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Ironman 70.3 Muskoka - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Huntsville, Ontario
World Triathlon Corporation
27C / 81F
Total Time = 5h 52m 17s
Overall Rank = 258/847
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 47/112
Pre-race routine:

Things didn't really go my way starting a few days vefore the race. Long story short, I found one of my rear derailleur pulleys was cracked in half and so I replaced both of them. Over the next two days I needed two different bike shops to try and figure out why my gears were clattering and not shifting correctly, ultimately having the onsite bike mechanics work on it, but then discovered the rear hanger was hitting my disc cover while in my 25 gear - which I needed for the hills.

Got my bike back 1/2 an hour before transition closed but needed to work on the cover so got permission to take the wheel out and come back in. But wait, someone had now taken my spot in transition. Luckily one of the volunteers/officials moved their bike for me. Left my bike hanging on the rack by the seat - BAM. It fell off the rack onto the rear derailleur, oh no... Worked on the cover, and taped it to some of the spokes, headed back to my bike and found the gears were all messed up from the fall. Ran back to the bike mechanics and luckily they worked on it for a couple of minutes and said they'd straightened it out. Back to transition, and hopefully the last of my stress. I was the last racer I could see in transition.

Didn't have a great sleep, and kept waking up but figured I should be fine. Felt the normal pre-race nerves, but they are always there. Got to the race site an hour before transition closed which was plenty of time since I wasn't off till the 5th wave. Got everything setup, and found my aerobottle holder had broken. Great, luckily I had a couple of large elastics in my bag and tied it back together.
Event warmup:

They allowed a 6min swim warmup before each wave went off, so I swam a bit, paid attention to the group in front and then set myself up on the far right and tread water till we went off.
  • 37m 7s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters

I watched the wave go off in front off us and noticed a lot of them started way right of the first bouy which meant they all came together again which looked like quite the scrum. Made sure I was going to sight well and not let that happen to me - I then proceeded to swim right of the first bouy. Not my finest moment, but apart from some bumping and a big crowd it wasn't terrible.

After rounding the second bouy it thinned out, and when we made the turn on the third bouy there was a lot of open water. I sighted for a boat house by the final turn bouy and that worked well and I felt I swam the longest stretch with a pretty good line.

When I started to catch the earlier wave, and then the even earlier wave I was feeling pretty good about my swim. Then two fish from the wave behind me blew past me and reminded me of my MOP status. Nonetheless, this was a really good solid swim for me, and I'm happy with the result.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 04m 46s

Long run, about 300M, uphill to transition. Felt things went fairly smoothly, but I wasn't rushing.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, just wanted to get through T1 calmly and not stress myself.
  • 3h 09m 26s
  • 94 kms
  • 29.77 km/hr

I focused on this race as my A race for the year and put in more riding than ever before. I followed a plan, used my PM, and tried to train on hills to be ready for the race.

Plan was to aim for 195 watts, which is around 78% CP. This should be a solid effort but easily manageable. I tried very hard to spin up the hills since I wanted to keep my VI as low as possible, and I just let people who were killing themselves early or were stronger than me ride away. The goal was to be modest.

Stayed true to the goal and was actually riding a little under in terms of watts, but felt good. Should have actually paid attention to HR as well as I learned after the race that even though power was staying low, HR was in the low 160's. I was expecting low to mid 150's for this effort. Even though HR was a little high, I felt good, but still dialed the effort back even further in the last 30km trying to save energy. Power dropped all the way down into the 160's as I managed the uphills as best as possible, while coasting the downhills.

Finishing the ride I felt good, but also a little disappointed as I had hoped for a better time this year. But I got off the bike looking forward to the run, this is where I expected to run some people down.

Bike Intervals per 10km
1) Watts 189, NP 207, HR 151
2) Watts 197, NP 203, HR 159
3) Watts 194, NP 196, HR 162
4) Watts 182, NP 192, HR 160
5) Watts 189, NP 192, HR 163
6) Watts 184, NP 185, HR 163
7) Watts 178, NP 185, HR 165
8) Watts 180, NP 189, HR 164
9) Watts 162, NP 182, HR 160

Ride totals:
Watts 182, NP 192, HR 161, IF 0.769
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure how to answer this. I rode more than ever before, totalling just under 4000km this year. I did long rides, those with intensity, etc., but the result I wanted still elluded me. I'm not sure what I can do to further improve for next year.
Transition 2
  • 01m 47s

Not much to say. This was a decent transition and I didn't waste too much time.
  • 1h 59m 12s
  • 21.08 kms
  • 05m 39s  min/km

Goal was to run a 4:50/kmpace for the first 3km and then drop it into the 4:45 range. First couple of km were a little slow but lots of uphill here so I told myself things were going well. Started to feel a bit tierd over the next couple of km and told myself I was just going through a bit of a bad patch and would recover - didn't happen as things got worse. By km 6 I was reduced to a complete walk, everyone at that point was running and I was walking along with no energy and feeling completely dejected. I honestly thought about quitting. By the time I made it to the next aid station all I could think about was that I was throwing away the last 6 months of training.

That aid station was the first time I ever had Pepsi in a race, and I just thought about how people rave it's a magic elixsor - and it was. Within a minute I was running again, and all of a sudden I was passing people as went up the biggest hill on the course, and then I just kept going. Each aid station I grabbed water, Perform, Pepsi and kept running. Although I felt like I was flying I was really only doing around a 5min pace, but it was better than before.

Unfortunately, it dind't last forever and I likely used up too much of my new found energy too quickly. By the time we hit fairy trail and all the little rollers my legs started to go, and I started to walk intermittently. By km 18 I was done and started to stubme and weave side to side a bit. I walked the last of the uphills until about km 19.5 and then ran the rest of the way including the final hill.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. This is what I need to figure out and try to understand. I ran a 1:33 HM in May and had every expectation that I could run close to a 1:40 at the end of this race. I wasn't even close.
Post race
Warm down:

My wife found me after watching me finish and I lay out in the grass for a bit and tried to stretch, but I was definitely a hurting unit. Standing and walking took soem effort.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm not sure. I don't think I got enough calories and that may have hurt me on the run. Ultimately I had 3 gels on the bike + 2 bottles of Perform, and some water. That was not terrible, but not optimal. However, I don't know that that explains why I had a complete meltdown on the run. I paced the bike super conservative, even though the HR was a bit high - likely due to the heat, so I expected to have the legs and energy to run.

I'm not sure...I need to think about this and hopefully get feedback from others about how to better approach this race. This is my second time doing the race, and had an almost identical result - 2 years and thousands more km on the bike, I would have expected better.

All that training, and I didn't have it on the one day it counted. Much to learn still.

Event comments:

Funnily I'm going to say the course was just right for my ability - even though it kicked my a$$. I write this because I feel I can do better than my result showed on the day.

Last updated: 2011-06-29 12:00 AM
00:37:07 | 1931 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 41/112
Overall: 256/847
Performance: Good
Suit: Nineteen Pipeline
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:46
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:09:26 | 94 kms | 29.77 km/hr
Age Group: 61/112
Overall: 323/847
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: One big loop (extra 2 miles since it's a single loop) around lake of bays. First and third sections are very hilly.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:59:12 | 21.08 kms | 05m 39s  min/km
Age Group: 41/112
Overall: 271/847
Performance: Bad
Course: Tough hilly route, that seems to be constantly going up.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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

2011-09-13 9:53 PM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

2011-09-14 7:04 AM
in reply to: #3685360

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-09-14 8:28 AM
in reply to: #3685360

Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Congrats on the finish and being persistent. Recover well, learn from the race, and give it a go again. A lot of us know you can put in the performance you expect of yourself. I have heard Muskoka is a tough tough coruse.

2011-09-14 8:35 AM
in reply to: #3685360

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

I can't offer any advice but I think you did well to push through all the negative chatter and not give up.  We race, we suffer, we analyze - hopefully we learn and we race again hoping to improve.  I'd still kill for your time on a bad race day

2011-09-14 8:59 AM
in reply to: #3685360

Extreme Veteran
Montreal, QC
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Congrats on the race! I feel your pain about the run! Such a tough, but gorgeous course! See you there next year?
2011-09-14 12:34 PM
in reply to: #3685791

Extreme Veteran
Acton, Ontario
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Congrats on your finish! Looks like we are both going to be spending some time to re-think the training we put in before the race.

I was in your situation last year when I did Muskoka (did a 1:33:xx half, and was hoping for around 1:40:xx on the Muskoka run). Last year I did it, but this year I was way off.

Every race day will never be perfect, we simply have to do the best with the energy and strength we have on the day. I think you did just that, which is an admirable feat on its own!

Your expectations on race day were on target, and I am sure that in the future you will hit those targets... lets hope for the near future!

2011-09-14 3:53 PM
in reply to: #3685360

Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
It can be very frustrating when you don't get the results we want.

I sent you a PM about my feedback on the race. But I will say that I have no comment on the power meter data. I don't coach/train with a power meter. Just HR. Most people can't afford one.

Heat will do a number on your overall ability. When it's cooler my zone 2 HR puts me at 9:30 mm running. When it is hot my zone 2 HR has me running a 11:00 mm. Big difference. So maybe you ran too hard, thus the high HR, for the heat you were in????

Overall though, you had a solid race. While the run wasn't what you wanted, the overall time was good.

2011-09-14 5:11 PM
in reply to: #3685360

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Given everything that went on...only a true triathlete would push thru and finish with a repsectable time...very impressed.



2011-09-16 6:45 AM
in reply to: #3685360

Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Good job finishing it off Neil.  Any idea why your HR was 10 bpm higher than expected on the bike for the given power?  That's quite a jump.

Congrats on finishing it off.  I was pounding pepsi at a low point in my race on that day and it def helped.  Kind of cool how a little soda can have such a beneficial (if limited!) effect.

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