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Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
19C / 66F
Total Time = 4h 57m 19s
Overall Rank = 202/2000
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 37/202
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4am, immediately put on sunscreen and had coffee and some water. Transition opened at 5am and my wave didn't start until 7:55 so my plan was to go setup my stuff and then back to the hotel (a 2 min walk away) for breakfast. I got body marked, set everything up and was back in the room before 5:30. Made my oatmeal and had a banana and relaxed until about 6:30. At that point I put in my contacts (first time wearing them for a long race), second application of sunscreen and tri suit on. We then walked to the swim start which was about a 10 minute walk. We heard the cannon for the 7am pro start as we headed over.

I was very calm and relaxed, although Tab later told me she thought I looked nervous but I really wasn't at all. I felt very prepared and confident. My coach (Shane of Scotia Multisport - gsmacleod on BT) had given me a race plan that I felt very good about.
Event warmup:

Not much of the way of warmup. We couldn't take the bikes out of transition and I didn't feel like doing any running. I noticed too late that I could have gotten in the water for a warm up swim and in hind sight that's probably what I should have done but I didn't.
  • 28m 14s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 28s / 100 meters

As we lined up for the start, I looked to my right and saw a guy that was about 6'4" with arms down to his knees (slight exaggeration) wearing swedish goggles and built like a swimmer. Another guy to my left was also wearing swedes and looked ready to tear up the water. I was starting in the right place. :)

When the horn went off, I ran as far as I could and then dove in and started swimming hard. I looked both to my right and left to see who was doing what and within about 15 seconds I decided left was where the action was and headed that way. We were going at a hard pace but nothing insane - I felt pretty good and was sitting in about 3rd. Somehow we caught some swimmers from the wave in front of us within about 2 minutes even though they had a 5 min head start - not sure how that happened but anyway.

About 10 mins into the swim I was still sitting in 3rd with one guy right beside me - we were both competing for the same set of feet and bumping into each other. At some point he got a 1/2 body length ahead of me and I decided to drop in behind him rather than fight him. Around this same time we started running into more traffic from the waves in front of us and I think he made a bad choice by staying close to the buoy line where everyone else was. It looked to me like it was going to get crowded so I headed wide instead. This may have been a mistake in the end, I'm not sure. From here on I pretty much just swam by myself, staying a bit wide when things got crowded and not getting much of a draft at all.

Overall, I just felt "ok" in the water. A warmup may have helped, I'm not sure. I certainly didn't have the great draft pack that helped for the full IM last year.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure. This was the first race I've ever done with waves where I had to worry about working my way through the waves in front of me. I think I just need more experience there. I probably took the conservative route by going around wide.
Transition 1
  • 04m 26s

I wasn't sure if I was going to go to the wetsuit strippers but as I went by, the two immediately on the edge were free so I dropped down and they had the wetsuit off me instantly - I think it was a good choice.

There is about a 400m run from the swim exit to transition. I was able to run at a decent pace, passed quite a few people through here. When I got to my bike everything went smoothly, glasses on, helmet on grabbed my bike and went. Shoes were clipped into the pedals already and I was able to do a smooth mount at the line. Pedalled up to speed and got my feet in my shoes quickly.
What would you do differently?:

I probably could have done this a bit quicker but I was very deliberate with everything to make sure I didn't do anything stupid.
  • 2h 37m 2s
  • 90.12 kms
  • 34.31 km/hr

AP = 202w
NP =211w

Power targets were to start out 205-215w for the first 20 mins until getting to the first climb. The first section on the Montee Ryan is a constant series of rollers but nothing too steep that needed to go to high in power. I felt really strong and the pace felt really easy. I was immediately passing a ton of people. I was able to do a lot of slingshotting. Again, this was completely new for me. I'm used to swimming at the front of a race and then having people pass me on the bike, not the other way around.

The first climb up Conception hill was where I started putting out a bit more power - targets for the long climbs was 230-240w. I took a small sip of my water/gel mixture just before this and just before the aid station at the top I took in some chews and a piece of waffle. At the aid station, I grabbed a bottle of water and sucked in as much of it as I could before ditching it at the end of the aid station. Once over the top, I kept the power to the pedals until I was spinning out and then I just tucked in - max speed down the hill was 77 km/hr.

From there to the turn around and back to the hlll is a series of rollers but just steady from a power perspective. Passed a ton more people along here and also started getting caught by some of the stronger rides from my wave. Anytime we went slightly up, people would hammer by me and then I would re-pass them on the downhills. I was good at keeping the water and calories coming in. I ditched my first bottle (300 cals) at the 45km aid station and did the same strategy of taking some chews and waffle right before the aid station and slamming a bunch of water into me during the aid station. Switched my rear bottle up between my arms at this point as well. Again I was passed by a lot of people going up Conception hill and re-passed a lot of them on the descent.

Things got a bit silly in the short section through St Jovite, it was really crowded through here and very difficult to just ride how I wanted to ride. AP through here was only 181w.

After getting out of town, the ride along the Montee Ryan was good. I did a lot of yoyo'ing with people as they would pass on the hills and I would pass on the descents. One jackass passed me on the right on a hill and nearly caused an accident. I said a few words at him but he didn't seem to care as I saw him do it again later.

Going by the 70km mark before the steep hills, I took a peek at my overall stats on the computer. Power was great, average speed was 35.3 km/hr - awesome.

For the steep climbs, I just put it into 34/28 gearing and did what I could to limit the time spent over FTP. I was over 300w a few times but never for too long. I finished up my second bottle of gel/water just before the turn around. I knew there wasn't many places on the descent to take anything in. The last 10k has a lot of fast descents, I passed a lot of people on the way down. Speed up into the 70+ range a couple of times.

The last 3 mins or so is fairly flat/downhill after one last climb, a good chance to settle and prepare for the run. As we turned towards transition, I took my feet out of my shoes and got ready to dismount.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I rode what felt like a good steady but not hard power. I did my best to ride as legally as possible and felt really good coming off the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m

Again, I was deliberate with everything. Ran to my spot on the rack, almost got t-boned by someone cutting across between racks.
- Racked my bike, helmet and bike glasses off.
- Race belt and fuel belt on
- socks and shoes on
- watch on (should have done this first to give it more time to lock onto gps)
- visor and glasses on and out of transition.
What would you do differently?:

Turn the watch on immediately.
  • 1h 45m 37s
  • 21.08 kms
  • 05m 01s  min/km

This is where I had to rely on all my run training. The pace I was given by Shane as a target would be the second fastest half marathon I have ever run (by a lot) so I had to really trust him and myself that I could do it. I felt confident that I could (or at least be close).

As I left transition, the watch was still syncing up so I had no pace information for the first 2 mins or so. I just tried to run easy and smooth. Went through the first km in 4:40 - a bit too fast, especially with the tough hill that was in it. The first 5km are in some rolling hills and I just tried to control my effort while maintaining overall pace as best as I could. Kms 2 and 3 were a bit off target pace with the hills but from there I kept it right around the target for the next 8 kms. The turnaround is just before the 10k mark and from there is a very slight incline on the way back. At the 11k mark, my pace started to tail off a bit to the low 5:0x range including one 5:13. When I saw that I knew I had to focus harder and up the effort. That brought my pace back down a bit until getting back into the hills for the last 5k. From there I just fought as hard as I could to go as hard as I could maintain.

I was drinking from my water bottle (again with a gel/water mixture) all along taking in 100 cals in the first hour. From there I switched to more coke and a few sips of the gel mixture. I was also pouring ice down my tri suit to help keep cool. I was a bit nervous the first time I did it but it actually felt great. :) I would recommend that strategy for sure, I think it helped a lot (not that it was all that hot out).

The last 10k involved a lot of math in my head to figure if I was going to be sub 5 hours or not (what else did I have to do?). I knew that as long as I kept running I would make it and should have a few mins to spare.
What would you do differently?:

I think I have room to improve in the suffer zone. My run has improved tremendously since I started training with Shane and I think I still have a lot of room to improve more.
Post race
Warm down:

Chocolate chip cookies

What limited your ability to perform faster:

If anything at all, inexperience but I don't think I had much more in me.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-09-03 12:00 AM
00:28:14 | 1931 meters | 01m 28s / 100meters
Age Group: 6/202
Overall: 55/2000
Performance: Below average
Suit: Huub Aerious 4:4
Course: Rectangle with two right turns. Start and finish are in different areas.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:37:02 | 90.12 kms | 34.31 km/hr
Age Group: 55/202
Overall: 0/2000
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: There isn't much on the course that would be considered flat (at least in my books). You are either going up or down to some degree at all times. There are lots of sections where you can just ride a good steady power though. The hills in the 70-80k section are tough, lots of grinding it out in the granny gear.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 86
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:45:37 | 21.08 kms | 05m 01s  min/km
Age Group: 66/202
Overall: 0/2000
Performance: Good
Course: First and last 5 kms is on paved roads with some hills. The middle section is on a fairly flat trail.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-06-25 4:32 PM

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PEI, Canada
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant

2013-06-25 5:32 PM
in reply to: #4787486

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Great report, felt like i was right there with you (except for all the pain and stuff)!
2013-06-25 5:40 PM
in reply to: #4787486

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Great to meet you and your wife (again). Sorry we never hooked up for beers on Sunday night.

Great race and race report. I wish I had the swimming chops to get out there and mix it up like you are doing. Very, very cool.
2013-06-25 5:41 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Subject: ...
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2013-06-25 6:27 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant

Great report.  Sounds like you paced it pretty well.

I thought your description of how you knew you were seeded in the right place at the start of the swim was hilarious.  I know if I was standing there I would have taken about 40 steps back.

2013-06-25 7:50 PM
in reply to: Jason N

Subject: ...
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2013-06-25 8:06 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Ummm, if you can still do math you can run faster. Laughing Seriously, terrific report and congrats on a great race. Very impressive!!!!
2013-06-25 8:18 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Awesome job on the race, and on the training leading up to the race as well. 
2013-06-26 12:14 AM
in reply to: bzgl40

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Very well executed. I forgot this was your first half.

I don't know about you, but I am still sore in the legs. That run took it's toll.

I still owe you an aerolab file. I will do it this week,
2013-06-26 6:19 AM
in reply to: marcag

2000500100100100100 home in The ATL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
What a great race, Arend. A sincere congratulations on going sub-5 on what sounds like an honest course. That is the real-deal! It sounds like you executed your plan flawlessly - from your description the only easy time you left on the table was in T2: next race just put your shoes (and socks if you need them) on and GO! Everything else (hat, glasses, visor, race belt, watch) you can do on the run. It is more free time than having your shoes per-clipped in T1, but so few folks think to do it.
2013-06-26 8:15 AM
in reply to: #4787486

Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Damn nice job. I'm just not sure how you were able to avoid getting hit in the water by those 10 foot long arms?

2013-06-26 9:21 AM
in reply to: #4787486

Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Fantastic work! Way to get the job done!

2013-06-26 10:23 AM
in reply to: #4787486

Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Great race, Arend!  It's been a lot of fun to follow along with your training and see it through to a very successful race.  What's up next?
2013-06-26 11:43 AM
in reply to: #4787486

Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Booya! Well done and a great swim (of course)
2013-06-26 12:49 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant

Great work - awesome, speedy time for your first half!! And even better to do only one loop of each after having done the 140.6 here last year!!

Awesome job!! 

2013-06-26 2:25 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Nice work Arend. Sub 5, very impressive! A well balanced and paced effort.

2013-06-26 2:31 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Great race report, and more importantly, a great job racing. I'm impressed with how much you had your wits about you in every leg -- to know where you were in relation to others and to keep track of your energy output and speed. Good work!
2013-06-26 4:43 PM
in reply to: #4787486

Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant

Wow - very impressive race, and sounds like perfect execution.  Congrats on the sub-5 finish!!

2013-06-27 8:37 AM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant
Great job Arend, and fantastic result.
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