Sado Astroman - A Type - Triathlon

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Sado, Niigata
19C / 66F
Total Time = 13h 13m 39s
Overall Rank = 274/937
Age Group = 55-59
Age Group Rank = 11/74
Pre-race routine:

In bed by 9 and up at 2:15. Breakfast about 2:30 am - cold oatmeal soaked in milk (350 cal), 1 banana (100 cal) and a coffee. Left the hotel at 3:30 and was in the parking lot at 3:50. Got my bike set up and did the 10 minute walk to the race area. Body marking opened at 4:30.
Event warmup:

Same as last year: At 5:10 or so I did a 10 minute run warmup. That got my heart rate up and body warmed up. As soon as I finished, I put on my wet suit and went down for about 15 minutes of very easy swimming. The water was very calm like last year and there was only a very slight breeze.
  • 1h 31m 27s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 25s / 100 meters

Plan: start at the very back, stay to the outside until past the first buoy and then move in closer depending on the congestion; swim very relaxed with my head out of the water the whole way.

Actual: started at the back/outside, but moved to the middle where there were actually less people. I felt completely calm through the first lapOn the second lap I felt even better and pretty much held the buoy lines the whole way. I came out feeling great.

Keeping my head up, helped me avoid a lot of the zig-zagging swimmers. I am inefficient, but the amount of energy being wasted was amazing. Of course, the folks ahead of us must be swimming better, right?
What would you do differently?:

I need to get my swim act together and pick up 15-20 minutes on the swim. That is my goal for next year.
Transition 1
  • 05m

this went pretty well and 2 minutes faster than last year. It included a pretty long walk/run from the finish to my transition spot. I spent a little time wiping off my feet, but that was about it. I did add sunscreen or chamois cream. I also did not put my gloves on until I was riding (slipped them over the aerobar pads and that worked out well - something I had practiced).

I took my wetsuit off just before running through the shower area and that worked well.
What would you do differently?:

Not a lot. I can still pick up a minute or so if I move faster.
  • 6h 38m 17s
  • 190 kms
  • 28.62 km/hr

Plan: ride the first hour at target 145-150 watts and the remainder at 150-155. For nutrition, drink 2 500 cc bottles of Aquarius (a Coke product sports drink they offer on the course) per hour plus 1/2 youkan or daifuku (these are Japanese sweets made from red beans and sugar). There are 90 calories per 500 cc of Aquarius 85 calories per half youkan and 110 calories per half daifuku. Total calories per hour target was 260-280.

Actual: For the first 60 km I averaged 150 watts. That got me up to and into the first major climb area of the day. I could not maintain the averages on the ups and downs for the next 20km or so - too much coasting/braking on the downhills (and switchback turns). For 80-100km (mostly flats), I averaged 144 watts and an average speed of 38 km/hr. The rain started very lightly at 110km and got progressively worse. It was not possible to focus on my bike computer and ride safely at the same time so I just focused on riding. My average power output for the 110-190 km was about 125 watts and average speed dropped off.

The second major climb area between 160-175 km was a challenge. The climb itself was okay, but the descents and accompanying turns in the hard rain were tricky and I ended up slowing down quite a bit after one near skid on a turn.

My nutrition went mostly according to plan. For some reason the daifuku sweets stuck to the plastic wrap and I struggled to get them out. After fighting through two of them, I decided to try something different and picked up a rice ball at an aid station. The rice was still warm and it was great. Next year I will include them in my nutrition plans.

I did end up stopping twice at bathrooms and that cost me about 4.5 minutes of riding. I know that the pros just pee on the bike and rinse off with a water bottle, but I was not up for trying that.

What would you do differently?:

Not a lot. I think my power goals were a little overoptimistic or my overall endurance at those power levels was not sufficient (very possible). I think that having the rain slow me down a little was a good thing. Otherwise, I may have crashed and burned on the run. All in all, I was pretty happy with the improvement and the way I handled the course.
Transition 2
  • 08m 49s

This ran a little long mostly because I made an essential stop at the porto-potty. Note that using toilet paper when you are soaking wet from the rain is a pain in the....

What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. It was slow, but it needed to be slow.
  • 4h 50m 6s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 06m 52s  min/km

Plan: 6:15-6:20 pace for the first hour and then see if I could up the pace from there. For nutrition, I wanted to alternate coke and aquarius, walking through the aid stations.

Actual: I went out at 6 min/km average which was a little too fast, but my HR seemed fine and the pace felt good. My pace slowly increased throughout the run until it was about 7:10 per km for the last 5 or so km. I was able to hit the drinks as planned, but skipped the last aid station. I did walk all but the last aid station and logged about 14.5 minutes of walking.
What would you do differently?:

Given my condition, nothing really could have changed except starting out at a slightly slower pace - I should have done that. I need to get a more solid running base back under my legs. I still believe I can approach a 4 hour marathon off the bike if I can nail my training plans.
Post race
Warm down:

LOL. I crossed the finish line, got my finisher towel and walked through to the tables where they had some fruit. I ate one piece of watermelon and just after finishing I started to shiver - deep, "got a fever" type shivers. I realized I was cooling off very fast and needed to get warm - it was still pouring rain. So, I grabbed my checked bag and headed into the school gym nearby. It was available for changing and bathrooms. After getting into all the dry clothing I had brought with me including a nice rain coat, I felt better. The coat really helped because I had to pick up my bike/wet suit, etc and walk about 500 meters to the parking lot where my car was waiting.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Swimming skill level, a 2 month gap in swim training, a 2 month gap in run training were the major factors.

Event comments:

They did an outstanding job especially when you consider the weather. The volunteer staff coverage it really well considering the rain.

Last updated: 2015-09-11 12:00 AM
01:31:27 | 3800 meters | 02m 25s / 100meters
Age Group: 38/74
Overall: 652/937
Performance: Average
Suit: DeSoto Full
Course: 1900 meter triangle X 2. They set up a water stand on the edge of the beach and allow you to come out of the water to get a drink if you like.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:38:17 | 190 kms | 28.62 km/hr
Age Group: 8/74
Overall: 214/937
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Once around the island. That includes about 1150 meters of climbing (per Garmin...last year my cyclops said 1550) and also 7-8 km of tunnels (3 of them are really long). It is a really beautiful course that passes through many small fishing villages and gives you some great views of the ocean. The road itself is mostly good although there are some rough areas in some of the smaller villages. There are a total of 12 aid stations on the course - 7 of them have food (powerbar gel, bananas, onigiri (rice balls)) and the other 5 are drink only. Sports drink, coke, water and Japanese tea were available.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:49
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
04:50:06 | 42.2 kms | 06m 52s  min/km
Age Group: 12/74
Overall: 320/937
Performance: Average
Course: They modified it this year to make it an out and back that you run twice - smart because it allowed them to optimize the number of water/aid stations they needed. They actually took out a lot of flat and left the part that includes the long slow up/down (140 meters very gradual) - easy the first time around and much tougher the second. It goes through some residential areas and also spends a little time out in the rice fields. You end up with a net 8 aid stations and 8 water/drink only stations - just about right.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4