General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Los Cabos Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Ironman Los Cabos - Triathlon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Los Cabos,
World Triathlon Corporation
92F / 33C
Total Time = 14h 14m 5s
Overall Rank = 180/345
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 27/52
Pre-race routine:

We flew into Los Cabos (about 20 miles East of Cabo San Lucas) on Friday morning, arriving at 11:30am Local Time (they are 3 hours behind us in Michigan, so our time was all messed up). Was able to check into our hotel (Royal Solaris) right when we arrived and get things situated there. The host hotel was right next door, so it was a short 5 minute walk. Having done IM Cozumel in 2014, I was somewhat expecting that type of atmosphere, but that was not at all the case. There were only 345 athletes registered for the 140.6, and 533 for the 70.3, whereas they were capping the event at 1,000 per distance....did not come anywhere close to that. From what I read on Slowtwitch, this event was in March in 2015, but they moved it to October for 2016 & 2017. Not sure why, but the numbers obviously suffered because of it.

Picked up my packet, bike, and swag from the Expo (big disappointment compared to Cozumel or Muskoka) and headed back to hotel for R & R.

The heat was no joke. Here is the data from a weather website for Los Cabos on Race Day (October 30th):

Max temp: 96
Max humidity: 78%
Wind Speed: 4 MPH

Heat Index from 9:00am - 5:00pm was 83 - 95.

I somewhat knew it was going to be warm, so I decided I need to take things very easy on the bike and simply get off without overheating.

Went for a short bike ride Saturday morning just to check things out, and all was fine.
Event warmup:

Since this was a joint 70.3 and 140.6, there was not really an opportunity to warm-up since the Pro Men started at 6:35am.


  • 1h 23m 45s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 12s / 100 meters

Seeing as how I had not done any swim training since the end of August, I was pleasantly surprised with my swim. The course was a rectangle, swimming in a counter-clockwise direction. Water temp was 86 degrees, so no wetsuits. Wore my Huub swimskin, which I think helped a bit. Contact was fairly minimal. The ocean was fairly calm until we hit the half way point. A rather large swell came in and pushed the athletes all over the place. I managed pretty well, but it threw us off course. Converting yards to meters, I swam 4,000 meters, an extra 200 meters. Had I been able to swim straight, I probably would have been closer to 1:19-1:18.

The salt water wasn't too bad, but I swallowed a few gulps and it began to bother my throa
What would you do differently?:

Swimming a 1:23, Ocean Swim with virtually no training for 2 months, I was pleased. I have a strong swimming background, so I was not concerned with completing the swim.

Sighting was a bit of an issue since the bouys were 200m apart, we were swimming due East on the way back into shore, and the sun was quite bright.
Transition 1
  • 08m 10s

Not much here. Just took my time making it through. The freshwater showers were not overly effective, so I just sucked it up. My bike rack was very close to the changing tent, which meant I had to run ~250 yards to the end of transition. This was pretty inconvenient, but that was just the luck of the draw with my bib #.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much. It was a rather long transition, so could not avoid a longer T1 time.
  • 7h 21m 52s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.21 mile/hr

First and foremost, I had ZERO intention of being on my bike for 7+ hours....but, that's the way it played out. Heading out of transition, there is a pretty challenging hill to overcome. I just spun up it in my highest gear and turned onto the highway. The roads were in excellent shape....probably the best I have ever ridden on. I knew the ride was going to have some elevation, but the 4 long grinding hills were a lot to handle. Powering up them was not ideal, so i spun up them to the best of my ability. The heat really was intense between 10:00am and 4:00pm....basically the entire time I was on my bike. There were some really fast descents, which I am not overly comfortable with....especially in aero. I decided to sit up a bit and ride the brakes, simply because I didn't want to crash, or hit a seam in the road and risk not finishing.

The ride was pretty uneventful..... since there were only 345 of us, we were spread out across a wide range. I would chat with people when I could, but basically just kept my eye on my cadence and HR and tried not to let either one spike. I knew that if I pushed too hard on the bike, I would walk a good chunk of the marathon. That was not at all desirable, so I just took my time and clicked off the miles.

Nutrition was pretty good. 3 bottles of EFS (4 scoops per bottle), 1 GU every hour, 2 salttabs at the top of every hour, and god knows how many bottles of water....Aid stations were packed pretty well, so I took 2 bottles at each one....probably close to 30 bottles of water....either drank or poured on my head.

My watts were laughably low....a NP of 150, was almost embarrassing, but I was proud i kept my HR at an average of 126. Knowing the heat could have spiked that very quickly, it was not worth it to suffer.
What would you do differently?:

My goal coming into this was was to try and break 13 hours. However, given the extreme heat, I quickly had to reassess my goals, and simply finish the bike without pushing to hard.

Obviously train on more hills and heat, but that is a bit difficult to do in Michign and doing 90% of my rides on a trainer.
Transition 2
  • 09m 45s

Getting off the bike, I looked at my Garmin, and realized I was 5 miles short....shit.....I asked around in transition, and they were all short too. So, I just chalked it up that the bike course was 5 miles short. I'll take it. I didn't feel too bad getting off the bike....there were plenty of people in T2 who were in much worse shape than I was. I could tell my inner thighs took a beating from the ride....I think I will need to play with my positioning when I get home. I switched to a Cobb JOF 55, and while I like that it is a bit more narrow than my Adamo, I had quite a bit of chaffing.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 5h 10m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 51s  min/mile

As I headed out of the tent, the best thing happened to me....the sun start to set....woo hoo!!! Although the heat index was still in the mid-80's, it was much more bearable. The run consisted of 3 loops. It had some small rolling hills, but nothing too challenging. Lap 1, I felt really good. I would run in between aid stations, walk the aid stations for water and pretzels, and repeat. They had aid stations each mile, so that was nice. I thought about switching to pepsi, but I did not want to have any stomach issues. I took in a GU every 30 minutes, and then water and pretzels.

Since there were only 300 of us on the course, it got pretty lonely. There were sections which were completely dark....only the moon provided light... I didn't really like this too much, so I tried to find anyone to chat with. Luckily, the run course passed by our hotel 5 times, so I was able to see my wife and the boys a few times.

Lap 2 I realized I started to slow a bit and I started to have some GI cramping....but my all liquid diet was catching up to me....this same thing happened in Cozumel and Muskoka, so I will need to figure out a better nutrition plan. I don't think I lost too much time due to my bathroom breaks, but it started to become annoying. There was fairly good crowd support during portions of the run, but only in the populated areas. There were parts where we didn't see people for a mile or tow (besides for the aid stations), and it was a little bit of a let down. The buzz by the finish line was pretty good, but nowhere close to Cozumel. Cozumel was electric.....Muskoka was pretty good too....Cabo was ok....

The last lap I ended up running with a 18 year old guy from Texas. It was his first IM, and he was walking. I told him to keep up with my slower pace and I would get him to the finish line. It was fun to chat with him and took our minds off the last 6+ miles.
What would you do differently?:

I had a good running base coming in, but I was obviously not in a place to win my age group, so I just took it easy and finished with some pride.
Post race
Warm down:

After I crossed, a volunteer helped me through the warm-down area. I was not stumbling or anything, but he wanted to make sure I knew where things were. Grabbed 3 pieces of pizza, a coke and hopped in the ice bath. Sat there for 10 minutes and relaxed.

Afterwards, they had local massage students offering complementary massages. Had to take advantage of that. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I had a challenging time training for this IM. I have 3 small children (7, 4, 1), and the baby has not been a wold-class sleeper. My boys (7 & 4) are quite active in sports and other activities, so structured training was a challenge.

I initially hired a coach in October 2015 to prepare me for the 2016 season. My goals were: Sub-5:00 70.3 & sub-12:00 IM. Nicole was great when I initially started to work with her: (Shameless plug :) ), but as I got into the spring, I simply could not dedicate the time to training and I ended up suspending my coaching. When I know I have the time to fully dedicate to training, I will absolutely go back to CNS. Nicole and her partner Jamie, are amazing. I learned so much in the 8+ months i was working with them. I highly recommend them!

Event comments:

So-so end-of-the-season race. If you are looking for a destination race with warm weather and a good atmosphere, I would choose Cozumel over Los Cabos. However, if you are comfortable racing in the heat, and are in the 10:00-10:30 IM range, KQ is achievable. 40 spots went to 345 participants.However, due to DNF & DNS, only 269 people crossed the finish line. 40/269 = 14.87% - These are pretty good odds to get to Kona....much better than any other NA race.

Last updated: 2016-11-17 12:00 AM
01:23:45 | 3800 meters | 02m 12s / 100meters
Age Group: 22/52
Overall: 159/345
Performance: Average
Suit: HUUB Swimskin
Course: 1-loop, counterclockwise rectangle
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:10
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
07:21:52 | 112 miles | 15.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 30/52
Overall: 180/345
Performance: Below average
126 AVG HR
Wind: Some
Course: Course was 2 out-back loops. On a map, it looks like a U. The North-South sections were long, challenging hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 09:45
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:10:33 | 26.2 miles | 11m 51s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/52
Overall: 180/345
Performance: Average
Course: 3 laps around the downtown area of Los Cabos
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2016-11-17 12:12 PM

User image

Subject: Ironman Los Cabos

2016-11-17 3:15 PM
in reply to: #5205283

User image

Aledo, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Los Cabos

Great report. Also, really enjoyed reading about you helping the first timer to the finish. Great stuff.

I also have small kids, so your challenges resonate with me. Maybe now (well, next season) would be a good time to focus on something shorter, like int'l distance or sprints? 

Well done.

2016-11-18 7:09 AM
in reply to: #5205283

User image

Naptown, IN
Subject: RE: Ironman Los Cabos
Congratulations on another IM finish. Great job!
2016-11-18 9:14 AM
in reply to: LundyLund

User image

Subject: RE: Ironman Los Cabos
Thanks Steve.

You hit the nail on the head. IM training with 3 kids is a challenge. I am going to move down to half distance races: 70.3 and half-marathon races.

I feel I can put in 8-12 hours of hard training most weeks and get the results I am looking for. The 3 hour runs and 5+ hour rides for IM training are just tough to fit into a schedule, especially with young kids.

Unfortunately, sprints don't really do it for me. I don't think I have done a sprint in 3 years.

Thanks again for reading.

2016-11-18 9:16 AM
in reply to: mobey

User image

Subject: RE: Ironman Los Cabos
Thanks Kevin.

Your Fenix 2 has already gotten a fair amount of hours on it. There are a few items it does not have compared to my 920, but it also does not look like I am wearing a computer on my arm.

Thanks again.

2016-11-18 9:19 AM
in reply to: mobey

User image

Subject: RE: Ironman Los Cabos
Thanks Kevin.

Your Fenix 2 has already gotten a fair amount of hours on it. There are a few items it does not have compared to my 920, but it also does not look like I am wearing a computer on my arm.

Thanks again.


General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Los Cabos Rss Feed  

Ironman Los Cabos

Started by stevepiv
Views: 878 Posts: 1

2014-04-06 5:59 PM stevepiv

Ironman Los Cabos

Started by pfomalont
Views: 819 Posts: 1

2014-04-06 2:38 AM pfomalont

Ironman Los Cabos

Started by matthewwise
Views: 882 Posts: 1

2013-04-22 10:22 AM matthewwise

Ironman Los Cabos

Started by FrankR
Views: 1271 Posts: 4

2013-04-04 2:40 AM FrankR

Ironman Los Cabos

Started by Fatboy32
Views: 1882 Posts: 8

2013-04-09 2:14 PM Greshe
date : June 23, 2012
author : ytriguy
comments : 0
Often it makes sense to race slower in order to finish faster and at the same time have a more enjoyable Ironman Triathlon experience.
date : April 27, 2012
author : ytriguy
comments : 0
Some of the major mistakes I made over a 28-year career that I would do differently if I had it all to do over again.
date : April 18, 2012
author : alicefoeller
comments : 3
An unexpected upside of completing a full distance triathlon
date : March 28, 2012
author : EnduRight
comments : 0
Iron distance racing depends on the three pillars of pacing, nutrition and mental outlook. Training these three areas can significantly improve your race.
date : June 27, 2011
author : alicefoeller
comments : 8
A middle-of-the-pack triathlete takes on the iron distance for the first time at Rev3's inaugural full distance race
date : February 23, 2009
author : mat steinmetz
comments : 0
I will be 20 this summer and am planning on doing Ironman Montreal. This will be my first year of triathlon, can I do this and stay away from injuries?
date : November 17, 2008
author : mrakes1
comments : 0
During the race there will be plenty of opportunities to exchange bottles, so I'm thinking about going with the aero bottle and Gatorade bottle and fill up as necessary. What should I do?
date : July 30, 2006
comments : 0
If a heart patient can do these things, then so can those of you who haven't been split open like a fish and sewn back together.