Green Member: Jason Ross
Event: IM 70.3 Texas
Class (yours): M 35-39
Results: 5:19:33 379/2199
Local Knowledge and Conditions: I signed up for this race just 2 weeks before the event, to use it as a training simulation for IM St George on May 7. Candidly, I didn't do much homework about the course…just looked at the course maps, figured it would be pancake flat, humid, and windy. And it was! Side note, CTS (actually Barry's former coach, Lindsay) published an article on twitter this week about using 70.3s in an IM build up. They recommend doing it 9 weeks before the IM, but that is assuming one is really planning to go "all out" in racing the 70.3, as opposed to my plan of simulating IM pacing. Here's the article: http://www.trainrightblog.com/2011/04/11/using-a-70-3-to-optimize-your-ironman/
Pre-Race Strategy & Warm Up: See psychology below, for strategy. I had hoped to go 5 hours, based on a 36:00 swim, 2:30 bike, and 1:50 run.
Psychology: I have performed poorly in my previous two IM 70.3's, which were both "A" races for those years. In both races I went too hard on the swim, way too hard on the bike, and was depleted on the run (making for just miserable finishing experiences). I also failed to properly hydrate and fuel on the bike in those prior long course races, resulting in bonks. (Let the record reflect that these prior long course races were without the benefit of a private coach.) Most recently at IM Arizona 2010, I actually tried to take in too many calories too quickly late in the bike and suffered from GI problems most of the "run." Heading into ST George next month, I was determined to try to use Galveston to test pacing, hydration, and fueling. While I certainly wanted to try to go out and lay down a smoking time, because it is a RACE after all, I really wanted to try to conserve on the swim and bike by keeping to a pace I would want to try to hold at St George and set myself up for a better run experience.
Race break down:
Nailed the swim (which felt really easy to me). Was slower on the bike than goal time due to wind and my commitment to keep it on cruise control at 200 watts for the bike. (I also had to stop on the bike to fix a brake, take a leak, and lost my left arm rest pad about 30 miles in--riding on metal base is not fun.) I ran a little slower than expected…probably because Galveston was much warmer and more humid than I am acclimated to at present. Good news is that I didn't blow myself out by any means in Galveston and hamper IM build up by needing a recovery.
Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned): This race really solidified lessons learned from prior races. Tempered myself on the bike, and it made for a much more enjoyable run. People have told me that before, and it hadn't really sunk in until now.
Future Goals (include skills executed well and skills needing improvement): Still looking to break 5 hours at a 70.3. Maybe next year I'll try pick one and make it an A race.
Fitness (endurance, nutrition, hydration): Endurance was great…felt really good after the race (good enough to take the kids to the pool and beach, in fact). Nutrition/hydration plan came together well: Infinit nutrition every 15 minutes, with water every 5, on the bike. Carried two bottles on the bike…one was Infinit and the other pure water, which I traded out twice for new water at aid stations. Run was powergel every 30 minutes and a partial cup of Gatorade/water at every aid station.
Something funny that happened: Some guy at the start line looked at me and said, "I guess this isn't your first rodeo." I asked, "What makes you think that?" He said, "because the race starts in 10 minutes and you're the only guy here who hasn't put his wetsuit on yet." It struck me as funny because, in reality I was running late to the start and literally hadn't had time to put on my wetsuit, not because I was trying to play it "cool." However, it made me realize that I was in fact relaxed and nowhere near as anxious as in previous long course races. RELAXING before a long course race makes a big difference, especially for the first few minutes of the swim, instead of getting amped and starting out too hot (temp and HR).