This past weekends Ironman70.3 race went much better than what I expected. I went into the race with the mindset of using it as a training session as my fitness level is not the same as it was at IM70.3 in 2009.
The main reason is in 2008 there was no peak winter training to get ready for an Ironman in October as it was the case last year. Last year I took a break in October/November after the Ironman and only started training for IM South Africa which is on April 25 beginning December.
The year before I took a break in Winter and started training in September resulting in my fitness being better in January.
But I must say I did surprise myself on Sunday. Any race I do I race and although I said it is a training session I wanted to try new things and I wanted to keep my heart rate in the Zones, preparing for IMSA later the year.
The swim was rough as any IM swim is and to add to it the sea condition was rough. My swim time was 2 minutes faster than last year with a much calmer sea. I am confident that if the sea was calm I could have swim close to 30 minutes. My time at the end for the swim was 34:19.
I must say the way I have learned to swim lately helps a lot and even with my arms getting tired at the end due to a lack of fitness I could manage to keep pulling through with the whole arm although it wasn't with the same amount of force as in the beginning.
I am happy with the swim but can still improve a lot, coming out of the water in position 610 does not help in the overall position. The only nice thing is I get to pass 500+ athletes on the bike, which is a motivation.
The Bike was good, my time was almost 8 minutes faster than last year with a lot less training than last year. There was even a head wind coming back to town which hampered a lot of athletes. One thing about the P4 that I noticed and mentioned when I got the bike is that it is so fast and comfortable if you get a side head wind. When the wind comes at you from an angle it seem that it just cuts through it.
Photo of me getting ready for transition
I passed a lot of athletes coming back especially when the wind picked up. What I am also happy with is that my average heart rate was exactly the same as last year. After the Bike there were less than a 100 athletes in front of me.
At the last aid station 20 kilometers before transition I could not manage to crap any bottles (Water and Power Aid) as it was falling out of my hand as soon as I crapped it, meaning that I had less than half a litre of water in my front bottle for the last 20km. I was a bit worried when this happened but just manage to use the water I had left sparingly.
On the run I tried something new, which I am not to sure if it worked and if I am going to use it at IMSA. I tried the new way of running(for me) by running 10 minutes and then walking 1 minute at a brisk pace. I was passing athletes only to be re passed by them when I walked which was demoralizing but I stuck to it.
My walking pace was at the 7:30min/km level for most of the 1 minute intervals. As soon as I started running again I will pass those athletes again and gain on them with them passing me again when I walked. This continued the whole time.
Can see the extra fat from the off season I carry on the run in picture above
I think this way can work for an IM but I am not too sure if it is the way to go in an IM70.3 event.
My next half ironman is end of February and I think I will run that one without walking and see how it compares to this one. I have another half IM beginning March and will then make a final decision of what I will do at IMSA.
My time on the run was 1 minute slower than last year but my heart rate was a whopping 9 beats a minute slower than last year. Maybe that will be a benefit if you run a marathon.
Transition times were pretty much the same, 10 seconds faster from swim to bike and 30 seconds slower from bike to run.
Always a highlight the post race massage
Final times for the day was:
Position: 12th in my age group out of 283 athletes and position number 100 out of 1960 athletes overall.