Tomorrow the top athletes in the world will come together to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The IRONMAN Triathlon is considered one of the hardest one-day competitions in the world and consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride and finishes up with a marathon which is a 26.2 mile run. Professional triathlete and 2007 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Andy Potts will be among those elite athletes competing for the prestigious win. Compex caught up with Andy earlier this week to talk about his pre-race routines, recovery program, advise he has for newcomers and more.
Compex Interview with Andy Potts:
After finishing in the top 5 last year have you done anything different for your preparation this time?
Every year, I am always trying to introduce different things, so we are constantly improving. Contrary to most triathlon advice, I try something new every race too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a flop but it helps me learn and get better. In preparation for Kona, one year, we tried to do more moto-pacing, another year I spent a month out on Big Island before the race. This year, my focus has been on a few key things- A specific focus on the bike, given how important it has been to the race in recent years, and recovery. My recovery routine has developed extensively and is as important to my racing success as any other element. Some of the key things I am doing include active stretching for about 30 minutes each day, weekly massage, daily use of my Compex Muscle Stimulator and a renewed focus on nutrition pre and post workout.
What's your pre-race meal?
I try to keep it really simple and fairly light pre-race. I will eat what’s available but typically stay away from foods high in fiber as that could be dangerous on race day.
How do you include Compex in your daily routine?
I typically use Compex during and after my stretching routine. With that, I sometimes use Compex at the beginning of the day as a way to activate my muscles and also provide a little bit of ‘work’ before I head out for the day.
What's one piece of advice you would give some who wants to do an Ironman?
First thing is listen to your heart. If Ironman is something that you will both enjoy and challenge you, jump right in. I highly recommend racing all types of events and distances, not just Ironman. There is an amazing network of local races at varying distances that provide a great opportunity to race locally, connect with your community, make friends and learn a lot about racing and yourself. In addition, it’s important to to make a commitment to yourself by eating right, gaining strength, and learning about your new pursuit. The last step would be to reach out to trusted people to find out how you can get more engaged and dive in.
What's the one thing you look forward to most after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon?
I love the finish chute. There is so much energy and excitement. Whether you are first or 50th, there is a real energy that gets me pumped. A big part of the finishing chute for me is seeing my wife and family. There is nothing more important to me in the world than them and being able to see them after a hard fought day is truly special.
What's one thing people may be surprised you eat out on the race course?
My race day diet has really refined itself over time. I am almost exclusively on Powerbar products, so nothing too earth shattering there. It wasn’t always that way and I have experimented with everything from muffins in my bento box(btw- they get really crumby) to skittles in my special needs bag.
WATCH LIVE footage of the IRONMAN Kona World Championships here: IronMan.com
To learn more about integrating Compex electric muscle stimulation into your workouts visit our Compex Training page, and to discover more information about electric muscle stimulation visit our page on How Electric Muscle Stimulation Works.
The world’s hardest endurance test, the Ironman World Championship, starts this month in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. On October 11, more than 2,000 high-performance athletes will test their limits during the 140.6-mile journey under the scorching sun and among the beauty that is Kona. We’re happy to announce that four Compex sponsored athletes will be racing in the Ironman: Mirinda Carfrae, Timothy O’Donnell, TJ Tollakson and Dr. Amanda Stevens.
We had some time to chat with 2006 Ironman World Champion, Michellie Jones, about her racing history and how Compex has helped her along the way to Ironman victory. As a professional athlete for more than 25 years, Michellie has found longevity and strength in career because she’s a firm believer in investing in yourself and spending ample time in rest and recovery.
Taking Rest and Recovery Seriously
Michellie has been a Compex believer and user since 1995 and says the electro muscle stimulation doesn’t take away from training, but rather enhances it. “It’s not all about taking care of yourself in terms of diet and training for an Ironman,” she says. “But you always have to take rest and recovery very seriously.”
Using Compex is simple and easy and you can do it while watching TV or sitting at a desk, “The strength program is brilliant because the machine is producing energy, not your body,” she says. Michellie uses Compex before, during and after training. For instance, she’ll start her mornings with the pre-warm up setting to get her blood circulating before a workout. After an interval training workout, she’ll use Compex again to speed up recovery and flush lactic acid.
Benefits of using Compex as an Endurance Athlete
If you’re using Compex because you’re a professional sports player, endurance athlete, or just the average person, you already know how much Compex has changed the way you perform and recover. Michellie believes endurance athletes can benefit from Compex because it enhances your recovery at all levels.
“After using Compex during recovery, you’ll be able to reach a consistent, high level of training on your next workout,” she says. “The removal of lactic acid speeds up recovery and the increase of blood flow enhances recovery. Compex is an amazing, cool, portable device and it should always be in your training bag.”
Training for a demanding athlete feat can leave you feeling uneasy or anxious and Compex helps to enhance your mood by stimulating your endorphins. Michellie uses the Recovery Plus mode often to flush muscles and feels much better after use. “It’s amazing how good you feel.”
Using Compex during Training
When Michellie was using Compex while training for Ironman, she would start her regimen six weeks before the race. One day she would use the Compex strength program on her abs, or her quads, or any other areas of her body that needed extra stimulation.
“The majority of athletes have used a TENS unit during rehab or a chiropractor appointment for pain relief,” she says. “Compex is so much more complex than a TENS device. Muscles are contracted and depending on the Compex mode, the muscle is held for varying amounts of time depending on the program purpose. The Strength mode feels completely different from the Recovery Plus mode. For the Strength modes you are not restricted by range of motion so your Compex device can activate the entire length of the muscle.”
Michellie also says that one of the hardest parts of training for an Ironman is actually getting to the start line injury-free. Training can be grueling and you want to be in the best possible shape. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or what age group you’re in,” she says. “Recovery is part of your training for an Ironman and is part of the whole picture.” While everyone has a slightly different journey to Ironman, the finish line is everyone’s goal.
Using Compex Daily
Like most endurance athletes, Michellie works out frequently at about six to seven times a week. She recommends using the device as often as every day to keep blood flowing and circulating.
“I’m getting on a long flight tonight and plan on using Compex on the plane to keep my blood circulating,” she says. “There are so many things you can do with it and it’s not just for use with an injury. It will benefit you even if you don’t work out.”
Good luck to our Compex Ironman athletes and to all of the Ironman Kona participants!