Sado Astroman - A Type - Triathlon

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Sado, Niigata
Sado City and Japan Triathlon Union
26C / 79F
Total Time = 13h 36m 56s
Overall Rank = 346/958
Age Group = 55-59
Age Group Rank = 22/98
Pre-race routine:

Got to bed about 10 and up around 2am. I did not sleep all that well. I had a slight cold/cough that helped keep me awake. I ate about 2:30 and headed out the door at 3:30am, getting to the parking lot at 4am.
Event warmup:

Starting about 5am, I ran for about 10 minutes including a few faster bursts. After that I got my wetsuit on and spent 15-20 minutes in the water.
  • 1h 45m 3s
  • 4000 meters
  • 02m 38s / 100 meters

I can go the distance - that is clear. I now need to focus on building my swim strength back up.
What would you do differently?:

not much with my current swim fitness and confidence level. I may have been able to pull a little harder the whole way through, but I stuck with what felt comfortable so that I could put the effort in on the bike and run.
Transition 1
  • 03m 57s

In the past I have taken the bottom half of the wetsuit off on the beach after coming out of the water. I have to go back to that - it works. This time I wore it all the way back to the bike and I struggled just a little getting it off past my feet. The right leg did get hung up on the timing chip. I did dry my feet a little, add some sun screen to my face and then headed out. My time can be faster, but 3:57 is probably about the best I have done in T1 at Sado.
What would you do differently?:

see comments above about the wetsuit bottom. I also struggled a little with the top which got hung up on my garmin, but no time impact.
  • 6h 53m 52s
  • 190 kms
  • 27.55 km/hr

Plan: Try to average 150 watts, but with an average heart rate of 114-115. Allow the HR to go up on the climbs - there is no way around it. Try to drink 1.5 liters in each of the first two hours and then at least a liter per hour after that. Eat 1/3 youkan per hour to top off required calories.

Actual: I ended up averaging 129 watts and my average heart rate for the whole ride was 112. My HR was in the 120-130 range for the first half hour, but came down after that. My focus was on keeping current power at about 150. I think last year, I got hung up on keeping my average power at 150 and that caused me spend a lot of time at power levels 160-165. I am sure a lot of the variance is coming from all the small (and large) hills.

I did my best to stick to the hydration plan, but it is tough to keep track of once you get to a certain point. Aquarius gets old after a while.

I was a little disappointed to see the average power at 129 watts, but my power graphs show that I spent more time in the 145-155 watt range (graph attached for my future reference). In retrospect, I think I was riding close to the right power. If I had pushed it harder, I would have suffered more on the run. It is a tough balance.

I ended up making two bathroom stops. I lost a minute for the first one (good), but 6.5 for the second - waiting.

All in all, I still did quite well on the bike. I came out of the water in 829th place. My bike time, which included T1 and T2 times plus the bathroom breaks, was still 283 overall. That moved me up to 387 overall.

What would you do differently?:

Tough call as I said earlier - perhaps I could have ridden a little harder in a few places on the course, but I think I would have paid the price on the run. In the long term, I need to spend more time on the bike and get increase my FTP if I want to go faster.
Transition 2
  • 07m 42s

I purposely took my time through T2 which included another bathroom break. I walked the bike in and I walked out again. The bathroom break is at least half of the time. This can be shorter.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - this felt right.
  • 4h 46m 22s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 06m 47s  min/km

Plan: Use Heart Rate as my primary monitor with a 119-121 bpm target and try not to run any faster than 6:10 per km. Alternate between Aquarius and Coke at the aid stations. Walk through all aid stations - 30-45 seconds ideally, but more if it feels right.

Actual: This worked well. I ended up with total walking time of about 10.5 minutes. I kept pushing myself to hit the heart rate target. Without focusing on that, I would have gradually drifted back to a slower pace. The pace still drops off as the race progresses it would drop off even more.

Drinking was tough. I just felt kind of full, but I still took a cup at each aid station. I am sure that I should have been drinking a little more because I needed no bathroom stops the whole run. I did keep checking to make sure that I was still sweating and had no problems with overheating.

With about 4 km left to go in the race, my left calf cramped. I ended up walking some in order to get through that and one of my kilometers ended up being 9 minutes long. I was able to resume running again after what must have been a 3 minute walk only period. I took it a little easier at first and then picked up the pace again for the last km of the race.

I was at 387 overall after the swim/bike. My run time was 370th overall. That, combined with my bike, put me at 346 overall for the race.
What would you do differently?:

Try to drink more. To make the run faster, I need to up my running time. I did quite well considering my run mileage. I still think that if my weekly run totals can reach 60-70km peak, I can run 4-4:15.

Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed my bag and put on a jacket. As after previous races, I ended up with some chills and I was better prepared this time. I did not feel like eating anything and the last thing I wanted was another class of coke or sports drink. I had a little tea and ramped up my fluid intake once I got back to my hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think my performance matched up fairly well with my training. If I want to get faster, I have to bump up my training, especially the swim and the run.

Event comments:

I really like the course and the way it is organized. The volunteers and the folks on Sado that come out and sit by the course to cheer you on are great. I will be back.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2017-09-07 12:00 AM
01:45:03 | 4000 meters | 02m 38s / 100meters
Age Group: 74/98
Overall: 829/958
Performance: Below average
Plan: start at the very back and towards the middle of the line. Move in closer to the buoy line as congestion clears; swim very relaxed with my head out of the water the whole way. Actual: Per plan. I felt completely calm through the first lap and was able to come around the turns quite close to the bouys. On the second lap I felt even better and pretty much held the buoy lines the whole way. I came out feeling great. The only problem is that my time was terrible.
Suit: DeSoto Full
Course: 2000 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. The distance was increased this year from the normal 3.8km to 4km.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 23C / 73F Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:57
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:53:52 | 190 kms | 27.55 km/hr
Age Group: 21/98
Overall: 283/958
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Once around the island which includes about 1500 meters of climbing 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 Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:42
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
04:46:22 | 42.2 kms | 06m 47s  min/km
Age Group: 25/98
Overall: 370/958
Performance: Average
My goal was to keep my HR at about 119-121 and allow it to go up some on the hills. I ended up doing that most of the time and had an average heart rate of 117 for the run.
Course: The course is basically an out and back that you run twice. It includes about 140 meters of climbing total (70 meters each lap) - 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 Not enough
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5