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Ironman 70.3 Muskoka - Triathlon

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Muskoka, Ontario
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 45m 45s
Overall Rank = 35/1523
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/194
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for this race less than two weeks ago after missing a Kona slot by 7 seconds at IMMT. I needed to have a good race to end the season on, after quite a sour feeling after IMMT. This race had been assigned 100 qualifying spots for the 2014 70.3 WC, so I knew it would be pretty easy to grab a slot, even when I wouldn't be close to 100%

I left for the race on Friday evening, driving 5 hrs to Syracuse, NY, then another 6 1/2 hrs to the race site on Saturday morning. I arrived around 1 PM on Saturday, got in a short ride, then headed to registration. After registering, I wanted to go for a swim, but apparently the swim course was closed and there was a possibility of a DQ for swimming.

Eventually, I headed back to my car, and drove the 30 minutes to my hotel, found some supper and was in bed a little before 9 PM, setting my alarm for just before 5 AM.

Some time on Sunday morning I rolled over, checking the time on my phone, and swore out loud. It was 5:50 AM, and apparently the AC unit in the room had muffled my alarm. I was out the door and on the road by 6:05, eating a bagel and having a race nutrition breakfast of gels, cliff blocks, and some Infinit - yum!!!

Luckily, it was an 8 AM start, so I had time once I parked and got the shuttle bus to transition. I was lucky to have woken up when I did - just think if I had driven all that way and slept through the race start! Next time I'll definitely do a wake-up call!
Event warmup:

After setting up transition, I headed down to the swim start, about a 10 min walk away. I contemplated leaving my shoes near the swim out, for the steep 1/4 mile run to transition, but decided against it, eventually putting them in my morning clothes bag. I was able to get in about a 10 min swim warmup before it was turn for our wave to head out.
  • 32m 53s
  • 2200 yards
  • 01m 29s / 100 yards

My swim is definitely my weakest sport, but it's improved a bit this year, as I've put in a lot of pool time. I'm pretty happy with this swim, as it's advertised as 2000m, not the traditional 1900m. I got 2,323 yards according to my Garmin 310 in my swim cap. I feel this was my best swim of the season, and put me right where I needed to be.

Garmin file:
What would you do differently?:

Not too much - happy with the swim - top 20% in the AG works for me.
Transition 1
  • 03m 55s

I opted for the wetsuit strippers, and they had a hard time getting the suit over my heels - rather than pulling harder they stared at each other instead of pulling. I told asked them to pull harder, which they did, eventually yanking it off. After that, there is around a 1/4 mile uphill run to transition. My Garmin 310 was in my hand, after taking it from my cap, and I glanced down seeing a HR of 185 - highest of the day.
What would you do differently?:

Pick better strippers! (That sounds a bit dirty, doesn't it?)
  • 2h 35m 32s
  • 58.25 miles
  • 22.47 mile/hr

I biked this quite conservatively, knowing I didn't need to push super hard, as the bike is my strongest event. I honestly expected to be a bit slower, based on times from previous years, so I was pretty happy with my bike ride. I rode at around 76% of my FTP, and 20 watts lower than the Tremblant 70.3 last summer. Only three weeks after IMMT, I know I wouldn't have the legs I'd be capable of it this were an A race.

From the get go, the hills began. It was almost constantly up and down, with very few flat sections, and the flat sections seemed to almost always have a headwind, especially the exposed areas near the lakes we went by.

In the first 20 or so miles I was constantly passing folks - people from my AG and from the wave in front of us, which went off 6 min before. After the first hour or so the field began to thin out, and the passings decreased. After 2 hours I was averaging a bit over 23 mph, but knew that some of the steepest hills were in the last 20k, which proved true. My avg speed dropped by 1/2 a mph over this distance. I also passed a few of the female pros over this part of the course.

I came into T2 feeling fresh, but still a bit unsure where I stood in my AG. As the course wasn't an out and back I couldn't gauge where I stood, but I knew that near the end I was riding pretty much on my own. As it turned out, I saw three bikes racked in the 35-39 area when I got to T2. I was actually 5th, so I must have missed a bike.

Garmin File:
What would you do differently?:

Again not too much - I rode smart and didn't push that hard.
Transition 2
  • 00m 59s

Pretty average transition - could have been a little quicker, but I'll take it.
  • 1h 32m 26s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 04s  min/mile

Knowing there were 12+ WC slots, and knowing where I stood after the bike, I felt like I didn't need to kill myself on the run.

I made a decision to cruise along at a pretty comfortable pace until the turn-around, then see where I stood within the AG. Over the first half of the run I passed two guys from my AG and was passed by 1, so I thought I was in 4th place. After the turn-around I could see a few others from the AG a few minutes back, but not nearly enough to make me need to increase my pace that much.

There were three nasty hills in each direction of the course, and I contemplated walking a bit on them, as the pace wouldn't be drastically different that trying to run. However, I decided to keep running, and ended up not getting passed by anyone for the remainder of the run. If there had been fewer WC slots I definitely would have pushed more, but it wasn't needed. My goal in doing this race was to get a slot, and placing in the AG wasn't a real priority.

However, I was still pleased to take 5th in the AG. This time would have won the AG by 8 minutes last year, so the extra WC slots brought out some faster fellows.

Garmin File:
What would you do differently?:

Again not much - I hadn't run much since IMMT - I went at the pace needed for this race.
Post race
Warm down:

Chatted with some other racers and got a good massage.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I didn't need to go faster - I got what I wanted - a 70.3 WC slot, and I didn't need to push all that hard.

Event comments:

Although I wasn't planning on doing this race it was a fun experience. I would have much preferred doing Kona in 5 weeks, but that didn't happen. I was able to get a 70.3 WC slot on a challenging course. I've now got a year to be ready for that race! I was the second non-pro from the US to finish - definitely mostly Canadians doing the race - heck, I was born in Nova Scotia, so I could be Canadian if I wanted.

The support was good for this race and the post race food was excellent. I didn't stick around for the awards ceremony - I guess I would have received something for 5th - as I had 6+ hours of driving back to Syracuse.

Last updated: 2013-08-26 12:00 AM
00:32:53 | 2200 yards | 01m 29s / 100yards
Age Group: 37/194
Overall: 225/1523
Performance: Good
Suit: Helix
Course: Four straight sections, with three right turns. ~400m, ~200m, ~700m, ~700m to swim out.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:55
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:35:32 | 58.25 miles | 22.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/194
Overall: 17/1523
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 157 AP 258 watts, NP 267 watts
Wind: Headwind
Course: A large loop with terrain that was almost always up or down. I got 4665 ft of elevation on my Garmin 500, and I can believe it - it was HILLY!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 86
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:59
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:32:26 | 13.1 miles | 07m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/194
Overall: 39/1523
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 161
Course: Out and back, and like the bike course, quite hilly.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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] 4

2013-09-09 12:19 PM

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Bedford, MA
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

2013-09-09 12:23 PM
in reply to: #4850944

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Cruising to a WC slot - you're the man!

With a start to my day like that, I think my highest HR would have been getting out of bed, not in T1!  Surprised

Congrats on a fine performance and the slot at the WCs next year - you earned it, for sure - and for a great close to the season.


2013-09-09 11:37 PM
in reply to: #4850944

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Hey Nate- nice job! I can't imagine racing a 70.3 so close after an Ironman...

Impressive splits all around, but killer bike split!

2013-09-10 12:39 PM
in reply to: #4850944

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
That is an impressive time on this course.  It's scary that you rode only 76% FTP and went that fast. 
2013-09-10 4:37 PM
in reply to: #4850944

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Great job.  With the WC at Mont Tremblant next year, you should have a slight advantage having already done the course.

2013-09-10 6:01 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Bedford, NH
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Way to go Nate. I don't think its fair to say "way to rebound" as you did great in MT, but I think this was a smart decision and its gonna be nice to have a spot locked up already. You had a heck of a year man and you should be damn proud of yourself! Looking forward to seeing you soon my man.

2013-09-10 7:28 PM
in reply to: PeakTriCoaching

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Heck of a race for a relaxed effort. Impressive!
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