I have finally finished my mini documentary on my training and entry into an Ironman 70.3 race.
2 years in the making, this is the most time consuming, yet rewarding thing I have probably done in life so far. Training was long, hard, and exhausting… but I am glad to have finished the race and highly recommend it to everyone. You just need to put mind over matter.
What a day. Here I sit feeling the after effects of a long race, sore muscles and really sorehip and knee joints. The whole race has become a blur of a memory so I want to write down as much as I can before the memory fades away. You can read more on my fitness 2013 page for the complete race break down. Finish time = 5:27:13
I must say though that the highlight of the race was the swim. It was the area I was most fearful of, thus I trained the hardest for, and it ended up being the part I dominated the most. funny how that works!
The wet suit made the difference. You feel like a million bucks once you have it on, and it adds to your bouancy. Normally when I try to float, the water level is above my eyes. Exhale and I sink right away. But with the wet suit on I could easily relax in the water with my whole head above the surface. This made me feel safe and secure and all thoughts of drowning vanished. I suddenly had huge confidence in the water.
Next, the suit makes you fast. I was staying a little too close to the edge of the lake, which ended up adding about 200 meters to my swim. At one point I was so close to the shore that I almost ran into a private dock. But looking down I could see the rocks at the bottom of the lake. I could also see that I was swimming much faster than I do in the pool. According to the Garmin times, I am a full 3 minutes per km faster with a wetsuit in a lake during a race, than I have ever been in the pool. Man did this ever make me feel good. I knew I was swimming well when I started to see green, blue, pink, and white swim caps on the people around me before I had even reached the north turn point.
As I said, the swim was the highlight of the race because it was new, and I did way better than expected. The bike and the run portion are old hat to me now and I don’t have much to say other than I need to train harder and do more Brick sessions. Below is a list of things I learned during the race.
Too much water on the bike, 2 unused bottles
Too much water on the run, 1 unused bottle
Too much food total race, only needed 3 bars and liquid gels
Use the provided food and water to save weight
Only bring supplements food and water
Sight more often in the water, you turn without noticing
Try to drop into swim pace sooner, too fast out of the gate
Stay closer to center line, less extra distance 2.1
Plan out transition 1 better, too much time lost here
Drafting is allowed as long as you are always passing people, use the draft MORE
More training time in aero position to avoid a sore neck
Find partners to race with in the bike and run
Conversation makes the miles fly by, and the race more enjoyable
throw out the motivation to all those around you
Be ready for the end game, the real race started in the last 5km of running
Find ways to boost mental attitude when feeling defeated
Ironman 70.3 is only a few days away and there is no more training left to do. My body can’t possibly get any more prepared for this years “A” race than it is right now. All I have left to do is figure out the logistics of race day, mentally prep, and get lots of rest. That last one will be tough with the way work has been lately.
I am a little disappointed in my training stats, but that is mostly due to the lack of focus over the past few months with my new work routine and less available training time. Here’s what my training over the last 9 months looks like.
79 Swim sessions totaling 47.5 hours of free-styling for 103 kilometers = 2:46/100m average.
44 Bike sessions totaling 61 hours and traveling 1644 kilometers = 26.95kph average.
56 Run sessions totaling 45 hours and covering 508 kilometers = 11.28kph or 5:19/km average.
My current times are much better, as the above averages are based on the entire 9 months of training. My most recent training session had times that look more like this:
Swim at 1:53/100m
Bike at 32 KPH
Run at 4:33/km
My optimal scenario would be a finish the Ironman 70.3 in less than 5 hours, which the above averages suggest I am capable of. However; I am more realistic than that. I know that I will not be running at a 4:33 pace after all that swimming and biking. Therefore, my target time is to best 5:30…..and to finish just under 6 hours would be even more realistic. This is my first big race of this style and distance, so I have no idea what kind of metal torture awaits me. This will be like running two Duathlons back to back. This is a race that I have tried my best to prepare for, and I am a little scared that I have not trained nearly hard or long enough. The butterflies are already in my stomach.