It’s not over yet!- 10 weeks to Ironman

This  is a tough blog for me to write. Last week was my worst week of training to date! I took the necessary couple days off post race and recovered really well! I pushed training back on Wednesday and got into Calgary late Wednesday night. Thursday was a rainy grey day in Calgary and I was exhausted from getting into Calgary late on Wednesday night. I took the rainy morning to recuperate. I had some commitments and errands in the afternoon on Thursday, and was planning on an evening swim… and then I was evacuated due to the flooding. Leaving Calgary at 10pm on Thursday night getting in at 1:00am I was feeling under the weather with a nasty headache Friday. Friday afternoon I left for a very special weekend at the lake this weekend in memory of an amazing young man that left us far too early and decided to leave my training at home for the weekend.

I came home Sunday feeling panicked that I had taken a whole week off training and that there is NO way I will be ready for Ironman, let alone my next race in 2 weeks.  I found myself feeling nervous and anxious about getting back on track. I felt helpless. I realized how hard this has been without a coach or prior experience to pull from. This has been a bit of a recurring feeling for me. Training for this Ironman has felt very solo from day 1 and it has been a tough push and as I come into my final big push I am finding it harder to stay focused and motivated. I feel overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone I am intimidated but what I have coming up. So tonight I decided to do what a lot of people do when they need answers- I googled “9 weeks to Ironman” I found the most amazing letter from a coach to their team on being 9 weeks out. And suddenly I felt a strong sense of ease come over me. There are resources all around me, which can be very intimidating and confusing, but this time I hit the nail on the head. It basically answered all of my questions! Not to mention got me thinking about a couple things that I haven’t.

In a nutshell here is some of what I learned!

Some issues you may be facing over the next few weeks:

IM training is not easy and you will get tired. All of you have scheduled days off and you need to take them. Sleep as much as you can and take on as little outside responsibility as you can right now. Eat well. Limit your consumption of alcohol and avoid standing for extended periods of time. Life stress and diet aggravate fatigue, if you haven’t figured this out.

If there is a time to be selfish, this is it. I’m not asking you to neglect your families, but if you can, now is the time to withdraw some of the understanding, patience, and support they offer you. Get a little extra sleep and skip those trips to the amusement park after a four-hour Saturday brick (you know who you are!).

Don’t pick up extra shifts, more clients, etc right now. I’m speaking from experience. We all have to make a living, but this is the time to keep it to a minimum. If you have pressing issues that can’t be avoided, then let’s work out some creative ways to get in sufficient training while dealing with the challenges of the real world.

Junk food is the worst thing you can do to your body. It will get you through the day but please, please avoid it if possible. Eat healthy, and by this I mean lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.

It may ebb over the next few weeks as you accumulate more and more miles. You need to keep your goal in sight and in mind. You’re training for an Ironman, arguably the toughest one-day athletic event on the planet. This takes countless hours of preparation. You are the one who signed up for it. You are the one who must prepare for it. And you are the one who will be smiling as you cross the finish line. No one else can do it for you.

IM Race day plan: 
By now you should at least have an outline of a plan. It should NOT be: 
Show up at race. 

Not gonna work! 🙂

We’re talking about a comprehensive strategy for tackling the race. It is a very sound idea to break the race into segments and concentrate on a segment at a time.

General summary: 
Remember, every athletic endeavor starts with a vision and a dream. We all come to the sport of triathlon, and eventually to Ironman, because something about the challenge calls to us. The road is difficult and will require you to reach new heights and find depths of strength you did not know you had. Keep digging, because there’s always more.

Your goal at IMF may be to PR the course, or to simply finish. The work you have put in to this point and will put in from this point forward is the embodiment of that goal. Race day will see your vision in action. When you arrive at the finish line you will see it is no longer a dream; it’s reality.

You’ll be an Ironman.-(

What I realized when I read this letter was that there are a lot of athletes out there feeling what I am feeling and sometimes you just need someone to remind you that all of it is alright. We get so caught up in motivational material its easy to forget that life happens and that the best part about falling off the wagon is that you can get back on, and even more importantly.. everyone struggles with it! So I had a rough week of training and motivation- I also had an amazing weekend surrounded by family in memory of a very special young man, filled with new memories and moments that I was able to take in because I wasn’t off training. It was probably one of the best ways that I could have spent a weekend away from training.

– Now to continue on and move forward with my training this week- because I WILL BE AN IRONMAN!

Here are some highlights from the weekend:

fish 2-1

Trying to hold onto my first fish for a picture!

fish 3

Jason with his cousin Matthew making Kev proud!

fishing 1

Finally figured it out! VOILA!



Amy Coppens About Amy Coppens

I’m passionate about fitness, health and helping others achieve their goals and as a result their best life.


  1. Amy you are so cute! You inspire me with your strength and beauty, not only physically but of character as well. Your blog post is encouraging because it brings out the challenges daily life can bring to even the most seasoned athlete. Your attitude in making the choice not to let those obstacles overcome you is a great example. Your photos are beautiful! Joie de vivre!!! Don’t forget to stay strong, you never know who you are inspiring.

    • Amy Coppens Amy Coppens says:

      Thank you so much for the kinds words Kasia! It means a lot to know that even my trials can connect with other people. I appreciate the support and the encouragement to keep it up! I hope you know the same goes for you! 🙂

  2. I literally just googled “10 weeks to ironman” after having a difficult week of Long hours and travel with work, eating poorly and generally having a massive crisis of confidence at having bitten off more than I can chew (giving myself 20 weeks to train for a challenge distance tri that includes the highest mountain in Britain with basically limited prior training and 4 years of hip and knee problems – megalolz!). So thanks – it’s great to hear this is to be expected and I can let myself off the hook for last week and knuckle down to the final hurdle!

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