course for a little while and I had to find people and catch them. And that actually helped because there were people in front of me that I could pass. So there were always targets and there were always things ahead of me to be looking for. you know, but the last 20 miles were all, were all headwind and, it was a challenge, but it was one of those good challenges where things were starting to like,

All right, I can't go full out. I can't go as hard as maybe I could have a couple of years ago. But it's starting to feel like there was something there. And those are good feelings.

Marjaana (31:12)

So when you were mentally battling, what were your thoughts? What were you telling yourself?

Paul Warloski (31:21)

Well, it's kind of like what Paul was talking about, like finding the next telephone pole and the next street. In hell of the wind, the streets were all, like 280th street and then 279th street and 278th. So it was kind of a constant, okay, I'm going to get to the next street. I'm going to get to the second street and the third street and just keep going. And I knew that I had to get to 140th street or something like that. And so that...

that helped a lot. It was just that one after another that I was able to get through. and then at Berry Roubaix,

know, because there are 4 ,000 of my new best friends at this race, there was always a group that I could try to catch onto. There was always a group that if I got dropped up a long hill, I was able to catch back on. So it was always like, okay, here comes a new group.

boom, get on the wheel and just hang on as long as possible. So that was the strategy there, it was either groups or landmarks.

Marjaana (32:19)

And did you get into your zone at some point?

Paul Warloski (32:21)

I think at the end of Berry Roubaix, there was a bit of a zone, kind of like, cause I got into a group and we were all kind of working together and I quit thinking. And that was kind of the key is to quit thinking about, you know, my legs are starting to cramp. They're not, they're not cramping, but they're at that, they're almost there. You can, you can feel that sense.

once we were in that group, it just kind of flowed and everybody was suffering a little bit at that point. It was like miles in, we had 10 it worked really well. That was a good time.

Marjaana (32:58)

So out of these four races, which one are you most proud of?

Paul Warloski (33:02)

I would say the Hungry Bear, the one that I just finished up in Cable, I think that one, for whatever reason, maybe it's just the athletic of fitness is just it's getting better. And I stayed with the front group for, I mean, the front front group for about 35 or 40 minutes.

When, which is, you know, a lot longer than it has been in the past. And then I stayed with, essentially what became the third I stayed with them for most of the rest of the race until the was maybe five miles to go and we had another big long hill and I got dropped then rode in mostly by myself, but that race just seemed to click a lot better.

It was a lot of fun. My nephew was in that race too. So it was, it was fun to have, you know, indoctrinate him into the world of gravel bike racing and getting him going in that too.

Marjaana (33:53)

Yay, that's awesome. Did he

Paul Warloski (33:56)

He did, and he did the hundred mile and did really actually quite somebody who doesn't train very much. It's like, dude, let's get on Athletica and let's get you some training because you could be really good at this bike stuff.

Marjaana (34:09)

That's awesome.

Paul (34:11)

Yeah, that's so cool. That's so cool, Paul. I totally, just reflecting on my own experience in similar events, I've done a few grind fondos. And the goal, again, when you're at a certain level of fitness is almost to try to stay on board with that front especially when there's lots of hills and punchiness and, you know, there's some phenomenal riders that'll take the...

take the front on those and just be really, you know, driving everything. And yeah, and it's, yeah, it's just, just the art of being able to know, save your resources for those big punches up those hills, and then to kind of like hold onto the back, right? Cause of course with the drafting and in cycling, in these cycling races, there's, you know, there's, there's more strategy you can kind of put into it to stay longer and longer.

And yeah, I think that's also a really good goal to kind of have too, right, for yourself is like, how can I, how long can I last this time with the front group, right? So that's pretty cool. Good job.

All right, so we're going to take a little bit of a twist in this one, everyone. And I'm going to give you the three key takeaway points that I took from listening to Marjaana and Paul. So what I learned was number one, first and foremost, sport is emotional and we need to be ready for that emotion and psychological aspects that are kind of going happen in that race. Number two is.

we need to have strategies ready to be able to apply when those emotional aspects of fatigue come in to our mind in that race. You know, examples that we heard were, you know, looking for the, just getting to the next telephone pole or just getting to the next road sign, whatever it may be, have those ready to go for you in the race and be really very clear that.

Paul Warloski (35:54)

you know, just get...

in the next great session.

really very clear that these psychological emotionalized bank cards are going to help and be very, very important. So we're waiting for you to get that figured out. Number three, athletic mechanics components of all of these personal, original experiences. That's how I was letting them just be involved in the process. So I hope you'll be able to be involved in the process.

Paul (36:05)

these psychological and emotional aspects are going to come and be very prevalent. So what are you going to do to get through that? Number three, Athletica has components of all these pinch points that you're probably going to experience in your race. That's how Athletica has been formed. So, you know, embrace those various different sessions of Athletica to know that they're there for a purpose.

to get you through to these races. And it's up to you to now link the psychology and the emotion to the physicality that you've developed in your plan.

Paul Warloski (36:41)

All right. I think that is enough for us. You know, we've learned a lot. You know, Marjaana has learned a lot in her Ironman. And I think we have introduced, the kind of questioning and the kind of talking that we will do with our other everyday athletes that we'll be having coming up. So that's all for this week. Thank you for listening and join us next week for the Athletes Compass podcast. You can help us by asking your training questions in the comments.

Liking and sharing the podcast giving us five star reviews because after all we deserve them and engaging with us on social media for Marjaana the Iron Woman Raki and Dr. Paul Larson I am Paul Worloski and this has been the athletes compass.

Join the Athletica community

Why Subscribe?

Latest Features: Be the first to know about exciting updates and new capabilities of our app.

Innovative Insights: Dive into the latest advancements in endurance training science and practice.

Athletica News: Stay informed about what's happening at Athletica and be a part of our growing community.

Bonus for Subscribers! Get exclusive access to early releases, special discounts, and insider tips to maximize your training.

In order to complete the subscription, please check your email for a confirmation!