The krazy life of triathlon

Ironman Switzerland Plan

So sat here in the hotel, I have to admit I am feeling completely unprepared! The best laid plans that I had before I flew out, as ever, haven’t happened. My flight was delayed so I missed the race briefing. Nothing major, other than I had no idea of the swim course!

Getting here on Friday, I built the bike, then wandered down to registration, had a look around the expo and ran back. The weather has been miserable in the last couple of days, and I might as well be back in England with this weather! So I forwent the bike in order to keep the bike clean. As Nirvana Europe messed up the timing for the Bike Reccee, I went to the pasta party instead of going on that, so I guess I’ll see the bike course tomorrow! The pasta party was good fun though, a chance to rewind and soak up the atmosphere.

Waking up this morning to worse rain, I needed to get out on the bike so had no choice. The plan was to cycle down to the swim, get a swim in, then cycle back. I’ve met some Swindon Tri guys who are in the same hotel, so we all went down together. Unfortunately there have been a load of triathlons today, so the lake has been out of bounds… no swim it is! It was good to get out on the bike and loosen the legs up, they’ve been feeling really lethargic from having done nothing. Annoyingly, due to the bad weather, my chain still hasn’t bedded it, so it will be jumping if I try to put a lot of power down tomorrow until it settles down. I have my biggest cog, which seems fine, so the major climbs should be ok. Once back, I had a nap and then went for a short run before getting in the Nirvana bus to rack the bikes.

Being young, I have a low number so was supposed to be in the first group to rack. Unfortunately everyone seemed to be trying to get down early, regardless of their number, and there were some typical European queuing! Over an hour later I finally racked my bike! A short wander around the expo, a very large bowl of pasta bolognaise and then another long wait for the bus back. So having not swam since Wednesday, and having been ages since I spent a long time on the bike and being tired, I am feeling a bit apprehensive about tomorrow! It is also yet to sink in, that tomorrow is the thing I have been working towards since January! However the goals remain the same:

Overall goals:

I have 3 levels of goals for tomorrow; My main goal, which should be easily achievable is to PB in everything! Given the run up last year, this really shouldn’t be difficult. My secondary goal, which I think should be achievable given nothing major, is to go sub 12. If I have a fantastic race, my stretch goal is sub-11. If I am in good shape, and everything goes right then it is possible. Though I know it is possibly, I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t get it. As long as I finish knowing that I have given everything, I will be happy.

The Swim

I’m going to position myself fairly aggressively for this, with the aim of getting into a good pack. Knowing I can do 1hr09 in the pool, I should be able to do 1hr05 in a wetsuit. With a good draft, closer to the hour shouldn’t be too out of reach.

Goal: 1 hour 05.

The Bike

This is a bit of an unknown. Not knowing the course, and with good roads, I don’t know quite what I am capable of at the moment. Talking to some people at Llandudno, they reckon I should be going well under 5, though I’m unsure of my shape at the moment. I will set my watch to go off every 15 mins to remind me to drink and eat, and will aim for a handful of jelly babies, or a gel every half hour, with a bar as well every hour if I still feel hungry. Given the forecast I will aim for a bottle of electrolyte every hour, and refill at the stations. If it is hotter I will take more, but go more off how I feel.

I want to be able to push the hills, giving all the climbing I have done recently, and will aim to keep it steady but not in the red. Having some good descents and flats, as long as it is dry it should be a good bike. Given my heart rate monitor dying, everything will be done on feel, though I do know where my lactate threshold is for feel, and will aim to keep it feeling slightly too easy for the first couple of hours, steady for the middle, then keep pushing in the final 2. Hopefully once I have warmed up, the legs should come through.

Target time: 6 hours

The Run

The run is another slight unknown. I know I run well off the bike, and have got the endurance to run well even if the bike speed isn’t there yet. As long as I don’t blow up on the bike, I should be able to put in a solid run. Despite thinking I am not up to scratch in my running, the last couple have races have shown I am running well. All my training runs have put me running at 3hr30 pace, but I have not run over 2 hours in training, due to one reason or the other, so am unsure of my run endurance. I am aiming for a gel and fuel belt bottle every half and hour, and have enough for 2 hours, at which point I will switch to aid station stuff. If I feel up to it, I will stick with this target, but will adapt as necessary, and switch to bananas if my stomach shuts down. Obviously taking water when I need it. Given my lack of long runs, I have added half an hour for that.

Target time: 4 hours

So hopefully with not faffing about too much in transition, I should be on for 11 and a half hours or so. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow!

On a final note, I am number 85, so anyone interesting in tracking can go to Ironman Live to check how badly I’m doing!

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