So this past Sunday was IM 70.3 Steelhead. I went in feeling confident in my swim and was hoping to get some descent feet and swim a bit faster then Saint Andrews so right around 30. On the bike the plan was to settle down and then average 225 watts. Onto the run my plan was to go out at 6 min miles for 7 miles and then push the pace from there.
- 3 hours before race start: bagel with jam and peanut butter + caffeine free tea
- pre race in few hours before drink full bottle of Blueberry Gu Brew
- 15 min before start sip of Brew along with 1 Gu Roctane Gel
– 1 Roctane Gel every 30 min + 1 gel right away
– 2 bottles of 600 ml 100cal Gu Brew
– drink at every aid station + gel at 6 miles
On paper I thought that this nutrition strategy should work fine however this was not the case as shall be seen below. However what I will say is I should have taken in a third bottle on the bike.
Swim: This was a point to point swim from south to north and with offshore 3 foot rolling waves coming in at an angle. I knew that with a run start I was at a disadvantage. Ive always struggled with these and need to practice mentally rehearsing them to gain confidence. However, not being entirely confident in my start I ran into the water in my Xterra Vendetta Suit and quickly ended up at the back of the group. Seeing this, and knowing that with my propensity to get off course on the swim I decided to find some feet that were swimming straight. Unfortunately these were not strong enough feet and I swam 2 minutes slower then Challenge Saint Andrews.
Bike: Once onto the bike I told myself to forget my swim, get the head up and get to work. Knowing that this was a relatively flat course I went out at 230NP on my Felt DA2 and in my new Rudy Project Wing 57 and tried to hold steady around here. However, for the first 40km of the bike my legs felt completely shot and worrying about this I didn’t drink enough maybe getting in 200ml of liquid and 1 gel. Around 40km the legs came around and I remembered to focus on nutrition but I still only got in about 1l of liquid and 4 gels. This was a MAJOR mistake on my part and a huge learning experience for next year. Coming off the bike with your body as close to homeotasis for the run is huge. The bike was a huge positive though as I averaged 226NP with a variable index of only 1.01. The bike ended up having 1118 ft of climbing so it was a fast one with amazing volunteers.
One thing I noticed looking at this file was that my cadence is too slow. Avg 82. I did get a new saddle, the specialized Sitero (which should help with saddle sores) and a fit adjustment bring my knee angle from 19 to 23 degrees making it far easier to hold a faster, more efficient cadence.
Out onto the run in my Sketchers Go Run Speed I felt amazing for 6 miles running right around 6 min mile pace which was the plan. However at that point the screw up on the bike caught up with me and I died. I began to overheat and had to walk a couple of aid stations to get in fluid and fill my suit with ice. My legs also felt like rocks and I was reduced to a shuffle. I think this is mostly due to not handling my temperature well enough as well as not taking in enough fluids on the bike leaving me in a depleted state when I left on the run.
Final thoughts: This race was a great learning experience for next year. It definitely gives me a lot to work on but there are some positives to take away such as the bike. It also showed me better then any article or book the importance of fuelling on the bike to set up the run. Id also like to congratulate Lionel on winning, amazing!
So even though a lot did not go right I need to give myself a B for this race as it was still 10 minutes faster then Saint Andrews with a lot of time to come off without changing fitness.
Now onwards to Worlds where I will be doing the sprint olympic double!