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Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 10h 37m 13s
Overall Rank = 195/2317
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 42/280
Pre-race routine:

Woke up a 3:30 AM. Staple pre-race meal. Rice porridge with meat and egg with 20-30 oz. fluids. I planned on bringing a Nutra-Grain bar down to the race and eat it 30 min or so pre race, but forgot, and by the time the race started I was hungry.

I forgot to put my sunglasses in my T1 bag and left them on my head. I had to stick them in the back of my shorts under my wetsuit during the swim. They were "pokey."
Event warmup:

Short out and back warm up swim dodging other swimmers with only one small collision.
  • 1h 18m 22s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

I swam within my ability. But that said, only two people who swam slower than I did finished with a faster overall time.

I managed to stay mostly on course, which was my biggest concern. I had no issues sighting buoys on the way out, but had significant sun glare during the turn around, and for some reason I had more difficulty spotting the buoys on the way back to the beach. Maybe their orange color did not stand out as much as the yellow ones on the way out. I pretty much trusted the swimmers ahead of me, and followed them until I could see the next buoy. Coming out of the water I swallowed two huge mouthfuls of water and was retching until I hit the beach.

What would you do differently?:

I have limited OWS experience, and outside of my races I've only had about 4 or 5 sessions to practice. I also have generally poor technique. I breathe exclusively to the right and veer left. Much of my race is spent focused on not drifting. I have to sight every 2 to 3 stroke cycles, and even then I can drift a bit.

I need to work on my technique to fix my veering issues. I also work too hard for the speed that I swim. I need to learn to swim more smoothly.
Transition 1
  • 06m 5s

I used the wetsuit strippers, and remembered to not sit on my sunglasses. I ran fast up from the beach, despite my feet being very unhappy about the asphalt.

I found my bag very easily and found an open chair quickly.

Overall I was happy with my time, it was a pretty long run up, and I really couldn't gain much time here from what I did.
What would you do differently?:

I pulled a piece of plastic off of my helmet accidentally when I pulled it out of my bag and had to remove my helmet to snap it back on when I got to my bike and lost some seconds.
  • 5h 34m 53s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.07 mile/hr

My goal was to ride a 5:30, and I could have done this, no doubt. I came up a bit short. My biggest issue was my bladder. I overhydrated a bit since it was a lot cooler than I had trained in (I was actually freezing on most of my first loop), but I didn't make any adjustments to my plan. I biked very evenly, my first and second loops were just about the same exact speed.

I made 3 port-o-john stops and lost about 90 seconds for each stop. I debated just "letting it go," while riding but I wasn't sure if I even could, my bladder was full to the point of being nauseated, but it didn't really want to come out. I felt like a 70 year old man with prostate issues when I ended up finally going, I couldn't keep a good stream going. (sorry for the graphicness)

I have come to terms with the fact that this can be a pretty "gross" sport at times. For example, before the swim when I was standing on the beach, my wife pointed it out. Initially, I had generously body-glided my entire undercarriage, then my armpits, and then was rubbing it all about my neck, and she wanted to remind me "where that things been," also, I had just come out of the water for a second time, and when she asked me if I had to warm up more, I told her nope, "just had to pee." And it was when I was spitting into my goggles, she had to just point out the "grossness," of the last few moments.

So that said, yes, I agreed, it can be a gross sport at times. And when the time arises, and the necessity is there, I will pee on the bike.

My power numbers weren't reading correctly at the beginning of my ride, so my ride average was all thrown off. I ended up coming in about 15 watts under my target, but I am not complaining, if I underbiked, it wasn't by too much, and I felt great headed into the run.

The other issue I had was that I couldn't keep my bike in my easiest gear on my rear cassette. I had to hold my shift lever up and could only climb in my easiest gear while sitting. I generally climb in and out of the saddle, but from my training I did a lot of short steep climbs, and I am very comfortable out of the saddle, and would have liked some more time off of my butt.

On the second loop I actually did a bunch of the climbs out of the saddle in my next easiest gear. It wasn't the smartest move, and my "high watts" alarm on my computer was going off non-stop, but I don't think I burned too many matches since none of the climbs were very long.

In the end, I didn't flat, I only dropped my chain once, and the gearing issue wasn't the biggest deal. One of my biggest worries going into the bike is a potential mechanical issue that could wreck my race.

Nutrition went well. I was a bit bloated from the extra fluids, but calorie wise I think I did a great job. I went with Perpetum, and hydrated with Perform and water (at the last stop I had to settle for water since I dropped the Perform bottle on the hand off).
What would you do differently?:

I don't want to say bike a bit harder because I may have been fortunate that I took it easy since I felt good heading into the run. Execution wise, I may have been able to pick up a few minutes and still been ok going into the run, and I am sure I would have come in at 5:30 if not for the peeing issue.

Also, it was somewhat of a calculated risk by drinking as much as I did. I felt that it would be better to be a bit over-hydrated, then get into a hole with dehydration and not be able to dig myself out.

I also needed to not come out of aero as often as I did. I definitely had a comfort issue. I changed my position about two months ago (much better now) after I had to get a new bike (crashed and cracked frame of old one), but never got to where I feel 100% comfortable to where I can go for a full IM distance. Eventually, I feel very confident I can adjust to my current position, and it will pay off.

To have a faster bike split, I could have peed on the bike, I also could have went a little bit harder (but not much).
Transition 2
  • 02m 36s

Good transition again, found bag easily, and there was plenty of room in the tent.

I changed into run shorts which took a few extra seconds, but I'd rather be more comfortable and run in what I am used to than worry about a few seconds.

I also started running off to rack my bike when the volunteers reminded me that they could do it.
What would you do differently?:

Let the volunteers rack my bike.
  • 3h 35m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 13s  min/mile

I started out conservatively. I wanted to run harder, but held back (wisely). I knew I had the legs to go the full distance evenly paced, but that didn't really go as planned.

The first loop went well. I started feeling weak going into the second loop, part of it was mental. I knew where I was relative to my goal, and realized that I was probably going to come up short, and started rationalizing a bit. But more than that, I was feeling more fatigued than I should have and a bit nauseated.

It dawned on my that my salt was probably low. I drank more than I should have on the bike, and was probably a bit overhydrated on the beginning of the run as well. I had salt capsules in my back pocket of my shorts, but just didn't think of them because it wasn't warm. As soon as it dawned on me, I started taking them, and I started feeling much better and brought my pace back down. By mile 20 I was up to my worst mile split of 9:27 min/mi, but from there, I progressively brought my pace down until the end of the race and actually felt very strong across the finish.

The volunteers who assisted me at the finished asked me if I was ok, and I was shocked since last year at IMLP I was absolutely destroyed at the end, and I told them I felt fine, surprisingly great in fact, and not just because I was done, but I actually physically felt pretty good.

Again, I think I did a great job with nutrition. I had cola and gels on the run. I usually grabbed a gel and had one "on tap" for whenever I was feeling good. I didn't really track my calories, but just told myself to eat every time I felt good. I remember reading that advice somewhere, and it is great. "Feel good on the run? Eat something. Don't wait until you feel lousy."

Again, if I lost time on the run, it wasn't much, maybe 5 minutes tops. I made a few mistakes, but overall I was happy.
What would you do differently?:

Don't give in to doom and gloom in the late stages of IM and stay mentally strong. Don't forget salt!
Post race
Warm down:

This was my favorite post-race experience of all time, hands down. No comparison.

I grabbed 2 beers, had some poutine and some chocolate milk. I made my way to the massage tent where there were TWO masseuses ready for me immediately.

My wife was waiting outside for me and I didn't want her to wait too long for me but it still took a lot of effort to leave that post race area.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I need to learn to swim. I probably should have adjusted my hydration a bit, and could have biked a bit harder. I also should have taken my salt capsules much sooner than I did.

I learned a ton from this race. It was my second IM, and I am happy with my time even though I was a bit over my goal. I raced very close to within my ability with maybe not perfect race execution, but good race execution.

I gained valuable race experience, and even more so, I feel even more confident in what direction to take my training.

Swimming. I need to become a better swimmer. I unfortunately do not have any masters swimming near me, and based on the initial swim lessons I took at my health club, I don't feel like it was worth while. They don't have any real coaches, just some young adults who know how to swim, former high school swimmers more or less.

I plan on working on bilateral breathing to correct my veering issue as I am 100% certain my right side is much stronger. I also have a camera that I can use underwater that I've never used and I plan to start. I did realize that I have some sinking hips issues at the end of my IM training, and have corrected that a bit, but I need work. My kick is also non-existent. I've seen debate about kicking or not during IM swims or even some shorter distances, but either way, there should be no debate that a swimmer should know HOW to kick. Once I can confirm that I have fixed my major form issues (I will probably end up posting videos), I will just put the time in and get the yards in.

I also feel like I have the potential to gain a significant amount of time on the bike. I finally feel that my position is good, and I have a nice aero setup. I just need to put in the time and hard work.

I got a power meter this year, and in the spring I made great gains working with the power mentor group (thank you Marc for organizing and Shane for providing the great workouts). I ended up doing a good amount of volume in the later stages of my IM training, but it lacked structure. I pretty much just went out and rode a bunch. I need to use the knowledge I gained with working with a power meter, and use it to improve.

I feel that running is my strength, but there are no doubt gains to be made.

First, I went in over my race weight. I can be healthy and energetic weighing 10 pounds less, period. I just eat too much ice cream, drink too much beer, and don't know how to stop snacking from dinner until bed. I need to make smarter food choices in general, for example, instead of all the beer and ice cream, perhaps an apple and cottage cheese if I really NEED to eat. Somehow I feel like if I had a good day training I can eat whatever I want as a reward, and that is all well and good, but I really should make it a WEEKLY reward, instead of a DAILY reward.

I feel like I trained well with my runs, but was generally too worn out from the overall volume to put in as much "quality" as I would have liked. As I get more time under my belt I think (hope) my body will gain the toughness to endure a bit more intensity along with the volume. So basically with running, it's not so much anything specific I need to do that I feel will get me significantly faster, its just a bit of weight loss, and continued consistency.

Event comments:

I loved this race. The course itself was beautiful and just challenging enough. It has built in charm. The locals were supportive and very nice.

I'd only done one IM before, and again, the volunteers were awesome. They were everywhere, and extremely helpful.

I hear some criticism of WTC, but I can't complain. I feel like I get what I pay for. I had an amazing race experience, and would without hesitation do this race again.

Last updated: 2014-08-19 12:00 AM
01:18:22 | 3800 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 147/280
Overall: 1038/2317
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full
Course: One loop, buoys on the right. Nice lake, clean water, some waves/chop, but nothing significant.
Start type: Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:05
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:34:53 | 112 miles | 20.07 mile/hr
Age Group: 55/280
Overall: 262/2317
Performance: Good
I had some equipment issues with my PM and my HRM. About 4 and a half hours into the bike, my HR monitor started giving me crazy readings. My max HR is about 185, and I started getting readings at 170+. I actually took my pulse to make sure I wasn't dying and didn't know it. My PM also wasn't working right when I got on the bike and was reading roughly 20 watts until 20+ minutes into the race. After breaking down the data a bit and discarding the "junk," my HR averaged about 140, and my average power was 196 watts with 217 NP. I mostly rode by RPE though. My power was lower than what I planned, but without
Course: Awesome. I loved this course. The road surface was excellent. Even the least fun part of the course out on the highway wasn't bad. There were some fast descents where I hit about 45 mph, and you had the WHOLE road. The climbing on Chemin Duplessis was barely noticeable. Someone said there were grades that hit 15%, but I didn't notice them. After the turnaround on Chemin Duplessis coming back down, it was probably the most fun I've had on any bike course. Coming back on the second loop I was grinning ear to ear. There was good spectator support, and there were even people out on the highway here and there. The little out and back along Rue de Saint-Jovite was nice and there were a ton of townspeople out cheering on the cyclists.
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 86
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:35:17 | 26.2 miles | 08m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/280
Overall: 143/2317
Performance: Good
Mi 1: 7:54.86, Mi 2: 7:51.69, Mi 3: 7:37.47, Mi 4: 7:42.53 Mi 5: 7:42.71, Mi 6: 7:52.10, Mi 7: 7:57.20, Mi 8: 7:50.10 Mi 9: 7:47.54, Mi 10:7:51.11, Mi 11: 7:56.75, Mi 12: 7:54.86 Mi 13: 8:19.29, Mi 14: 8:24.49, Mi 15: 8:22.39, Mi 16 8:06.64, Mi 17: 8:28.79, Mi 18: 8:38.96, Mi 19: 8:34.82, Mi 20: 9:27.03 Mi 21: 9:01.51, Mi 22: 8:37.55, Mi 23 8:35.10, Mi 24: 8:28.97 Mi 25: 8:22.38, Mi 26: 8:13.75
Course: Very nice course. A few hills going out of town, and then coming back in, but other than that it wasn't bad at all. It was shady in a lot of spots too and that was a bonus.
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2014-08-19 11:45 AM

Subject: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant

2014-08-19 2:10 PM
in reply to: #5041200

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2014-08-19 3:32 PM
in reply to: Fred D

Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Great Job out there man. Those are some fast splits, you should be proud. I know what you mean about the post race food. That poutine was the best thing ever when I crossed the finish line. Unfortunately for me, they ran out of chocolate milk by the time I got there.
2014-08-20 4:35 PM
in reply to: Fred D

Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Originally posted by Fred D

Good job, very strong run! What was your NP on the bike? PS you need to learn to pee on the bike to go sub 5:30 ;-)

217 NP

I know you are joking, but really, I am ok mentally to pee on the bike. I know some people say unless I'm winning money I won't do it etc... I don't really care. But it was actually kind of hard to just let it go physically, maybe its just that I am just so trained to "hold it."

One concern I do have is that once I finally "let it go" it will be opening the floodgates (yes pun intended). I'll be peeing on line at the supermarket, on my commute home from work, at the park with my kids, etc...
2014-08-21 1:03 PM
in reply to: #5041200

Gettysburg, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Awesome race. Great run.

I wanted nothing more than to sit there and drink beer but my stomach hurt so bad I couldn't even eat.
2014-08-21 1:20 PM
in reply to: rscheung

Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Great race Rich! That run split, dayum impressive!

2014-08-21 2:10 PM
in reply to: ImSore

Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Congrats Rich you did a great job and had an awesome race. You raced very smart and had a solid swim, great bike and run. You're only going to get better as well as you continue to race more at this distance. The other thing is you realize there are things that you can improve upon and it sounds like you're willing to do that. Congrats again Ironman.
2014-08-22 8:21 AM
in reply to: #5041200


Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
What was your Normalized Power?
2014-08-22 1:15 PM
in reply to: asteryx

Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant
Congrats on a great race!

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